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  • by Nicola Boulton December 13, 2023 4 min read

    A Buyers Guide to CBD Topicals: Creams, Balms, Roll-Ons and Cooling Gels

    There is a wide variety of CBD topicals manufactured nowadays. This article focuses on a buyer's guide to CBD topicals and the benefits of CBD topicals.

    The cannabis industry develops new products regularly to meet the diverse needs of consumers. The development has made cannabis derivatives like CBD available in many formulas, forms, and concentrates. However, they are produced uniquely to solve various health conditions. For example, cannabis-infused creams contain essential oils, vitamins, and herbal extracts for healthy skin. There are different formulations of CBD topicals, namely balms, roll-ons, creams, and cooling gels.

    What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

    CBD is one of the most active compounds of the cannabis or hemp plant, alongside THC. Cannabidiol is essential in offering health benefits without causing a high. THC possesses psychoactive properties. Stuyt (2018) observed that a 0.2% THC could not cause a high unless consumed in high doses. The three main types of CBD are broad spectrum, full spectrum, and isolates. Full-spectrum products contain Cannabidiol and other compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and THC. It offers therapeutic benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids without THC.

    In contrast, the isolates contain Cannabidiol as the active derivative of cannabis since it does not include terpenes, THC, and flavonoids. Studies show that when CBD and THC are combined, they produce an entourage effect. Besides being used to produce topicals, CBD products come in gummies, tinctures, oils, and capsules. The topical products are applied to the skin for localized skin conditions.

    CBD Roll-Ons

    Roll-ons are Cannabidiol-infused topicals that utilize a simple gel formulation to spread CBD over an intended area. Roll-ons are portable, convenient, and easy to use. Most cannabis-infused roll-ons contain 1000-3000mg of Cannabidiol for every roll-on stick. CBD roll-ons contain pain-relieving ingredients like menthol, which is rich in cooling and analgesic properties. It has a fine texture, unlike many other roll-ons that feel greasy on the skin. 

    CBD Balm

    CBD balms have a thick texture that is waxy and looks almost solid. They are different from CBD salves that give a softer feeling. The balm is firmer than salves. Balms and salves use wax and fatty oils as the base components, while lotions and creams utilize water. Cannabis-infused balms have a high concentration making them ideal for providing pain relief; manufacturers design them to offer fast relief for localized conditions like pain.

    CBD Topical Creams

    The main purpose of using CBD topical creams is to rejuvenate, revitalize and restore the skin. They are ideal on vulnerable skins and use botanical formulations that spread smoothly over wide areas. The creams are effective moisturizers for dry skin. Some CBD topical creams are scented to cater to customers' desires.

    Cooling Gels

    Manufacturers use arnica, menthol, and certain nourishing ingredients from hemp to formulate CBD cooling gels. Experts recommend that CBD users use cooling gels daily or at night, depending on their preference. The cooling gels revitalize the body. The cooling gels should not come into contact with your eyes; apply them cautiously in sensitive areas to avoid irritation.

    Where You Can Buy CBD Topicals

    Users have different reasons for consuming cannabis-infused topicals. Many users take the products for skin conditions like acne, eczema, and dry skin. You should choose a good quality product to get the best experience from the cannabis derivative. Before you buy any product:

    • Identify an outlet, a company, or a retail shop you can trust.
    • Consider a reputable brand; such brands have a certificate of Analysis that discloses what their products are made of.
    • Ask for the product's third-party lab results to ascertain the cannabis profile in them.

    Benefits of CBD Topicals

    Moisturizes the Skin

    CBD topicals are not only designed to be used by people with specific skin conditions. If you do not have any issues with your skin, you can still use the topicals to benefit from their moisturizing properties. Topical ingredients like coconut oil offer moisturizing benefits. CBD hemp oil contains fatty acids that make your skin supple.

    Relieving Migraine Pain

    According to Gibson et al. (2021), CBD topicals can suppress migraine and ease headaches synonymous with the condition.

    Potentially Reduces Anxiety and Depression

    Tauben& Stacey (2020) opined that Cannabidiol topicals could treat anxiety and depression among adults. While the products could be helpful for children, limited research exists on their impact on children.

    Offers the Skin Anti-Ageing Properties

    The most common features of aging signs are fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. According to Cream (2020), CBD topicals reduce these features by eliminating scars and removing scars and other visible signs.

    Relieving Pain and Inflammation

    CBD's anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties make them ideal for localized skin conditions.


    We all have different priorities when it comes to our skins. CBD topical provides a wide range of products that are helpful for our needs. Most of these products aim to revitalize, rejuvenate, nourish and moisturize the skin. They are also helpful in relieving pain due to their pain-relieving properties. Even with the many advantages associated with CBD topicals, some products may negatively affect the users. For example, when cooling gels may irritate the eyes, it is important to use them carefully. Always read product instructions carefully before using them to avoid side effects. Low-quality topical products may also cause unwanted risks like allergies, rashes, and irritations. The products may also have negative effects on broken skin.


    Cream, L. S. (2020). Where Nature & Science Meet Skincare, Haircare, Beauty & Wellness Clean and Green Beauty Clean & Green Beauty. Ageing, 22.

    Gibson, L. P., Hitchcock, L. N., Bryan, A. D., & Bidwell, L. C. (2021). Experience of migraine, its severity, and perceived efficacy of treatments among cannabis users. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 56, 102619.

    Stuyt, E. (2018). The problem with the current high potency THC marijuana from the perspective of an addiction psychiatrist. Missouri medicine, 115(6), 482.

    Tauben, D., & Stacey, B. R. (2020). Pharmacologic management of chronic non-cancer pain in adults. UpToDate. Waltham (MA): UpToDate.




    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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