Many people who use CBD are familiar with the most common ways to use it. Among these are as a tincture, vaping, and as an edible.
But which is the best method to take CBD?
The answer is:
The biggest factor in deciding which way to take CBD depends on the reason you’re taking CBD. For many conditions, you can take CBD many ways and you’ll get the same benefits regardless.
However, for a few conditions, you may want to consider a CBD topicals for relief.
What’s a Topical?
To start, a topical isn’t just one type of CBD product. It is a class of products. These products are rubbed or pressed into the skin to achieve relief.
Much like other over-the-counter and prescription drugs, many find that the best relief comes through directly applying CBD to the skin.
Topicals come in many forms. They include:
As you can see, with a wide variety of topicals, people can take them to treat specific issues in a direct manner.
Benefits of Topicals
CBD can treat a wide variety of issues, but with topicals, people can treat these issues directly instead of waiting for CBD that’s to be ingested to travel through the bloodstream to the troubled area.
People find that topicals are beneficial in many ways. These include:
- Pain Management – How many times have you reached for a product like Icy Hot or Ben Gay to treat pain? Obviously, these products are not pills. They come in ointments and creams that you apply to the skin. Manufacturers of CBD make similar products with CBD. CBD oils, creams, and even patches can provide relief for muscle, back, knee, or arthritic pain, just to name a few. By applying a CBD topical to the affected area, you can get fast relief. This is due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body. The CBD in the topical binds with the cannabinoid receptors in your skin and nerves to create fast acting pain relief. Are you in pain after a workout? Does your entire body hurt? You can take a post-workout shower or bath with CBD soaps and shampoos.
- Minor Skin Irritations – Did you scratch yourself? Did you get a mosquito or an ant bite? Maybe you came in contact with some poison ivy? CBD is a great solution for these issues. You can use CBD soap to clean the wound, abrasion, or bite and then use a topical cream, oil, or salve to treat the irritation. Many CBD topicals have antibacterial and antifungal effects and can prevent infection. While CBD is great for these issues, some points you need to consider when you are using CBD topicals to treat these types of issues:
- First, as you read this benefit, you came across the word “minor”. If you have an irritation that would not be classified as minor, such as poison ivy covering a large area of your body or a gash in your skin versus a scratch, see a doctor. Mention that you want to use CBD as part of your treatment. They can help you determine the best course of action.
- Second, much like any product, manufacturers process their CBD topicals differently. Read the instructions and the list of ingredients on the product. You want to make sure that the topical will help and not create more issues for you.
- Arthritis – Millions of people around the US suffer from some form of arthritis. And it’s not just the aged, people of all ages from children, teens, working age, and the elderly are affected by the pain that comes with arthritis. Part of the reason that arthritis is widespread is that it comes in many forms. These include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Connective Tissue Disease
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
- Inflammatory Arthritis
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Juvenile Scleroderma
- Lyme Disease
- Palindromic Rheumatism
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatic Fever
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Spinal Stenosis
While research on the subject of CBD treatment for arthritis is needed, scientists have determined that in some forms of arthritis, the cannabinoid receptors were extremely active. Because of this, the CBD can interact with the ECS in your body faster than most conditions and create relief quickly.
- Bacterial and Fungal Infections – CBD can be a powerful tool for infections. Research has shown that CBD has properties that fight bacterial and fungal infections. One study that was done even said that CBD can be an effective weapon against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Because CBD is a naturally occurring substance, the bacteria and fungi do not develop a resistance to CBD. CBD has been used to effectively treat such bacterial and fungal infections related to:
- candida overgrowth
It is important once again to mention that if the infection is widespread, consult your physician before taking a course of action.
- Acne – CBD can be an effective tool in fighting and preventing the return of acne. As acne is simply an inflammation of the skin, CBD topicals can work well for treating both white and blackheads that pop up on your skin. Research has been done with a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) which causes acne and cysts to form on the skin. Researchers found that CBD can reduce the inflammation associated with HS.
- Minor Burns – CBD can be used to help with minor burns. The CBD in these cases serves multiple purposes. First, the CBD acts as a pain reliever. Obviously, burns can cause a significant amount of pain as the skin has many sensitive components including touch receptors, follicles, sebaceous glands, blood vessels, and nerve endings. All of which react when the skin is damaged, resulting in pain. The pain is also a result of the inflammation caused by the burn. CBD relieves the pain and reduced inflammation but also helps generate new skin cells resulting in these minor burns to heal faster.
