CBD Topicals: What They Are & How To Use Them

With the popularity of CBD increasing substantially over the last two decades, more people have turned to the cannabinoid for its potential health benefits. The non-psychoactive ingredient is often cited as a natural panacea, said to help with things like inflammation, aches and pains, and even some mental health issues / anxiety.

 

CBD topicals, in particular, have become a go-to method for some users to target their afflictions. “CBD topicals” is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of products — CBD cream, CBD lotion, CBD salve, and CBD balm  — that are applied to the skin, absorbed, and interact with cells near the surface. Each type has its own ideal use as well as specific benefits. Ultimately though, all of these CBD rubs aim to penetrate the skin, address tension, and in a broad sense, promote healing. 


Considering all of these different CBD topicals, it can seem like a challenge to figure out which is best and for what. The following chart provides a helpful breakdown for those new to the world of CBD topicals and how to utilize them successfully.  


CBD topicals at a glance


Type Topical

Used For

Used Where

Effects

CBD Cream

  • Used primarily for rejuvenation and soothing surface-level irritation.
  • Oil and water based.
  • Body / skin.
  • Smaller isolated areas.
  • Skin soothing and moisturizing. 
  • Pain relieving and anti-inflammatory. 

CBD Lotion

  • Used for moisturizing and calming the skin. 
  • Quick absorption and relief. 
  • Body / skin.
  • Larger isolated areas.
  • Soothing and subtle  moisturizing. 
  • Nearly immediate relief, though not as long- lasting as other, richer products.

CBD Balm

  • Typically used for long-term, hyper-targeted pain relief.
  • Oil and wax based.
  • Body / skin.
  • Muscle-dense areas.
  • Long lasting pain relieving effects.
  • Easily layered or reapplied for more intense effects. 

CBD Salve

  • Used to target more specific, set-in areas of pain.
  • Oil and wax based.
  • Body / skin.
  • Muscle-dense areas.
  • Strong and steady pain relieving effects over a longer period of time.

CBD Rub

  • Used in difficult to reach areas (in stick form).
  • Ideally applied to break down and soothe muscle pains via massage.
  • Body / skin.
  • Massaged areas.

CBD Face Cream

  • Applied to ease skin irritation and address hydration issues.
  • Oil and water based.
  • Face.
  • Intense hydration.
  • Barrier between air or polluted moisture and skin.

CBD Topical Oil

  • Applied to high-tension areas, absorbs deep in the tissue. 
  • Oil based.
  • Face.
  • Massaged areas.
  • Hydrates skin and absorbs easily.
  • Lasting, strong results.

CBD Muscle Balm

  • Relieves stiffness and muscular  issues.
  • Oil and wax based.
  • Muscle-dense areas.
  • Joints.
  • Calms the nervous system. 
  • Eases chronic pain problem areas.

CBD Roll On

  • Utilized for quick, targeted and easy to reach areas of the body.
  • Individual problem areas or overall wellbeing. 
  • Smaller isolated areas.
  • Wrists, behind ears, etc.
  • Muscles

CBD Facial Serum 

  • Face.
  • Surface smoothing and glowing.
  • Barrier between air or polluted moisture and skin.

Types of CBD topicals


CBD Cream

Creams are often formulated to hydrate the skin while minimizing moisture loss. Keeping that in mind, CBD creams and lotions are usually formulated with additional ingredients to enhance their “rejuvenating potential” and soothing benefits. CBD cream may provide a great natural moisturizer that can also help with pain relief and inflammation. Those suffering from mild body aches may enjoy CBD topical creams, especially just before bed. 


CBD Lotion

Similar to CBD cream, CBD lotion is typically used with the intention of providing skin hydration and lubrication. Lotions can be slightly more water-based and therefore not as strong, but are also very accessible and easy to find at local dispensaries or online. Although not as intense, CBD lotion can easily be reapplied. This form of CBD topical can work wonders for those with chronic pain or recurring joint issues; CBD lotion can quickly be applied to outer extremities just like any other lotion. 


CBD Balm

Thicker CBD balms are often made of more solid oils and waxes. This consistency takes more time to be absorbed through the skin, but in turn provides extended results. CBD muscle balms make for a popular choice amongst those looking for long-lasting relief. Balms and CBD salves alike also usually contain additional essential oils that mimic the “entourage effect” and promote pain-relieving results. This type of rich, potent product is ideal for small areas that need to be directly targeted.


CBD Salve

CBD salves or ointments are similar to balms in that they’re most effective when used directly with exaction. Salves are thick, waxy and dense with CBD power. CBD salves often contain potent amounts of the cannabinoid and must be rubbed in extensively. When applied correctly to particular areas, this type of CBD topical has the potential to soothe issues such as deep pains, muscle discomfort and inflammation or flare-ups. High quality CBD salves may be perfect for those who suffer from old sports injuries or work-related, targeted aches and pains. 


CBD Rub

CBD rub usually finds itself somewhere between balm and lotions; it’s an easily spreadable product that's potency is undoubtedly enhanced by massage or some type of encouraged absorption. This kind of CBD topical cream can help users soothe muscle discomfort and control unruly aches. An athlete may enjoy incorporating CBD rubs into their recovery routine to prevent fatigue.


CBD Face Cream

CBD has quickly made itself a place in hygienics and self-care, even in the realm of skincare. CBD face cream is a newer, but emerging topical — it’s oil-rich consistency provides incredible hydration and powerful treatment. Those dealing with severely dry skin, or skin disorders such as Eczema and Psoriasis, may find an ideal treatment in CBD face creams.  


CBD Topical Oil

CBD topical oil typically hydrates the skin with ease and requires little work for quick absorption. Like mentioned previously, products such as this often contain other essential oils that contribute to the “entourage effect” and promote pain-relieving results. Topical CBD oil can be applied to both small or large swaths of skin, depending on the desired effect. 


CBD Muscle Balm

Like CBD rub, CBD muscle balm is usually made of high-quality CBD and other essential oils or semi-solids. This type of CBD topical is specifically made to target muscle pain and tension. Although its use may require more working with, this product can be highly effective for those with chronic pain or the after-effects of old injuries. 


CBD Roll On

CBD rolls ons supply users with an incredibly easy-to-use method for application. Roll ons can vary in make-up — some will be more like essential oil administrators while others will mirror that of a more solid balm stick. For those with anxiety, sleeping issues or general muscle tension may find CBD roll ons relaxing in their more subtle, but direct, effects. 


CBD Facial Serum 

Similarly to it's thinner counterpart in CBD face creams, CBD facial serums also administer impressive amounts of hydration. CBD serums are often oily, intense and can serve as a lux addition to an already established night or morning skin routine. When applied, CBD facial serums lock in moisture. Both a glowy appearance and smooth complexion are among users’ cited benefits. 


To sum it up

As CBD products continue to grow and dominate in the health and wellness marketplace, it’s helpful to understand what products and methodologies are best for everyone. Luckily, relief can be easy to achieve with the right choice and application of CBD topicals. From injured athletes to chronic pain sufferers, from arthritic inflammation to facial wrinkles — CBD topicals may provide incredible relief and true alleviation