What is CBD?
The wonderful cannabis plant is such a diverse gift of nature, nearly all of it can be used. The flowers, the leaves, the stalks and hemp seeds.
The leaves and flowers of the hemp plant give us CBD oil. The efficient and very precise CO2 extraction method is particularly popular with manufacturers in producing the highest quality CBD.
Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. This does offer nutritional benefits but it does not contain cannabinoids, so it doesn't offer the same health benefits as CBD.
In addition to this, as many companies actively produce packaging intended to make the consumer believe it is a CBD product. It can be tricky at first glance to tell the difference.
Because CBD is still a completely new topic for many, CBD is often confused or associated with the better-known cannabis active ingredient THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
This often leads to misunderstandings, because CBD doesn't have the same effects as THC, and is not illegal like THC. The latter is known for its intoxicating effect and for the "high" associated with cannabis generally.
This is not the case with CBD. Cannabidiol is said to have relaxing, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects. But does not affect motor or cognitive functions.
People are turning to CBD as an alternative treatment to conventional medicines, given it's lack of side effects which strong medication can often cause. But people are also using CBD alongside their medication.
CBD is considered safe by the WHO, but it does interact with certain drugs. For example, if you are warned against consuming grapefruit while taking certain medications - then definitely don't take CBD with it. Always consult a doctor if unsure.
Effect of the CBD cream
The CBD interacts with our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This creates a connection with the nervous system.
The ECS can participate in many different body processes and also regulate and control them. For example, it is possible that CBD has an influence on cell renewal and regulation of the moisture balance, or that the antioxidant properties of the substance can be used to strengthen the immune system.
Therefore, CBD creams can be anti-inflammatory and relaxing, but also potentially relieve pain. Nevertheless, there are important differences in the way CBD creams work, which should be carefully considered.
Topical and transdermal creams
A distinction is made between topical and transdermal creams. Transdermal relates to the application of medicines or drugs through the skin. In this way, the CBD soaks through the skin and into the body. Topical creams will not reach the body, it will only affect the skin.
The outermost layer of skin (epidermis) normally protects the other layers of skin (dermis and hypodermis) from pathogens, UV rays or even toxins.
With a transdermal cream, however, entry is enabled, which means that the active ingredients can also reach the lower layers of the skin.
Creams have to be produced in a certain way to be able to be absorbed to different skin levels.
Once CBD has been absorbed through the skin, the cannabinoid can have its effects all over the body and thus also help with depression, anxiety or sleep disorders. With these conditions, a CBD salt bath could also be useful.
Topical creams, on the other hand, are to be used if you want to treat a specific area on the skin. For example, an inflammation, an irritation, or a rash.
Topical creams are primarily used to protect, repair, care for or reduce pain on the skin (e.g. due to inflammation or itching).
They are also ideal for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis (psoriasis) and eczema. As you can see, a topical cream is more likely to be used to treat the surface.
A topical CBD cream would never reach the lower layers of the skin and the active ingredients would not be absorbed into the body.
Nevertheless, CBD’s active ingredient interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Because the receptors of that system are also in the skin. This way the skin can be moisturized and pain caused by burns or stings can be reduced.
What side effects can occur?
Despite the many positive properties of CBD, side effects can also occur when ingested. However, these are usually only very small and rather weak compared to other substances. It’s worth remembering that CBD is considered safe by the World Health Organisation.
The most common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
However, if these side effects were to occur, it would only be if the CBD gets into the body and into the bloodstream, which, as explained above, is not the case with topical creams.
It’s worth noting that you should avoid applying CBD creams, ointments or pastes to an open cut or open wound, as this could lead to infection or other unintended reactions. When using for the first time, it always makes sense to consult a doctor or pharmacist beforehand.
CBD cream experience
Most customers find the large selection of CBD creams particularly beneficial. So you can search for a product specifically for your problem. The different compositions of the creams also offer a wide variety of options.
At the end of the day, it is down to each person’s own experience with CBD creams.
There have been online testimonials from people who have used CBD creams to good effect for psoriasis. The itching was alleviated and the skin felt much better overall.
Other people have reported positive experiences with acne or herpes. Here the swellings are said to have decreased significantly faster and the pain has subsided.
Before using CBD creams, or any CBD products, its also worth obtaining further information and in this regard, people’s online testimonials (often in forums or communities) are useful. It is also essential that you look at the product’s test results.
CBD cream and CBD ointment - how do the products differ?
The distinction between cream and ointment is very important. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it’s worth knowing the differing properties of creams and ointments.
So... what's the difference between creams and ointments?
The basis of a cream consists of oil and water. Water-based creams are called oil-in-water creams or O / W creams, while fat-based creams are called water-in-oil or W / O creams. While the O / W cream is characterized by its cooling effect, this is not the case with the W / O cream.
In comparison, the ointments according to the pharmaceutical definition contain no or very little water. However, depending on the composition, you can absorb water. Ointments therefore provide the skin with fat and protect it in the process.
What's the best CBD cream?
Choosing the best CBD product can be tricky waters to navigate. So to help you decide what's right for you, we've compiled a list of what to look for:
4 tips when buying a CBD cream
1. Buy from reputable manufacturers
There are quite a few providers in the CBD market, and the number is continually growing. That is why it is particularly important to only buy from reputable manufacturers that offer high quality.
Always choose a company that freely offers it's third party lab results. Sometimes referred to as a certificate of analysis (COA). Make sure it does not include pesticides, heavy metals, and molds.
2. Check the ingredients
Always check the ingredients carefully. It is important to ensure the product actually has CBD in it. This can be confusing as some companies will list CBD as hemp extract, as a result of frequently changing regulations. Avoid products that list hemp seeds, hempseed oil, or Cannabis sativa seed oil. These do not contain CBD. It is worth noting that these may be listed in addition to CBD, they may be listed as a main ingredient due to its much needed function as a carrier oil. Coconut oil and grapeseed oil are also common carrier oils used.
Take note of additional ingredients, tailor your choice to what you want to use the cream for. For example, if you are using cream for pain, creams that include arnica, camphor, or menthol could be good choices for you. If you want to use the cream against dry skin, for example, then the cream should definitely be able to moisturise. A cooling effect can be helpful for pain or burns. A topical cream could be helpful for acne or eczema.
In the UK there should be no detectable THC, although many countries allow a THC content below 0.2%.
It is also important that you can rule out possible allergic reactions based on your own past experience of using creams.
3. Know your CBD!
Be aware of the three different types of CBD so you can choose what's right for you. Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
4. Do your research
Talk to people who have used the product before, look at customer reviews or utilise CBD forums. CBD success stories is a good example. Two things to remember here though, a) be wary that companies can and do use fake reviews for their products, and b) your experience of CBD may well be different to someone elses, what works well for some, may not work well for others.