Everything You Want to Know About CBD Topicals

woman holding CBD salve in jar

As CBD continues growing 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 (aka pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory aid. 

So, if you suffer from muscle or joint pain and/or skin conditions, keep reading—this one’s for you.

What are Topical CBD Products?
CBD topicals are designed to be directly applied and absorbed through the skin for localized relief from pain, soreness, and inflammation. These types of products include oils, lotions, salves, and creams.

As more people experience firsthand how effective CBD topicals can be for a variety of issues and ailments, the demand for accessibility to CBD in the mainstream marketplace continues to rise. CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it will never get you high, not even if consumed in large doses.

Using CBD Topicals
When applied directly to the skin, CBD is capable of relieving pain and soreness in joints and muscles, reducing inflammation, and soothing skin conditions. 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 homeostasis (balanced internal conditions). An endocannabinoid deficiency may cause an increased susceptibility to a range of conditions and ailments including chronic pain and inflammation. Supplementing your ECS with cannabinoids such as CBD boosts your body’s natural ability to maintain its equilibrium.

Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a general term used to describe pain in the joints and in the connective tissue surrounding the joints. Arthritis 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. It’s possible for arthritis to be mild at first and 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 being osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than three million people in the United States every year. Osteoarthritis treatments often come with a plethora of negative side effects, including headaches, fatigue, nausea, weight gain, high blood pressure, and can even cause permanent damage to your internal organs. Because of these potentially severe side effects, some medications such as steroids are suggested only for short-term use. 

However, in a 2015 study conducted by researchers at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky, it was concluded that, when tested on 54 rats, “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”

Cathleen Mitchell is the owner of Kaya Hemp Company in Phoenix and has been clinically diagnosed with OA in her hip, as well as tendonitis, bursitis, and a torn labrum. She was introduced to CBD topicals in early 2017 while consulting for a medical marijuana dispensary and was amazed by the efficacy of a CBD topical compared to OTC pain relievers.

“I prefer not to take over-the-counter pain relievers due to side effects. I’d rather go with a natural remedy that helps the body heal itself instead of simply masking the symptoms. Upon first use [of a CBD topical], I experienced immediate relief from pain and inflammation and no longer had to rely on Aleve/Advil. With consistent application, the pain and tenderness from my conditions has been eliminated completely. Now, I only apply as needed if I overdo it in the garden or at the gym,” Cathleen explains.

When asked if she wanted to share any additional information about CBD topicals with readers, Cathleen said, “Regular and consistent application is critical to achieve longer-term results. Once you have stabilized the pain and inflammation, you can reduce application to an as-needed basis.”

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 be applied to the point of inflammation for fast relief. This could mean applying a CBD ointment to a sore muscle after a hard workout. Or it could mean applying a CBD cream to a fresh 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, the topical CBD is absorbed and immediately begins generating more endocannabinoids to kickstart homeostasis and help you heal naturally. 

CBD Topicals vs. CBD Sublinguals, Capsules, and Gummies
A common misconception about CBD is that it is an immediate pain reliever for all aches and pains 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. 

For example, if you have a headache, taking a dropper of CBD tincture (sublingual) may not relieve the headache in a matter of minutes. However, 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. 

If you’re experiencing arthritis pain, inflammation, or any other condition you think may be treatable with a CBD topical, give it a try. Start with a small amount and increase as needed. Oftentimes, a little goes a long way, depending on the CBD concentration in the product. Then, you can also supplement your internal ECS with a CBD tincture, CBD capsules, or CBD gummies once or twice a day. If you’re consistent with this regimen, you should begin to see and feel an overall improvement in a matter of days.

As always, if you are living with any medical condition, it’s best to consult your physician before making any changes to your treatment plan.

Have questions? Get in touch here or at info@kayaholistic.com. You can also stop by the Kaya Hemp Co shop at 6102 N 16th Street in Phoenix or call us at (480) 737-0867.