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In the Know: Your Ultimate Guide to Topical CBD

13/04/2021 14 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
13/04/2021 14 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal

CBD is like the popular kid in school – everyone admires it, and they are eager to learn more about it. There's reams of information out there, some useful and some not. The truth is, when it comes to CBD marketing, there can be a lot of confusing and misleading information to get your head around. You used to be able to count the different CBD products out there on one hand, and now you'd lose count. This certainly doesn't help with the confusion! You could even forgive the CBD experts for getting confused. Never fear; in this article, we are keeping things simple and putting the focus on just one method of CBD consumption – topicals! Consider this article your ultimate guide to CBD topicals, helping you to make that all-important decision – what CBD product should I buy? So, sit back and allow us to further your CBD education.

Content Overview

  1. What is topical CBD?
  2. Different types of CBD
  3. How does topical CBD work?
  4. Can you ever use too much CBD?
  5. Topical CBD care the VAAY way
  6. CBD Skin & Massage Oil
  7. CBD Lavender Bath Bomb
  8. CBD Active Gel
  9. CBD and your skin: the research
  10. CBD and acne
  11. CBD for dry and itchy skin
  12. CBD for ageing skin
  13. CBD and pain: the research
  14. CBD and calm
  15. Other methods of CBD consumption
  16. CBD oil/ CBD tinctures
  17. CBD capsules
  18. CBD edibles
  19. CBD vape
  20. Final word

What is topical CBD?

To answer this question, we first need to answer the much-asked question: what is CBD oil? CBD is a cannabinoid that you can find in cannabis and hemp plants. There are many other cannabinoids in the plant, over 100 in fact, but CBD is one of the most promising and well-researched compounds. 

Have you heard of tetrahydrocannabinol, or does THC sound more familiar? They are actually the same cannabinoid, but THC is the abbreviated term. This is the main psychotropic compound in the plant, as it can alter your state of mind if consumed. This is something that many people will want to avoid, and they can, thanks to the star that is CBD! You make CBD oil by extracting it directly from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant. You then dilute the CBD with an all-natural carrier oil to complement the CBD, such as hemp seed or coconut oil.

So, what is topical CBD? 'Topical' is just a posh term for anything that you apply to your skin, like creams, moisturisers, balms, and so on. One of the most commonly asked questions surrounding CBD topicals is 'how to use topical CBD oil'? It will depend on the CBD topical you have chosen; however, you typically apply the product to a specific area of your skin. The CBD is then absorbed through your skin. Before you make a purchase, it's vital that you consider the type of product that best suits your needs. This is because different balms and lotions will have varying consistencies, as well as different amounts of CBD. This can affect how long the CBD takes to be absorbed into your skin. For example, lotions and creams possess a higher concentration of water; thus, they are absorbed quicker than balms and ointments.

Different types of CBD

There are three variants of CBD, and it's essential to understand the difference:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: this type of CBD will contain all of the naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. It will also contain trace amounts of THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: this is pretty much the same as full-spectrum, but there will be no THC present.
  • CBD isolate: we bet you can already guess what this type of CBD is! It's pure CBD, as there will be no other naturally occurring ingredients like terpenes or other cannabinoids.

How does topical CBD work?

Time for a quick science lesson, as we address how topical CBD actually works. We first need to consider how CBD works in the body, and this is all about your endocannabinoid system (ECS). You see, your body has receptors, and they can interact with chemicals known as endocannabinoids. It's important to note here that (despite their name) you have cannabinoids in your body whether you use CBD or not! Your body is super clever, as it produces these cannabinoids all by itself – we don't give our bodies enough credit for everything they do for us. 

Back to the ECS itself: it's an important biological process as it helps to regulate many vital functions, like sleep, mood, pain, appetite, the immune system, and memory. Sorry, time for another scientific term; this time, it's phytocannabinoids! These are produced in plants, and they may positively interact with the ECS and make its job a little bit easier. 

So, how does all of this apply to topical CBD? When CBD is applied to the skin, it absorbs through it and then may bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the area where you applied the CBD. You can view it as painting by numbers – the process is specific and precise, as everything needs to be in the right place to be the most possibly effective.

