In terms of pain, cannabidiol (CBD) can help provide some much-desired relief. Clinical studies note that topical products containing CBD, such as creams, balms and gels, can assist with alleviating pain related to conditions like arthritis, migraines, nerve damage and muscle aches. If you’re interested in using a CBD cream,
CBD topicals, such as creams, lotions, balms, and salves, are products infused with cannabidiol (CBD) that are applied directly to the skin. While research on CBD is still ongoing, there is growing evidence to suggest that CBD topicals may offer several potential benefits. Here are some of the commonly reported benefits:
Pain relief: CBD has analgesic properties and may help alleviate localized pain and inflammation. When applied to the skin, CBD interacts with receptors in the peripheral nervous system, potentially reducing pain signals.
Anti-inflammatory effects: CBD has shown promise as an anti-inflammatory agent. It may help reduce inflammation in various conditions such as arthritis, muscle soreness, and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Skin health: CBD topicals may have beneficial effects on the skin. CBD possesses antioxidant properties, which can help combat oxidative stress and promote healthier-looking skin. It may also regulate sebum production, potentially benefiting individuals with oily or acne-prone skin.
Relaxation and stress relief: CBD has been reported to have calming and soothing effects. When applied topically, CBD may help promote relaxation and reduce stress in the localized area of application.
Targeted relief: One advantage of CBD topicals is that they can provide targeted relief to specific areas of the body. By directly applying the product to the affected area, the CBD can focus its effects in that specific region.
How to Apply CBD Cream
To apply a CBD cream, you rub it into the affected area, such as an achy knee or sore neck. “The cream is absorbed into the skin and then binds to the numerous cannabinoid receptors located in the different layers of the skin,” says Fuentes.
Each topical CBD product may have unique directions, however. Some may instruct you to use a small amount while others encourage using a liberal amount.
Balms and salves have a thicker consistency and often need to be warmed in your hands before applying them to the target area. And some products don’t require getting your hands dirty at all, thanks to roll-on and stick applicators.
Health Benefits and Side Effects of CBD Cream
Research suggests the cannabinoids in topical CBD creams may be absorbed more efficiently by the body through the skin, rather than passing through digestion, as is the case with orally ingested CBD products.
Although research in the U.S. is ongoing, preliminary studies show that topical CBD creams may be beneficial when it comes to treating chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis. However, additional well-designed human clinical trials are needed, as much of the existing research is based on animal studies or anecdotal results.
One small, placebo-controlled 2020 study in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology examined the use of topical CBD in 29 participants with peripheral neuropathy, a chronic pain condition caused by nerve damage. The results showed that the 15 participants using topical CBD oil experienced significantly less pain compared to the 14 participants using the placebo after four weeks.
Another 2018 study with over 300 participants with knee pain from osteoarthritis found a transdermal synthetic CBD gel significantly improved patients’ worst pain score and physical function averages. These patients were treated with 350 milligrams of CBD gel per day for 12 weeks.
It's important to note that individual experiences with CBD topicals may vary, and more research is needed to fully understand the benefits and mechanisms of action. Additionally, it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD products, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications.