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  • by Nicola Boulton August 17, 2022 6 min read

    CBD Topicals: What You Should Know

    There are three types of CBD topicals; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The hemp plant extracts are blended with organic ingredients to improve their effectiveness and avoid contamination. CBD Cream are also assessed for potency and purity levels, ensuring they are safe for usage.

    Most topical products are majorly designed for skin diseases. However, CBD Balms and Gels address various skin conditions and smoothness and maintain your general wellness. There are various CBD Balms and Gels, including creams, lotions, and balms. They are infused with various hemp plant extracts, including flavonoids, cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and flavonoids. The variation of elements in CBD Balms and Gels is used to determine the types of CBD; isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum. Most people prefer CBD Balms and Gels because they are manufactured using organic ingredients, avoiding contamination. Besides, they are also assessed for potency and purity levels, ensuring they are safe for usage. Some of the facts you should know about CBD Cream are;

    CBD Topicals: What You Should Know


    Like edibles, CBD topicals are also offered in pure, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum (whole plant) forms. The following insight on the types of CBD will help to determine  which ones are best for you;


    Full-spectrum CBD topicals entail all the elements of the hemp plant, also called the whole plant. They entail the plant's chemical compounds, such as terpenes, THC, CBD, and flavonoids. Full-spectrum topicals are common since they require fewer extraction efforts. They are also popular due to their various health benefits. Since full spectrum CBD topical has the most elements, they are suitable for entourage effect; the ability of a product to provide more health benefits than the intended because it has various elements working together. According to Boehnke et al. (2022), full-spectrum CBD can help to reduce anxiety if taken in considerable concentration.

    Full-spectrum CBD potency levels matter more than any other type of CBD. This is because THC is one of the major dominant elements after CBD. Fattore et al. (2011) argued that THC has intoxicating side effects, resulting in anxiety, poor judgment, and dizziness. Due to the intoxicating side effects of THC, it was restricted to 0.3%, amounts present in cannabis sativa and the hemp plant. However, researchers perceive the role of THC in the hemp plant differently. Gallily et al. (2018) discovered that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to the entourage effect of CBD products. However, the research shows that it can only be useful when taken considerably, avoiding the side effects.

    Broad Spectrum

    The Broad-spectrum is short of one chemical compound from the hemp plant, unlike the full spectrum. It comprises terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD. The absence of THC in a broad spectrum makes it suitable for the entourage effect since it minimizes intoxicating side effects of THC. Due to its entourage effect, broad-spectrum has multiple health benefits. According to de Assis et al. (2021), broad-spectrum CBD has shown promising outcomes in addressing internal and external pain. Notably, the absence of THC has nothing to do with the potency levels. Use considerable levels of broad-spectrum CBD topicals like any other medication since they get to the bloodstream and can result in side effects. Liu Tina (2019) showed that too much CBD could result in dizziness, anxiety, and sometimes diarrhea.


    Isolate CBD topicals are rare though effective. They require deep extraction to isolate other elements from CBD. Isolate CBD is also called pure CBD. Isolate CBD Cream are also suitable for evading THC-related side effects. They are also limited from the entourage effect because they have a single element. Isolate topicals are also limited to CBD-related health benefits such as reducing inflammation. The potency levels are also important to avoid any possible side effects.

    Organic In Nature

    One of the main reasons most people are going for CBD topicals is because they are organic. Most manufacturers avoid using artificial fertilizers and pesticides to contaminate the end products. Since the hemp plant might not be effective alone, they blend other ingredients to improve their effectiveness and quality. The elements used are important since they determine the purity levels. Avoid CBD topicals with artificial ingredients since they will likely contaminate the end products. Most companies use multiple-purpose ingredients such as arnica and coconut oil. Coconut oil or MCT has bioavailability properties and is anti-inflammatory and suitable for improving the absorption rate of topical and preventing inflammatory skin diseases, respectively.

