CBD Topicals 101

In the past couple of years, CBD's become a household name in the world of self-care, and the market has only continued to expand. These days, most consumers have access to CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and of course, CBD oil tinctures. And then, of course, there are CBD topicals, and you could almost count it as a market all its own. CBD topicals have gone beyond the breadth of CBD brands. They now stock the shelves of traditional beauty and wellness companies. But are CBD topicals everything they're cracked up to be? Do they make a difference in chronic pain or anxiety? How do CBD topicals even work? If you've ever felt confused over CBD topicals, this is the guide for you!

CBD and Its Benefits

CBD has made its way into a vast range of products, such as gummies, oils, capsules, and even honey sticks. These products are all meant to be ingested, so how does CBD work when it's on our skin? The theory behind CBD lies in its relationship with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a major role in keeping balance in the body—and it does it with the help of functions like inflammation and stress. When we consume CBD edibles and capsules, the CBD enters the endocannabinoid system through the bloodstream. CBD's effects are distributed throughout the whole body. But in the case of, say, a CBD pain cream, the CBD works locally. In other words, it only affects the receptors that come into contact with the cream. As a result, CBD topicals can target a specific area of the body, which can be exceptionally helpful to those with consistent tension, or those dealing with an injury. CBD is also anti-inflammatory, and many consumers have found that it helps relieve some forms of skin irritation, as well.

Is CBD Cream Legal?

Though the Farm Bill in 2018 made hemp federally legal, there's still a bit of confusion over the legal status of certain CBD products. So, is CBD cream legal? Probably, but it depends on your state. While the Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp and all its products, some states have created laws banning certain CBD products, and some states have banned all CBD completely, like Iowa. Before you begin shopping for CBD topicals, make sure to check your state laws regarding what you can and cannot possess.

Types of CBD Topicals

CBD topicals aren't just one type of product, it's a whole category all its own, and it includes any CBD product that's meant to go on the skin. This includes CBD body lotion for dehydrated skin to CBD roll-ons for tense muscles and stiff joints. The choices in CBD topicals are endless, and there's something out there for everyone. But how do you choose the right one for you? The following is a breakdown of some of the most common CBD topicals based on the pain point. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a good starting point with the basics.

For Dry, Cracked Skin

When the air is extra cold and dry, regular moisturizers just don't cut it for cracked, inflamed skin. However, CBD can make a big difference as an ingredient. CBD body lotions are light topical creams that combine CBD with other nourishing ingredients, like aloe vera, to help soothe the skin and replenish moisture. For an even more lightweight option, CBD gels can pack just as much of a punch! Maybe you don't have chronic pain, but your muscles need a slight loosening up from time to time. You need something that works as hard as you do! Menthol creams are traditional remedies for muscle discomfort, and the addition of CBD is truly a match made in heaven. What could be better? How about none of the scent lingering on your hands! That's the beauty of a CBD roll-on; it allows you to glide on that CBD-infused, icy-hot relief only on the area that needs it. Fragrant, soothing oil is a traditional way to encourage relaxation in the muscles. But for those with a partner to help them, CBD massage oil is especially a treat. The addition of CBD will help lower the shoulders even faster.

How Do I Use CBD Topicals?

Unlike most CBD products on the market, CBD creams are very forgiving when it comes to dosage. While you should always pay attention to how a CBD product makes you feel, you'll never have to worry about a measuring device like a dropper or scale. When using a CBD topical, like a CBD cream or CBD oil, you'll use the amount you'd use with any regular topical: just enough to absorb into the skin. And make sure to always apply with clean hands, and only to external areas. That being said, it's generally best to stick to one use per day, especially if you're new to CBD topicals.

How to Shop for CBD Topicals

With the rate at which CBD is expanding, CBD cream is becoming increasingly easy to find in stores, along with CBD balms, serums, and more. That being said, you'll still find the most choices online, where you have access to sellers throughout the country. But no matter where you choose to shop for CBD topicals, make sure that you're buying from a reputable seller. The FDA does not regulate CBD products, so customers have to do their due diligence on their purchase brands. Ensure that the company you shop from clearly labels their products and uses third-party testing on their products.

Side Effects of CBD Creams

Across the entire spectrum of products, CBD is generally well-received by consumers. Most people shouldn't have to worry about a side effect or bad reaction. However, some side effects of CBD have been reported, including nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. Still, these tend to be caused by CBD that consumers ingested. That being said, CBD topicals may have an adverse interaction with certain drugs, such as painkillers, steroids, blood thinners, beta-blockers, and seizure medications. Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid CBD altogether since the potential effects and risks on fetal & infant development are still not fully understood.