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What are CBD Topicals?

What are CBD Topicals?

Tatum Blakeney

CBD topicals are products which are applied directly to the skin, featuring cannabidiol (CBD), the main cannabinoid found in hemp plants.

Most people are familiar with oral CBD oils or smokable products. Still, research shows that CBD applied to the skin can provide fast-acting and localized support, making it a convenient option for those looking for on-the-spot relief.

You can find CBD topicals as creams, oils, balms, or salves and are used for sore muscles, revitalizing dry skin, and reducing the appearance of scarring.

Some CBD lotions even have other natural compounds like menthol or arnica to provide additional relief for joint and muscle pain.

Because CBD doesn't produce psychoactive effects, topical CBD is legal throughout the United States, and you find CBD lotions virtually everywhere, from your local grocery store to online retailers—Unfortunately, very few CBD companies are making safe and effective CBD products.

If you're looking for a natural way to save tired muscles and joints or provide comfort to sensitive skin, topical CBD products may be worth looking into.

In this article, we'll dive into everything you need to know about what makes a good CBD topical and how to use it effectively.

Article Highlights:

  • Topical CBD combines hemp extract and cream, lotion, serums, balm, or massage oil bases to support skin health and relieve general inflammation and discomfort.
  • CBD has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and pain-relieving potential, which can be useful for skin, muscle, and joint relief.
  • There are many different uses for CBD topicals, so look at the whole ingredient list when shopping for products to ensure they will meet your needs.
  • Shop for high-potency and full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD topical products. These will provide the highest level of support for comfort compared to CBD isolate products.

What's in CBD Topicals?

CBD topicals combine CBD-rich hemp extract with a cream, lotion, balm, or body oil base that is designed for external application, unlike other CBD products that are meant to be ingested or smoked.

Current cannabis research has contributed to the growing interest in different CBD applications.

There is strong evidence to suggest that CBD has potential anti-inflammatoryanti-bacterialanti-fungal, and analgesic properties, which can make the compound very useful for general discomfort and tension in the body.

It's important to understand that not all CBD topicals are created equal.

While CBD is a key ingredient, its potential benefits, especially for topical application, are only as good as the other ingredients in the formula.

You'll find topical CBD products ranging from body oils, pain relief creams, acne serums, and much more.

So, when shopping for CBD topicals, it's important to consider what you'll be using the CBD product for and the best ingredients to support your goals.

How Do Topical CBD Products Work?

All mammals are equipped with an endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a complex communication system that keeps our body in homeostasis (balance) [1].

The endocannabinoid system is comprised of three main components:

  1. Endocannabinoids: These are the chemical messengers that bind to nerve and other cannabinoid receptors.
  2. CB1 and CB2 Receptors: CB1 receptors are primarily concentrated in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are spread throughout the peripheral nervous system. These receptors activate functions to regulate mood, appetite, memory, and stress.
  3. Enzymes: Enzymes break down the cannabinoids once they've completed their actions.

These three components work in sync to maintain homeostasis in the body and keep us healthy.

The cannabis plant is unique in that it produces naturally occurring chemicals that closely resemble endocannabinoids in this system that are called phytocannabinoids—CBD being the most abundant in the hemp plant.

CB2 receptors are found throughout the body but are most plentiful in the immune system. They are also found in the brain and spinal cord, where they help to regulate pain signals.

As the body's largest organ, the skin is responsible for protecting the body from its environment, regulating temperature, oil production, cell growth, and providing sensory information [2]. So, it's no surprise you'll find endocannabinoid receptors within the skin tissue to support the skin's optimal function.

The Best Uses For CBD Oil Topicals

Topical CBD is a versatile product. When we apply topical CBD products to the skin, it doesn't enter the bloodstream.

The cannabinoids communicate with the endocannabinoid system very quickly in the applied area on the skin to support the skin function.

For this reason, topical products that contain CBD are a good choice for things like inflammation, joint pain, soreness, and minor skin irritations. You can target a localized area to initiate relief directly at the source. 

CBD topical products have a wide possibility of applications, including:

  • Joint stiffness, pain, swelling
  • Muscle soreness and pain
  • Skin inflammation (sunburns)
  • Bug bites
  • Acne
  • Wrinkle prevention
  • Reduce the appearance of scarring

We mentioned earlier that not all CBD topicals should be used similarly.

Hemp-derived CBD has been heavily researched for its potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and its role with the endocannabinoid system does show some benefits towards maintaining skin homeostasis—but it's not a cure-all compound.