    Assessed For Potency and Purity Levels

    CBD topicals are tested for purity levels before being released in the market using IOS-certified labs. Best CBD topical manufacturers use independent centralized labs within their facilities to confirm the purity levels at every manufacturing stage. CBD Cream are likely to get contaminated during manufacturing or processing. The stages involve chemicals that might infiltrate the end products. Therefore, the role of the lab is to ensure only quality products free from contaminants get to the consumers.

    There are various methods of extracting various hemp plant extracts. However, some are likely to interfere with the purity levels despite being effective. Ethanol is one of the most effective methods suitable for large-scale production. However, it might not be the best since it involves many chemicals that might infiltrate the end products. Rochfort Simone (2020) noted that the most effective extraction method is CO2. It involves fewer chemicals minimizing contamination.

    The potency levels of CBD topicals are equally important. Despite being skin products, they get to the bloodstream delivering a similar impact as edibles. To avoid the above side effects of overdosing, consider low potency levels. If you are a beginner, use low potency levels of up to 50 mg per serving since the body is being introduced to a new substance. You can adjust the potencies gradually as you monitor any possible side effects.


    CBD Balms and Gels are suitable for evading the awful natural taste of the hemp plant. Before using any CBD topical product, determine whether your skin will react to it by applying small amounts on your elbow and giving it 24 hours to see the impact. Besides, if you are using it for skin disease, consult with a dermatologist first. Notably, CBD Balms and Gels might not cause any side effects since they are manufactured with organic ingredients. Besides, they are tested for potency and purity levels, ensuring they are safe for usage. Avoid topical products whose purity levels have not been assessed using an IOS-certified lab.


    Boehnke, K. F., Häuser, W., & Fitzcharles, M. A. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD) In Rheumatic Diseases (Musculoskeletal Pain). Current Rheumatology Reports, 1-9.

    De Assis, P. M., Ferrarini, E. G., Baldasso, G. M., Paes, R. S., Gouvêa, M. C., Segundo, C. E. N., ... & Raposo, N. R. B. (2021). Broad-Spectrum Cannabis Oil Alleviates Behavioral Symptoms Associated With Stress-Related Anxiety And Depression In Mice. Pharmaceutical Sciences, 28(2), 239-250.

    Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: The New Generation Of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs. Frontiers In Behavioral Neuroscience, 5, 60.

    Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2018). The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Terpenoids From Cannabis. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 282-290.

    Liu, T. (2019). What Is CBD Oil? Learn The Facts: Uses, Benefits And Side Effects.

    What are CBD topicals?

    CBD topicals are products infused with cannabidiol (CBD) that are applied directly to the skin. They come in various forms such as creams, lotions, balms, and oils.

    How do CBD topicals work?

    CBD topicals work by interacting with cannabinoid receptors found in the skin. They are absorbed locally and do not enter the bloodstream, providing targeted relief to specific areas of the body.

    What are the potential benefits of using CBD topicals?

    CBD topicals are commonly used for relieving muscle soreness, joint pain, inflammation, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They may also promote relaxation and alleviate discomfort.

    Are CBD topicals safe to use?

    CBD topicals are generally considered safe when used as directed. It is important to choose products from reputable brands and check for third-party lab testing to ensure quality and purity.

    Can CBD topicals get you high?

    No, CBD topicals do not cause a 'high' as they do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. They are designed for localized relief without altering your mental state.

    How should CBD topicals be applied?

    CBD topicals should be applied directly to clean, dry skin over the affected area. Massage the product gently until it is absorbed. Follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.

    How long does it take for CBD topicals to work?

    The effects of CBD topicals can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition. Some people may experience relief within minutes to an hour, while others may require longer-term use for noticeable effects.

    Are there any side effects of using CBD topicals?

    Side effects with CBD topicals are rare but may include skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. It's advisable to perform a patch test before widespread use, especially if you have sensitive skin.

    Can I use CBD topicals alongside other medications?

    While CBD is generally well-tolerated, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before combining CBD topicals with other medications, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

    Are CBD topicals legal?

    In the UK, CBD topicals derived from hemp containing less than 0.2% THC are legal for sale and use. It's essential to check local regulations and ensure products comply with legal standards for CBD content and purity.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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