How Does Topical CBD Work? Will It Help Give Relief?

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CBD Topical Cream: How Does it Work?

Many people understand the basics of lotions and creams and how they moisturize and nourish the skin. But what about CBD mixed with creams and balms? How do CBD topicals work?

By now, you’ve probably seen CBD products in the form of oils and tinctures. True enough, most CBD products are sold as edibles to be orally ingested. However, that’s just one way of using CBD. 

TLDR

The term ‘CBD topical’ is a classification of CBD products made for the skin. The skin is able to absorb the nutrients from the topical cream and deliver them into the blood stream and surrounding areas. Then, the endocannabinoid system can respond to CBD use by offering effects like pain relief or inflammatory responses.

At New Phase Blends, we also have CBD balms and creams — or what the industry refers to as CBD topicals. 

Topical Cbd Cream

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So, how do CBD topicals work?

Using CBD Topicals | A Brief History

Different forms of a topical CBD balm have been used to ease pain and inflammation and treat various skin conditions in ancient China, India, and Latin America for thousands of years. Unfortunately, modern society has developed a bad habit of ignoring natural remedies proven to be effective.

It’s only been a few years since scientific research established the medicinal benefits of cannabis extracts like CBD.

Doctor Looking Under Microscope

If you’re not a stranger to muscle aches or a persistent skin condition, the chances are that you have heard of CBD, a substance that’s been in the spotlight in recent years.

CBD balm is a natural remedy for pain and inflammation and is becoming a favorite among athletes and the skincare industry.

What is CBD and Why Should I Care?

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a chemical compound (aka cannabinoid) found in cannabis plants. It is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis that intoxicates and produces the mental ‘high.’

Thc Vs Cbd Chart

This is because most CBD products contain less than 0.3 percent of THC by dry weight to comply with legislation.

CBD seems to excel at offering relief from things like:

It can help with other forms of symptomatic relief, too. These are just the most commonly talked about benefits.

One of the reasons CBD has gained widespread acceptance is that it has no adverse side effects. Legally speaking, CBD products need to have a below 0.03% THC content, meaning they are non-psychoactive and non-habit forming.

Whether used internally or topically, CBD will not make you feel ‘high.’

The Epidermis and Dermis (AKA Your Skin)

All humans have skin — everyone knows this. What you might not know is that the skin is actually the largest organ in the human body. It’s composed of two primary layers: the epidermis and the dermis.

  • The epidermis is the top layer of your skin that you can see. It contains freckles, scars, pores, and other visible characteristics. 
  • The dermis is the layer of skin below your dermis. The dermis contains hair follicles, nerve and blood vessel endings, and different skin cells than the epidermis. 

Check out this image of the skin layers:

How Does Topical Cbd Work

There is also a hypodermis, but for the sake of time, we will be focusing on the epidermis and dermis.

How Do CBD Topicals Work?

Unlike over-the-counter topical relief creams, CBD topical balm doesn’t mask the pain or inflammation but instead eases bodily pain and offers natural non-habit forming and irritation-free pain relief.

CBD topicals are able to work so well because of the presence of the endocannabinoid system in your body.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex signaling system in your body that comprises cannabinoid receptors (such as the CB1 and CB2 Receptors), enzymes, and endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced within.); it is thought to regulate different processes and functions in the body including sleep, memory, reproduction, and fertility, immune response and so on.

Endocannabinoid System Receptors

When you apply topical CBD products to any part of your body, your skin absorbs the cannabinoid, but it doesn’t get to your bloodstream. Instead, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors nearby, which sends a signal to the endocannabinoid system to alleviate pain in the affected area of your body.

What are CBD Skin Care Products?

There are many different kinds of CBD skincare products on the market. From CBD creams, to gummies, to oil tinctures there are usually several other hemp-derived CBD products that can offer you relief that goes beyond skin deep relief.

As the name suggests, CBD topical balms and creams have been infused with CBD extract from the hemp plant and can help heal and soothe the skin.

Although CBD is the main ingredient in these balms, it is usually complemented by other elements like Shea butter and coconut oil to naturally protect, nourish, and moisturize every type of skin.

Topical Balms And Creams

CBD balm is safe, easy to use, and can be applied to almost any part of the body to relieve several problems like soreness, inflammation, and irritated skin.

