When it comes to CBD, there are seemingly endless ways to consume it. You can take it orally as a tincture or capsule, vape it, or apply it topically. But can you use edible CBD topically? And if so, is that a good idea? In this blog post, we'll explore whether or not you can use edible CBD topically and what the benef CBD topicals can be an effective treatment for many symptoms. Once applied, they can take anywhere from one to 48 hours to provide relief .
Can You Use Oral CBD Oil Topically On The Skin?
When it comes to CBD, there are seemingly endless ways to consume it. You can take it orally as a tincture or capsule, vape it, or apply it topically. But can you use edible CBD topically? And if so, is that a good idea?
In this blog post, we’ll explore whether or not you can use edible CBD topically and what the benefits might be.
- CBD is a non-intoxicating compound derived from hemp flowers.
- CBD oils combine hemp extract and a carrier oil like MCT coconut oil or hemp seed oil that’s designed as an oral supplement.
- While you can technically use CBD oils on your shin—it’s not the best use of the product and there are better CBD topicals available to suit a variety of skin concerns.
- CBD topicals work by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to support the skin organ’s function.
- CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream through topical application—so it only provides localized support.
What Is Oral CBD Oil?
Oral CBD oil, sometimes called a tincture, is a blend of hemp extract and a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or MCT coconut oil. They’re available in a wide range of strengths indicated by the MG of CBD told on the bottle.
The carrier oils help the fat-soluble cannabinoids absorb into the body efficiently, and it allows you to have more control over precise dosing. While smoking cannabis products is many people’s favorite way to leverage the benefits of cannabinoids—it’s not ideal for everyone, which is why oral CBD products have become very popular as a smoke-free alternative.
What Are The Benefits Of Applying CBD Oil On The Skin?
Cannabinoids like CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to exert their effects for supporting the homeostasis of many of our vital systems and organs—the skin being one of them.
As the largest organ, the skin has a significant role in regulating the immune response and temperature and protecting us from our environment. The endocannabinoid system has receptors in our skin tissue that CBD can interact with to support its function.
Many people will use topical CBD products for muscle recovery, discomfort, minor skin irritation, and anti-aging—depending on the product’s formulation .
When CBD is applied to the skin, it doesn’t enter the bloodstream to exert its effects throughout the body. Instead, it supports the endocannabinoid system in the skin to provide localized relief quickly.
What’s The Difference Between Topical CBD and Oral CBD Products?
The main difference between CBD tinctures and topical CBD products is the formulation.
They’re both made from hemp extracts derived via supercritical CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction before formulating into a specific CBD product.
Pure hemp extract applied to the skin has an abysmal absorption rate, resulting in a waste product, so it’s mixed in with other oils to improve its use.
CBD oils for oral consumption are pretty simple and only have one to two ingredients—depending on the product’s intended purpose. At the same time, topical CBD involves a long list of ingredients to improve its absorption into the skin and nourish and condition the skin.
Some CBD topicals like muscle rubs and pain creams may have heating or cooling agents that help to relax the muscles and alleviate pain.
You can find topical CBD products in the forms of massage oils, gels, creams, balms, and lotions—make sure you read the entire ingredient list and understand the purpose of the product to ensure you get the best use out of it.
Commonly supporting ingredients in CBD topicals are jojoba oil, essential oils, menthol (for cooling), capsaicin extract (for heating), and vitamins.
Before applying CBD lotions or balms to a larger area of your body, always patch-test it to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the ingredients.
Should I Use Oral CBD Oil Topically?
Technically, you can use oral CBD oil on the skin if you’re in a pinch, but you’ll likely have better results using a CBD product designed for topical use.
A CBD topical will have additional ingredients that aid the cannabinoid absorption into the skin and may offer more benefits for conditioning the skin texture or improving comfort over plain oral CBD oil.
Since there are many different CBD topicals on the market, it’s best to find a formula that addresses your concerns.
What Are The Types Of CBD Topicals Available?
The benefits of applying CBD topicals on the skin are gentle yet effective for a wide range of skin concerns and muscle pain that are very user-friendly.
Let’s get into Neurogan’s collection of CBD topicals available.
1. CBD Cooling Muscle Rub
Neurogan’s CBD Cooling Muscle Rub is one of the best-selling products for supporting pain relief and muscle recovery. It’s made with organic moisturizing ingredients and a high concentration of full spectrum or THC-free broad spectrum extract (2000, 4000, and 16000MG of CBD).
The cooling sensation comes from peppermint essential oils and menthol to provide soothing comfort where it’s applied. It also contains a blend of plant oils and botanical extracts to condition the skin. After a workout, it’s best massaged into the affected areas to promote a fast recovery.
