CBD topicals — including balms, lotions, oils, soaking salts and creams — are an increasingly popular option for people seeking targeted, plant-based relief. Hemp-derived CBD topicals (those that do not contain THC) have exploded into mainstream consciousness during the past 10 years. However, applying these types of products to the skin is nothing new. Early records show Chinese Emperor Shen Nung concocted a hemp oil to address various skin maladies around 2727 BC.
It’s no wonder CBD topicals have been used for thousands of years. These products are shown to swiftly interact with skin-specific receptors to soothe, revitalize, balance, and provide relief.
Topical CBD Helps Us Achieve Homeostasis, Interacting with Critical Receptors and Enzymes
Our skin is vital for our survival. It’s a protective barrier between our organs and the outside world, keeping ultraviolet rays, pollution and toxins from wreaking havoc on our bodies. Human skin is also full of receptors to help us feel textures, warn us of burning hot surfaces and balance our internal temperature with responses like sweating.
According to pre-clinical studies, when CBD is ingested, it activates our internal endocannabinoid system. When it’s applied topically, it interacts with skin-specific receptors that play a role in inflammation and pain regulation.
- TRPV-1 (vanilloid receptor) – This receptor is present on the skin and throughout the rest of the body. It’s sometimes referred to as the “capsaicin receptor” because it creates a stinging sensation when skin is exposed to spicy chili peppers. TRPV-1 helps regulate temperature, pain and inflammation. According to a 2019 study from Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, CBD’s interaction with this receptor can help reduce the body’s response to painful stimuli.
- PPARs – A 2016 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed interaction between cannabinoids and the PPARs — receptors that bind with cannabinoids for proposed anti-inflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective effects.
- TNF-alpha – 2017 research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found CBD reduces inflammation through inhibiting the cytokine TNF-alpha.
CBD topicals penetrate the top layers of the skin, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking for focused, direct relief. CBD consumers often find “frontloading” CBD topicals helps them most: After an initial regimen of multiple applications per day (always rubbing the topical product all the way into the skin), fewer applications are needed to achieve the desired results. It may take some time to find the best CBD topical routine for your body and specific wellness goals.
You May Also Want to Consider…
If you’re feeling ready to dive into the world of CBD-infused topicals, it’s important to understand the difference between products — because not all products are created equally. A few things to evaluate when choosing the right CBD topical for you include:
- CBD Dosage: Everyone’s body is different, and you might need a higher amount of CBD than your friend to experience any effects. This choice could depend on the severity of the issue you’re addressing and the results you’re seeking. Because you may not know how much of a product you need for relief, start with a small amount of product, rub it into the skin, and allow it to absorb fully into the skin, then see how you’re feeling and reapply as needed. Many CBD companies recommend “frontloading,” or applying the topical, rubbing it into the skin and reapplying as soon as it has absorbed multiple times daily until the desired effect is achieved.
- Third-Party Lab Reports: Reputable companies will work with a third-party lab to test their topical products and share results on their site. This allows you to see the exact amount of CBD per bottle and check for purity. You can also check to see how consistent the product batch is. Reputable labs and CBD companies will take two samples from every batch to make sure the product is homogenous. We strive for a less than 1% difference between samples, but reputable companies will have less than 10%. Third-party lab reports confirm what the packaging claims and help you spend your money wisely.
- Hemp Sourcing: Just like you’d research where a food product is coming from, you should also know where a company’s hemp is sourced. Hemp is a “bioaccumulator,” which means that it absorbs toxins from the soil. So, if the soil has toxins or heavy metals in it, those are absorbed into the plant and concentrated in the hemp extract (CBD). Of course, hemp grown in organic soil without pesticides and other harmful contaminants is better for your body and the planet.
- Other Ingredients: Finally, what else does your CBD topical contain? The other ingredients should also support skin health, like vitamin-rich and moisturizing, skin-friendly oils, such as organic jojoba oil or grape seed oil, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties and are found in Empower products. Additionally, jojoba oil-based products offer faster absorption. Other ingredients can include essential oils or added vitamins.
Empower BodyCare’s luxury CBD topicals are made with top-shelf ingredients, including organic carrier oils and CBD derived from organically grown hemp. Each product comes with a subtle, sophisticated scent from a selection of mostly organic essential oils that are chosen for not only their scents, but for their therapeutic properties as well. From day one, we’ve strived to help people relieve discomfort and improve wellbeing with our CBD topicals.
Ready to try CBD topicals? Explore our products here.