Maybe you’ve been thinking about using CBD cream for a while. The world is awash in the advertisements for CBD products, promising everything from pain relief to perfect health. But what’s the truth and what’s just hype?
To be perfectly honest, there is a lot of hype in the CBD industry. Right now there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence, but very little hard scientific evidence on the benefits of CBD. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a try. In fact, the scientific community is currently buried in CBD research owing to quite promising preliminary studies of CBD efficacy in both animals and humans.
Is CBD Effective for Pain?
CBD has both analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties, which can assist in pain relief. Many people who have chronic pain conditions take CBD to help, especially if they’re trying to avoid habit forming drugs like opioids.
A scientific review conducted in 2018 shared that studies between 1975 to that present day concluded that it was effective in pain management without negative side effects.The Arthritis Foundation conducted a poll of its members and found that 80% of them were either actively taking CBD, had taken it in the past, or were planning to take it. Of those who had used it, the majority reported improvements in physical function, sleep, and well-being.
The bottom line is that CBD doesn’t hurt, and may do a great deal of good.
Is CBD Safe to Use?
One of the factors that is highly in favor of using CBD for pain is its safety profile. It’s non-addictive, and has very few side effects. In fact, for pain sufferers, it’s one of the very best options in terms of safe relief.
Prescription painkillers should be generally avoided unless absolutely necessary. Their side effects and addictive tendencies make them rather a final resort. Even over the counter analgesic options like Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil have their own nasty side effects, especially if taken for more than a few days. CBD offers an excellent risk/reward record.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Cream?
Dermal application is one of the best ways to get CBD right to the source of pain. Our skin is the largest protective barrier of the body, but it offers a way through that barrier: pores. CBD creams can penetrate through all three layers of skin, and bind to our endocannabinoid receptors.
Because there are receptors in the skin, topically applied CBD can bind to those receptors and offer powerful, localized relief. Rubbed into the joints, the anti-inflammatory properties can offer relief for those who have arthritis pain. Rubbed onto sore muscles, it can help relax and soothe large (or smaller) muscle groups.
What Types of Topicals are Best?
Honestly, there’s no one answer to this question. There are several types of CBD topicals available and each have their own set of benefits.
CBD Balms are generally made with beeswax, and are a great choice for portability. Because it forms a solid stick (or is in a can as a solid), there is no chance of spillage or mess. However, they can be a little messy once they’re on the skin. A balm doesn’t always absorb immediately and be a bit greasy.
CBD Creams usually come in a jar or tube, are more lightweight, and are quickly and easily absorbed. This is because they usually contain some amount of water.
CBD Salves are thicker, waterless, and offer a deep hit of moisture. They are somewhere in between balms and cream for absorbability.
All of these options administer CBD in the same way. Which you choose depends entirely on what kind of texture you like on your skin, or how you like your topical packaged.
What to Look for When Choosing a CBD Cream
There are a lot of CBD creams on the market, and trying to make a choice between them can be bewildering. There are a lot of pretty packages, and a lot of promises being made. Because cannabinoids are not regulated by the FDA, companies can get away with a lot of hype. But there are few things you can look for to ensure that you get a quality CBD product and not just wasting your money.
Research the Company
While the sale of CBD and THC hasn’t been going on for a lot of years, you can find some companies that have a comparatively long term quality reputation. Look for a company that shows up in a lot of third party reviews from trusted websites. The longer they’ve been around, the longer they’ve stayed in good stead with the BBB, the better. A solid company will also be extremely transparent in their dealings, which brings us to the next point.
Make Sure the Company Submits to Third Party Lab Testing
The only way to know that what a company advertises about its CBD products is true is to have their products batch tested by an independent third party lab. And not only should this be advertised on their site, but the results of the tests should be posted and easily accessible. A third party lab will test for:
- Potency. You can’t be sure of a proper dose unless you know that the amount of CBD advertised on the label is correct. This will be in the lab report. Over or underdosing is not only potentially ineffective, it’s also potentially harmful.
- Purity. Lab tests will ensure that a product is free from contaminants, toxins, and heavy metals.
- Integrity. A third party lab test will ensure that what is (or isn’t!) on the ingredients list is the truth.
Check the Price
Any CBD product that is priced in a way that’s too good to be true is almost always too good to be true. A company that uses quality sourced hemp and organic/natural ingredients, uses safe and effective CO2 extraction, and does third party testing will not offer dirt cheap prices. However, don’t despair if you’re on a budget. Many excellent companies offer hefty subscription discounts, and others even offer assistance plans for low income individuals, veterans, and people with a disability.
The Bottom Line on CBD Cream for Pain
CBD topicals have a lot of anecdotal (and some scientific) evidence for effectiveness, and are safe to use. You lose nothing by trying a quality CBD cream to help with chronic or acute pain. Talk to your doctor before starting a CBD regimen, especially if you have a chronic illness or take any medications.