The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, possession, and use of hemp and hemp by-products. As a result, CBD products extracted from hemp plants were legalized to the mass market. Since then, popularity for the all-natural alternative to many medications only continues to grow. In fact, the CBD market is already estimated to be a $16 billion industry by 2025, according to Fortune Magazine.
Certain products are gaining popularity faster than others, however. Cowen & Co. performed a consumer survey in January of 2019. Of the 2,500 adult respondents, approximately 6.9% confirmed that they used CBD as a regular supplement. This allowed Cowen to make the “conservative” estimated $16 billion figure by 2025, as they estimate use will rise to at least 10% of the adult population.
More specific to the point, however, is that 44% of the respondents who confirmed CBD use reported using tinctures. That number goes down for topicals at 26%, followed by capsules and CBD-infused beverages at 22% and 19%, respectively.
We already got to pique your interest with hemp oil and the benefits of CBD oil. This time around, we’re going to focus on CBD salves, balms, creams, and other topical CBD products. With this comprehensive guide, you can walk away with answers to common and important questions about CBD topicals, along with the answer to the most important question out there:
Is a CBD topical product right for you?
We’ve compiled the evidence to give you an educated answer that you can feel confident with. Whether CBD salves are right for you or not, let’s dive into our definitive guide to hemp CBD salves, creams, balms, and other topical products to let you in on everything you could need to know about it.
How long does it take for a CBD salve to work?
The beauty of CBD topical treatments is how fast and efficiently they work. Typically used for problem areas that experience chronic pain, inflammation, or irritation of some kind, the topical treatment is rubbed directly into the problem area.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is made up of CB receptors that are laid out throughout the body, brain, and across the skin. Thanks to this fact, CBD topicals can interact with the CB receptors on the skin. This provides almost immediate, instant relief from inflammation and pain.
The longest you should expect a CBD cream to take before it kicks in is 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s been 20 minutes and you feel no relief, apply more of the CBD topical treatment to the same area.
What are the benefits to topical CBD products?
As mentioned, the ECS in the human body is made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Though our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids to interact with these receptors, sometimes, our bodies simply don’t produce enough for our needs. Using outside sources for cannabinoids, like CBD, allows the body to make up for its lack of naturally-produced cannabinoids.
When we experience pain, inflammation, or another disruption in homeostasis, enough cannabinoids in the system can help correct it. Many experts suggest the ECS plays a huge role in homeostasis and regulating other important bodily functions.
This means that CBD topical products are especially good for getting to a problem area faster than consuming an edible, vaping, or using a tincture would. While some of those other methods result in fast relief, they only provide a general relief throughout the body.
This means the problem areas that hurt or are inflamed are getting just as much relief as parts of the body that remain unafflicted. While the general relief can be helpful for anxiety, depression, and a plethora of other conditions, it doesn’t typically provide enough relief to help.
Using a CBD consumable and topical combination creates the most effective treatment for all types of ailments. The consumable allows you to get general relief that can last longer, but the topical treatment provides immediate relief to the targeted areas.
How often can you apply CBD salve, balm, or cream?
One of the best things about CBD being a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic (or pain reliever) is that it can be applied as many times as you prefer. Applying a CBD salve, balm, or cream means you can get targeted relief almost instantaneously.
As you notice the CBD topical treatment wear off, the pain or inflammation may come back. To mitigate this, or to just prevent it from coming back, you can reapply the CBD treatment as many times as needed.
One downside to being able to use a product as many times as you’d like is the tolerance that can be built up as a result. Unfortunately, the CB receptors in the endocannabinoid system of the body can become desensitized. This stops the body from naturally producing cannabinoids, but it also lessens how effective cannabinoids are.
The beauty of cannabinoids, however, is that you can stop using the product for just a few days and your body naturally starts reproducing its own cannabinoids again. This is also not a common problem; everyone builds up tolerances at their own rate and many keep a low tolerance to CBD, sometimes for their whole lives.
Fortunately, having a low tolerance to CBD and other cannabinoids just means it can provide a more intense, effective result for what may be plaguing you. Whether you have pain, inflammation, swelling, or a temporary problem that can be resolved through topical medicine, CBD may be your answer.
Does CBD help with eczema?
While more research is needed, we already have well-documented evidence that CBD salves provide therapeutic, healing effects for skin-specific diseases. This includes both psoriasis and eczema.
Likewise, a study found that topical CBD also provides effects on temporary complications, such as general muscle soreness, skin infections, rashes, wounds, and burns. The evidence, while not definite, leans heavily towards CBD being an effective treatment or aid for patients with eczema.
Does CBD help with inflammation?
According to Harvard Health, CBD may prove to be an option for managing not just inflammation, but also chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and more. We still need sufficient, high-quality evidence backing each of these claims, but more research is coming out every day.
