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Is Topical CBD Use Effective for Pain Management?

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Once the pain hits your nerves, you cannot ignore it. There are different ways of managing pain, and one of these ways involves CBD ingestion.

CBD is one of the numerous phytocannabinoids of the cannabis plant. It became legal in 2018 and has risen in popularity through the years.

Research on CBD is still narrow, but according to preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence, CBD has been shown to possess diverse therapeutic benefits, including management of pain and peripheral neuropathy [1].

Many people that struggle with pain-related issues have been choosing CBD over conventional OTC drugs to make the symptoms go away.

CBD products take on diverse forms. But when it comes to pain management, one of the ideal forms is CBD topical.

What are CBD Topicals?

Topicals usually refer to organic resources that are applied to body surfaces or mucous membranes to achieve therapeutic effects.

And so, when we talk about CBD topicals, we mean that the main ingredient is cannabidiol. CBD topicals come in a broad range including creams, lotions, massage oils, and ointments.

People with pain-related issues usually favor CBD creams and lotions, as they make for easy application and lasting effects, and are highly efficient.

If you don’t have the money to buy a CBD topical, or if you have an aversion to processed products, you can still prepare a CBD topical at home by following rudimentary steps.

How Does Topical CBD Work?

When you apply some CBD topical on your skin, the CBD molecules enter your body through the skin pores, after which the CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is a complex biological system that regulates numerous body and mental functions like cognition, immune response, and sleep [2].

CBD achieves its positive therapeutic contribution by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors, though indirectly, which are located throughout the body.

If you’re ingesting CBD to manage pain, you need to be consistent with it, which is why it’s recommended to incorporate CBD into your daily routine.

Also, if you have a pre-existing health disorder, it’s recommended to visit your physician before you start ingesting CBD, and by doing so, you reduce the possibility of experiencing a drug reaction.

Why CBD Topicals Are the Best Products for Pain Management

Many CBD products are ingested in such a way that the CBD mixes with the blood. But CBD topicals barely enter the bloodstream, making them ideal for localized treatment.

Supposing you engage in contact sports and get injured, the pain is typically limited to the affected part. By using a topical, you can apply CBD to the affected area and experience fast results.

Most pain-related problems revolve around joints and muscles, but by applying a CBD topical, you can supplement it with physical therapy techniques like massages.

But then again, pain-related issues take diverse forms. And so, there are situations where CBD topicals might not be ideal for pain management.

Common Causes of Pain

Everyone knows what being in pain is like. It’s one of those sensations that are hard to ignore. The following are some of the common ways in which people experience pain:

Medical conditions: diseases take varying forms and symptoms. Some of the medical conditions that cause the victim to experience pain include arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, cancer, sciatica, heart attack, and stroke. Remedying the pain is a critical step toward recovering from the illness. You may apply a CBD topical to get rid of the pain and make your existence a comfortable one.

Dislocated joints: this is usually caused by physical trauma that leaves one or more joints displaced. Applying CBD topicals may help minimize pain before and after surgery.

Burns: the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our homes. But it can also be a source of agony, especially where hot liquids or solids come into contact with human skin. CBD may help with minimizing pain and restoring skin integrity.

Muscle strains: this problem could hit you while you engage in sports or while you rest in your bed. It’s typically caused by poor easing up into physical activity, low flexibility, and low conditioning. CBD may help with relieving muscle pain.

Headache: headaches may start and stop, or they may be persistent, but they typically leave you feeling overwhelmed. CBD is suggested to help with relieving headaches [3].

Post-surgical pain: depending on the physical problem that you have, it may be suggested that you undergo surgery, but following surgery, you might feel pain, especially at the points where incisions were made. You may minimize the pain by applying a CBD topical.

Can Topical CBD Ingestion Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests may be performed in diverse ways, but the authorities are usually looking for evidence of federally prohibited substances like THC.

Some CBD topicals might contain trace amounts of THC. But following application, it might be hard to detect any THC in the system, especially if a blood test is performed.

Topical ingestion involves the absorption of cannabis compounds through the skin, and these compounds don’t make it to the bloodstream.

And so, by ingesting CBD topicals, you get to experience the full benefits of cannabinoids and still escape the detection of authorities supposing they perform a blood or urine test.

How to Incorporate CBD Topicals into Your Daily Routine

If you have a medical disorder that is characterized by recurring symptoms, you’ll find that the daily application of CBD topicals is super-helpful in reducing pain.

But aside from pain management, CBD has numerous therapeutic benefits. But it’s not like you’ll ingest CBD in the morning and your life will have completely turned around by noon.

To experience the full benefits of CBD, you need to ingest it with a good frequency, for this allows you to preserve all the positive results you experienced.

CBD, like OTC-drugs, has massive therapeutic potential. But unlike OTC drugs, CBD can be easily incorporated into one’s lifestyle so that they don’t perceive it as a bother.

CBD topicals, whether they be massage oils, lotions, and creams, can exhibit a sweet aroma, thus allowing you to feel great about yourself, whilst CBD acts in the background.

And so, you may apply a CBD topical on your body in the morning and at night, so that you experience all the amazing therapeutic effects that CBD possesses.

The Takeaway: CBD Topicals are Excellent for Managing Pain

As new research on CBD comes out, one thing is for sure; CBD can be used to improve physical and mental health. One of the areas where CBD is particularly helpful concerns pain management. CBD topicals are considered the best for pain management as they deliver localized CBD treatments. But for the best results, you need to consume CBD topicals regularly.


  • Xu, D. H., Cullen, B. D., Tang, M., & Fang, Y. (2020). The effectiveness of topical cannabidiol oil in symptomatic relief of peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology21(5), 390-402.
  • Komorowski, J., & Stepień, H. (2007). The role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of endocrine function and in the control of energy balance in humans. Postepy higieny i medycyny doswiadczalnej (Online)61, 99-105.
  • Lochte, B. C., Beletsky, A., Samuel, N. K., & Grant, I. (2017). The use of cannabis for headache disorders. Cannabis and cannabinoid research2(1), 61-71.