CBD comes in a wide range of forms, including CBD oil, lotions, salves, edibles, and topical creams. If you are suffering from muscle pain and inflammation or skin disorder, applying CBD to the skin is an exceptional alternative to ingesting it. So, what is the science behind CBD topicals?
How Do Topicals Work?
One of the biggest potential benefits of CBD is alleviating muscle soreness and skin conditions. This is mainly because CBD penetrates deep into the subdermal and dermal layers and reaches further than the surface of the skin. They work by activating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – which is responsible for sensations of pain and pleasure. This system is also responsible for regulating a myriad of other systems, including nociceptive, metabolic, limbic, and immunologic functions. Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical regulators in the human body that interact with the cannabinoid receptors and helps maintain homeostasis. They do this by regulating mood, hunger, memory, pain, and more.
In case the ECS is affected in some way, the body fails to produce enough endocannabinoids, and the functions mentioned above might become unbalanced. When the body is not regulating or producing endocannabinoids, applying natural cannabinoids topically can restore the balance. When CBD topicals are applied, they interact with an enzyme known as Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). This enzyme is responsible for pulling excess anandamide – a factor that causes homeostasis.
Since FAAH is associated with breaking down and removing natural endocannabinoids, CBD stops this breakdown and increases the number of natural cannabinoids in the body. This creates the potential therapeutic benefits associated with it.
CBD Topicals Explained
CBD topicals come in different forms, including:
- …and more!
All these products are directly absorbed into the skin and can be applied directly by patients with skin conditions. For enhanced results, topical users are highly advised to titrate the amount used daily until they achieve the desired results.
CBD topicals are a potential treatment for a variety of symptoms. Once applied on the skin, they take 1-24 hours to offer relief based on the severity of the condition being treated, frequency of use, and the dose.
Although CBD oil is often used to potentially offer pain relief, there is no shortage of research to show it has other potential benefits, including decreasing inflammatory responses, desensitizing pain receptors, reducing stress and anxiety, and more. In 2017, a study done by the National Center for PTSD-Dissemination & Training Division in Palo Alto, California, found out that some CBD products, including CBD topicals, could enhance better sleep.
Are CBD Topicals Safe?
Just like CBD vapes and other CBD products, CBD topicals are safe. However, it is worth mentioning that you shouldn’t buy CBD products or their advertised uses. In the USA, the FDA is not mandated to regulate the purity and safety of dietary supplements. Since CBD topicals and other CBD products are marketed and sold as supplements and not medication, you need to be careful when purchasing them for your own safety. Ensure you buy from vendors who can provide a certificate of analysis and attest that it contains the right amount of CBD as indicated or advertised.