Topical Preventative vs. Reactionary Skin Treatments

Like any other organ, the skin needs proper care. 

From a young age, your parents likely told you things like “put on your sunscreen” or “make sure you wear your hat.” Our skin, although incredibly resilient, is also damaged periodically as we age. Sun damage, chemical damage, and acne are just a fraction of the things that can hurt our skin permanently.

To prevent and minimize skin damage, dermatologists recommend taking two approaches to a proper skincare regimen:

  • Preventative treatment
  • Reactionary treatment.

An example of preventative treatment would be applying sunscreen to your skin before you go outside. Your skin would be covered in a small layer of sunscreen that protects it from UV rays — the invisible rays in sunlight that burn your skin. Your sunscreen’s SPF rating determines how long you can stay under the sun before reapplying it. 

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Reactionary treatments, on the other hand, are done in response to something that damaged your skin. For example, after a long day on the beach, you go home and realize you have some sunburn on your cheeks. The reactionary treatment would be to apply aloe, which soothes the pain and stimulates the repair of skin cells.

Some CBD creams are designed as a reactionary treatment to sunburn, inflammation, and pain. 

But what does this have to do with how CBD topicals work? 

Are There Benefits to the Balm?

CBD topical balm has a wide possibility of use, including the following methods:

CBD Balms for Pain

Perhaps, the most popular topical use of CBD is for pain and inflammation. It helps inhibit the glutamate levels in the brain, which has been linked to increased sensations and transmissions of pain.

It also helps to limit the body’s inflammatory response to muscle injuries by decreasing the number of cytokines in the affected area, leading to further pain reduction.

Cbd Cream With Box

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With delicate hints of lavender and moisturizing properties, the balm is perfect for daily use. CBD gummies and tinctures are great for pain; however, CBD topical products are great for targeted pain relief.

How to use CBD to treat pain:

Clean the area and ensure that it is dry. Apply CBD cream to the areas affected by acute and chronic pain, such as the wrists, knees, elbows, and back. Pain relief can be felt within minutes as it is absorbed into your skin.

Pain caused by arthritis and other joint problems can be debilitating; however, CBD lotions such as the New Phase Blends Soothe works within 10 15 minutes of applying a dime-sized amount to the affected area.

How Does Topical CBD Get into the Skin?

CBD takes advantage of the skin’s absorption capabilities.

The epidermis has pores all over it. When something goes on the skin, the skin absorbs it. 

Have you ever sat in the pool or bathtub for more than half an hour? If you do this for several minutes, your skin will prune up. This is caused by the skin absorbing water, which causes it to puff up and wrinkle. 

Similarly, when you apply a topical — such as a lotion or cream — your skin also absorbs some of that substance. 

What Does Topical CBD Do Once Absorbed?

Combining CBD extract with a topical cream (like our topical hemp balm called “Soothe”) enables it to be absorbed through the skin, creating an entry point for CBD to enter your body. 

For instance, if you have pain in your knuckles from arthritis, applying a CBD cream may provide some relief. Studies show that applying CBD can provide anti-inflammatory benefits that soothe joint pain. 

Cbd And Nerve Response

In other words, CBD applied on the skin uses the body’s ability to absorb nutrients through the skin. However, there’s also another advantage to using CBD as a topical.

Our skin is filled with cannabinoid receptors — proteins that are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for modulating critical functions such as sleep and pain response. Research is only beginning to scratch the surface of how CBD interacts with these receptors. 

For instance, early studies show that CBD and other cannabinoids create a type of anti-inflammatory action known as keratinocyte cytokine production.

Should I Use a CBD Balm, Lotion, or Cream?

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There is no right answer here. Ultimately, it boils down to preference.

  • Balms usually don’t have any water (or have very little of it) and are formulated with a base of oil or beeswax. For instance, our Soothe balm is made with a blend of CBD extract combined with beeswax, avocado oil, lavender essential oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.
  • A lotion is usually a mixture of lots of water and cream — hence why lotions often aren’t greasy.
  • A cream is essentially a thicker lotion with lower concentrations of water. 

Some people like a lighter option like a lotion. Others prefer a nice balm like Tiger Balm, famous for its pain-relieving properties. Other companies, like Dove, provide an assortment of skin-nourishing face and hand creams.

