Do Topical CBD Products Work?
Topical CBD products combine the best of both worlds, skin care and the medicinal properties of CBD. But do these products actually work? It can be hard to wade through the seemingly endless array of topical products available on the market today, to sort the effective products from the junk. We’ve done the research to help you understand exactly how topical CBD products work and if they are worth buying.
Long gone are the days of cannabis prohibition where the only product you could find was dried bud. Thanks to legalization, decriminalization, and widening public acceptance, you can now find cannabis in a range of products, from smoothies to shampoo.
Topical CBD products have exploded onto the market recently, their popularity largely because of their ease of use, practicality, and ability to target specific areas of skin.
If you’re looking for topical CBD products you have a lot of options, such as:
Benefits of CBD for your skin CBD can have a lot of benefits for your skin, so it’s no wonder that people are flocking to CBD creams and lotions. Research tells us that CBD has a range of benefits and can help to improve conditions such as: Acne Acne isn’t just the odd pimple, it can leave you in pain, vulnerable to infection and scars, and can have a serious negative impact on your mental health. Acne and the formation of pimples are the result of a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes and an excess of oil which blocks pores. Research tells us that CBD has shown an ability to target both of these causes of acne development. One study found that CBD was able to kill the gram-positive bacteria that plays an important role in acne development (1). A 2014 study found that CBD may also be able to help reduce excess oil (sebum) production that contributes to blocked pores and pimple development (2). As anyone who has had acne before will tell you, pimples are often inflamed. The good news is that CBD has also shown an ability to reduce inflammation in the skin (2, 3). Aging Reducing the effects of aging is the holy grail of skin care, and CBD shows a lot of promise in this area. Studies tell us that CBD has demonstrated the ability to boost antioxidant activity. This is important as antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that damage our cells and skin and lead to the symptoms of aging (4). Eczema Eczema is a skin condition that results in dry, flakey skin that is often red, itchy, and painful. Eczema occurs when your immune system misfires and causes inflammation in your skin. Research into the effects of CBD on inflammation have found that this cannabinoid contains impressive anti-inflammatory properties, and that CBD can provide these anti-inflammatory properties to the skin (5, 6). Because of this, CBD has been identified as a potentially useful tool in targeting skin conditions like eczema (6). A 2019 study investigated the effects of CBD ointment on patients with eczema and found that it significantly improved their symptoms, largely by improving hydration and skin elasticity (7). Psoriasis Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition that causes your body to overproduce skin cells. This overproduction leads to a buildup of skin cells, resulting in skin that is flakey, red, inflamed, itchy, and painful. Psoriasis can be extremely debilitating and treatment options are limited. CBD has shown a lot of promise as a treatment for psoriasis, with one study finding that the compound was able to stop the overproduction of skin cells that is characteristic of psoriasis (8). Another study published in 2019 found that patients who received CBD treatment experienced a significant improvement to their psoriasis symptoms (9). Do topical CBD products actually work? Topical CBD products do work, but it is important to remember that they can be less effective than other forms of CBD. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a product that makes it into your bloodstream. Topical CBD products have a lower bioavailability because of the structure of CBD. Cannabinoids like CBD cannot dissolve in water, which is a problem when they try to cross the skin with its high water content. How to improve topical CBD bioavailability The good news is that there is one way that we can improve the bioavailability of topical CBD. CBD doesn’t dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in oil and certain oils may be able to carry CBD across the skin barrier into your bloodstream. Oils that may be able to help CBD make it across your skin include argan oil, olive oil, and emu oil (10). Look out for topical products that contain these oils if you want to improve CBD bioavailability. Can topical CBD get you high? No other type of CBD product can get you high, and topical CBD products are no different, so you won’t get high. While CBD is found in cannabis, it is not the chemical compound responsible for its infamous psychotropic effects. THC, another cannabinoid, is the compound that gets you high when you consume cannabis. The bottom line CBD shows an impressive ability to target a range of skin conditions and topical CBD products may be able to help you manage their symptoms. However, if you are wanting the effects of CBD to reach further than your skin, topical products are not the most effective option. With a low bioavailability, topical CBD products will struggle to reach your bloodstream without the help of a carrier oil.