Article written by Erin Cline Oct. 25, 2018, published by CBD Hacker.
As CBD continues to grow in popularity as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, so do the available methods of CBD consumption. But did you know that CBD is effective when applied directly to the skin? That’s right, CBD is a natural analgesic (or pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory aid. And applying CBD cream, salve, or balm can provide targeted relief.
So, if you suffer from muscle or joint pain, or if you’re looking for relief from a skin condition, listen up. This one’s for you.
What are CBD Creams, Salves, and Balms?
CBD oils, lotions, salves, and creams made for topical application are designed to be directly applied and absorbed through the skin. For many people, they offer localized relief from pain, soreness, and inflammation.
And CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it will never get you high, not even if consumed in large doses.
This is especially true for topicals. That’s because when you apply it to your skin, CBD never reaches the bloodstream and, thus, never delivers a mind-altering effect.
As more people experience firsthand how effective CBD creams can be for a variety of issues and ailments, the demand for accessibility to CBD in the mainstream marketplace continues to rise. This is true not only in the medical community, but in the beauty community as well.
Using CBD Cream or Salve
When applied directly to the skin, CBD is capable of relieving pain and soreness in joints and muscles, reducing inflammation, and soothing skin conditions.
So, just how does it do all of that? Well, CBD increases the natural levels of pain-relieving endocannabinoids, decreases inflammatory responses, and desensitizes pain receptors.
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in maintaining health through balanced internal conditions, or homeostasis. When someone has an endocannabinoid deficiency, they are more susceptible to a range of conditions and ailments including chronic pain and inflammation.
But we have good news: Supplementing your ECS with cannabinoids such as CBD boosts your body’s natural ability to maintain its equilibrium.
CBD Cream for Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a general term for pain in the joints and in the connective tissue surrounding the joints. It causes swelling and stiffness in the joints and can decrease one’s range of motion.
It can occur at any time, but is most common in women and is more likely to develop as you age. Arthritis is often mild at first, but it can increase in severity over time depending on the type of arthritis and lifestyle. In severe cases, arthritis can render someone unable to walk or climb stairs.
There are many different types of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than three million people in the United States every year.
There are prescription medications for OA, but these often come with a plethora of negative side effects. These can include headaches, fatigue, nausea, weight gain, and high blood pressure. And they can even cause permanent damage to your internal organs.
Because of these potentially severe side effects, doctors recommend using some medications, such as steroids, only for short-term use.
But in a 2015 study, researchers at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky tested CBD on 54 rats. Their conclusion: “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
CBD Cream for Inflammation
As mentioned above, CBD—and cannabis in general—is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. But its anti-inflammatory properties don’t stop with treating arthritis pain.
Inflammation is “a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection” and can occur all over the body, both internally and externally.
Externally, a CBD topical can provide fast relief when you apply it to the point of inflammation. This could mean applying a CBD ointment to a sore muscle after a hard workout. It could mean applying CBD balm to a new tattoo as part of your aftercare routine. Or it could mean applying CBD oil to the site of an inflammatory skin condition such as psoriasis.
In all of these cases, CBD kickstarts homeostasis to help you heal naturally.
CBD is also beginning to show up in beauty and aging products for its natural healing and anti-inflammatory features.
Customers have told us, “My skin looks and feels amazing. It’s like the hemp extract, combined with carefully selected lipids, has rolled back the clock on my skin by about 10 years.”
Seriously, is there anything cannabis can’t do?
How Effective are CBD Creams For Pain?
Can CBD creams really replace over-the-counter pain relievers and other medications? According to many CBD users, the answer is yes.
And on the first try of CBD Balm , clients are amazed by the efficacy of a CBD cream compared to the pain relievers they had been using. In fact, she experienced immediate relief from pain and inflammation. CBD was so helpful that they stopped relying on Aleve or Advil to control her pain.
Over time, and with consistent application, the pain and tenderness from many conditions has been eliminated completely.
CBD Topicals vs. CBD Sublinguals, Vapes, and Capsules
A common misconception about CBD is that it is an immediate pain reliever for all aches and pains. But it’s not quite like over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
The truth is, while CBD is effective for pain management in some ways, oftentimes the relief is a result of using CBD as part of a consistent daily regimen.
Regular and consistent application is critical to achieve longer-term results.
For example, if you have a headache, taking a dropper of CBD tincture (sublingual) may not relieve the headache in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, if you begin consistently including the CBD tincture in your daily routine, it’s likely that you will experience a boost in whole-body health and a decrease in general pain.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Although CBD delivers healing benefits in all of its forms, topical CBD applications go directly to the source and tend to work faster. This is, in part, because they don’t have to travel through the digestive system first.
Vaping is another immediate application, as it delivers CBD directly to your bloodstream when inhaled. This method has a few downsides, though. For one thing, the effects don’t last long as other methods. And many people don’t enjoy inhaling smoke or vapor, as it can be harsh on the lungs.