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Does Topical CBD Actually Work?

September 28, 2022 5 min read

Does Topical CBD Actually Work?

Does Topical CBD Actually Work?

CBD topicals have grown more popular due to their therapeutic effects. Furthermore, they have organic ingredients that have minimal side effects. This article explains how CBD topical works, the benefits of CBD topicals, the consumer's guide for topical CBD products, and the side effects of CBD topicals.

CBD is an organic substance obtained from hemp and marijuana plants. Contrary to its companion, THC, also present in the cannabis plant, CBD does not alter the user's state of mind. This is because so many CBD products comprise just under 0.3% THC to remain compliant with the laws. CBD topicals come in various forms, such as salves, lotions, and creams. They relieve pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety, relieve muscle spasms and muscle tension, reduce oxidation on the skin and improve skin health. Furthermore, CBD creams bind with the endocannabinoid receptors on the skin, leading to the transmission of impulses that reduce pain and inflammation.

How Do CBD Topicals Work?

One of CBD's many advantages is its ability to relieve muscular and skin pain. Therefore, CBD reaches deeper layers of skin than the skin's surface, such as the subdermal and dermal layers. The endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of pain and pleasure perception, is activated by CBD. It accomplishes this by attaching to cell receptors found in muscle, skin, and nerve tissues. In turn, this could also reduce inflammation and pain.

According to Martínez et al. (2020), phytocannabinoids, including CBD, engage with receptors and other enzymatic components inside the skin that regulate inflammation and pain. The skin is generally pretty thick; thus, when individuals administer a CBD topical, the CBD immerses into the skin rather than entering the bloodstream. According to Cooray et al. (2020), if THC is included, it engages with CB1 receptors and other receptors like the TRPV receptors, aspects like TNF-alpha, and the PPAR-gamma receptors. CBD may control the inflammatory and pain responses through these connections.

Benefits of CBD Topicals

According to Baswan et al. (2020), CBD topicals can be applied daily to the skin to provide calming, moisturizing, and nourishing properties. However, not all cannabidiol-based products are created equal. Similarly, some are created to emphasize particular advantages over others.

Offers Pain Relieving Properties

Consumers opt for CBD products since they effectively relieve the muscles and skin. Maida et al. (2017) suggested that CBD topicals have analgesic properties that relieve muscle pains. In line with muscle rehabilitation, CBD topicals help ease joint and muscle pain from various occurrences and circumstances that might cause discomfort. The wrap is made adaptable in size and shape and is loaded with full-spectrum CBD and other essential organic components. The mixture offers comfort when individuals need it.

Revives the Skin

Individuals should give their beauty and skincare routines a chance to work together for maximum effectiveness and ease. According to Mist (2003), a CBD face mask is made to smooth the complexion of the face, guard against aging naturally, and maintain the skin's natural attractiveness. They are combined with CBD Face Cream, full-spectrum CBD oil, and natural components like avocado oil, vitamin B5, vitamin C, licorice root, and aloe vera.


According to Chelliah et al. (2018), CBD topicals have a relaxing effect naturally. Individuals can increase their relaxation tenfold when combining full-spectrum cannabidiol with additional aroma-appealing components. To get certain advantages, one can try using a CBD body lotion. By trying CBD topicals, individuals can give themselves a greater chance of having healthier skin and stronger muscles.

Improves Sleep Quality

Improved, longer-lasting sleep and CBD seem to be mutually exclusive. People report falling asleep more quickly and efficiently when using a CBD product. Even though much of this is based on anecdotal evidence, various research studies, including Kuhathasan et al. (2019) strongly supported it. Individuals have been aware for a long time that CBD has a potent relaxing effect. Additional chemicals such as terpenes can also be infused in the CBD topical. CBD and terpenes facilitate deeper and easier sleep for users every night. Improved sleep is one of the primary advantages of CBD oil for the skin. This is especially true if you use your topical remedy before bed.

Facilitates Muscle Recovery

Eskander et al. (2020) stated that CBD topicals facilitate muscle recovery by reducing pain and inflammation. Furthermore, the topicals have anti-oxidant properties that reduce oxidation in the muscles and reduce free radicals formed on the skin. These free radicals hasten skin aging by causing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.

Consumers Guide for Topical CBD Products

  • Be cautious of exaggerated health claims. CBD product manufacturers are not permitted to claim that their product will manage or treat a health concern, much like producers of many other health supplements not subject to FDA regulation.
  • Obtain the company's Certificate of Analysis: A trustworthy CBD product can be found by searching online or by requesting the manufacturer's Certificate of Analysis. This multiple-page document will inform you that the product has undergone thorough independent third-party laboratory testing and provide a summary of the product's ingredients and CBD content.
  • Consult the doctor beforehand. It's a smart option to inform the doctor if you intend to test a CBD product, though it is crucial if you have a chronic disease that calls for daily medication. This is due to the possibility that CBD may interfere with other medications you take, but this is more of a problem when CBD is consumed than when it is applied topically. Medications that adversely interact with CBD include antihistamines, antidepressants, and heart rhythm medications.
  • Analyze the product label thoroughly. Individuals should check whether they have any allergies to the other substances in the topical medication.

Side Effects of CBD Topicals

Although CBD topicals have minimal side effects, some people reported dry mouth, drowsiness, lack of appetite, weight loss, dizziness, and liver damage.


Topical CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors, enabling skin absorption of the CBD. Therefore, individuals should select the CBD product most effective for their bodies. The majority of people react differently to various CBD topicals. People experiencing inflammation and chronic pain choose CBD topicals because they may be applied directly to the affected area for immediate relief. CBD topicals also have anti-oxidant properties that reduce free radicals, which cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear on the skin. While purchasing CBD topicals, read the product label to ensure there are no harmful ingredients. Furthermore, ensure the product has undergone intensive independent third-party testing and confirm the extraction method and the hemp source.


Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology13, 927.

Chelliah, M. P., Zinn, Z., Khuu, P., & Teng, J. M. (2018). Self‐initiated use of topical cannabidiol oil for epidermolysis bullosa. Pediatric dermatology35(4), e224-e227.

Cooray, R., Gupta, V., & Suphioglu, C. (2020). Current aspects of the endocannabinoid system and targeted THC and CBD phytocannabinoids as potential therapeutics for Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases: a review. Molecular Neurobiology57(11), 4878-4890.

Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag16(3), 215-8.

Kuhathasan, N., Dufort, A., MacKillop, J., Gottschalk, R., Minuzzi, L., & Frey, B. N. (2019). The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology27(4), 383.Maida, V., & Corban, J. (2017). Topical medical cannabis: a new treatment for wound pain—three cases of pyoderma gangrenosum. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management54(5), 732-736.

Martínez, V., Iriondo De-Hond, A., Borrelli, F., Capasso, R., Del Castillo, M. D., & Abalo, R. (2020). Cannabidiol and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids for preventing and treating gastrointestinal disorders: beneficial nutraceuticals. International Journal of Molecular Sciences21(9), 3067.

Mist, M. H. H. N. (2003). Where Nature & Science Meet Skincare, Haircare, Beauty & Wellness Skincare Products+ Skin Care Techniques Skin Products & Devices. Journal of Pharmacol Exp Ther306, 29-34.