What Is the Best CBD Cream for You?
– Our Buyer’s Guide –
We’ve offered you a variety of choices in our reviews. Still, if you’re keen on choosing the right product on your own, there are a few things you need to take into account.
What Is CBD Cream Good For?
Creams are a very practical choice of therapy. However, they work locally, which means that they do not provide a systemic effect.
Topicals can be used for many illnesses, either as a remedy for skin-only conditions or as a complementary aid in other systemic diseases. The best topical CBD product can be used for a variety of conditions. However, the topical use significantly differs from the systemic one (oral, IV, or transdermal).
In general, cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis-derived phytochemical with a variety of therapeutic properties. It can be used for:
- Stress relief
- Sleep disorders
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or MS
- Chronic pain of various etiology, and
On the other hand, the benefits of topical CBD are expressed only in the local tissue. This means that the use of creams will not benefit the systemic diseases, as is the case with oral products.
The therapeutic effects of cannabidiol cream are primarily based on its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Therefore, it can be used for:
- Treating joint pain, often associated with rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and fibromyalgia.
- Alleviating superficial pain that frequently follows nerve degeneration or neuropathies.
- Treating skin conditions associated with inflammation, such as eczema, acne, rosacea, and even psoriasis.
How Does CBD Affect the Skin?
CBD does not penetrate the skin deeply, which means that its effects are primarily expressed in the epidermis. However, when applied consistently, it can effectively saturate the local CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus modulating local inflammation and the immune response. These effects have also been recorded with the use of the best topical CBD oil.
When applied in the form of a thin layer, CBD from the formulation is absorbed by the upper tissue, thus binding to the receptors and inhibiting the inflammation paths. In the case of chronic inflammation, repetition is needed to achieve a satisfying level of relief.
Its immunomodulating effects are especially useful in the case of immunity-related skin diseases, such as psoriasis or allergic eczema. If properly formulated, CBD topicals can treat such a condition by creating an artificial lipid barrier around the afflicted zones and reducing the immune-modulated skin response.
The best CBD cream for inflammation of the skin can also work as a treatment for acne. Some studies suggest that CBD normalizes the production of sebum, which is hyperactive in the skin tissue of people with acne. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and mild anti-infective properties, there is a safe assumption that a CBD full-spectrum cream could be used as a treatment for acne vulgaris.
Another study showed that CBD cream is useful in the treatment of dry skin, which is usually associated with redness and itching. Therefore, CBD oil can be used as a remedy for eczema, atopic dermatitis, and even rosacea.
How Does the Best CBD Cream for Pain Relief Work?
The use of topicals is pretty much mainstream when it comes to treating joint pain associated with sports injuries, physical traumas, and rheumatoid diseases. In essence, the inflamed tissue is swollen and oversupplied with blood. As a result, the skin layers become thinner, which facilitates the penetration of topicals in deeper tissues.
CBD Cream vs. Topical Oil
When it comes to local use, the formulation of creams and other semi-solid topicals exceeds the same of CBD oil. The best CBD oil for topical use has its limitations in terms of substance penetration through the skin and alleviating pain.
Oils are 100% fat, and as such, they create an occlusive film useful in the treatment of dry and rough skin. They are, however, more concentrated and can help you achieve the desired effect more quickly.
Creams are formulated for additional benefits, such as skin hydration and smoother application. Additionally, creams contain emulsifiers that allow other, water-based substances to be added, thus providing a greater diversity of effects.
Which Is the Best Type of CBD Extract in Creams?
There is a mild but altogether significant difference between CBD extracts. The question is — should you choose isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum as the main constituent in your topicals?
Well, considering that the main active ingredient in CBD creams for pain or skin treatment is cannabidiol, each extract will suffice. However, there is the issue of the so-called “entourage effect.”
The entourage effect is the repeatedly proven synergistic action of all naturally occurring compounds in a cannabis plant. It is thought that cannabis-derived terpenes and other phytocannabinoids act together, thus improving the effects of CBD itself and accounting for better overall results. The main controversy is that the entourage effect has only been studied in systemic applications of CBD. Currently, there are no studies that prove its effectiveness in topical use.
