Muscle and joint aches and pains can really get in the way of productivity and enjoyment of recreational activities. Even when we do our best to stretch and live a healthy lifestyle, we can’t seem to escape life’s little physical discomforts.
Getting relief sometimes seems like constantly trading one uncomfortable symptom for another. That kind of balancing act can get downright exhausting.
Luckily for us, we now have access to CBD-infused lotions and creams.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound that hemp and cannabis plants produce. These compounds, called cannabinoids, act as antioxidants to protect the plant’s cellular structure from harmful free radicals caused by excess UV radiation. Plant cannabinoids also work with other compounds like terpenes to repel pests and attract pollinators.
Cannabinoids also play a role in the bodies of most animals. In the early 1990s, scientists discovered that humans have a specialized system of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that plays a vital role in keeping our bodies in balance.
Although we’ve only known about the ECS for a few decades, the system evolved over 600 million years ago. Nearly every animal on our little blue planet has an endocannabinoid system, including primitive invertebrates like nematodes. Curiously, insects seem to lack an endocannabinoid system.
The ECS in humans and other mammals helps to balance many important bodily functions, such as:
- Sleep cycles
Humans have used cannabis and hemp plants for healing for thousands of years. Places as far removed as ancient Egypt, Africa, Europe, and Mexico all used cannabis as part of their well-being rituals. Researchers are finally beginning to understand the scientific basis of the ancient plant’s therapeutic properties.
How Does CBD Support the Endocannabinoid System?
It seems that even our endocannabinoid systems can get out of balance at times. Our bodies have internal cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that interact with our cannabinoid receptors, which in turn communicate with our neuroreceptors. Scientists have identified two principal endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG).
A severe shortage of these two endocannabinoids produces a serious condition known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD). CECD may present a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Appetite changes
- Depression and anxiety
- Neuropathic conditions like fibromyalgia
- Digestive disorders
While a clinical diagnosis of CECD is relatively rare, many of us may have minor deficiencies in our natural endocannabinoid levels. Though research is still in the early stages, phytocannabinoids, like CBD, may be able to help.
CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in a variety of ways. Our bodies contain two primary types of endocannabinoid receptors. The first type of receptors, CB-1, are located mainly in our brain and central nervous system. A second type, called CB-2, is abundant in the immune system. CBD interacts with both types of receptors, causing a number of effects. Another way that CBD may help our bodies stay in balance is through boosting our level of internal cannabinoids by inhibiting their reuptake.
How Do CBD Topicals Work
It turns out that the central nervous system and the immune system aren’t the only places where we have ECS receptors. The skin possesses both CB-1 and CB-2 endocannabinoid receptors. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The skin is our first line of immune defense, and it’s loaded with nerve endings. Additionally, the skin contains immune cells, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands, which have their own ECS receptors.
You’re probably beginning to imagine why CBD creams and other topicals seem to be particularly effective.
How to Use CBD Cream
Before you apply CBD cream, you should wash the area with soap and water. Cleaning the area will remove any traces of dirt, sweat, or residue from other products and allow the CBD cream to penetrate the skin more efficiently.
We recommend that you begin by applying CBD cream to a smaller test area. CBD topicals seem to be well tolerated by most people. However, you may have a reaction to some of the other ingredients in the CBD cream you buy.
Easing Sore Joints and Muscles
An increasing body of research has concluded that CBD may help calm inflammation and muscle spasms. You can apply CBD lotion just like you would any other topical for aches and pains.
After performing your allergy test, apply CBD cream liberally to the affected area using a circular motion. You don’t need to be concerned about using too much as you would for ingested CBD products, such as edibles and oils. Topical applications of CBD work locally and won’t cause effects like drowsiness, which may occur when you eat too many gummies or take a higher dose of CBD tincture. If the CBD lotion you choose has a sufficient quantity of CBD, you should feel a noticeable difference within minutes of application. You can reapply CBD cream as needed, usually around three to six times daily.
Relaxing and Releasing Tension
Try massaging a dime-sized portion of CBD cream into the temples to unwind after a long day or soothe a tension headache. For a truly luxurious experience, follow up with a light neck massage using a generous portion of CBD cream.
CBD for Minor Cuts, Scrapes, and Rashes
Minor cuts, scrapes, and rashes respond to a thicker layer of CBD cream that covers the surface of the affected area. It’s better to apply the CBD cream lightly rather than massaging it into the skin to avoid added irritation. Although it’s not essential, you may want to cover the area with a bandage to keep it clean.
Adding CBD to Your Skincare Routine
You can use CBD lotion as a daily moisturizer and night cream. CBD helps to hydrate the skin, combat free radicals, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It’s especially crucial that you apply the product to a small test area before using it on the facial region. After you’ve tested for allergies and cleaned the area thoroughly, you can massage CBD cream into your skin. You may want to apply a little extra cream to exceptionally dry skin or other problem areas.
If you’re struggling with a persistent condition, please consult a licensed medical professional for advice. Scientists need to conduct more research with cannabinoids, and CBD is not a cure for any serious disease or condition.
Legal and Other Concerns about CBD Creams
Consumers who are new to CBD topicals and other products always ask two questions: “Is CBD legal?” and “Will CBD make me feel high?” We’ll break it down for those of you who have only recently discovered CBD.
Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, the United States Congress passed a bill that federally legalized industrial hemp and hemp-derived products. The law, known as the Farm Bill of 2018, limited legal industrial hemp and hemp products to levels of less than .3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the compound that produces the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Most CBD products are derived from industrial hemp since traditional “marijuana” plants contain low CBD levels. However, you’ll want to make sure that the CBD products you choose come from legal industrial hemp to avoid any misunderstandings with law enforcement.
Will CBD Topicals Make Me Feel High?
By federal law, hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than .3% delta-9 THC, which is much lower than the amount of THC needed to feel any psychoactive effects. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. You don’t need to be concerned about any unwanted effects like paranoia when you use hemp-derived CBD products. Moreover, cannabis-derived topicals don’t typically produce intoxicating feelings even when they do contain THC.
If you’re particularly concerned about THC content, you may want to select a product made from broad-spectrum CBD, which has no detectable levels of THC. Products made from CBD isolate are also THC-free. However, most experts consider CBD isolates less effective.
What to Look for in a High-Quality CBD Cream
The quality of CBD products can vary considerably. A reputable CBD cream manufacturer should be able to answer a few key questions about their products, such as:
- How much CBD is in the product? Some brands only include the slightest amount of CBD in their topicals. Look for a cream that contains at least 8 milligrams of CBD per milliliter of cream. Prince & Flower Universal Topical CBD Cream contains a full 10 milligrams of CBD per milliliter.
- Was the cream made with full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate? Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are considered more effective because they contain other components of the hemp plant, which work together to produce the entourage effect. Products containing isolated CBD are generally considered less effective. Our CBD cream contains broad-spectrum CBD and is entirely THC-free.
- What ingredients are in the cream base, and how were they sourced? Consumers will want to check the ingredients to make sure that they aren’t allergic to them. You can find out more about our organic, ethically-sourced base ingredients on our FAQ page.
- Was the product tested by a third-party laboratory? Consumers should avoid purchasing CBD products from companies that won’t provide a recent Certificate of Analysis (COA). A COA will tell you the levels of CBD and THC in the product and ensure that it’s free of any harmful contaminants. You can examine Prince & Flower’s most recent lab results on our website.
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