Weed has been in the illegal domain for a long time, classified as a dangerous drug with various deadly side effects. However, after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the USA, CBD products manufactured without THC (or within the legal 0.3% threshold) have become legalized. Thus, even consumers without access to medical marijuana can now reap a full spectrum of therapeutic benefits of CBD in a variety of CBD-enriched products.
CBD is known for its ability to relieve stress, uplift your mood, and help you sleep better. It’s also famous for pain and inflammation relief. Thus, if you’re suffering from chronic pain or inflammation of joints or muscles, using CBD cream products may be a good option. Here is a complete guide on the clinically proven CBD effects for pain and detailed instructions on choosing the right product.
CBD Topicals: Mind the Difference
You can choose various CBD topicals to address your health needs the best. Here are the popular options:
- CBD lotion. Lotions are popular among users with dry, itchy skin, as they can deliver potent moisturization and nourishment to the skin. They possess a lighter texture than other topicals and do not produce a greasy effect.
- CBD cream. Users often choose CBD pain cream as their number-one remedy for training-related traumas or muscle stiffness. It is heavier in texture and also comes with a greater concentration of CBD and other nourishing ingredients.
- Roll–ons. The CBD roll-on is a convenient form of CBD liquid application. It doesn’t require manual rubbing and keeps your hands clean, so the roll-ons are comfortable for CBD application on the go.
- Massage oil. Using CBD massage oil may give effects equal to the CBD cream for pain, as it combines the soothing, moisturizing properties of CBD as such and adds the indulgence of manual therapy during a massage session.
As you can see, all of these products are meant for external applications and differ mostly in terms of texture.
Health Benefits of CBD Creams
You may be quickly charmed by eye-catching advertisements promising tons of health benefits from CBD consumption. But what about the tangible clinical proof for these claims? What does research say about the ability of CBD to relieve pain and address inflammation?
- Giacoppo et al. found in 2015 that a new formulation of cannabidiol in cream produced therapeutic effects on autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice.
- Eskander et al. concluded in their 2020 study that the transdermal application of CBD could provide significant symptom and pain relief to patients with acute and chronic back pain. The outcomes were valid for patients with neuropathic and radicular pain.
- Palmieri et al. conducted a study in 2019 to analyze the therapeutic effect of CBD ointment administered to patients with severe, chronic skin diseases and the resulting scars. The researchers found no irritation or allergic reactions among patients and found the CBD ointment a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for patients with skin inflammation.
- Nitecka-Buchta et al. studied a sample of patients with temporomandibular disorders treated with transdermal CBD application and found that the patients’ masseter muscles’ activity was reduced. Thus, regular CBD application over these muscles improved the condition of masticatory muscles in patients and relieved their myofascial pain.
These findings suggest that CBD is increasingly proven to have positive therapeutic effects. Many clinical studies have been held to check the anecdotal evidence of CBD’s health values, and most of them prove tangible relief and inflammation reduction that the application of CBD topicals can deliver.
How to Use Cream Correctly?
Using CBD-infused cream is no rocket science. Generally, you can use it similarly to regular cream use by applying the right amount to the painful area and rubbing it gently until full absorption. However, newbies should do a tolerance test first and see how their skin reacts to CBD. Thus, we recommend using a tiny amount of CBD-enriched cream on an inconspicuous area of your body and seeing whether your skin tolerates the cream well. Check the skin for rash or irritation, and don’t hesitate to use CBD cream as usual if no alarming signs emerge.
Guide to Choosing the Best CBD Cream
As a rule, consumers need to go through the rocky path of trial and error to choose the best-suited CBD topicals. We have a couple of recommendations that can make this journey safer and easier for you.
- Label review. As the regulation of the CBD market is still in the germinal stage of development, it’s the consumer’s personal responsibility to review the quality and ingredients of a specific product they want to buy. So, we recommend checking the label for THC concentration, hemp origin, and the overall type of components the manufacturer has included. Avoid creams with chemical compounds, parabens, and alcohol, as they damage your skin and reduce the positive impact of other components.
- Brand check. It’s also vital to conduct a detailed check of the brand’s reputation and production techniques. Reputable, ethical brands have nothing to conceal, so they openly share their manufacturing methods and talk about their products. You may also look for positive reviews and detailed how-to guides as a hallmark of quality and concern for the user.
- COA review. An additional source of positive information about a CBD-infused product is its result of independent lab testing. Most brands provide such reports on their websites to show that their labeling is correct and that their products are free from dangerous ingredients and contaminants.
- Hemp and CBD extraction. It’s vital to consider the process of hemp cultivation and extraction as a critical aspect of your CBD cream’s quality. Reputable brands indicate that they use organic, US-grown hemp to derive CBD extract. The safest CBD extraction methods are cold press and CO2 extraction, while cheaper and more dangerous ones involve chemical solvents. So, you should be alert to all these production data and pick the product manufactured in line with users’ safety concerns.
- CBD type. Finally, it’s necessary to choose the CBD type that meets your health needs. CBD creams can contain full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD forms. The full-spectrum CBD is the richest chemical formula of a hemp extract, so it includes various terpenes, cannabinoids, and a tiny percentage of THC. Full-spectrum CBD comes without THC but preserves the terpene profile you may find beneficial for your health. Those needing nothing but CBD can benefit from a CBD isolate.
DIY CBD Cream Recipes
You might be happy to know that producing a DIY CBD cream at home is a no-brainer. Many health-conscious consumers resort to this option if they can’t find a reputable brand in the market or prefer to be crystal clear about every ingredient of their CBD remedy. If you’re one of the quality geeks, here is a tried and tested recipe to make your cream in minutes.
- Melt top-quality coconut oil in a pan (substitute it with high-quality shea butter or mix these two oils in a 50/50 proportion). Stay under the temperature of 380 Celsius to avoid burning your oil.
- Add as much CBD as you need for the oil’s quantity.
- Melt 2 ounces of beeswax to add to the mix and create a more solid texture.
- Add the CBD oil mix to beeswax and stir everything together.
- Add oils and flavor ingredients you find appropriate (lavender for better sleep, chili pepper for joint and muscle warming, etc.).
- Cool the cream and store it in a clean jar; use it when you need pain and inflammation relief.
CBD Cream FAQs
How often can I apply CBD cream?
CBD cream products usually don’t contain high CBD concentrations, so they can be used several times a day without overdosing risks. There is no risk of getting high, as even full-spectrum CBD creams contain 0.3% THC at a maximum.
Does my skin effectively absorb CBD?
Yes, CBD can be effectively absorbed by your skin and produce a strong effect on your body’s endocannabinoid system. However, CBD derived from CBD topicals rarely gets into the bloodstream. So, you will not experience the full-body effects of CBD and will likely enjoy only local relief of pain and inflammation.
How should I store my CBD cream?
It’s not necessary to store the CBD cream in a refrigerator, as CBD oil and other oil ingredients can crystallize. Still, you should provide a cool, dry, and dark storage space for the CBD cream and avoid its overheating or direct sunlight exposure. This way, you can prolong your cream’s shelf life and prevent its spoilage.
Can CBD cream cause side effects?
As a rule, CBD is well-tolerated by the majority of users. It is not intoxicating like THC, so it’s recommended for many populations without safety concerns. However, high CBD concentrations or individual intolerance to CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and drowsiness. Some users also reported a feeling of fatigue, meaning regular CBD consumption can cause sleepiness and reduced physical activity.