How To Shop For A Topical CBD Product

When you apply the CBD product to your skin, it's also absorbing the other ingredients.

It's important that you pay attention to the product's whole ingredient list, as this will give you an idea of its best use of application.

Some CBD topicals are designed for muscle and joint pain relief, while others are designed to support the overall skin complexion—what you use for muscles and joints isn't necessarily going to be appropriate for use on the delicate skin on the face as some ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter can clog pores, leading to breakouts.

For pain relief creams or roll-ons, it's important to look for high-potency CBD—the higher the concentration of CBD, the more effective it will be on your skin to soothe sore muscles and joints.

Many CBD topicals out there claim to provide effective and fast relief yet contain very little CBD in the formula.

The total amount of CBD should be listed in mg. Look for a product with at least 1000 mg of CBD per 2 oz.

If the CBD salve or CBD cream doesn't specify the CBD content, reference the ingredient list and make sure that CBD is listed near the front.

Ingredient lists are ordered from most concentrated to least in the formula—still, we'd stay away from products that don't disclose how much CBD oil is contained in the product.

You may also want to look at botanical ingredients such as arnica, menthol, and calendula, which can help condition the skin and provide extra support towards healing and fast relief from discomfort.

Another key factor in choosing a CBD topical is the hemp extract type.

There are three types of CBD oil extracts:

  1. CBD isolate: is a highly refined hemp extract that only contains CBD
  2. Full-spectrum hemp extract is the least processed type of hemp extract. It maintains a very similar cannabinoid and terpene profile to the hemp plant with cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.
  3. Broad-spectrum hemp extract: maintains many cannabinoids and terpenes but undergoes an extra filtration step to remove trace amounts of THC.

Related Article: CBD Isolate Vs Full Spectrum Vs Broad Spectrum

Experts agree that full-spectrum CBD oil is the best ingredient to use as it contains a diverse range of minor cannabinoids and terpenes that work alongside CBD to provide stronger benefits in the endocannabinoid system through the entourage effect.

The entourage effect is the theory that all the compounds in cannabis work together to produce a greater effect than any one of them could on its own.

It’s like the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

This difference is thought to be due to other compounds in the plant. The entourage effect is also thought to explain why full-spectrum CBD products are more effective than CBD isolate products.

By interacting with other cannabinoids and compounds in the hemp plant, full-spectrum CBD is able to produce a greater therapeutic effect than CBD isolate.

VIIA Roll On Topicals

Aches and pains come naturally, especially after a long day or a big adventure.

When pain lingers and diminishes the quality of your life, it becomes a problem. For us, those aches and pains came but rarely left—the good news is that you don't have to live with them.

At VIIA Hemp, our active lifestyles and passions for extreme sports drove us to find natural solutions, and that’s when we came across CBD topicals.

Before we came up with our line of hig- potency CBD topicals, most of the products we tried on the market were either filled with unnecessary chemical ingredients or didn't have a strong enough CBD concentration to deliver the lasting relief we needed.

We spent months experimenting with varying CBD extracts, essential oils, and whole herbs in our small kitchen.

Admittingly, our first muscle rub was not perfect.

Nonetheless, we learned a lot about formulating a high-potency topical CBD product and noticed our sore muscles and tired joints felt noticeably better.

After much refining, we launched our two high-potency CBD topicals featuring 1000 mg of full-spectrum CBD in an arnica base infused with herbs and essential oils.

This lightweight formula with an easy-to-apply roll-on applicator is our favorite way to deliver potent CBD to relieve tension and discomfort in the body.

Cool Roller: CBD Roll On

Menthol is a popular ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relievers and lends a cooling comfort to aid in relaxation. It works by activating certain receptors in the skin that are sensitive to cold temperatures. The cooling sensation can help distract from pain.

The Cool Roller is more than just your average CBD product.

In addition to 1000 mg of full-spectrum CBD, the Cool Roller contains botanicals such as arnica flowers, calendula, comfrey leaf, and St. John's Worth that help soothe and protect the skin.

The unique blend of ingredients makes the Cool Roller ideal for those with sensitive skin, as it helps to support against inflammation and redness.

The Cool Roller can be used on the face, neck, chest, or anywhere else that needs a little extra TLC—just avoid using it on open wounds and broken skin, as these ingredients are strong and can lead to more irritation if used incorrectly.

Simply apply the roller to clean, dry skin and massage it until absorbed. For best results, use twice daily.

Calm Roller: CBD Roll On

We all know how stressed and tense we can get sometimes.

