What is CBD cream?
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- CBD creams, salves, and lotions
- What is CBD cream used for?
- How to use CBD cream
- Benefits of CBD cream
- Picking a CBD cream
- How to make CBD cream
Consumers looking to reap the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), the wildly popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, will likely run into not only CBD oil, but also a variety of CBD creams and other topicals.
In fact, since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD products on a federal level in the U.S., placing them under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, the health and wellness market has been inundated with an array of CBD-infused topicals.
While medical marijuana remains inaccessible in many states, the emergence of CBD has given many people a legal way to seek therapeutic relief. Consumers unfamiliar with the purported medical benefits of CBD, though, may wonder,“What does CBD cream do? How can it help my condition or ailment better than CBD oil?”
CBD-infused topicals include lotions, salves, creams, or transdermal patches that are applied on the skin for relief on the surface or even deeper in muscle tissue. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD-infused topicals include lotions, salves, creams, and transdermal patches that are applied on the skin for relief on the surface or even deeper in muscle tissue. CBD cream, as the name implies, is a cream-based topical that contains CBD. Most beauty creams are generally made up of about half oil and half water.
“CBD cream is a topical cream infused with the phytocannabinoid CBD,” said Emma Chasen, co-founder of Eminent Consulting, a cannabis education and consultancy firm. “It may contain the isolated compound CBD; a distillate that contains CBD as well as some other minor cannabinoids; or a broad spectrum oil that contains CBD, minor cannabinoids and terpenes. It can be used to reduce pain and inflammation and/or help in the management of skin disorders when applied topically.”
CBD creams, salves, and lotions
The difference among CBD topicals such as creams, salves, and lotions really lies in the consistency of the product. As in non-CBD infused products, it’s really up to consumer preference.
Since creams are thicker, they may be more beneficial for very dry skin. Salves, on the other hand, are made with oil and wax, and without water. Creams may absorb faster than salves, so they may be preferable for muscle pain.
What is CBD cream used for?
When topicals are applied to the skin, they can potentially benefit not only the surface of the skin, but also below. When CBD is applied topically to the skin it penetrates both the dermal and subdermal layers of the skin.
The process of applying CBD topicals is similar to putting on a moisturizing lotion. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates appetite, mood, and pain and pleasure sensations. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can activate our body’s endocannabinoid system by binding to cell receptors in the skin, muscle tissues, and nerves. This interaction explains why the most common CBD cream uses are for chronic pain or inflammation.
“There is research to support that phytocannabinoids, like CBD, interact with receptors and other enzymatic factors within our skin that modulate pain and inflammation,” Chasen said. “Because the skin is actually quite thick, when you apply CBD cream, the CBD soaks into the skin but does not make it to the bloodstream. It interacts with CB1 receptors — if THC is also present — and other receptor families such as the TRPV receptors and factors such as PPAR-gamma and COX-½ and TNF-alpha. With these interactions, CBD can modulate the pain and inflammatory response.”
How to use CBD cream
Generally speaking, using CBD-infused creams and other topicals is extremely easy. After identifying where the pain or discomfort lies, the consumer can simply apply the topical around that area for local treatment.
The process of applying CBD topicals is similar to putting on a moisturizing lotion. However, administering the proper dosage of CBD to the skin is not as straightforward. It’s important to find out how many milligrams of CBD are in the topical to gauge whether there’s enough of this cannabinoid to provide the therapeutic relief. A topical with a low amount of CBD will likely be less effective than one with higher concentrations.
Start with a low viable dosage and gradually increase the amount of CBD cream until finding optimal therapeutic relief. When it comes to applying a topical infused with hemp-derived CBD, there are no known side effects to worry about.
Benefits of CBD cream
The key potential benefits of topicals include reducing pain and inflammation, soothing skin problems, and helping to heal wounds.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network posted an article on its website discussing the possible benefits of CBD oil for arthritis pain sufferers. A 2017 study published in the journal “Pain” found that acute joint inflammation in arthritic rats was reduced by local CBD treatment. University of Colorado researchers A 2017 report in the “Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology” found that cannabis topicals appear effective in treating skin conditions including psoriasis, severe itching, and atopic and contact dermatitis.
Cannabis topicals can treat skin conditions including psoriasis, severe itching, and atopic and contact dermatitis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A case report published in the January 2017 issue of “Journal of Pain and Symptom Management” showed that CBD and THC applied topically could offer effective pain and symptom management in healing malignant wounds.
“Much of the scientific evidence points to CBD’s ability to modulate pain, inflammation and the histamine response when applied topically,” Chasen said. “It has been shown to diminish redness, help with painful arthritic joints and quicken the healing process.”
Though Chasen said there are studies that support CBD’s ability to interact with the receptors and factors that are found in the skin, many more are necessary. Most of the existing research was conducted on animal models.
“We need much more research to elucidate the physiological mechanisms at play, especially in humans,” she said.
