7 Places to Apply CBD Topicals for Best Results

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Twenty years ago, virtually no one knew about CBD, let alone topical creams. Occasionally, you might see a CBD product in a specialty nutrition or health store. But in recent years, with increased clinical studies worldwide about cannabidiol (CBD) and human health, there is mainstream awareness of the healing potential of cannabinoids.

When you think about CBD, what types of products come to mind? Many people are familiar with CBD oil or edible products like gummies made from CBD isolate. You can find everything from low-dose CBD products to concentrated forms for oral administration. But many people may not be aware of topical CBD cream and how, when combined with herbal extracts and other natural ingredients, it may help with specific symptoms.

The best CBD cream or topical CBD oil products can provide targeted relief when you apply them to different body areas. Cannabidiol topicals are much more than skin creams; they are full of major and minor cannabinoids and other active ingredients derived from hemp extract.

In this article, we will talk about how CBD topical creams may help with specific problems. What is the science behind topicals, and how does CBD cream work? Use this information as your head-to-toe guide to learn whether CBD topical products are right for you.

What Are CBD Topicals?

Out of all CBD products, the least is known about topicals or different types of CBD lotion. One of the reasons is that most debilitating symptoms occur within the body; and not on the surface or dermis level. If you are experiencing pain, irritation, or inflammation, you are more likely to seek an oral remedy—something your body can absorb and hopefully help to reduce discomfort.

People taking prescription medications must be careful about taking CBD orally. While CBD does not conflict with many medicines (and it’s generally well tolerated), it can significantly conflict with certain types of prescription drugs. That’s why it is important to consult with your primary care provider before taking oral cannabidiol (CBD).

But did you know that topicals are the safest method of using cannabidiol if your doctor has told you not to take CBD? Unlike CBD edibles or oral products like capsules or tinctures, topical CBD products do not enter your bloodstream. The cannabinoids and extracts are absorbed directly into the skin, engage with specialized receptors, and can help in various ways.

Pain Relief Cream CBD

There are many different types of CBD topicals you can try, including:

CBD Balms and Salves

Most CBD balms are formulated with CBD extract and carrier oils (such as hemp or coconut oil). Many CBD balms also contain essential oils and natural herbal extracts that support the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabidiol. Balms are thickest in consistency and texture compared to other types of CBD products used topically.

CBD Cream

Many types of CBD pain cream are not as thick as balms but have a smooth consistency. That is an advantage if you plan to use CBD cream over larger areas of the body, as it is easier to spread. One example is applying topical CBD cream to your back to help with discomfort.

Creams are usually a combination of water and oil-based ingredients. Emulsifying compounds are added to the cream to help stabilize the cannabinoids and herbal extracts. And also to help the cream absorb into the skin better.

Some types of CBD cream are sold as roll-on, which is a fast, convenient, and less messy way to apply cannabidiol topical. One of the other advantages of dispensing with a roll-on is that you can apply some soothing pressure to the area, which can feel like a pleasant massage.

CBD Oils

The liquid-extracted cannabidiol is combined with healthy carrier oils, herbs, and extracts. Sometimes CBD oil topicals can be lightly scented and can contain warming or cooling natural extracts like peppermint. Topical CBD products that are sold as oils have the thinnest consistency and may moisturize more effectively as oil is absorbed into the skin.

There are many different types of CBD topicals to choose from. Remember to check the certificate of analysis (COA) for information about the natural ingredients and extracts inside any product you plan to buy. Broad-spectrum CBD cream has a higher potency of cannabidiol and other minor cannabinoids and may work best.

Is CBD Cream Legal in the United States?

In 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act (Farm Bill) made cultivating, producing, and selling hemp products federally legal in the United States. As long as a product is derived from agricultural hemp and has less than 0.30% THC content, it is legal to purchase and use.

Because CBD products are not currently regulated by the FDA (at the time of writing), it is important for consumers to do research about every CBD product they buy. Labels can be deceiving, and there are thousands of “fake CBD products” available online.

If you have tried different types of CBD routes (oral or topical CBD products) and didn’t notice a benefit, you need to check the label. And compare that product to a clinical-grade brand in terms of content, potency, and ratios of minor cannabinoids and beneficial natural ingredients.

How Does CBD Topical Cream Work?

Did you know that the human body was designed to intake cannabinoids? It’s true! Throughout our body, there are CB1 and CB2 receptors that have one job; detect and transmit messages, and trigger chemical changes in the body when exposed to cannabinoids.