Our muscles get tight, our heads start to throb, and it feels like we can't catch a break. But there's no need to reach for a bottle of pills just yet. The Calm Roller with lavender oil is a natural way to relieve stress and tension, and the roll-on applicator makes it easy to apply.

Just roll it on wherever you're feeling tight or sore, and let the full-spectrum CBD, arnica, and essential oils work their magic.

The roller ensures that the oils stay on your body and off your hands, and the convenient size makes it easy to take with you wherever you go.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Topicals

CBD topicals are one of the hottest new trends in the world of natural health and wellness, but they can also be pretty confusing.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about CBD topicals.

CBD topicals are a type of CBD product that can be applied directly to the skin and are made from the hemp plants. Hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC and hemp-derived products are legal throughout the United States.

It is possible to purchase marijuana-derived CBD products—but they are only available in states that have legalized marijuana.

All VIIA products are made from American-grown hemp and are legal in the United States.

Can CBD Topicals Get Me High?

CBD topicals will not get you high.

Cannabinoids applied to the skin aren't absorbed into the bloodstream, where it would have the chance to interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system.

Even still, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and does not produce intoxication when ingested.

If you're looking for legal hemp-derived products that can produce some elevating effects, you can try our Cloud-9 High Spectrum THC Gummies.

Are CBD Topicals Safe To Use?

CBD topicals are generally considered safe to use. However, it's important that you only purchase CBD products from a reputable source that provides third-party lab testing to ensure the quality and safety of the hemp extract.

It's also possible to experience minor irritations from other ingredients in your CBD cream or lotions, so we recommend patch-testing a new product on your skin before applying it on a large area.

What Are Common Uses For CBD Topicals?

CBD topicals are mostly commonly used for pain relief or anti-inflammatory purposes. However, they can also be used in anti-acne and anti-aging formulas in skin care.

Many people also find topical CBD creams and balms helpful in relieving stress and tension around the temples, neck, and shoulders.

Is It Safe To Combine Topical CBD With Ingestible CBD Products?

It is safe to combine topical and oral CBD products for most people, and many people find that they find the best relief when using CBD in this way.

The topical products can provide immediate relief from pain and inflammation, while the ingestible products provide long-lasting support.

Is There THC In VIIA Hemp Co's Topical CBD Products?

Full-spectrum hemp extracts may contain up to 0.3% THC while still remaining legal.

These trace amounts of THC don't produce any intoxicating effects, but it does help the CBD to work better in the endocannabinoid system through the entourage effect.

How Much Topical CBD Should I Use?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to using CBD products on the skin.

Use your best discretion. You can massage the roller ball onto areas that need quick relief and reapply throughout the day as needed.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Topicals To Work?

The answer, unfortunately, is not so simple.

Everyone's body is different, and as a result, everyone will experience different results from CBD topicals. For some people, relief may be almost instantaneous, while for others, it may take up to an hour.

We find that a gentle massage with the rollerball helps to stimulate blood flow and release tension in the area to help with relaxation and temporary relief.

Final Thoughts: CBD Topicals

Topical CBD works through the endocannabinoid system to support the optimal immune function of the skin organ.

At VIIA, we have come a long way since our first batch of homemade salves.

We’ve worked with naturopathic healers, conducted endless R&D, and created hundreds of test products. In our journey, we’ve learned and fine-tuned our art of making a practical and effective product.  

VIIA topicals are created with formulas that go beyond just CBD by integrating the power of plant compounds, combining thousands of years of medicinal herb knowledge with modern accessibility to high-quality CBD. 

We begin with a long process of slowly infusing arnica, calendula, comfrey, and St. John’s wort in sunflower oil for over two months. Using our infusions, we designed formulas for those requiring normal and extreme relief. 

We chose roll-on applications because they keep the oils off of your hands while allowing you to apply anywhere at any time.

Plus, you can get a great self-massage! 

Resources Cited:

  1. Battista, N., Di Tommaso, M., Bari, M., & Maccarrone, M. (2012). The endocannabinoid system: an overview. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience6, 9.
  2. Bíró, T., Tóth, B. I., Haskó, G., Paus, R., & Pacher, P. (2009). The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends in pharmacological sciences30(8), 411-420
Tatum Blakeney

Tatum Blakeney

Tatum is the Digital Marketing Manager at VIIA Hemp Co. His passion for helping people finding the benefit in Cannabis flows through in the expert industry coverage and trending topics he provides. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn

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