Man with Cream


Even with all the consumer enthusiasm over cannabidiol (CBD), there are many who still don’t understand exactly how this active ingredient in the cannabis plant provides relief for a number of health conditions and boosts overall wellness. In 2019, the global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) market size was USD $414.7 million and it is expected to reach USD $3197.2 million by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 33.5% during 2021-2026.[1]


Let’s look at exactly what is CBD. Specifically, it’s is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally-occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana, both of which are varieties of the cannabis sativa L. plant. CBD interacts with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help the body maintain stable functionality and operate optimally regardless of any changes in its environment. That’s because the ECS is made up of endocannabinoids or neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between neurons, which are the cells that transmit nerve impulses.  By interacting with the ECS, CBD can affect mood, appetite, pain response, inflammation, immunity, sleep and other conditions.


It’s important to make a distinction between hemp CBD versus marijuana CBD offerings. Hemp-derived CBD coms from industrial hemp plants and marijuana-derived CBD is sourced from marijuana plants. The molecular structure of the plants is the same. However, federal legal issues apply. The federal government classifies hemp-derived CBD as legal if it contains 0.3 percent or less of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives you a high. Marijuana-derived CBD is illegal and classified as a controlled substance regardless of the amount of THC.

At the state-level, the legality of CBD products is a different issue, which can lead to confusion. States where medical marijuana is legal allow for the use of CBD extract in products. States that haven't legalized medical marijuana allow limited use of CBD oil if it contains a low level of THC and a high-level CBD.[2]


The benefits of CBD topical products

Pure CBD oil can be taken directly but it’s also used as an ingredient in tinctures, capsules and a range of topical offerings, including CBD cream, lotion, balm and gel. These popular topical products are infused with CBD to produce skin-friendly products that contain the medicinal properties of CBD.[3]


CBD topicals penetrate the skin to provide targeted relief, without entering the bloodstream. In doing so, they are effective for healing specific problem areas versus having an impact throughout the body.[4] After it is absorbed through the skin, CBD interacts with the body’s own cannabinoid receptors (CB-2 receptors). Once it connects with these receptors,  CBD benefits the body with its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Research also has shown CBD has antibacterial properties, though it is not effective on every type of bacterial.  test tube experiments indicated CBD effectively wasted strains of Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA, VISA and VRSA, which cause staph infections and have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics over the years.[5]


Since topical CBD use is localized, there is no need to dose too much. Assume a little cream goes a long way and start with a small amount on the problem area. After an hour or so, try reapplying. Any of the topicals that have Camphor, Lidocaine or Menthol can be applied up to 3-4 times a day.


Reasons to use CBD topicals

Arthritis: A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. The CBD was applied to the animals for 4 consecutive days. Results indicated a significant drop in joint swelling and signs of pain. The data indicated that topical CBD has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side effects.[6]

Back and neck pain: As noted above, the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of topical CBD can help with back and neck pain. A 2018 study found that CBD reduced nerve-related and inflammatory pain in animals. [7]

Eczema: Eczema sufferers increasingly are turning to Cannabidiol (CBD) as another natural remedy. The National Eczema Association (NEA) says that the benefits of CBD for eczema may be due to cannabinoids having anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-itch qualities. “There are receptors in the skin that interact with cannabinoids that could reduce the symptoms and appearance of atopic dermatitis. These effects happen through a constellation of interactions between phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from cannabis plants) and our endogenous cannabinoid system.”[8]

Rosacea: CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may address the underlying causes of rosacea. In addition, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be able to combat skin surface mites and H. pylori that may bring about flushing. [9]


Wounds and abrasions: With its anti-inflammatory as well as analgesic and antibacterial properties, CBD can not only help relieve pain and speed healing of wounds and abrasions, it can prevent infection from these injuries.[10]


Lab+Blends has several topical CBD products to consider for pain relief and inflammation,  including creams, gels and lotions. Find out more about them.


[1] “Global Cannabidiol Oil (CBD) Market 2020|Growing Rapidly with Modern Trends, Development Status, Investment Opportunities, CAGR of 33.5%, Revenue, Demand and Forecast Says Industry Research Biz,” GlobeNewswire, July 30, 2020.
[2] Nagele-Piazza, Lisa, “The ABCs of THC: What Employers Need to Know about Marijuana Laws,” SHRM, January 30, 2019.
[3] Lland, Rae, “A Guide to CBD topicals, balms, and lotions,” Leafly, November 18, 2019.
[4] IBID
[5] Walter, Jennifer, “CBD Might Work as an Antibiotic to Treat Bacterial Infections,” Discover, June 25, 2019.
[7] Tyndall, Dwight S, MD, FAAOS, “Cannabis and CBD for Back and Neck Pain Q&A,” Spineuniverse, accessed October 11, 2020.
[8] Lio, Peter, M.D., Yardley, Helena, Ph.D. Altus Labs & Fernandez, Jon, SVP CQ Science, “Can marijuana help eczema?”, National Eczema Association.
[9]  Bal, Alyssha, “CBD for Rosacea: Possible Effects of CBD on Rosace,” Hemppedia, July 31, 2019.
[10] McKinney, Jean, “Why CBD Can Help Heal Wounds and Scar,” HelloMD, January 28, 2019.