There are dozens of ways to enjoy CBD. But in general, orally and topically applied CBD products make up the most popular means of consumption.
And while these products are drastically different from each other, the frequent comparison makes sense, considering that they’re both so high in demand.
That being said, let’s talk about some of the key differences, the first one being, of course, that CBD edibles such as gummies are taken inside the body, while CBD topicals are applied to the outside of the body.
But no matter how it’s applied, CBD works to maintain homeostasis, while targeting the body in differing ways.
CBD topicals have become particularly popular for easing mild bodily discomfort. When CBD-infused pain creams are applied to external parts of the body, they’re absorbed through the skin and interact with local receptors in that area, which creates the endocannabinoid influence that, to our understanding, creates CBD’s purported soothing effects.
Additionally, CBD topicals can be made with a variety of beneficial ingredients that may help ease discomfort, such as mint, arnica, and aloe vera.
Many individuals opt for CBD topicals because they can quickly and easily enjoy the benefits behind CBD right where they need it. CBD topicals may also appeal more to newcomesrs, since topically applied CBD is generally the least invasive way to apply it.
On top of that, CBD topicals have an advantage when it comes to bioavailability. You see, CBD that’s been orally injested must first go through the digestive system, where it’s transferred to the liver to be broken down. This process is known as the first-pass metabolism, and it will digest much of the CBD before what’s left even makes it to the bloodstream.
If you’re facing a dilemma between CBD gummies and CBD cream, you may need to reconsider which one would suit your lifestyle best.
Another point of confusion we’ve noticed customers have experienced is the difference between CBD cream and hemp cream. There are some brands out there that might try and lead you into believing that these products are one and the same, when in fact there are some key differences.
When we use the word “hemp,” we’re talking about the entire hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. And when we talk about CBD, we’re talking about cannabidiol, which is found in concentrations throughout the stems, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant.
The issue with hemp cream is that while there may be some hemp extract derived from the leaves or flowers, the hemp extract that’s used in hemp cream is often, in fact, oil from the plant’s seeds. And it’s important to note that while hemp seed oil is a wonderfully nourishing emollient that’s loaded with healthy fats and amino acids, it contains virtually no CBD.
Because of these key differences, it’s important to know both what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at when shopping for hemp and CBD creams. Maybe you really just want the moisturizing, skin-softening benefits offered by hemp. Or maybe you really want a product that might offer some relief to aching, inflamed joints.
Whatever product you choose, make sure to opt for products that state the ingredients, as well as what hemp or CBD extract is used.
In recent years, researchers have determined that CBD can in fact help to alleviate pain and inflammation. In one 2014 study from Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, trials revealed CBD to have an anti-inflammatory effect in nearly every condition that was researched in the study, including inflammatory bowel disease and encephalitis.
With additional research piling up, researchers are still examining the ways in which CBD interacts with the body, as well as working to gauge the most ideal dosage for CBD topicals, especially when it comes to stress management or pain relief.
When it comes to potential research for CBD’s pain-alleviating benefits, this becomes especially appealing for those who battle an opioid addiction, as well as those who suffer from chronic pain, and wish to avoid the long-term effects that can occur from NSAIDs.
But how does CBD cream help with pain?
While we still don’t fully understand the ways in which CBD works, it’s widely accepted that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system through the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which help manage functions such as inflammation. And in the case of CBD topicals such as CBD cream, the CBD comes into contact with receptors in that area.
That being said, it’s important to note that the major studies on CBD involve its effects on animal subjects. However, there are still some trials showing some promise, such as one study from the US National Library of Medicine, which examines the efficacy and safety of products containing 3% CBD for patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa.
If you’ve ever had a tattoo, you can probably agree that some pain is usually involved, and in those first 48 hours, you’ll experience a type of discomfort that’s not unlike a sunburn, accompanied by a hot, inflamed sensation that’s warm to the touch.
It makes sense that one might want to seek out a means of pain relief, but many solutions come with some pitfalls: for instance, medications such as ibuprofen will thin your blood, raising the likelihood of bleeding during your tattoo.
In cases such as these, CBD can become effective. Alongside its purported anti-inflammatory benefits, it’s also been speculated in one study that CBD can change the way our bodies react to pain. What’s more is that CBD may be able to ease pain with fewer side effects, suggesting it could make excellent aftercare for tattoos.
As you might have figured, CBD massage oils bring together the duo that guarantees your most relaxing evening yet: massage and CBD. A massage is one of the most luxurious ways to unwind and de-stress. And when CBD is massaged directly to your skin, those beneficial cannabinoids are sure to target those areas of tension.
And while it’s easy to get caught up in the CBD in a CBD massage oil, it’s still important to consider those additional ingredients. The best CBD massage oils will contain supporting ingredients that are nourishing and soothing, like jojoba oil, sunflower oil, ginger and cinnamon.
