HOW DO CBD TOPICALS WORK?
As you know, CBD lotion and skincare products work by targeting receptors found all throughout the body. In particular, it affects cannabinoid receptors, which have been linked to a variety of benefits – most notably pain and inflammation, when considering topicals. Interestingly enough, researchers discovered these cannabinoid receptors in our skin all the way back in 2005.
WHAT KINDS OF CBD TOPICALS EXIST?
As CBD grows in popularity, so does the number of infused-topical products. CBD lotions are increasingly common as many users report that daily applications are easy and effective. But there’s an entire arsenal of products for those looking to get more creative with their CBD applications:
- CBD Balms
- CBD Soaps
- CBD Bath Bombs
- CBD Beauty Products
- CBD Massage Oil
- CBD Pain Patches
The possibilities are endless.
The major purported benefits of CBD in skincare seem to be related to an anti-inflammatory effect. But like many of the studies looking at CBD for anxiety or pain management, the research is mainly limited to lab and animal studies, Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF.
In one commonly cited study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science in 2007, researchers isolated THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids from cannabis. They found that when applied to human skin cells, all the cannabinoids they tested inhibited the overproduction of keratinocytes (skin cells) that are commonly seen in psoriasis.
However, it's a little more complicated than that: The researchers here also tested lab-made compounds that selectively inhibit the activation of CB1 or CB2 receptors, which are the receptors we usually think of when it comes to cannabinoids and found that they didn’t have a huge effect. That suggests that if any cannabinoids—including CBD—have a helpful role to play in managing psoriasis, it’s not mediated through those receptors. Basically, we're still only beginning to understand what might be happening here.
By applying a CBD Topical to the skin, you are able to target these cannabinoid receptors found in the skin. A primary purpose of cannabinoid receptors is to signal to the brain that areas of the body need relief. By applying a CBD Topical to a place on the body, you’re able to tell your brain to relieve that specific area, whether it be from pain, inflammation, tension, or another external condition.