- Eczema and Psoriasis – These skin conditions are often painful and visible to the world. Characterized by red blotches that cause the sufferer to itch, and in some cases blister, both eczema and psoriasis can be so advanced that it can cause a person to not be able to function in society. However, in the last decade, research has found that CBD can be effective as a treatment for both. In a nutshell, both ailments involve inflamed live skin cells that are affected by dead skin cells. Research has found that cannabinoids stopped the buildup of these cells, thus reducing the chances for inflammation.
- Age Defying – CBD is an effective way to ward off the signs of aging. With a host of options to treat your skin, CBD is a natural an effective choice to treat such problems as wrinkles, skin spots, bags under the eyes, skin sagging and more. In the burns section, you can see that when applied to burns, CBD helps skin heal faster. In the case of aging, the skin is damaged as well. In the case of aging, it’s not burns, but the damage caused by exposure to the elements over the course of a lifetime. CBD can help in the regeneration of new skin tissue, causing the old, damaged skin to be replaced. CBD has proven to be more effective than common ingredients like Vitamin C, E, or Aloe in popular skin care brands.
- Aphrodisiac – For millennia, CBD, and cannabis has been used to help people achieve intimacy where other options have failed. This was particularly true in India, where documents exist that discuss the use of cannabis to help in matters that involved impotence or frigidity. Indians incorporated cannabis into their customs and traditions, including marriage and tantric practices. CBD has been shown to help women the most in relaxing and regaining the desire for intimacy. In cases where women have issues with painful intercourse, some manufacturers have created oils and lubricants fused with CBD to help alleviate the pain.
- Massages – As a natural pain reliever and skin cell regenerator, CBD makes for a great product when getting massages. The ECS and cannabinoid receptors are stimulated during massages with CBD. So the next time you work out and need to hit the massage table, have the masseur use a CBD based oil, cream, or ointment.
How to Use CBD Topicals
A lot of times, the use of a product is just common sense. For example, most of us have known since were toddlers how to use a bar of soap. Could using a bar of soap infused with CBD be much different? The answer in this particular case is no. A bar of soap is used the same way whether it has CBD in it or not.
But some topicals may need a bit of explaining. After all, soap is a cleansing product as well as a healing product. Different products serve different purposes.
Before applying a topical, consider these steps:
- Locate the area you wish to treat – If you are using an ointment, salve, balm, oil or cream, you’ll want to apply to the affected area to get the best results. Using the topical in areas that are not affected is wasteful and can become costly. Topicals, for the most part, are meant to be applied to localized areas (obviously items like soaps and massage oils are exceptions to this). So pick out the area that you want to treat and start from there.
- Cleanliness – Before applying the topical, wash the affected area as well as your hands. It’s important to realize that CBD is going to be absorbed into your skin, so any residue that is on your skin like dirt and bacteria can be absorbed with it. To increase the effectiveness of your topical, clean the area with a CBD based soap. Be sure to thoroughly dry your hands and the affected area before applying the topical as you do not want to dilute or cause the CBD not to absorb properly.
- Don’t Spare the CBD – If you were going to take the CBD orally, then you would definitely want to watch the dosage. The same is not true for topicals. While you don’t want to waste it, you don’t have to worry about applying too much. Your skin will absorb what it can and send the rest through the bloodstream. When applying the topical, be sure to thoroughly massage it into the skin. You don’t need to hurt yourself doing it, but make sure you rub it in well. You may need to do it 3 or 4 times a day depending on what you are using it for.
- Cleanliness (part 2) – When you are done applying the topical, be sure to wash your hands again. Some of the ingredients in topicals include menthol, capsaicin, mint, tea tree oil, and other ingredients that provide heat to the skin. Rubbing these in your eyes or using the restroom after applying these products can cause burning sensations that are not pleasant in the least.
- Adjust when necessary – Each person is affected by drugs or supplements differently. So you’ll have to monitor how often and the types of topicals that you use. For example, while a cream may work well for some people, a transdermal patch may work better for others. Also, each CBD topical has other active ingredients, so you’ll want to pay attention to see what works best for you and for items that you may not interact well with. In the spirit of adjustment, another thing you may need to adjust is your mindset. Don’t get discouraged if you find that a topical is not working the way you expect it to. There could be many reasons for this to happen including the other ingredients in the topical, your body chemistry, other conditions you may have, and more. If you have tried a few methods and find that you are getting little relief, consult your doctor. He or she can provide guidance on what may work best for you.
Topicals are a great way to get localized pain relief for conditions such as arthritis, skin conditions, burns, and more. Not only are they effective, but they’re natural too and work with you natural ECS to activate the cannabinoids that exist within you.
In addition, CBD topicals are wonderful maintenance tools for your skin. With a variety of skin care products including soap, shampoo, bath salts, moisturizing creams, hand lotions, and more, you can keep your skin healthy and youthful looking for years.