Likewise, the anecdotal experiences of patients and consumers trying CBD for their conditions should help you weigh your decision. Nothing is set in stone, but consumers across the entire country are trying CBD products from a range of CBD brands and all getting similar results.
Specifically, CBD topical treatment may be able to help with inflammation, pain, swelling, and more.
Does CBD help with pain?
Chronic pain plagues some 100 million Americans, which is a big reason prescription painkillers help fuel the opioid epidemic. CBD is currently being studied as an all-natural alternative to pain relief, as well as a treatment for current opioid addiction.
CBD can help with recovery from addition; a big key needed in the United States right now. In fact, a survey found that a whopping 72% of Americans are willing to try to treat their pain with CBD. According to Remedy Review, their survey estimated that 23.3% of those surveyed has already tried CBD as an alternative treatment.
According to Sarah Brewer, MD, CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These characteristics reduce the pain perception in the brain, which reduces stiffness in the joints and provides pain relief.
The fact that CBD can help with pain, inflammation, eczema, and provide so many other benefits is probably the reason why nearly half of all people who try cannabidiol products stop taking their traditional prescription medications.
This 50% statistic comes from Forbes regarding one of the largest studies conducted on CBD usage to date. Conducted by the Brightfield Group, the survey found only a negligible 3% or less of the 150,000+ respondents found the product to be only slightly effective or altogether ineffectual.
Types of topical CBD products
While we’ve discussed CBD salves, balms, and creams primarily, a wide selection of CBD topical products is available on the market. We’re going to touch on the most popular types of topical treatments and what that type of treatment is best for.
As one might guess, this type of CBD topical treatment goes on your face. However, what’s not as well known is the fact that cannabidiol can work as an anti-acne solution. Not only does it work to prevent blemishes from popping up, it can also tackle blemishes that have already formed.
This brings us to our next type of product, which is the counterpart to CBD facial cream. Whenever you need to tackle a blemish head-on, hemp can work as a powerful anti-acne spot treatment to get rid of it in hours instead of days.
CBD can facilitate healing and provide a soothing sensation at the same time. Paired with mint or other common lip balm ingredients, CBD lip balm can work overtime to provide you the plump, moisturized lips you’ve always wanted.
While CBD-infused lotions are typically targeting dry areas, they can also work for extreme exfoliation. Put on CBD lotion right after a shower and be prepared for softer skin that’s powered with antioxidants.
A hot topic throughout this guide, CBD salves are one of the most popular topical treatments out there. Extremely thick, applying a salve to your face is not recommended. However, particular problem areas across the skin, like your knuckles or your feet, may get the extra moisturization they need for this type of CBD topical product.
Tips for Applying Topical CBD Products
There are some important final notes for you to leave off with as we come to close with our guide on CBD topical treatments. These tips will help you make sure you’re applying the CBD product exactly as it should be applied.
Make sure you’re applying at the right time
You want to apply topical CBD products after you’re clean for two reasons. One, you wouldn’t want to apply a topical treatment and then take a shower; the effects of it would be mitigated and using it would be pointless.
Two, excessive sweating can prevent the CBD from properly penetrating the skin. Make sure you have clean skin that’s ready for treatment before you apply.
Don’t mix other topical products with CBD topicals
Finally, you want to make sure that the CBD is being absorbed into the skin properly. You can’t do that without clean, product-free skin to start with. Using other products on the same area of skin may make the CBD side ineffective or not as effective as it could be.
In our definitive guide on hemp, we got to cover how long CBD topicals take to work, on average, what topical products are good for, how often you can apply them, what CBD truly helps with, and much more. We hope this information provided you with insight on a substance that still needs far more research for confirmation of all its medicinal benefits.
Creating better-informed perspectives across the world is the main goal with this guide. We want to spread the word on how CBD can improve so many different lives through the sheer plethora of benefits. With this guide, we hope you got the answers you were looking for on if a specific CBD topical product is right for you.
Remember, it may take some time before you happen upon the right CBD topical treatment. In some cases, patients must sort through a series of balms, creams, and salves before they find the one that’s ideal for their situation.
Because of the variety of benefits CBD can offer, the ingredients that come in products, and the strength of pure CBD in each topical treatment, there’s no limit to what you can find in the CBD market. Once you’ve settled on the criteria you want out of your ideal CBD topical product, you can find the right cream, salve, balm, or other topical treatment for the job.
If you want to learn how to use CBD balms and other topical treatments for physical relief, take a look at this video on how you can use topical treatments through different methods:
Rachel Sims is a passionate writer and huge proponent for cannabis legalization across the country, which is why she stays in the know on record-breaking moments for the industry, trends, and relevant law changes.
With over nine years of professional writing experience, Rachel is dedicating her passion and writing skills to the hemp and marijuana industries to help destigmatize cannabis and spread awareness of the benefits that the plant has to offer.
Rachel regularly writes for companies in the cannabis industry, as well as on her own website: Hashing It Out.
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