Can you ever use too much CBD?

Studies have demonstrated that you would need to consume an incredible amount of CBD for it to be considered toxic. One study published in 2011 reported that you would need to ingest 20,000mg of CBD in an extremely short space of time. To put this into perspective, you're advised to not consume more that 20mg (for CBD newbies out there). In fact, most CBD oil products contain between 400 and 1,500 – and that's in one whole bottle, not a single serving! 

What's more, there's typically a lower concentration of CBD in topicals, and when it absorbs through the skin, some of the CBD is lost anyway. This makes it extremely hard (near impossible) for you to overdose on CBD, and especially on topical CBD. The only negative effect it may have is leaving you a big sticky mess if you spill it! We would advise you to begin on a low dose of CBD if you've never tried it before, or even if you've never specifically tried the application of topical CBD. This way, you can easily monitor how it affects you, and alter your dose as needed. It generally takes about one hour to feel the potential effects of topical CBD, although the effects can last between four and five hours.

Topical CBD care the VAAY way

Here at VAAY, we like you to think of us as the warm hug waiting for you at the end of a long, stressful day. We like to stand out from the crowd, and we think you'll discover that this is evident for yourself from our line of topicals:

CBD Skin & Massage Oil

It's time to indulge yourself with a relaxing massage to calm both your body and mind. Sound good? Of course it does! Our massage oil contains 200mg of natural CBD from full-spectrum hemp extract. As we already know, full-spectrum hemp extract contains all of the naturally occurring goodness from the hemp plant. 

Research has suggested that when all of the compounds work together it can create a synergistic effect. This is known as the entourage effect. So, how do you use this product? Simply massage into your skin using light, circular motions. It's gentle enough for you to use twice per day – so you can get your relaxation on! The ingredients have been carefully selected to promote your state of calm, particularly through our super oil jojoba oil and ginger extract. The latter is used in many skincare products, due to its purported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Jojoba oil is added to many products for similar reasons, but it is also moisturising, and it can help to regulate sebum (the skin's natural oil, which can cause acne). 

You don't have to use our massage oil alone, as it can be a great bonding experience for you and your partner. It could also be a fantastic birthday or Valentine's Day present, as you're showing them that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.

CBD Lavender Bath Bomb

Our CBD bath bomb is packed full of 100mg of natural CBD, and it releases the dreamy scent of lavender as you bathe. So, how do you use it? Run yourself a lovely warm bath and place the unpacked ball into the water. Marvel at the fizz, and then once it has calmed slightly, the nourishing CBD core will be released – simple! 

This is where the topical application really comes in, as you will rub the core all over your body as you appreciate the lavender scent. This will allow the CBD to sink into your skin. Top tip: leave the core on for at least five minutes before you wash it off. There are many benefits to bathing with CBD, and we will get into these later! If you're feeling creative, you can even make your own CBD bath bombs. But, in our humble (and slightly biased) opinion, you just can't beat ours – it's like taking a walk through a field of lavender on a summer's day. What more could you want? It's the ideal de-stressing activity at the end of a stressful workday, or to potentially soothe aching muscles after a brutal workout.

CBD Active Gel

If you're seeking topical CBD with a higher potency or concentration of CBD, then look no further than our active gel. It contains natural hemp extract with 550mg of CBD and terpenes. Tension begone – this is the ideal product to use to help aid in your recovery after a workout. So, how do you use it? Simply apply it to your desired areas a maximum of twice per day. The gel has a cooling sensation (thanks to the menthol) when applied to the skin, and this can help to aid in your muscle relaxation. What's more, the characteristic VAAY scent of the terpenes limonene and essential oils can help your skin to smell fresh and citrus-like.

What is topical CBD?

CBD for skincare is one of the most promising new areas of research, and topical CBD application may lend itself wonderfully to taking care of your body's largest organ - your skin! 

CBD and acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions out there, but that doesn't make it any less stressful if it happens to you. According to The British Skin Foundation, acne usually begins during puberty, although it can carry on into adulthood, and it's not unheard of for children to develop it. Acne is characterised by spots over the neck, face, back, and chest. Scarring can occur if your acne is particularly severe, or if you pick at it repeatedly. 