2. CBD Balm
For those with more sensitive skin types, this CBD balm features a very similar formula to the muscle rub—but with lavender essential oil to support relaxation after a hard day. The balm spreads quickly on tired shoulders, feet, and all your hardworking muscles.
3. CBD Massage Oil
A good massage session with CBD oil is a match made in heaven. Our CBD massage oil has a high concentration of CBD extract (4000–32000 MG) to support full-body relaxation and recovery.
The massage oil is different from oral CBD oil. It contains mineral oil, safflower oil, skin-conditioning vitamins, and other plant extracts for a gentle and smooth application on the skin with enough grip for a massage.
4. CBD Lotion
The CBD lotion was designed for everyday use for conditioning dry and sensitive skin all over the body. It’s one of the most potent CBD lotions on the market, with 16000 MG of full spectrum hemp extract in a lush and creamy lotion formula that’s fast-absorbing and non-greasy.
5. CBD Face Cream
You shouldn’t put oral CBD oil on your face because the pores on your face are much more prone to clogging and may lead to breakouts.
Most CBD oil use carrier oils that contain molecules too large to absorb into the delicate skin on the face. Instead, it sits on top of the skin, making it easier to clog pores with acne-causing bacteria.
This face cream is a lightweight, non-comedogenic formula you can apply daily, even on the most sensitive skin types, to nourish the skin from the deepest layers and reveal a healthier complexion.
6. CBD Night Serum
The best time to apply more decadent topical CBD products is as part of your evening skincare routine to allow all the ingredients to sink deep into the layers of skin overnight for deep hydration, which is especially beneficial for dry skin types.
This buttery CBD topical for the face is jam-packed with botanicals like calendula, chamomile, passion fruit, and acai extract to support hemp extract’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
7. CBD Clear Skin Cream
We want to help you put your best face forward. The CBD Clear Skin Cream was designed after substantial research showed that CBD oil has promising potential to combat acne-causing bacteria, support average sebum production, and calm irritation. It also includes acne-fighting salicylic acid, tea tree essential oil, and brightening babchi oil for a more even complexion.
8. CBD Freeze Roll-On
For a mess-free topical application to support pain relief, we’ve created a potent CBD roll-on applicator with cooling agents to help relaxation. This convenient packaging allows you to take this product on the go to apply it to your sore neck and over-worked muscles without any wasted product on your hands.
All Neurogan products are available in full spectrum CBD and THC-free broad spectrum extracts in various potencies, depending on your needs.
We’re not in the business of tricking anyone into purchasing something that won’t truly benefit them, which is why we have a 30-day money-back guarantee on all our products. You can try it for a few weeks, and if you don’t see any benefits, let our team know, and we’ll make it right.
9. CBD Lip Balm
We found that many of the CBD-infused lip balms on the market don’t contain enough CBD to have any effects. Our CBD lip balm contains 200 MG of CBD in a convenient chapstick applicator to combat dehydration, windburn, and protect against harmful UV rays on the delicate skin on the lips.
Can CBD Topicals Make Me Fail A Drug Test?
CBD isn’t a compound that drug tests look for because it’s not an illicit substance.
Furthermore, topical CBD works by interacting with cannabinoid receptors on the skin—and doesn’t enter the bloodstream (unless you’re using a medical trans-dermal patch), which means it won’t get metabolized by the liver to get detected by most drug tests.
We recommend trying our THC-free broad spectrum CBD extract if you’re concerned about even trace amounts of THC use. It still contains a wide range of naturally-occurring phytochemicals to support CBD’s role in the endocannabinoid system but without any THC.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of CBD Oil Topically?
CBD applied to the skin is generally well-tolerated. Still, there are instances of some people developing allergies to terpenes (the scent in the cannabis plant) and other ingredients in the formula.
The side effects may include:
It’s always important that you patch test the product on a small area before massaging it onto joint and muscle pain or on your face to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the formula.
The Takeaway: Can I Use Oral CBD Oils On The Skin?
You can use sublingual CBD oils on the skin, but it’s not the best use of the product as products are available that will be better suited for a wide range of wellness goals.
CBD tincture or oil typically consists of a CBD extract and carrier oil for ease of use and better aboral absorption in the gut.
Many carrier oils like MCT coconut oil have fat molecules that are far too large to absorb well into the skin on the face, which is why we don’t recommend using CBD tinctures as part of your facial skincare routine.
Instead, look for formulas with non-comedogenic ingredients and a potent CBD content to support a wide range of skin concerns and muscle aches.
