13th Nov 2023

How do CBD Topicals Work?

CBD Topicals are one of the most popular CBD product varieties out there. These products, which include creams, lotions, balms, salves, soaps, sprays, oils, and patches are applied directly to the skin and are great for managing on-area discomforts.

Unlike edible or inhalable CBD products which are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout your body, CBD topicals are applied to the skin and are absorbed transdermally, or through the skin, directly over the source of the discomfort leading to faster, stronger relief. Let’s learn a little more about the magic CBD topicals bring to the table.

What is CBD?

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in both marijuana and hemp. It has similar properties to THC as both help manage chronic pain symptoms and induce relaxation. The major difference CBD has over THC is that the entire experience is non-psychoactive, meaning you will not feel ‘high.’ Since hemp’s reclassification away from the Controlled Substances Act in 2018 via the Farm Bill, CBD has become a very popular alternative to achieving holistic wellness.

What are the Types of CBD?

Products formulated with CBD are typically broken down into three major types: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, or CBD Isolate.

Broad Spectrum CBD, such as the Envy CBD Series of products, contains all the compounds and cannabinoids naturally found in hemp, except Delta-9 THC. The inclusion of several cannabinoids in the extract works together to maximize its effect as opposed to any one cannabinoid working individually. This is known as the entourage effect and provides a more valuable therapeutic potential.

Other CBD forms such as full spectrum and CBD isolate have its benefits and drawbacks and are often used interchangeably depending on the intended use and severity of the discomfort.

Types of CBD Topicals

We mentioned earlier that CBD topicals span a wide variety of products available today. In general, most CBD topicals are formulated to help achieve on-demand area relief and often include other herbal additives to help maximize its potential. Therapeutic additives such as aloe vera, menthol, lemon balm, and lavender are some of the most popular ingredients found across the product spectrum. With so many choices, it can be difficult to figure out which product might be right for you.

To make things easier, we created a quick reference chart with some of our most popular CBD Topicals to help you understand the the differences between them.

ProductCBD TypeTopical
PotencyTargetOther Additives
Calming BalmBroad Spec.Balm/Salve200MGMuscle DiscomfortLavender, Shea Butter
Essential Oil Roll-OnBroad Spec.Essential Oil100MGAromatherapyEucalyptus, Rose, Orange, Peppermint, Lavender
Muscle CreamBroad Spec.Cream250MGWorkout RecoveryMenthol, Aloe Vera, Rosemary, Black Pepper
Body LotionBroad Spec.Lotion300MGDaily MoisturizationLavender
Aloe VeraBroad Spec.Gel300MGAfter-Sun CareAloe Vera
Body SoapBroad Spec.Soap250MGSkincareAvocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter

How do CBD Topicals Actually Work?

CBD topicals work in basically the same way that any cannabis product would work: through interacting with our endocannabinoid system. When we eat an edible, all cannabinoids need to pas through our digestive system before it can enter the bloodstream and bind with our receptors to create the effects we are looking for. When we inhale these products, cannabinoids travel through our respiratory system before hitting the bloodstream.

CBD Topicals work differently. Cannabinoids enter the bloodstream by absorption directly through the skin, our largest organ with a bioavailability exceeding 50%. This means the effects hit stronger, faster, and last longer versus the other methods.

It is the combination of this direct application and the speed with which CBD can enter the bloodstream through the skin that make CBD topicals effective at treating pain quickly.

Where to Find the Best CBD Topicals

As with any cannabis product, it’s super important that you find a reputable brand you can trust. It is a good idea to look for brands that derive their CBD only from American-cultivated hemp; hemp plants are what’s known as bio-accumulators, meaning they absorb basically everything in the soil around them, both good and bad. If these toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides are absorbed by the plant, they’ll be present in your product and be absorbed by your body.

One way to know for sure you’re buying quality products is to look for retailers who keep their COAs (certificate of analysis) and lab reports easily available. These reports are prepared by third party labs that test products to make sure they’re free of THC, toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and all that other nasty stuff you definitely don’t want to be running all over your skin.

If you’re curious to try CBD topicals, head over to Eighty Six and check out our extensive collection of CBD Topicals, all made with broad spectrum CBD for maximum relief.

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