Millions of America suffer from acute to severe pain, and sometimes this can be difficult to manage. The use of expensive clinical medication is not an option for some people. Besides that, some of these medications, especially opioids, are highly addictive and result in dependency. However, researchers have found that using cannabidiol (CBD), an organic cannabis compound, can help ease the pain. CBD can significantly reduce itchy sensations, intense pain, and cold/hot or sharp pain. One of the most common ways of managing pain while using CBD is through topical application. But do CBD topical products actually work for pain? Well, keep on reading to find out.

Types of CBD Topical Products for Pain

There are lots of topical products on the market for external applications. From balms to salves to ointments, consumers now have a wide range of options to choose from. The common types of CBD topical products for pain include:

  • CBD balm
  • CBD ointment
  • CBD salve

CBD balm

They are mostly used to treat sore muscles. CBD balms are the hardest types of CBD topical products since they consist of a high ratio of bases, including beeswax. They effectively provide muscle soreness relief since they are perfect for offering massaging. This also makes them suitable for athletes who can conveniently use them for their recovery after intense practice sessions or competitions.

CBD Ointment

People use CBD ointments for pain, but they are also ideal for cosmetic use. Generally, these types of topical products are usually the smoothest since they are oily or oil-based. Additionally, they have high CBD concentrations, making them ideal for treating chronic pain such as arthritis. Typical CBD ointments have an 80/20 water ratio, and they are great in providing the skin with moisture as well.

CBD Salve

It’s quite similar to CBD balm, but they have different textures. Unlike the tough balms, salves have softer textures, making them easier to rub and massage into the skin. Their pliable texture has made them more appealing since they get absorbed easily into the skin. As a result, CBD salves usually provide faster effects than CBD balms.

Note: both CBD salves and balms are sometimes marketed as CBD creams.

Do Topical CBD Products Work?

Preliminary reports from various research studies indicate that, indeed, topical CBD products work for pain. Understand that topical CBD, just like the other CBD products, has therapeutic anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. So, applying a topical CBD product to your joints or muscles can help to reduce the severity of pain symptoms.

The mechanism of working of these products is, however, unique. The skin consists of three layers; the epidermis and the top layer you can see. It normally consists of freckles, pores, scars, etc. The dermis is the middle layer that contains hair follicles, nerve endings, sweat glands, and blood vessels. The hypodermis is the innermost layer and is mostly used as a protective organ since it has a layer of fat.

When you apply a topical product for pain, it will only interact with the receptors and neurotransmitters found in the epidermis. As a result, topical CBD products don’t reach the bloodstream since they aren’t made to address systemic health issues.

The presence of CBD in these products can help improving inflammatory conditions that may result in pain relief, such as arthritis. If you are dealing with muscle soreness, CBD has therapeutic effects that can help ease painful sensations and improve overall immune function. However, there is still a need for more research studies to determine the full effectiveness of topical CBD products for pain management. 

Uses of Topical CBD Products for Pain

There are several types of pain and discomforts that topical CBD products can help with. Here is an overview of the most common uses:

  • Post-workout muscle soreness: You can apply topical CBD to specific body parts to ease muscle soreness immediately after your workout.
  • Joint pain: If you are dealing with joint pain issues such as arthritis, apply a topical cream or lotion to that specific part.
  • Chronic muscle pain: CBD can work with the endocannabinoid system to ease pain from the inside and out. If you frequently have tender areas, then a topical cream would be the ideal solution.
  • General muscle tension or tightness: It could be a result of sitting for long at your desk, straining to pick or lift items, etc. The application of a topical product can provide you with much-needed relief.

Why CBD Topical Products May Not Work for Pain

There is no doubt that CBD topical products for pain work. But this isn’t the usual case for everyone who purchases these products. This can happen due to several legitimate reasons, including:

  • products of poor quality
  • It’s not just for you
  • The severity of pain and tolerance

Products of Poor Quality

A high-quality CBD product is more likely to work than a low-quality product. It should be noted that a good and effective CBD topical products for pain usually depends on the many factors such as manufacturing process, quality of hemp and added ingredients. The use of cheap solvent extraction techniques along with poor ingredients usually results in contaminated, low-quality CBD products that are highly likely to be ineffective.

Besides that, organic CBD products from domestic sources are generally effective. But due to the lack of regulation in the market, some brands may source their CBD hemp plants grown using chemicals and pesticides.

It’s Just not for You.

While CBD topical products might be very popular and effective for most people, they may be just not for you. Understand that CBD products aren’t miracle alternative sources of medicine. So, your topical product may not work for pain due to genetics, biochemistry, and metabolism.

The Severity of Pain and Tolerance

If you are dealing with chronic pain, you might need higher strength of CBD topical products. However, the body might quickly build a tolerance to the CBD compound. This means that regardless of the amount of topical product you apply, you might not experience positive changes.

To ensure that you buy a high-quality topical product that’s likely to work for you, consider the source. Only make purchases of organic CBD products and from reputable manufacturers. Besides that, request for certificate of authenticity and independent 3rd-party lab tests. It is also important to give CBD time to work. 

CBD isn’t a miracle worker that will produce results almost instantly. Be patient and consistent in your application of topical CBD. Always wash the specific body part to remove dead skin cells and dirt before wiping it dry. Whether you are applying a balm, salve, lotion, or ointment, ensure that you firmly massage the product.

Final Thoughts

CBD’s safety profile has made it one of the most sought-after alternative medicine sources. Topical products can ease muscle and joint pains by providing localized effects. However, these products may fail to work and produce results for some people. In most cases, it could be due to low-quality, toxic, and contaminated products.

Besides that, it also could be due to the dosage of CBD and the severity of the pain. Meanwhile, CBD may simply fail to work for some people due to metabolism, genetics, and body chemistry.  If you have patiently and consistently used CBD topical products for pain with no difference, then the product might be ineffective for you.

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