a person using CBD Topicals

The Healing Power of CBD Topicals

Author: Ivan Kan

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular wellness trend. From calming oils and sleep-inducing gummies to convenient capsules, it seems CBD has infiltrated every corner of the health and wellness market. But the latest frontier for this cannabis compound is a surprising one: topicals. Lotions, creams, balms, and even bath bombs infused with CBD are lining store shelves, sparking curiosity (and sometimes skepticism) among consumers.

So, what exactly is CBD doing in your moisturizer, and does it offer any real benefits for your skin?  More importantly, with CBD topicals often carrying a premium price tag, is the hype worth the investment? Read on for more.

What can CBD Topicals do for your skin?

The two leading causes of skin aging and common skin issues like acne and hyperpigmentation are:

  •  free radical damage to the epidermis
  • inflammation caused by irregular functions in the endocannabinoid system

Our skin maintains a complex equilibrium through a network of cell receptors called the endocannabinoid system. This system plays a role in regulating functions like oil production and pigmentation, but scientists are still unraveling its full range of influence.

Here’s where CBD enters the picture. Cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis, has gained interest for its potential health benefits. Early research suggests CBD might interact with the endocannabinoid system, and some studies have explored its effects on inflammation and antioxidant activity.

How CBD Topicals Might Benefit Skin

While research on CBD is still evolving, some early findings paint an intriguing picture. Let’s explore how CBD’s potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties might interact with the skin, our body’s largest organ:

  • It helps reduce inflammation. Intriguingly, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are being explored for their potential to reduce swelling, pain, and redness associated with breakouts and inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  • Regulates oil production. Excess sebum production is a suspected culprit in acne development. A 2014 study explored the potential of CBD, suggesting it might exert an anti-inflammatory effect on sebocytes, the cells responsible for sebum production.
  • It hydrates dry skin. A 2009 study explored the potential of CBD for dry, dehydrated skin, suggesting it might offer some level of benefit.
  • Soothes aches. CBD topicals could potentially offer some relief from post-workout soreness and promote healthy skin hydration, aiding in the recovery process.

How to use CBD Topicals for skin care

CBD-infused skincare products are taking the beauty world by storm, lining shelves and gracing websites. With so many options available, you might wonder how to incorporate CBD into your routine. CBD creams and other topical products offer a unique way to explore the potential benefits of CBD for your skin. Let’s explore some application methods to help you navigate the world of CBD topicals.

  • Morning & Night Hydration. Moisturizing is key for long-term skin health. After cleansing your face, apply a topical CBD moisturizer to lock in hydration and additional wellness boost to your mind and body.
  • Hydrating lip balm. Keep a CBD lip balm handy for on-the-go moisture and reapply whenever your lips feel dry
  • Body lotion. Don’t stop at your face! Pamper your skin with CBD body lotion. After showering, apply it to help replenish natural oils and support restful sleep with CBD.
  • Pain gel relief and salve. A tough workout or hike can leave your muscles feeling achy.  CBD pain relief gels and healing salves are emerging as a trending topic in post-workout recovery.  CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties might help alleviate muscle soreness.

How to Find the Right CBD Topicals For You

The world of CBD skincare is brimming with options, from lip oils to daily moisturizers. But with so many choices, finding high-quality products can feel like a challenge. Let’s explore some key considerations to help you navigate the CBD skincare aisle:

  • Pamper your skin with organic CBD topicals. Using hemp plants grown without pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals is gaining traction. This potentially minimizes exposure to contaminants and appeals to those seeking a natural approach to skincare. Regardless of whether a product is organic, always look for reputable brands with third-party lab testing to ensure quality and purity.
  • Find a product that’s third-party tested. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD topicals, the responsibility falls on individual brands to ensure their product’s purity. Look for brands that go the extra mile by utilizing third-party lab testing – this transparency signifies a commitment to quality and potentially reflects a higher standard product.
  • Refer to the directions for proper use. Similar to other topical treatments, CBD topicals may work best when left on the skin for a while to allow for proper absorption.

Related questions

Does CBD really work topically?

According to several studies, applying CBD topically may provide potential therapeutic relief for people with inflammation and pain. While these early findings are encouraging, more studies are required to confirm the long-term efficacy and ideal applications of CBD topicals for specific skin concerns.

How quickly do CBD topicals work?

Keep in mind that the effects of topical CBD products can vary depending on the individual and the specific product. While some users report feeling the effects within 20 minutes, it could take longer. Similarly, the duration of these effects may range up to 3 hours. Cannabis, unlike some other delivery methods for CBD (like oils or edibles), has a limited effect on the absorption of cannabinoids through the skin. This localized effect can be a benefit for those seeking targeted relief on the area of application.

Does topical CBD get absorbed into the bloodstream?

Unlike ingestible or inhaled CBD, topical applications are generally not designed to enter the bloodstream in significant amounts. This localized effect allows for targeted pain relief in the applied area, but may not be as effective for addressing widespread pain. Therefore, CBD topicals are often considered suitable for managing discomfort in specific areas, rather than addressing whole-body needs.


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