CBD creams are rather different to most of the CBD products on the market. But interestingly, the hemp and cannabis-derived cannabinoid can be just as effective when applied to the skin, as when smoked, vaporized or eaten. Hence, several leading CBD brands are now making topicals, with creams, salves, balms, lotions and gels among the most popular products.
But what exactly can CBD creams be used for? We’ve picked out four you should definitely know about.
Inflammation and autoimmune issues
The endocannabinoid system, where CBD initiates its most significant effects, is closely entwined with the immune system. This is a recent discovery, since scientists only located the endocannabinoid system in the 1990s and are still trying to establish how it works. The upshot is that cannabinoids like CBD may provide new tools in the battle against inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
For example, studies have shown that CBD helps to rebalance sebum levels, exerting what has been described as sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects. Controlling production of sebum, an oil created by the skin, is key to managing the common skin condition acne. Those with acne have excess levels of sebum, which leads to dirty and oily skin. CBD’s restorative role deals with that oiliness, without drying out the skin! It also helps for nummular eczema treatment without the need for surgery in many cases.
After much debate in scientific circles, it’s now accepted that the skin condition psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Psoriasis causes an increased production of skin cells, so much so that these accumulate at the epidermis (the skin’s top layer) more rapidly than they can be removed. The result is irritable, patchy, flaky and reddened skin. But CBD’s regulatory effects on the immune system, exerted via indirect regulation of CB2 receptors, could be vital to treating psoriasis symptoms. Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD is helping some psoriasis sufferers.
CBD products are often taken for pain relief, with the compound seeming to offer many of marijuana’s benefits, but with no psychoactive effects. Topicals infused with CBD, and a cooling agent such as menthol crystals may be great at delivering localized pain relief.
Unlike e-liquids and edibles, where CBD is dispersed all over the body, CBD topicals keep the effects to a specific area. The cannabinoids interact – directly or indirectly – with receptors implicated in pain management, including the vanilloid receptor and the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor.
Therefore, if your pain is isolated to your lower back, knee, neck or anywhere else, CBD-rich creams may do a better and more efficient job at alleviating your discomfort. Or, you could combine a cream with another CBD product.
Nobody likes to look old, and while eventually it becomes unavoidable, there are tips and tricks to keep the aesthetic effects of aging to a minimum. Extrinsic aging is caused by external factors, many of which are under control. Exposure to free radicals, which are found in car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, ultraviolet sun rays and more, appears to accelerate aging, by destroying skin DNA.
Where do CBD creams come in? It just happens that CBD is a potent antioxidant, as are other cannabinoids in the hemp plant. When lathered onto the skin, CBD protects the skin from these free radicals, so they’re unable to damage the skin. This helps with keeping the skin looking youthful and vibrant with age and avoiding the devastating effects of wrinkles and deep lines.
Perhaps the most understated risk to human health in today’s world is the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Doctors need new weapons to tackle the dangerous strains that are emerging, and cannabinoids are of great interest to antibiotic researchers.
Studies show that CBD has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. Sticking with the antibacterial effects, cannabinoids seem to function through novel mechanisms, since experts are yet to work out why they are useful. CBD certainly doesn’t work like current antibiotics.
Therefore, applying a CBD topical could be a prudent move after getting a cut or wound, to minimize the risk of infection. Creams with full-spectrum hemp extracts may be even better, as these contain additional cannabinoids which have exhibited antibiotic properties.