Picking a CBD cream
Chasen said when it comes to picking a specific CBD muscle and joint pain topical or cream, research is essential.
“Not all CBD products are created equal,” she said. “Therefore, make sure the product has been tested and that there is a measurable amount of CBD within the product.”
With no regulation of CBD oil and related products in place, consumers must take extra steps to make sure they are purchasing a quality product. In a November 2017 study, researchers tested 84 CBD products from 31 companies and found only 31% accurately labeled with the correct amount of CBD. One way to make sure a CBD oil’s manufacturer is reputable is by purchasing a product that includes a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab.
CBD-infused topicals can be made at home using coconut oil or shea butter, your preferred CBD oil and enough beeswax to reach your desired consistency. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Another way to help assure a particular CBD oil’s quality is by finding a product that was manufactured in a Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP)-compliant facility, which must follow certain FDA standards to qualify.
Many experts prefer full-spectrum products because of the potential entourage effect, which is the idea that components of the cannabis plant work better together than in isolation.
“Typically products infused with a broad spectrum CBD extract are more effective than products containing isolate or distillate,” Chasen said.
How to make CBD cream
Concocting your own CBD-infused cream can offer more precise dosing and control over the CBD that is used.
For instance, if you have a 30 milliliter bottle with 1,500 milligrams of CBD, that equals 50 milligrams per milliliter. Using these dosing parameters, you can figure out how much CBD oil you should drop into the non-infused cream or topical, depending on the amount you plan to make.
A carrier oil, such as coconut oil, shea butter, CBD tincture, or isolate can also be mixed to create a therapeutic homemade topical. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Finding the most effective mixing ingredients that will properly mingle with CBD oil or CBD isolate is also important. A carrier oil, such as coconut oil, shea butter, CBD tincture, or isolate can also be mixed to create a therapeutic homemade topical.
There are several recipes that will allow you to create your topical of choice. The most common method involves taking coconut oil or shea butter and melting it at a temperature between 89 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 38 degrees Celsius) before adding your preferred dosage of CBD oil. Next, take a separate cooking pot and melt 2 ounces of beeswax, adding the CBD-infused oil once the wax base starts melting at a temperature around 144 to 147 degrees Fahrenheit (62 to 64 degrees Celsius). Continue to stir and test the consistency until the desired cream is formed.
You can also add essential oils into the mix once you find the right creamy consistency. Finally, let the mixture cool in a jar or container before applying the homemade CBD cream directly onto skin.
What is CBD cream? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents CBD creams, salves, and lotions What is CBD cream used for? How to use CBD cream
Everything You Need to Know About CBD Lotion and Cream
Cannabidiol (CBD) is still most commonly taken in oil, but topical CBD products are increasingly popular for several reasons. CBD topicals offer localized relief, and they also benefit the overall appearance and health of the skin. In this sense, topical CBD products are giving you multiple benefits and products in one.
CBD topical and CBD oil formulations are also different. Topical formulations typically contain various skincare ingredients, such as herbal extracts, essential oils, and vitamins. Naturally, you want to avoid ingredients that are irritating.
CBD topicals include creams, lotions, salves, balms, serums, massage oils, and more. They are sometimes designed for a particular use, such as face products, lip balms, and pain-relieving products.
- CBD and Skin
- CBD Skin Care Benefits
- What is CBD Cream
- How to Use CBD Topicals
- Picking a CBD Topical
CBD and Skin
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of many non-psychoactive cannabinoids, phytochemicals present in cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the other main cannabinoid—and the one responsible for the famous cannabis “high.”
Both marijuana and hemp plants are part of the cannabis family. However, according to United States federal law, hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less, in contrast to marijuana. This and other reasons mean that hemp is typically used for CBD cultivation and extraction.
Growers can use CBD extracted from hemp plants to make a variety of CBD products, including pure CBD oil tinctures, edibles like CBD gummies—and of course, CBD topicals. CBD products, topical or otherwise, do not produce the “high” that medical marijuana products that include THC cause.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) governs many functions in the human body, including the ability to process pain, sleep, inflammation, mood, and more. The cannabis plant—both marijuana and hemp—contains phytocannabinoids that interact with the ECS, including CBD oil found to reduce inflammation and intensity of pain.
Research proves that CBD has various therapeutic properties, but what about the skin? And doesn’t putting CBD in something oily make it worse?
The right oil or other source of healthy fat is actually good for your face because it’s a source of good moisture and won’t clog your pores. Skin demands oil up to a point to function. In fact, scrubbing too much away will only make it produce more. Replacing oils with healthy moisturizing compounds can help this issue.
CBD and other cannabinoids are beneficial antioxidants for skin. Healthy skin also need B-complex vitamins and essential amino acids, many of which are found in CBD.