So, how is acne caused? There are many misconceptions surrounding the causes of acne, one of the main being that it's caused by not washing your face. It's actually caused by the production of too much sebum, as then the lining of your pores can become blocked, not allowing your skin to shed its dead skin cells. This not-so-fun mixture of dead skin and oil then produces whiteheads and blackheads. Inflammation can then cause the condition to become worse, giving the spots a red and angry appearance. There's currently no cure for acne, although there are treatments that doctors can prescribe, such as antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, and topical creams. However, these don't appeal to some people, and they might prefer to seek out more natural solutions.

The good news is that there's a growing body of research into CBD for acne. One study published in 2014 examined the effects of CBD on human sebocytes. The latter are the cells that create sebum, and as we have already discovered, if the cells produce too much, then it can lead to acne. Therefore, CBD may be able to help prevent this from occurring, thus potentially preventing the acne from occurring in the first place. The study concludes that CBD holds the potential to be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris. 

Furthermore, one review published in 2016 highlighted the antifungal and antibacterial properties of cannabis and hemp plants. This could be useful in the managing of acne, as it could help to prevent skin infections. Finally, one study published in 2019 raises the potential of CBD being able to help treat and minimise the appearance of scars caused by acne. Research is still in its early days, but things look promising. Who knows, maybe one day many of us will be using topical CBD as a therapy for acne.

CBD for dry and itchy skin

Your skin could be dry and itchy for many reasons, the most common reasons being environmental, as well as symptoms of underlying conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. So, how does CBD come into this? Well, CBD has been highlighted as a potent anti-inflammatory agent in many studies and research. For example, one study published in 2019 reported that CBD could potentially be effective in helping to relieve some of the symptoms of common skin conditions. What's more, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could help to reduce the triggers of itchy skin conditions. Plus, this is encouraging for people with sensitive skin, as many skincare products won't be suitable. However, it appears that the all-natural CBD may be useful at calming irritation for sensitive skin.

CBD for ageing skin

We all want smooth, wrinkle-free skin, but there's no miracle product that can reverse the ageing process. However, that's not to say there aren't products that can help to improve the look of your skin, and CBD could be one of them! A major contributor to the ageing processes of the skin is something called 'oxidative stress'. This is referring to an imbalance in the body, specifically between free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals contribute to fighting off pathogens that can lead to infections. However, when there is an abunance of free radicals present, they can become imbalanced and start to damage your DNA, proteins, and fatty tissues. So, how does this relate to CBD? Well, one study published in 2017 raises the antioxidant properties contained in CBD. Therefore, CBD may be able to help improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin. What better excuse do you need to slather our massage oil all over your body?

CBD and pain: the research

One of the most commonly-searched-for terms pertaining to CBD is 'CBD oil for pain'. Maybe you've been curious as to what the all-natural CBD might do for your pain? It's no surprise, as much of the research into the cannabinoid has been focused on the potential effects of CBD for pain. Research pertains to animal and human trials, and a variety of CBD methods of application have been examined. One key study was published in 2016, and it examined the effects of topical CBD on rats with arthritis. The scientists applied CBD in a gel form to the rat's joints for a total of four days. They either had 0.6, 3.1, 6.2, or 62.3mg of CBD applied to them. The lower doses didn't improve the swelling or pain; however, 6.2mg of topical CBD was a good dose to relieve the pain and swelling in their joints. The scientists reported that there were no negative side effects, and that the CBD gel was possibly effective at reducing the overall pain and inflammation in the rats. Although further research needs to take place, particularly human studies, this is a promising first step.

There's evidence that CBD could positively interact with your ECS, due to the way that it can help your body to receive the correct signals. This could be useful for people dealing with chronic pain. This type of pain is often persistent despite medical interventions, and it can be extremely distressing to live with. One review published in 2018 reviewed the literature relating to CBD for pain up to March 2018. The studies that were received included examinations of pain as a symptom of cancer, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain. The authors concluded that CBD was potentially effective at managing chronic pain for specific conditions and that it produced no adverse side effects. Overall, the future looks bright for CBD and pain, despite further research being needed to establish proper efficacy and dosing. Topical CBD application seems like an excellent way to go, thanks to the way that it may deliver targeted relief.