When you apply topical CBD products, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin. They do not enter the bloodstream but engage with those CB1 and CB2 receptors and your body’s natural endocannabinoid system. Broad-spectrum CBD has more cannabinoids and may offer more concentrated wellness benefits, according to some clinical studies.

Why do topicals work well for many people? Your skin has a high concentration of CB2 receptors. These receptors are responsible for controlling inflammation and help regulate immune responses, sensations of pain, and autoimmune diseases. In short, the CB2 receptors look for ways to minimize adverse effects in the body and engage quickly with topical CBD products.

People using topical CBD products have shared that they experience analgesic effects. This is also supported by many clinical studies on cannabidiol for pain relief. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can also help with skin irritation, joint pain, muscle stiffness, and more.

Benefits of using CBD creams

If you have found that over-the-counter pain relief creams or treatments are not helping, you may want to try a full-spectrum CBD product. And see if, when you apply CBD cream, you experience better results. There are many different products to try, sourced from organic hemp.

People who use CBD topicals often say that CBD creams work. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation (according to many global studies), and the right CBD cream (with organic ingredients) may provide a number of benefits.

Some of the potential benefits of CBD include:

Pain Relief

Several clinical studies have suggested that full-spectrum CBD creams can help with discomfort and pain relief. The most common use is to address symptoms of muscle and joint pain.

Help to Reduce Inflammation

The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol are well documented in animal studies. People who suffer from Arthritis and tendonitis or sports injuries may apply rub CBD oil on localized areas where they experience inflammation.

Promotes Healthy Skin

People suffering from moderate to severe dryness of the skin and conditions like acne may benefit from a cannabidiol-infused cream or ointment. All skin conditions to some degree, are caused by inflammation, and hemp-derived CBD cream may help.

Stress Relief

Cannabidiol engages with the CB2 and CB1 receptors in the human body. The skin has a high concentration of these receptors, and CB1 receptors help moderate feelings of anxiety and stress. While oral CBD supplements are considered better for stress and anxiety relief, a topical cream may also help.

How Long Can the Effects of CBD Topicals Last?

A CBD cream may work better on your friend than it does for you. And that can be confusing, but every medicinal effect is impacted by different factors. And that includes how long the therapeutic effects of topical CBD creams last.

You may start feeling some relief anywhere from fifteen (15) minutes to one (1) hour after application as far as the duration of effects, which can vary by person. Some people can feel the effects of CBD topicals for several hours, while others may notice a shorter duration.

If you are currently using topical CBD products, check the label for the maximum daily use guidelines. You can combine oral CBD supplements with your use of topical creams. And reapply your cannabidiol-infused cream several times throughout the day.

workout CBD cream

Preventative Vs. Reactionary CBD Cream Methods

When people think about how they apply CBD topicals, they typically plan to use it after they have experienced pain or discomfort in a localized area. That is reactionary use. But there are also other ways you can use CBD cream before you experience discomfort to help prevent it or reduce the severity of inflammation in muscles and joints.

Preventative Applications for CBD Topicals

If you have persistent or recurrent pain or inflammation, you may want to use preventative applications. That is, applying CBD creams before you begin to feel discomfort. It can be an effective therapy to help reduce the severity of muscle or joint pain, for example.

Did you know that some professional athletes apply CBD topicals before a workout or training session? You can too! Simply massage the cream in the areas where you typically experience discomfort. It also may help reduce your post-workout recovery time.

It is important to follow the instructions provided on the label to apply the CBD cream correctly. To encourage maximum absorption, you will want to make sure your skin is clean. Start with a small amount, and massage into your skin thoroughly.

Reactionary Uses for CBD Creams

This is the application method most people are used to. You feel some muscle stiffness or soreness, or perhaps joint pain, and you reach for your trusted CBD lotion or cream. But there are a few different ways that full-spectrum CBD topicals can help provide relief.

  • Apply the cream directly to the area where you are feeling pain or discomfort.
  • Use CBD cream to help with post-workout recovery and pain management.
  • Massage topical CBD creams onto areas where there is skin irritation or inflammation.
  • Apply oil CBD isolate or creams for headaches (neck, behind the ears, or temple areas).
  • Rub in topical CBD products to the lower face and back of the neck to promote relaxation. This is particularly effective if the product you are using is formulated with stress-busting natural ingredients and extracts.

