by Natasha Burton
There are several methods for using CBD oil and reaping its benefits. As you’re likely aware, it can be ingested through vaping, pill form or used topically as a cream, among other means. But, depending on what you’re using CBD for, the method can really matter.
For instance, when using CBD for pain management, topical oils could be an easy, effective option for physical relief. Here’s what you should know about using topical CBD oil for pain.
Topical CBD Oil: Ideal for Fighting Pain
Various research shows that topical CBD oil can be an effective method to combat chronic pain. From arthritis to general inflammation, studies have found that topical CBD oil can be very efficient for pain management. Another study shows that THC and CBD can relieve pain associated with multiple sclerosis. There’s also research finding that CBD can help with more minor forms of discomfort like cramps and headaches. However, since some of these studies have been performed on animals, further research is needed to confirm CBD oil’s pain-fighting effects on humans.
Topical CBD Oil: How It Works
There are two key ways that topical CBD oil works to fight pain. First, the oil contains what are called endocannabinoids, or body signals that help you notice and manage various functions, including pain. CBD naturally raises the endocannabinoids in your body, helping to relieve discomfort.
Second, CBD helps limit your body’s inflammatory response when you have muscle soreness due to exercising or lifting weights. By working with the natural functions in your body, CBD eases a variety of pain types and helps make you more comfortable, whether you’re dealing with a chronic condition or just have temporary aches and soreness.
Topical CBD Oil: How to Use It
Topical CBD can come in a number of forms, like an oil, salve, lotion or even a patch. There are even CBD-infused bath salts and soaks to give you full-body relief. When you have an area of the body that’s in pain, you can use topical CBD the way you would a lotion to help combat the discomfort. The great thing about topical CBD oil is that it doesn’t enter the bloodstream when you apply it—meaning that it really targets just the area where you slather it on.
And, just to give you a heads up: You need to apply it liberally. Skin is designed to keep anything put on it from entering the body. Choosing a product with a high concentration of CBD and making sure that you apply enough to get into your skin’s pores will give you the best results. If you’re using it in the bath, follow the product instructions for how long you should soak, to really reap the benefits.
Using CBD Inside and Out
Depending on the ailment you’re hoping to ease with CBD, you should use the most efficient method for relief. For instance, if you’re using CBD oil for anxiety, vaping is considered the fastest, most effective means since ingesting in this way can send the CBD and its healing properties straight to your brain. Topicals, by contrast, can take a bit longer to be effective. (And, as mentioned, concentration matters!)
Trying a sample on a sore muscle before you make a purchase can be helpful—you may feel the effects right away, depending on the formulation.
Natasha Burton has written for Women’s Health, Livestrong, MSN.com, Cosmopolitan.com and WomansDay.com, among other print and online publications. She’s also the author of five books, including “101 Quizzes for Couples” and “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.”