The science behind the rise of CBD topicals
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is emerging as one of the most exciting natural alternatives used to treat a wide range of common conditions, and for good reason.
Up until recently, it was the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which received most of the attention for its medicinal benefits, as well as its ability to produce psycho- tropic effects. Now, with medical marijuana gaining ground across the country, researchers are discovering the amazing properties of additional cannabinoids. But what makes CBD so special?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CBD “is the major non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa,” and it is one of over 80 naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. 1
CBD cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and they enhance circulation and cellular regeneration. 2
Due to its wide variety of medical benefits, CBD is used to treat a number of common conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, insomnia, spasms, multiple sclerosis, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. As a topical agent, CBD oil can be directly applied to certain areas of the body as an effective means of relieving pain and soreness, reducing inflammation, and soothing inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
As CBD oil is non-psychoactive, applying it to the skin does not create mind-altering effects in the same manner that THC ingestion does.3 Therefore, the use of CBD in topical form is a useful alternative for those who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC and those who would like options besides the over-the-counter steroid-based creams typically used for arthritis, joint pain, and similar ailments. This is especially true for aging users, parents, or adults who are concerned about practical matters (like failing drug tests, for example).
For these reasons, topical CBD products are experiencing a rise in popularity in the U.S.
Mechanism of action
In order to understand how CBD works, we first have to understand the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The NIH defines the ECS as, “a recently discovered signaling system comprising the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their intrinsic lipid ligands, endocannabinoids, and the associated enzymatic machinery.” 1
The ECS is responsible for regulating many systems in the body, such as the limbic, metabolic, nociceptive, and immunologic functions. Endocannabinoids are natural chemical regulators in the body that interact with cannabinoid receptors and help maintain homeostasis. They seem to do this by detecting and regulating pain, mood, hunger, memory, and more.
If the ECS is affected, or the body is not producing enough endocannabinoids, these functions in the body may become unbalanced. And when the body is not producing or regulating endocannabinoids properly, ingesting natural cannabinoids or applying them topically can restore this balance. CBD differs from THC in the sense that THC mimics the natural cannabinoids in the body and binds with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are found in abundance within the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, and in the central and peripheral nervous systems. While THC binds to these receptors, CBD interacts with an enzyme called FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase). 4
FAAH is responsible for pulling excess anandamide (a factor in homeostasis) out of circulation.
FAAH breaks down and removes natural endocannabinoids. CBD stops this breakdown and in turn increases the natural endocannabinoids available to the body. Because endo- cannabinoids have a balancing and healing effect on the body’s numerous systems and functions, CBD’s ability to increase the amount of endocannabinoids available to the body may create a bevy of therapeutic benefits 5
CBD comes in oil form, ointments, creams and lotions, patches, balms, and salves. These are readily absorbed into the skin and can be applied directly to affected areas. It is advised that topical users should titrate the amount used until the desired result is reached. 6
CBD oils can be potent and either include psychoactive THC or just CBD. 7 Oils are also versatile, as they can be applied topically or ingested.
Furthermore, CBD topicals can be an effective treatment for many symptoms. Once applied, they can take anywhere from one to 48 hours to provide relief depending on the dose, frequency of use, and severity of the condition.
Most users find that regular application provides an analgesic effect that significantly reduces localized discomfort.2 Even though CBD is most often taken for pain relief, research is showing it to be beneficial in relieving, cramps, headaches, and psoriasis. CBD’s effects can increase the natural levels of pain-relieving endocannabinoids, decrease inflammatory responses, and desensitize pain receptors. 2
Given the degree to which marijuana and cannabinoid derivative use has been stigmatized in the past, their Schedule I classification as illegal substances, and lack of FDA approval, valid medical research on the effects of CBD isn’t as plentiful as it should be. Much of the anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that CBD’s neuro- protective, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects with regard to topical applications are promising. 2
Overall, many within the medical community are rapidly building the case that CBD can be a powerful relief agent for many conditions, and one that poses a negligible health risk.
There is a significant amount of scientific research on CBD and the ECS system as well as journal entries from pilot studies done by doctors from around the world over the past four decades. However, as this is still a novel area of medicine, do your own research on CBD. There are many online sources of information, but note the internet has a mix of both valid and misleading data. Vet your sources to ensure that they are reputable.
Joseph Rosenblatt is a New York entrepreneur and COO of Enliven Essentials, a New York CBD-infused-product company. He helped found Enliven Essentials with his family when he discovered the astonishing benefits CBD oil could provide for close family members suffering from pain and anxiety. Rosenblatt also writes, travels, and educates people about CBD oil and the benefits it carries. He can be reached at [email protected] or through enlivenessentials.com.