Cannabidiol (CBD) is in everything these days. It’s in food, drinks, makeup, bath products, and even dog treats. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s also in things like lotion, creams, and other topicals. But this does raise some questions. For example, why would I want to use CBD lotions? More importantly, what even is CBD?
Let’s take the next few minutes to answer those questions, shall we?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound classified as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found in members of the cannabis family of plants. Marijuana and hemp are the most well-known members of this plant family. As a result, CBD is commonly conflated with another cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But just because they are found in the same place doesn’t mean that CBD and THC are the same.
THC is probably better known than CBD for one primary reason; it is the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive. In other words, it creates the “high” that is so often associated with cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause any sort of high. Most CBD users report that they feel a calm. That CBD helps them relax but has no adverse effect on their cognitive capabilities.
The concentrations of CBD and THC are what determines the differences between hemp and marijuana. When someone mentions cannabis, many people think of people getting high. However, that is not cannabis in general. Hemp is not likely to get you high, but marijuana will. This is because marijuana has high levels of THC and average levels of CBD. Hemp on the other hand, is low in THC and contains much higher levels of CBD. This difference has helped make hemp federally legal in the United States, but not marijuana.
What is the benefit of CBD topicals?
There are a few reasons why people use CBD topicals. Two of the major ones have to do with skin health and inflammation. While the research on what CBD can do to benefit those things is still preliminary, it is promising.
Inflammation is something that can cause a lot of problems, for a lot of people. It can cause swelling, redness, and pain. So, dealing with it can be difficult. One study published in 2013 found that CBD helps act as an anti-inflammatory in mice. This is just one of the many different studies out there that have reported CBD to have anti-inflammatory effects. Using topicals for this purpose may be more effective as the topicals tend to keep their effects in the area that you apply them. That means that it will be more concentrated in places where you are feeling the most inflammation.
Everyone wants to have nice skin. If you are struggling with acne, many products can be discouraging as they can mix with the oils on your skin and exacerbate the issue. CBD may be able to help with this. This study, among others, suggests that CBD could help reduce sebum production. This means that your odds of experiencing breakout may drop when using CBD.
If you are taking medications for either of these issues, be sure to talk to your doctor before stopping or changing the way you take your medications.
The main things to know about using CBD topicals
Many CBD manufactures sell CBD topicals that are specifically designed to help with these issues. But before you run off to buy them, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
- There are different kinds of CBD extract. There are three of them to be exact. They are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. You can figure out the difference between them by their names, as they allude to what other cannabinoids are in the extract. Full spectrum has all of the other compounds that come with the CBD, including THC (though legally it cannot be more that 0.3% THC). Broad spectrum has everything except the THC. The benefit of using the first two is that they may give you the entourage effect. This is when compounds build on each other to create stronger effects. CBD isolate is just CBD. Nothing else, just pure CBD in the topical formulation.
- CBD works differently with different people. People are different, so it follows that CBD may work differently for some people than others. You may find that more or less of the topical will work best for you. You need to start slowly and work your way up if you are not experiencing the effects that you’re looking for. Just be sure not to use too much as it may cause some unpleasant side effects.
- Find a trustworthy source. The CBD industry is still rather new. The Food and Drug Administration is still working on how exactly they should regulate this industry. This does mean that there are those who take advantage of the current, lax rules. When looking for a good CBD product, be sure to research the company you buy it from. Any trustworthy company will have their products properly tested and will disclose all of that information on their site.
- Talk to a medical professional. This is just good advice for any major change you make to your lifestyle. Some medications stop working when taken with CBD. If you’re taking topicals, this may not be as big of an issue as it might be with oral CBD. However, it is still a good idea to talk with your doctor to be on the safe side.
- CBD sometimes has side effects. However, these side effects generally are not serious. And they are mainly reported by those who ingest high quantities of CBD consistently. Often the side effects can be things like fatigue and dizziness. If you start to experience these, you should either stop using the CBD product or reduce your dosage.
CBD topicals are a great way to localize your CBD usage, keeping the effects right where you want them. So, why not give some a try today.