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CBD Topicals: How to Use Them

CBD topical cream has become one of the most hassle-free, effective ways of using cannabidiol, or CBD, to alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the regulated production and cultivation of hemp plants and initiated the CBD boom.

Although there are other ways to utilize the therapeutic properties of CBD hemp oil for pain, such as ingesting it in a pill or dissolving it under the tongue (sublingually), or inhaling it through a vaping device, a topical cream is a great way to explore how CBD can help you combat a number of symptoms and conditions.

How can CBD help?

CBD has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to its ability to calm inflammation, its chemical makeup blocks receptors that send pain messages to the brain and therefore can reduce the pain a person feels from a condition or injury. Research is being completed currently to examine the effects of CBD on conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, type 1 diabetes, hormonal acne, sports injury, eczema, seizures, epilepsy, and other physical issues.

However, CBD can also be useful in both relaxing the body in general and helping with symptoms of more mental health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety, insomnia, and drug addiction. Although some of these may require more intensive dosing of CBD, someone looking to combat a sports sprain or regular insomnia could benefit from the use of a CBD topical treatment.

Topical cream best practice

First, it’s important to consider where to apply your CBD topical cream. If you’re feeling pain in a specific area, applying the cream to that area is a great place to start. However, if you’re feeling sore all over, or looking to alleviate insomnia, here are some general spots that can benefit from CBD topical application:

  • Shoulders
  • Heels or backs of feet
  • Neck
  • Temples
  • Elbows, knees, other joints
  • Wrists

Make sure to do a patch test on your skin before starting to apply CBD topicals. Patch tests, done on small areas of the skin, are crucial to avoiding large scale allergic reactions or other negative consequences for people with sensitive skin or other skin conditions. If you find yourself having an allergic reaction, it might not be due to the CBD or cannabinoids in the product, but its base, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil.

Before applying your cream, it’s important to cleanse the area you’ll be applying it to lightly but thoroughly to make sure there aren’t any lingering bacteria. After cleaning and drying the skin, it’s time to apply.

When applying a layer of topical cream, make sure to vigorously massage and rub it into the skin so that the CBD cream can do its job. It’s not uncommon to apply a second or third coat of cream after the first one dries, just make sure to rub each coat in as much as the last. Make sure not to massage hard enough to cause you extra discomfort in an already tender area, however, as that can be counterproductive.

After application, wash your hands thoroughly to ensure that no residue from the topical cream gets in your eyes by accident. If this happens, consult a doctor for further instructions.

Final thoughts

It’s important to remember that CBD is not a magical cure-all. It won’t make years of arthritis magically disappear, it won’t get you up on your feet again minutes after a sprain, and it won’t make you sleep like a baby instantly. However, CBD can be incredibly helpful for making pain caused by a number of different issues more bearable and easier to live with.

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