It’s all a matter of preference — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The important thing to remember is to use a product that works best for you. Pick a product from a well-known and reputable CBD company and use it for a week or so to see how your body responds. For instance, I would recommend starting with a basic skincare regimen with Soothe (500mg) to see how your body reacts to the CBD. 

How to Use CBD Topical Balm

First, clean the area with soap and water to remove dirt or any residue of previously applied creams. Then generously apply CBD in a gentle, circular motion and allow it to be absorbed for a few minutes. Cover with a bandage or a patch if you don’t want the balm touching your clothing.

Cbd Topical On Hand

The balm effects kick in anywhere from a few minutes to an hour (everyone responds differently) and may last for hours.

That’s really all there is to it! A lot of people enjoy using topical products simply because they are so easy to use.

Choosing the Right CBD Dose

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not just a one-size-fits-all solution. Each CBD product will be listed with the amount of CBD present in the product. That way, you will tell how strong it is and how it will work for you.

The higher the CBD count, the better pain-relieving it will be. A CBD balm with 500mg of CBD per jar might be good for mild aches and pains, while a balm that contains 2000mg of CBD per jar might be able to help you treat nerve damage that’s worse.

The CBD potency of CBD topical creams will always be listed on the label. This way, you can be sure what strength it is you are buying.

Reach out to the company to find out which strength CBD pain cream might be best for your needs.

CBD Balm for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches. Applying a CBD balm to your skin can help treat the condition since CBD has been proven to reduce inflammation, and it can also help slow down the growth of the cells.

Cannabis research suggests that CBD works by activating the CB1 receptor that can suppress the histamines that cause itchy and dry skin, thereby treating the symptom of the disease.

Oral CBD tinctures might offer some relief. However, the topical application of balms that contain CBD oil is better as you can use it to treat the affected areas directly.

CBD Balm for Dry Skin

CBD topical balm can also help manage dry skin due to the additional ingredients like shea butter and different essential oils. It contains fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 that can help nourish and moisturize your skin.

Topical Cbd Balm

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Daily use:

Unlike some substandard CBD products, CBD cream such as New Phase Blends Soothe contains lavender, essential oils, and other moisturizing compounds; these are excellent and sensitive enough to be used daily as part of a skincare regime.

The lotion comes in three different strengths; how much CBD you would like to use on your body is up to you.

CBD Balm for Eczema and Acne

Because CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to the skin, it is suitable for treating acne and eczema. Studies have also shown that CBD inhibits the production of excess sebum (natural oils produced in the skin), which is a significant cause of acne.


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Working with problem skin such as acne and pimples is a tricky task. Problem skin products such as New Phase Blends Glow contain 1% salicylic acid to treat the areas of skin that have painful breakouts.

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The CBD can help reduce your pore size and help prevent further breakouts while soothing any painful skin blemishes.

Key Takeaways — CBD Topicals

In summary:

  • Our body is filled with receptors that can utilize cannabinoids, like CBD.
  • CBD topicals interact with these receptors, allowing the CBD to be absorbed through the skin.
  • Choose the best CBD product that works for you and your body.
  • Most people respond differently to different CBD topicals.

Find the Perfect Topical CBD

CBD Balm is a favorite for those with chronic pain and inflammation as it allows them to apply it to the targeted area for quick relief. It is also fast becoming a favorite in the skincare industry because it helps treat a variety of skin conditions and keep the skin moisturized and healthy.

New Phase Blends Cbd

If you are interested in supplementing with only the best CBD topicals, please visit our online store for more information by clicking here.

That about covers it. Drop a comment below if you have more questions about how topical CBD balm works. If you have any questions, please contact New Phase Blends, and we’ll do our best to help you.

At New Phase Blends, our topical CBD products are manufactured under strict protocols to ensure consistent quality. All topicals are reviewed by a third-party laboratory to verify their component ingredients and CBD content. Shop now and get FREE shipping on all items.

About the Author

Dale Hewett Author

Dale Hewett

Dale is the owner and founder of New Phase Blends. He discovered his passion for CBD use after suffering from injuries sustained while on Active Duty in the US Army. His number one priority is introducing the same CBD products that he himself uses for relief to others who can benefit from them.

Dale holds a Master Degree of Science, and is the inventor of the popular, patent-pending CBD-based sleep aid known as ‘Sleep.’

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