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What Are CBD Topicals?
CBD topicals

CBD oil topicals include creams, lotions, salves, balms, and oils that are infused with CBD.

CBD-infused topical products are thought to have many benefits, such as relieving pain and improving the look of the skin.

When applied, CBD is absorbed through the skin and interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce its effects.

Because CBD oil topicals are applied to specific areas, they affect the area locally rather than in a widespread manner. This means the user can benefit from CBD without having to vaporize it or ingest it by mouth.

What is CBD?

What is CBD
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CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Cannabis plants contain a variety of cannabinoid compounds.

The most prevalent of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both interact with specialized receptors on the body’s cells.

These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Together with natural cannabinoid-like compounds, these receptors comprise the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are just beginning to uncover the secrets of this intricate network of chemicals and receptors. What’s clear is that this system plays a key role in the health of the body.

The endocannabinoid system appears to influence everything from immune system function to the control of sleep and digestion.

How Do CBD Topicals Work?

How Do CBD Topicals Work
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CBD topicals may be applied to the exterior of an affected area, such as a knee joint or a patch of inflamed skin.

The question is whether CBD can be absorbed through the skin (transdermally) or not. And if so, whether it provides meaningful pain relief. Fortunately, scientific research using animal models of human arthritis suggest the answer is yes.

Studies show that externally applied CBD preparations do, in fact, enter the tissues beneath the skin.

Furthermore, these CBD ointments provide pain relief in a predictable manner. In one such study, indications of pain and inflammation relief increased with increasing concentrations of CBD.

While human clinical trials do not yet exist, this preliminary research suggests that customers who use CBD topicals can gain the benefits of CBD through their skin. CBD topicals appear to work, just as CBD taken by mouth appears to provide relief from pain and inflammation.

People who do not wish to consume CBD by mouth may prefer to use CBD salves, creams or lotions for relief targeted at specific areas.

Benefits and Uses of CBD Topicals

Benefits and Uses of CBD Topicals
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CBD topicals are often used to treat painful and inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis and arthritis.

Since many cannabinoids have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, it makes sense that CBD topicals could help control these kinds of conditions.

CBD is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are praised for their ability to keep the skin youthful and healthy, so it’s likely that CBD could help improve the skin’s appearance, too.

The illegal nature of cannabis has make it difficult for scientists to study the effects of plant-based cannabinoids. Researchers have only recently begun examining their pain-relieving potential.

Nevertheless, CBD’s potential for managing pain and treating various skin disorders is quickly becoming apparent.

What Experts Are Saying

What Experts Are Saying
(Photo: CBDistillery)

The CBDistillery is a Colorado-based business focused on extracting and selling CBD made from industrial hemp.

Among other products, the company makes a salve featuring 500 mg CBD. It’s a topical ointment, pleasantly scented with lavender and tea tree essential oils. The company also markets a similarly potent skin care cream, intended to nourish and moisturize the skin.

See Also
What is CBD?

Ellese McKenney, with The CBDistillery, is careful to avoid making any medical claims about the company’s products. “CBD is not an FDA-approved substance,” she notes.

Nevertheless, McKenney is free to comment on sales of their CBD products. Customers have been enthusiastic. “They love these creams,” says McKenney. “We’re seeing an increase from month to month.”

She also notes the positive buzz generated by customers on social media. Among other comments, users have noted it “works super fast,” and “…[it] gives me almost instant relief.”

In one instance, a customer writes, “This product is a Godsend.” Upon use, one customer’s back pain reportedly “literally disappears.”

Noel Tunney is also familiar with the CBD product industry in Colorado. His products incorporate essential oils, such as rosemary oil, with CBD in a topical cream or salve. People use these products for any number of reasons, including topical pain relief, and even skin care.

One of Tunney’s customers typically spends $300 or more on facial creams. She claims that only CBD lotion with essential oils provides the skin-enhancing benefits she seeks.

Other customers report relief from conditions ranging from psoriasis to arthritis to acne. “It really makes a huge difference in people’s lives,” says Tunney.


While CBD is commonly vaporized or taken by mouth, CBD topicals are gaining in popularity. These products are applied to the skin, and absorb into the skin to act locally.

Many people use these products to treat pain and inflammation in conditions like arthritis, psoriasis, and even acne. CBD is an antioxidant too — meaning it can protect the skin and keep it looking youthful.

Industry experts agree that these products are popular and receive rave reviews. CBD topicals seem to have earned themselves a place within the exciting CBD product marketplace.