With the cannabidiol (CBD) market enjoying unprecedented growth, so many companies are looking to get a slice of the pie, by offering unique CBD-infused products. While some of these can be considered gimmicks, since they contain such low quantities of CBD that they can’t possibly produce any meaningful effects, there are other CBD products which bring out the compound’s benefits in a unique way.
This is the case with topical products, such as infused CBD creams, lotions and balms. The hemp cannabinoid is non-intoxicating, and doesn’t cause any of the ‘high’ that comes from weed. But anecdotal reports and a handful of pioneering studies suggest that CBD is really beneficial for the skin. The main reason for this is that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), where CBD primarily functions, is clearly active in the skin, because of the presence of cannabinoid receptors.
Working from the likely therapeutic benefits of CBD, here are five ways to use topical products to improve your health.
Pain and inflammation
Treating pain with CBD doesn’t always have to be done with tincture oils, edibles or e-liquids. In fact, some users may actually get better results with a CBD cream, as topicals are more efficient at getting to the source of the pain. Blunting pain by interacting with cannabinoid and vanilloid receptors in the affected area is a clever way of reducing discomfort. The same applies for inflammation and swelling, which is eased by activating CB2 receptors – these are also well-proliferated in the skin.
Whether to use CBD balms on their own or in combination with another CBD product is an important decision for users to make. Buying two products may be more expensive, but it may promote more effective and lasting pain relief. In addition, topical products are typically boosted with other natural extracts that have analgesic effects, including menthol.
Skin infections need to be treated quickly, or can develop into a serious health issue. The pain and swelling caused by an infection would traditionally be remedied with an approved antibiotic. But there are reasons why CBD topicals from HempBombs may be a better option.
First off, CBD has a triumvirate of properties that can help with infections: it’s antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. A study published in the American Journal of Microbiology in 2019 showed how CBD is a potent antibiotic, even for superbugs. The antibacterial effects of CBD are apparently unusual, and incomparable to those of existing antibiotics. But in a fight against ever-evolving bacteria, that could be to CBD’s benefit.
Intrinsic aging may be out of our control, but there is plenty that can be done to mitigate the harmful effects of extrinsic aging. Reducing the skin’s exposure to free radicals is vital – free radicals in smoke, for example, is one reason why smokers tend to age faster. However, some free radicals, such as those from exhaust fumes and ultraviolet (UV) rays are unavoidable. That’s where CBD comes in.
The antioxidants in CBD act as a protective layer for the skin against free radicals. They give these uncharged molecules a chance to pair off, without stealing from and damaging skin DNA.
Perhaps the most problematic skin disorder of them all, acne affects hundreds of millions of people to varying degrees. The condition causes overactivity in the sebaceous glands, which then produce the important skin-based oil sebum in excessive quantities, leading to oily and dirty skin, which increases the risk of infection. Many acne remedies have come and gone, but few have captured imagination in the way that CBD has.
CBD has its typical moderating effect on the sebaceous glands, working to regulate activity rather than choke off sebum production. This means that CBD lotions can ease acne without causing dry skin, a common side effect of acne treatments. CBD is also an anti-inflammatory. Some users take CBD as a treatment for acne, while others use it to prevent breakouts.
The red, crusty and flaky skin caused by the autoimmune disease psoriasis doesn’t just have a physical effect – it can be mentally scarring, too. Psoriasis is the result of the chronic accumulation of skin cells at the skin’s surface, which the body is unable to shed quickly enough. Naturally, the skin generates skin cells at a steady rate, which can be shed and replaced with new ones over several weeks. However, psoriasis sends this process into overdrive.
CBD cream may help with psoriasis as an anti-inflammatory, and by restricting the proliferation of keratinocytes. There is a debate about whether immune cells or keratinocytes trigger psoriasis. The good news is that CBD helps to regulate both.