Shopping for CBD online can often make a great option for discovering quality CBD topicals, and in some areas, shopping online might be the only option available.
Still, there are many benefits to shopping for CBD topicals in CBD shops in your area. Dispensaries are the most ideal places to be, since employees here are typically highly trained and knowledgeable.
But when shopping for CBD cream, first ask yourself why you’re taking CBD in the first place.
For instance, are you taking CBD to help manage chronic pain? Or maybe you’re seeking a way to gently manage stress?
Whatever your reason, it’s always encouraged to consult your doctor on the matter as well, since they can help you strategize a plan of action for your health goals.
It’s also important to shop from a reputable brand. While the CBD industry is loaded with companies making wild claims and benefits, the quality control is nearly non-existent.
In order to find the CBD brands that are truly worth your money, it helps to be an informed consumer. A great starting point is by looking at brands with solid reviews, as well as brands that include informative materials on their site.
More importantly, though, stick with the companies that perform third-party lab testing. Companies that perform third-party testing prove that their batches have been tested by an independent lab for potency and purity. Further, companies that perform third-party lab testing should have lab reports that are easy to access on their sites.
It’s also helpful to stay aware of the THC concentration in CBD products. In the United States, CBD hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC, so make sure that your CBD products contain less than the legal limit, and avoid the products that don’t clearly state their THC content.
Aside from THC content, it’s also important to conside the CBD content, not only in the entire product, but per dose, as well. And for beginners, it’s typically best to start out with a low dosage, that you can steadily raise until the desired effect is achieved, while noting how it’s making you feel.
And when shopping for CBD topicals in stores, make sure to also consider the CBD extract. In CBD products, the extract indicates how much of the hemp’s plant matter was used.
CBD is not the only hemp-derived cannabinoid, so depending on the extract in your CBD cream, you might be getting a product with only CBD, a product with all of hemp’s natural compounds including CBD, or a product with most of hemp’s compounds.
CBD isolate products are made exclusively with CBD, and include no other hemp-derived cannabinoid. Meanwhile, full-spectrum hemp products are liked because they might be more effective, with this theory stemming from the purported entourage effect.
Then, the rest comes down to the ingredients.
That’s why it’s important to check the ingredients on the CBD topicals you’re shopping for. And if you’re ever unsure about a specific ingredient, it’s never a bad idea to run a quick google search to determine whether it’s safe, and what former buyers had to say about it.
At this point, there is a limited number of studies focusing on the effectiveness of topical CBD for individuals with eczema. In one small study published in 2019 from Clinical Therapeutics, patients with atopic dermatitis were administered a CBD ointment, and found that it helped not only clear away rashes and redness, but also helped soothe inflammation, which further helped improve overall sleep quality.
There is also evidence implying that CBD is anti-microbial, with some data indicating its efficacy in particular for Staphylococcus aureus, which can infect the skin of those who struggle with atopic dermatitis, flare-ups and other complications.
When you’re using a topical CBD cream, it’s worth noting that it’s not going to be the same as using a CBD lotion, particularly when it comes to the CBD content, and how much is needed in order for the product to work properly. For example, a low-dose CBD cream may be less effective than one with higher concentrations of CBD.
But even so, it’s often wise to start with a low, viable dosage in your CBD pain cream, gradually increasing the amount from there, until your therapeutic dose seems optimal. It’s worth noting that there are no known side effects to worry about with topical CBD products, though it’s always encouraged to check with a doctor when trying anything new.
If you’re still new to the world of wellness and self-care, get ready for the ultimate night of pampering! CBD bath bombs are essentially molded shapes made up of citric acid, baking soga, Epsom salts, and of course, CBD. On top of that, you can also find CBD bath bombs with a variety of different aromatherapy options.
With CBD bath bombs, the benefits are delivered in tandem with hot, soothing water, which may help amplify the healing properties while transferring the CBD directly to your skin.
CBD bath bombs start working once you add them to your bath water. Once they’re dropped in the tub or under the tap, they begin fizzing, releasing the CBD, Epsom salts, and essential oils into the bath water, creating a pleasant, relaxing experience. In other words, you get to enjoy the restorative, replenishing benefits of CBD, as well as its skin-enhancing benefits by the direct contact that this experience creates. Pro-tip: for a night of ultimate pampering, enjoy a CBD bath before a CBD-infused massage.
That being said, it’s also helpful to know that while CBD and THC are both extracted from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, CBD does not create that sense of intoxication and rush of euphoria, a.k.a., a high. Users typically don’t worry about any kind of unexpected side effects, or impairments as a consequence from using CBD bath bombs, or any other CBD products. You will not experience any kind of psychoactive mental changes as a result of using CBD bath bombs.