CBD and calm

Did you know that your ECS is largely responsible for the feeling of euphoria during exercise? Well, it is! Therefore, it's not at all surprising that researchers have focused their studies and reviews on how CBD may be able to help fight feelings of stress, worry, and depression. CBD can bind to CB1 receptors in the brain and help to positively influence serotonin signals. You see, a lack of serotonin is associated with people suffering from depression or mood disorders. There's an abundance of research into this; however, an example of one study was published in 2011. It examined the use of CBD oil on a group of 24 people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). They either received one 600mg dose of CBD or a placebo. They were administered this dose half an hour before they performed a public speaking exam. The results were encouraging as the CBD group experienced reduced anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment during their public speaking test. On the other hand, the placebo group exhibited from higher levels of anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment during their test.

It's vital to note that the majority of this research does not include CBD that's applied topically. However, the purported mood affecting benefits of adding CBD to your self-care or skincare routines should not be underestimated. Topical CBD is perfect for incorporating into your self-care routines, and this can aid in relaxation and promote a feeling of calm. After all, what's better than a soothing massage or a relaxing bath?

Other methods of CBD consumption

How can you make an educated decision about CBD topicals if you don't know what else is out there? You can't! With this in mind, we will now briefly cover the other popular methods of CBD consumption.

CBD oil/ CBD tinctures

This is the most widespread method of CBD consumption, mainly because people like to begin their CBD journey with what they know and are already familiar with. CBD oil and CBD tinctures are not to be confused, although they are similar. CBD oil is made with a natural carrier oil and has a higher concentration of CBD. On the other hand, CBD tinctures have an alcohol base and less CBD content. The idea is that the alcohol will act as a preservative and keep the product fresh for longer. CBD oil and tinctures are easy to dose, and they take effect fairly quickly, generally between fifteen minutes or up to one hour. The ideal way to consume CBD oil is sublingually (holding the oil under your tongue for up to a minute) as, this way, it is absorbed through the lining of your mouth, rather than through your digestive system.

CBD capsules

CBD capsules are ideal for on-the-go CBD consumption. All you have to do is take the number of capsules that best suit your needs, and you're good to go! They are a great tasteless option for those of you who value simplicity over fun. Plus, they are one of the easiest forms of CBD to dose. It's generally advised that you should consume CBD capsules on an empty stomach, as this way they will take effect faster. The CBD needs to first travel through your digestive system and liver before it can reach your bloodstream. Therefore, consuming them on a full stomach means that it can sometimes take up to two hours for the CBD to potentially take effect. It will also depend on your dose, height, weight, and other factors.

CBD edibles

Want to have some fun? Then opt for CBD edibles! We all need nourishment to ensure that our body keeps ticking over, so why not indulge in some CBD-infused treats? There's so many out there – think brownies, chocolate, cocktails, mocktails, and more. If you're trying to be more health-conscious (kudos to you), then you could opt for CBD-infused dry fruit, smoothies, or protein bars. Much like CBD capsules, CBD edibles can also take a fair amount of time to take effect. What's more, CBD edibles can be tricky to dose; therefore, CBD newbies could begin with a more straightforward method.

CBD vape

If you're seeking the fastest-acting form of CBD – then you've found what you're looking for! It's possible for you to feel the effects from vaping CBD in a matter of minutes. You can purchase ready to use vape pens that will include CBD as the main ingredient, as well as flavourings (artificial or natural, it's up to you). The drawbacks to vaping CBD are that it's not something that can be done everywhere, and the act of vaping itself isn't considered healthy by some.

Final word

And that ends our complete guide to topical CBD application! Topical CBD is a growing area of CBD popularity, and it's very easy to see why. It lends itself to self-care, relaxation, and reminding you that it's healthy for your body and mind to take time out of your day for you. Plus, it can leave you smelling incredible, and who wouldn't want that? Topical CBD has the widest variety of options for you to choose from (shampoos, bath bombs, moisturisers, etc.), so if you decide this form of CBD consumption is for you, we can say with confidence that you'll never get bored! So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the sweet-smelling (and potentially calming) benefits that topical CBD can bring to your life.

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