Before applying any therapeutic cream to your body, make sure to do a small patch test to check for allergic reactions. And always read the label to identify any extracts that may cause irritation.

Can CBD Cream Be Used For Skin Conditions Too?

Many clinical-grade acne treatments include CBD and other natural extracts. Those powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cannabidiol can help with skin irritation and may also reduce the pain of moderate to severe blemishes.

Use CBD Cream for Acne

Some studies have shown that cannabidiol can help reduce and balance sebum production in the skin. Sebum is a sticky substance that the body produces as a natural moisturizer, and it is made up of fat molecules, natural waxes, and squalene (which keeps skin soft, elastic, and youthful).

Excessive sebum causes acne and provides nourishment for bacteria that cause blemishes to grow. Some people have found that CBD topicals help reduce acne breakouts.

Eczema and CBD Topicals

Imagine having itchy, dry skin all the time. That is what it is like when you have a condition called eczema, and it is difficult to treat. Some people use CBD cream to help improve moisture and reduce some of the symptoms of eczema.

Using CBD for Symptoms of Psoriasis and Dermatitis

Cannabidiol can have a positive effect on the human immune system and help reduce inflammation. Psoriasis is caused by inflammation in the body and excessive skin cell production. A combination of oral and topical CBD creams may help with both psoriasis and contact or atopic dermatitis.

Topical CBD Cream May Help With Rosacea

Someone who has rosacea may have areas of skin that are bright red and noticeable. Some people have permanent discoloration., while others experience periodic flare-ups. Topical and oral CBD may help.

Are There Any Side Effects to Using CBD Topicals?

Most people find that topical CBD products are well-tolerated, meaning they do not experience any adverse effects after using creams or ointments. However, there are a few side effects to look out for. And if you notice them, stop using the product, and talk to your doctor.

Potential side-effects of CBD topicals include:

  • Skin irritations and allergic reactions.
  • Changes in skin texture.
  • Dryness of the skin.
  • Exposure to THC (broad-spectrum or CBD isolate that has more than 0.30% THC).

Legal CBD crea,s should have less than 0.30% THC, but always check the certificate of analysis (COA) for confirmation. You cannot become impaired using topical CBD products.

Full Spectrum CBD Cream

How to use CBD Topicals: Creams, Lotions, and Balms

Using CBD products couldn’t be easier. And if you prefer not to get cream on your hands when applying it, choose a roll-on product. It is fast, convenient, and less messy. Remember to always clean the areas you apply CBD topicals to allow for better absorption.

Here are eight places you can apply CBD topicals for best results:

1. Hand and Finger Pain Relief

Remember to clean the area thoroughly before applying broad-spectrum CBD. Dispense a small amount on your hand or fingers, and massage it in circular motions. This helps promote absorption and gets the cannabinoids and extracts to penetrate the skin for even distribution.

Make sure you allow at least 10-15 minutes for maximum absorption. CBD creams can be reapplied multiple times daily and increased as needed. Make sure you follow the recommended use guidelines provided on the label.

If you suffer from painful dry skin on your hands, consider a pain relief cream that has moisturizing aloe vera, shea butter, aloe leaf juice, cocoa butter, lavender oil, or jojoba oil.

2. Neck Stiffness and Soreness

Stiff muscles in the neck area can reduce your range of motion. It’s painful when your muscles feel tense, but did you know that full-spectrum CBD creams may help? Apply the CBD topical on the areas where you feel pain. But also consider applying topical CBD in other locations as well.

Did you know that some types of muscle pain start as tension in the upper back and shoulder area? You may not feel pain in those areas, but you may get better results if you rub in your CBD topical cream in surrounding areas.

If you are going to apply full-spectrum CBD creams on your neck or near your face, make sure you do not get the product in your eyes. Also, do not apply topicals on areas with open wounds or cuts. Some essential oils can be irritants if they are applied to broken skin.

After applying the CBD isolate cream, watch for adverse effects. While rare, they can occur. And if you notice side effects, stop use immediately and consult with your primary care physician.

CBD cream foot pain

3. Foot and Leg Pain Relief

Foot and leg pain is another common reason why some people use topical products. Because depending on the source of the pain, sometimes prescription medications are not enough to provide relief. And some people want to supplement their treatment plan and use CBD cream to see if it will help.

There are many health conditions that trigger foot and leg pain, which are caused, in part, by chronic inflammation; where CBD creams could help:

Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms of sharp pain in the heel can point to a condition called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the tissue that supports the arch of the foot, and it can become inflamed due to excessive walking, standing, or running.