The skin also has its own endocannabinoid system, which works to keep the skin balanced and healthy. The goal is stasis, just like it is for the endocannabinoid system throughout the human body: EC system keeps everything on an even keel, including the skin.
In fact, CBD is useful to healthy skin because some kind of an imbalance is usually the root cause of most skin problems. There is still extensive research outstanding, but here is what we know about CBD and skin right now:
Acne. Acne is mostly caused by hormones, but CBD helps fight the inflammation related to acne’s redness and swelling, and helps normalize skin.
Inflammation. Transdermal CBD reduces pain and inflammation in rats, making it treatment for skin issues such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.
Itching. CBD can block itching in the nerve endings and has been shown to help chronic, treatment-resistant itching.
Scarring. CBD may improve scarring according to one study of scar tissue patients.
CBD Skin Care Benefits
CBD has lots of potential skin care benefits:
Reduce signs of aging. Antioxidants like vitamin E or vitamin C treat dryness, free radical damage, and inflammation, so you can expect CBD products to do that, too. That includes signs of aging such as fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles.
Balance complexion. CBD helps the ECS in the skin stay in balance, meaning enough hydration and no excess oil, so no more oily T-zone or patchy spots.
Soothe skin. Topical CBD products can soothe itching, dryness, and red skin thanks to this cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory qualities.
What is CBD Cream?
Since the Farm Bill legalized CBD products derived from hemp at the federal level in 2018, CBD topicals have been the work of the Food and Drug Administration FDA. This doesn’t mean there’s a clearly regulated market out there, however.
CBD-infused topicals include creams, balms, salves, lotions, and transdermal patches. They are designed to be applied directly to the skin for surface level relief, or in some cases for deeper muscle level pain relief, or even for things like relaxation or sleep.
Anything called CBD cream is just a cream-based topical infused with CBD. Most high-quality health and beauty creams are about half oil and half water to preserve moisture in the skin. Some CBD topicals might also include other minor cannabinoids, other terpenes, or even other ingredients to help the skin such as vitamin E or aloe.
Much of the difference among CBD topicals such as salves, creams, balms, and lotions lies in consistency, fragrance, other ingredients—and user preference. Since creams are thicker, and especially those with high fat content and emollient qualities might help dry skin sufferers and those with itchy skin conditions. Balms and salves are made with wax and oil, making them absorb more slowly and work well for massing into muscles, for chronic pain. Roll-on tinctures offer yet another possibility for THC-free joint pain relief. Learn more in our roundup of the best CBD creams for pain relief.
How to Use CBD Cream
One of the most appealing things about CBD topicals is how easy it is to get started with them. After identifying what the source of discomfort, pain, or the other issue is, the user can simply apply the topical as needed like they would a lotion.
It’s true that using topical CBD creams is not the same as using lotion, in that it’s important to know how many milligrams are in the CBD body lotion to use it properly. A low dose topical may be less effective than one with higher concentrations of CBD.
However, as always, it’s smart to start with a low viable dosage. From there, gradually increase how much CBD cream you use until your therapeutic dose seems optimal. There are no known side effects to worry about with topical infused with hemp-derived CBD, although you should always check with a doctor when trying anything new.
Picking a CBD Cream
There are several important criteria when it comes to choosing high-quality CBD products, including topicals:
Quality controlLook for CBD topical vendors that display results from third-party lab testing. Look for Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP)-compliant facilities, which follow FDA standards to qualify. This matters: a 2017 study found that only 31 percent of CBD hemp oil products were accurately labeled with the correct CBD level.
Hemp source. Buy topical CBD products made with non-GMO, USA-grown hemp when possible.
Extraction method. Robust, reliable extraction methods such as CO2 and ethanol produce high-quality products.
Brand reputation. This isn’t always easy to suss out, and it’s not just about size or longevity. Check real reviews and consumer ratings where they exist.
Strength/potency. Although there is no one recommended strength or dose of CBD, topical products made from hemp vary greatly in how many mg of CBD per ounce they contain, so pay close attention to this.
Type of hemp extract. Full-spectrum extract is from the whole hemp plant and contains some trace amount of THC. Broad-spectrum extract contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids except no THC. CBD isolate is pure CBD extract alone. Many experts argue that full-spectrum products are preferable due to the “entourage effect,” which says that cannabis plant components work better together than alone.
CBD oil contains essential fatty acids, but the right topical can bolster that hydrating nutritional value with more of the right moisturizers and other compounds. Look for additional nourishing and pain relieving ingredients like aloe vera, apricot oil, arnica, avocado oil, cocoa butter, cocoa oil, coconut oil/MCT oil, grape seed oil, lavender oil, menthol, peppermint oil, shea butter, shea oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamins A, D, and E.
Check out our list of our favorite CBD creams and lotions to learn more about which one is right for you.
What is CBD Lotion? CBD lotion and other topicals are used to treat skin irritation, pain, and more. Learn how CBD lotion works in this in-depth post.