However, some studies in animals refer to the active potential of non-cannabinoid compounds within a full-spectrum extract on the skin. They show that, even when applied to the skin, the collective power of cannabis-based phytochemicals is more potent than having just CBD.
That’s why we favor the use of full spectrum and broad spectrum extracts over the CBD isolate.
Should the Best CBD Topical Cream for Pain Be THC-Free?
In general, THC has limited trans-cutaneous absorption rates due to its high lipid chemical structure. In comparison to THC, CBD has a ten-fold higher absorption rate due to its polarity.
Given that in topicals, THC can only be found in full-spectrum extracts in the maximum amount of 0.3%, there is no concern about THC absorption and its psychoactive side effects. On the other hand, THC can aid in the treatment of certain nerve-affected skin conditions by affecting cutaneous CB1 receptors.
What Types of CBD Topicals Are There?
The best CBD topicals come in different formulations. A word of caution — they are not all the same, and their use strictly depends on their technological preferences. The most prevalent topical CBD products are:
- Creams, which are water-in-oil or oil-in-water semi-solid emulsions.
- Emulsions, which are liquids combinations of fatty and water-based ingredients. They are applied by rubbing or via spray.
- Ointments, which are based on lipid ingredients, and are greasy.
- Lotions, which are mild watery solutions.
- Gels, which are semi-solid formulations made from water-based extracts.
- Balms, which are a combination of gel and emulsion.
Often, the best CBD cream for back pain is advertised as a salve – a term that is used to describe creams, ointments, balms, and emulsions. Just keep in mind that salve is a traditional term, not a scientific one.
Why Are Secondary Ingredients Important?
Active secondary ingredients have healing properties of their own. So, when optimally combined with CBD, they can potentiate the CBD effects.
Commonly used active ingredients are:
- Rosemary extract
- White willow bark extract
Inactive (compositional) ingredients formulate the best CBD topical cream or salve and account for the delivery mechanism of the mainly acting CBD. By choosing the right combination of secondary components, technologists create what is known as the base or “vehicle.”
The base gives the products, such as CBD body butter or CBD cream for back pain, the competitive edge in effectiveness.
Furthermore, one size does not fit all. For example, the best CBD cream for eczema will contain petroleum-based oils and vaseline-like substances, while a CBD cream for pain demands more water-soluble ingredients.
Are CBD Creams for Pain Safe?
If used correctly and consistently, a hemp pain-cream will work wonders for your swollen and inflamed joints and irritated skin tissue. The appropriate use follows the general rules: topicals are applied 2–3 times a day in thin layers around the joints or on the afflicted skin.
However, even the best CBD topical for knee pain can cause side effects if used compulsively and without restrains.
Cannabis extracts are stable when exposed to sunlight. However, other ingredients might react adversely. Therefore, after applying a topical CBD product, it is recommended to stay away from direct sun or heat.
Can I Use a CBD Ointment for Pain with Medication?
There is no evidence of adverse reactions to topical cannabis products with any type of medication. Nevertheless, one should be cautious when being on other types of therapy, especially for rheumatic conditions.
Some arthritis medications, such as methotrexate and prednisone, tend to provoke sensitivity reactions on the skin. In these cases, even the best CBD topical for arthritis might cause irritation of the hypersensitive skin.
In any case, be sure to inform your attending physician or pharmacist about any medications you are using before purchasing a CBD topical.
Albeit it seems like the second-best choice, choosing a CBD topical for your needs is sometimes more powerful than taking the best CBD orally. CBD creams and ointments can be very potent, although the effectiveness falls not only upon the type of extract that is used but on other ingredients as well.
Whether you seek quick pain relief, or you’re looking to fix dry, inflamed, and cracked skin, the cannabis industry has a solution for you.
Ultimately, the choice of the most soothing CBD cream for pain is on you.
Disclaimer: CBD oil is currently not approved by the FDA. You are using the products at your own responsibility. Always consult with a licensed doctor if you have any qualms or doubts about using CBD oil. There may be some changes of the products by the companies themselves after the publishing date of this review.