Do CBD Topicals Really Do Anything?

CBD is one of the phytocannabinoids of cannabis that possesses no psychotropic effects. In other words, you cannot experience a mental high off of CBD.

New milestones are being reached in terms of understanding the effectiveness of CBD. And the one thing that keeps coming up is that CBD has numerous therapeutic benefits.

And for that reason, the demand for CBD products is on the rise. CBD products exist in diverse forms, and one of these is CBD topicals.

You have probably seen an advert about CBD topicals, and how they can help relieve your pain or trigger mental calm, but do CBD topicals do anything?

In this post, we break down the elements of CBD topicals.

How are CBD Topicals Made?

Topicals refer to products that are typically applied to the skin. They usually contain precious organic compounds that sink into the body through skin pores.

And so, CBD topicals refer to topical products that have been infused with premium hemp extracts. Common CBD topicals include creams, ointments, and salves.

Quality CBD topicals are based on organic ingredients that are mixed via industrial processes to create high-quality products.

There are countless brands out there offering CBD topicals, but if you want to save money, you can make your own CBD topicals by following rudimentary processes.

And so, when buying a CBD topical, it’s essential to find out whether you’re dealing with a trusted company.

Features of CBD Topicals

Various CBD products are distinguished by certain traits. The following are some of the characteristics of CBD topicals:

Discreet ingestion: some CBD forms usually make you seem conspicuous when you try to ingest them. For instance, if you use an oral syringe to ingest CBD, people might stop to stare. But when applying CBD topicals, it seems like you’re just polishing parts of your skin.

Great aroma: raw CBD has a grassy or earthy aroma, which isn’t particularly great. But when CBD is added to topicals, a sweet smell is usually thrown into the mix, thus allowing you to have a pleasant scent.

Relatively fast action: when applying CBD topicals in localized areas, e.g. for managing acne, the delivery of CBD molecules is relatively fast, which aids in gaining quick effects.

Therapeutic Benefits of Using CBD Topicals

Topicals are one of the popular forms of CBD. The following are some of the reasons why millions of people apply CBD topicals daily:

1. Helps with Relieving Pain

The common things that cause people to experience pain include physical injuries and medical conditions. But whether the pain is sporadic or relentless, the victim becomes uncomfortable, and normal tasks become difficult. CBD is suggested to help with managing pain [1]. CBD topicals may help with targeting the affected parts of the body.

2. Helps with Relieving Inflammation

Inflammation is triggered by the body’s defense system usually after an injury or infection. The affected part usually reddens, swells out, or experiences pain sensations. CBD may help with lowering inflammation [2]. CBD topicals may be easily applied to the affected parts.

3. Managing Skin Conditions

Whether we wish to admit it or not, looks do matter. Everybody wishes to have smooth, intact, and healthy skin. But various skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, and eczema can stop us from enjoying excellent skin. CBD helps with eliminating these skin problems [3].

4. Promoting Relaxation

Many people are trapped in mentally and physically taxing jobs. When they come home from work, their bodies are too sore that they can hardly do anything else. CBD is suggested to help with aiding relaxation. One may take a shower and then apply some CBD topical before hitting the bed.

5. Promoting Good Sleep

Quality sleep is one of the essential drivers of happiness and success. But sadly, millions of people battle various sleep disorders, commonly insomnia, which affects their productivity, emotional stability, and motivation. CBD is suggested to promote quality sleep.

What’s the Proper Dosage of CBD Topicals?

The ideal dosage of CBD is different across consumers, but it’s recommended that one starts with a small dosage so that they study how their body reacts.

Different factors are at the center of determining the perfect dosage for CBD topicals. These factors include age, sex, health status, and product potency.

Topical ingestion means that the CBD molecules won’t mix with blood, so, it’s critical to apply liberal amounts of the product.

Experts agree that the average adult human can consume anywhere from 50 to 1500 milligrams of CBD per day.

If you have a health problem or a metabolism problem, it’s recommended that your dosage levels be at the upper limit.

How Do CBD Topicals Work?

When you ingest other forms of CBD, e.g. tinctures, the CBD molecules are absorbed into blood vessels and are then transported to various parts of the body.

But when you apply a CBD topical on the skin, the CBD molecules sink through the skin layers and make a positive therapeutic contribution.

Within every living organism with a vertebral column, there’s a complex biological system that regulates various body and mind processes.

Whereas THC molecules bind with endocannabinoid receptors, CBD molecules act on the endocannabinoid system indirectly to realize the expected therapeutic benefits.

Tips for Applying CBD Topicals

To enjoy the maximum effects of CBD topicals, make sure you observe the following rules:

Clean your body: scrub and wash your body before applying a topical. This ensures that the skin pores are open and it quickens the absorption of CBD. If your skin pores are clogged with dirt or oil, it leads to the wastage of valuable CBD resources.

Focus on affected parts: if you have an injury, a certain part of your body is inflamed, or your face has acne, focus your attention on the affected parts instead of applying the topical arbitrarily.

Apply liberal amounts: the CBD molecules typically don’t go to the blood, which indicates a low bioavailability, and thus, it’s recommended to apply a liberal CBD amount.

Tips for Buying Quality CBD Topicals

In these hard economic times, the last thing you want is to spend money on a bogus CBD product. Follow these guidelines when buying CBD topicals:

Study the ingredients: quality CBD topicals are based on organic ingredients and don’t have a whole lot of inorganic or harmful substances.

3rd party lab tests: check to see whether the product has been verified by an independent lab and ascertained to contain all the labeled ingredients in their correct quantities and not contain any harmful contaminants.

Reputation: what are its online reviews like? Are people, on the whole, expressing positive or negative experiences with the product or brand? Checking online reviews allows you to strengthen your intuition about the product.

Pros and Cons of Topical CBD Ingestion

Discreet ingestionLow bioavailability
Versatile productsYou need to apply huge amounts
Ideal for travel 
Relatively fast effects 

Can Topical CBD Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

If you’re in a line of work where drug tests are common, this is a valid concern. At the end of the day, no one wants to lose their job because they ingested some CBD.

When drug tests are performed, they are looking to see if you have ingested any of the prohibited chemical substances.

CBD is legal both at the state and federal levels, but full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, which can come up in a drug test.

And so, if you’re in a line of work with zero-tolerance against THC, you need to avoid full spectrum CBD products.

But on the whole, unless you’re visibly intoxicated with marijuana, if there’s only minuscule THC content in your body, the enforcement of the law is near zero.

When is the Best Time to Ingest CBD Topicals?

It comes down to your needs and goals. For instance, if you wish to improve your sleep quality, you’re better off ingesting CBD shortly before bed.

If you’re looking to relax and calm your mind, it’s more beneficial to ingest CBD when you come home from work as you get ready for the evening.

If you’re looking to manage a skin disorder, you may apply the CBD topical in the morning and before bed, to improve your skin integrity.

The Takeaway: CBD Topicals are Extremely Effective

Demand for CBD topicals is high. CBD topicals are typically ingested via the skin and research indicates that they have numerous therapeutic benefits. Some of the benefits of CBD topicals include managing pain and anxiety, promoting relaxation, and aiding good sleep. But to achieve these benefits, you want to make sure that you buy high-quality CBD topicals.


  • Mlost, J., Bryk, M., & Starowicz, K. (2020). Cannabidiol for pain treatment: focus on pharmacology and mechanism of action. International journal of molecular sciences21(22), 8870.
  • Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants9(1), 21.
  • 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.

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