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Why Do Some CBD Creams Contain Menthol?

Dale blog imageAuthor: Dale Hewett
menthol in CBD creams featured
Table of Contents (Scrollable)

Most of you reading this have at least looked for different types of CBD products for sale right. There are a ton of items on the marketplace now. It’s been almost four years since CBD has become legal in the US, and thousands upon thousands of people use CBD as their go-to for many different forms of relief. One of these products is CBD cream with menthol added. Why would you add menthol to a CBD cream, though?

What is Menthol?

Menthol is an approved medication to help people cope with very, very minor aches and pains. The interesting thing is, it doesn’t really make the pain go away, at all. It is a (in my opinion) subpar way to trick your body into ignoring pain in a particular area by causing a constant cooling and heating sensation. This drastic change in feeling might help people not feel as much pain in that area.

Extracted Menthol Crystals

You have to apply menthol topically. You cannot eat it. This means it will only offer a cooling effect on the area you apply it to. Menthol has been approved in two forms:

  1. Topical creams
  2. Transdermal patches

You will know that an item contains menthol by how it is listed on the ingredients. Look for something that lists menthol, by a percentage, under an active ingredients field. For example, active ingredients: Menthol (5%).

Where Does Menthol Come From?

Menthol comes from peppermint, or other mint flavored compounds/oils. Labs can also make a synthetic version of menthol.

Spearmint Leaves With Menthol

Regardless, it’s naturally occurring in the world. If you don’t want a man-made version of menthol, look for organic menthol in items. Toothpaste, topical creams, and even cigarettes can contain menthol.

CBD Creams and Muscle Balms With Menthol – Why Add It?

For those that do not know, CBD has not been approved for use by the FDA. That means, health claims cannot be made about what CBD can treat, or cannot treat. This makes marketing CBD products very difficult for companies. This is where adding menthol comes in.

Companies add menthol, largely, so they are able to apply health claims to their labels. Since menthol is authorized for pain treatment by the FDA, companies can add a tiny bit of menthol to their creams or muscle balms and put something like this on the label: “Treats minor aches and pains.”

Marketing CBD Products

If there was no menthol in that cream, the company could not put “Treats minor aches and pains”, or similar wording, on the label. See the trick here? Companies have found out a way to add pain relieving verbiage on CBD product labels, despite the fact it is against the FDA guidelines to do so. Companies can now run ads for “pain relieving CBD medications” and other similar items – all because they put a bit of menthol in their product.

Menthol Label Health Claim

I suspect that once the FDA approves CBD for use as a dietary supplement, the CBD and menthol combinations will start to die off. At that point, the menthol wouldn’t be needed to help market pain relieving effects.

Menthol is Part of a Cooling Formula

Earlier in this article, I spoke about how menthol offers a cooling sensation. The entire pharmacology of menthol revolves around this cooling effect. If menthol didn’t cool your skin, it wouldn’t work. You see, when your skin experiences an extreme cooling, it tricks nerves in that area by confusing them. Should the nerves respond to the pain, or should they respond to the extreme cold? Sure, it works, but it doesn’t work all that well for anything over mild pain.

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Menthol May Help With Pain Sensation

Related: Using CBD Oil for Pain Relief

Pain sensations are though to be eased by menthol. There is also some evidence that shows a very minor anti-inflammatory effect on the area menthol is applied to. Yes, menthol may help people with extremely minor aches and pains, but most people with at least moderate pain levels report menthol does nothing for them – except make their skin feel cold/cool.

Summary – CBD Creams With Added Menthol

As you can now see, adding menthol to CBD creams may help, in a very minor amount, people deal with mild aches and pains. That main reason that CBD companies put menthol into CBD creams, though, is so they can bypass FDA guidelines that prohibit adding health claims to CBD products. Since menthol is already approved for use by the FDA, a product with menthol in it can have a health claim for pain relief on the label.

Discover: Arthritis Creams With CBD

While menthol may help some people, testimonials show that pain over a mild level will likely not be treated by applying menthol creams topically.

 

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29524352/

 

 

 

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About the Author - CBD Expert Dale Hewett

Dale Hewett 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.’ He’s given multiple lectures on CBD to institutions such as Cornell’s MBA student program, and Wharton’s School of Business.

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