Planta fasciitis can also happen to people who wear bad shoes or those who have flat feet or high arches. Stretching exercises, cold and hot compresses after you apply a CBD cream may help provide some pain relief.

Shin Splints

The medical term for this painful condition is medial tibial stress syndrome. The symptoms include deep aches and throbbing pain along the tibia (shinbone) during or after physical activity. Symptoms are most commonly felt on the inside part of the leg.

Exercises such as running, jumping, or dancing increase friction and repetitive stress on leg muscles. Treatment includes rest and cold therapy. CBD creams may also help reduce localized inflammation.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a diagnosed autoimmune disorder, whereas Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disorder associated with aging. Both conditions cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in major weight-bearing joints.

For sore muscles around inflamed areas, CBD cream may provide some relief. The best CBD potency to use for inflammation is full-spectrum CBD combined with cold compress therapy.


Sore muscles can also be caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals around major bone joint areas. Gout commonly affects the foot area but can occur elsewhere in the body. Common symptoms and pain-related behaviours of gout include redness and swelling, moderate to severe pain, and the sensation of warmth in the affected area.

Gout is treated with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as lifestyle modifications and dietary changes to reduce uric acid levels in the body. A good quality topical with high CBD potency may provide some relief when applied to affected areas.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

When there is a buildup of plaque and fatty deposits inside arterial walls, the result is reduced blood flow, which can cause leg pain or cramping (claudication) when physically active. People who have diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), those who smoke, have high cholesterol, and individuals who are not physically active are more at risk of developing peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

CBD cream can help with leg pain or cramping with hot or cold therapy. Talk to your doctor about adding a CBD topical to your at-home treatments for pain relief.

4. Severely Dry and Cracked Skin Conditions

Can you use CBD balm on dry and cracked skin? It depends on the formulation. For example, if the topical contains essential oils and herbal extracts, you may not want to apply it directly on broken skin. That includes scratches, cuts, or open wounds.

However, some types of CBD balm may be formulated for sensitive skin and not contain any potential irritants when exposed to scratched or broken areas. While extracts like lavender oil are popular for other types of use, you will want to research the best CBD creams for sensitive skin conditions. And stick to products that have organic ingredients.

Formulations of organic hemp CBD creams that contain coconut oil, for example, aloe vera leaf juice, shea butter, and other natural plant-based fatty oils, may help soothe dry and cracked skin. A cream made from hemp extract may help improve skin health.

CBD Dry Scalp

5. CBD Topicals for the Scalp

Remember when we talked about using broad-spectrum CBD cream for acne and how it can help reduce sebum? Many skin conditions that affect the scalp are also caused by imbalanced sebum, where too much is produced, leading to inflammation and irritation.

You can apply CBD topicals to the scalp to help address common symptoms like dryness, inflammation, and dandruff. Other conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis (scalp eczema) or scalp psoriasis, may also be helped by CBD creams or special cannabidiol-infused shampoos.

Natural antioxidants in cannabidiol can help improve the health of your scalp and reduce free radicals that damage the skin. This may also help reduce flakiness and promote hair growth. Some of the best CBD cream products also have extracts like tea tree oil. But if you are not experiencing results, talk to your doctor about trying a higher-potency CBD cream.

6. Applying CBD Topicals for Sunburns

Here is something you may not have thought about; the cooling relief of applying a CBD product on your skin when you have suffered a sunburn. There are many soothing properties that full-spectrum CBD creams can provide.

Not only could you experience some relief using CBD oils or creams, but broad-spectrum CBD can also provide antioxidants that may help your skin heal from sun damage. If you are experiencing dry skin from sunburn, CBD may help restore hydration while assisting with pain relief, especially when it contains other essential oils.

7. Migraine and Headaches

Do you suffer from persistent headaches or severe migraines? Forbes Magazine recently reported that the American Migraine Foundation stated, “CBD oil may be a viable topical solution for neck and joint pain often associated with migraines.” Some types of chronic pain may lead individuals to use CBD oral supplements and topicals.

Some studies suggest that when you use CBD cream around the neck and upper back area, it may help relieve muscle tension that contributes to migraine symptoms. Researchers are not sure what CBD potency may work best, but you can explore any CBD cream dosage to see if it helps improve your symptoms.

Remember to always follow the product manufacturers addressed safety guidelines for use. Explore different products to find the best CBD cream and CBD potency for your needs.



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