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  • by Nicola Boulton August 17, 2022 5 min read


    What is CBD? How best can CBD be used? What are topical CBD creams? What are Ingestible CBD products? Which of the two CBD consumption modes is the best? What are some of the side effects of using CBD products? This article explains topical CBD creams and ingestible CBD.

    Cannabidiol can also be called CBD, extracted from the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains other compounds like THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. In the United States of America, CBD is legally accepted as the Farm Bill was signed in 2018, allowing the use of CBD across the nation. Hemp-produced CBD is legal, while marijuana-extracted CBD is illegal. All the CBD products to be legal under the Federal Drug Association should contain no more than 0.3% THC levels; since CBD is used as a recreational drug and product in the United States, some individuals claim that it has some health-related aspects. CBD is seen to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation, among other aspects, but all this is yet to be scientifically proven. Also, CBD can be accessed in different forms as it is infused in various products. It can be orally consumed, smoked, and applied topically on an individual’s skin.


    How Does CBD Work?

    CBD works together with an individual’s body to help maintain homeostasis in the body. With the CBD contained in the hemp, CBD supports the body's ECS and the endocannabinoid levels by keeping the body properly functioning and maintaining homeostasis. Also, CBD helps control the enzymes from breaking down the endocannabinoids in the body, thus allowing energy retention and effective body functioning.

    What Is Topical CBD Cream

    Topical CBD products are those applied on the surface; these products have been infused with CBD and can be applied on an individual’s skin releasing active components that the skin can absorb. When CBD is applied to the skin, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the skin. Some CBD topical products are salves, creams, balms, transdermal patches, and moisturizers. Also, CBD can be infused in lip balms, hair products, and other cosmetics. When directly applied to the skin, CBD topical is directly absorbed and provides relief to the localized area affected. Baral et al. (2020) explained that when manufactured from CBD oil, CBD topical contains vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins that help nourish the skin when applied to the skin providing therapeutic advantages.

    Types of Topical CBD

    There are several forms of topical CBD that individuals can access, and they include; CBD creams, balms, and lotions.

    Topical CBD creams

    These are CBD-infused creams that an individual can comfortably apply on the skin topically. The creams come in different concentrations, so consumers can access products with different potency levels. CBD creams contain less water and oil than lotions and are classified as emulsions.

    Topical CBD balms

    This is a topically applied CBD-infused product with a strong emollient effect when used by an individual with dry skin.  When applied, it provides a protective film on an individual’s skin before being absorbed by the skin.

    Topical CBD lotions

    This topically applied product contains more water and oil than any other topical CBD product. With a high-water content, CBD lotions are used mainly in moisturizing and nourishing the skin allowing easy absorption of CBD into the body.

    What is oral CBD

    Corroon et al. (2019) explained that oral CBD is the consumption of CBD through the mouth. There are two methods by that individuals can consume CBD; ingestion and sublingually.

    Ingesting CBD

    It is the direct swallowing of CBD either through some soft gel, pills, or gummies. When ingested, the compounds are first digested before being broken down in the liver for metabolism. The broken compounds are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Ingesting is a slow way of incorporating CBD into the body as a lot of time is taken in digestion and absorption.

    Sublingual consumption

    It is referred to as the tongue method, as individuals use drops from CBD tinctures and place them under the tongue for about 30 seconds before being swallowed. Under the tongue, CBD is absorbed by the capillaries and directly enters the bloodstream. This method has the highest bioavailability compared to the other form of CBD application.

    Types Of Oral CBD

    Capsules And Soft Gels

    It is the most convenient way of CBD ingestion. An individual can take the capsules with a glass of water in the morning or at night. Learn more about what are cbd topicals and how do they work?

    Oil Tinctures

    They are the easiest that quickest way to consume CBD for an individual. Place some drops under the tongue, hold for half a minute, and then swallow. Learn more about whats the best cbd topical?


    They are convenient and a tasty way of consuming CBD. Each gummy has the same amount of CBD infused, and most are flavored to drive away from the earthy smell of cannabis.

    CBD Topical And Oral CBD; Which Is Better?

    An individual might find it hard to decide which is the best way of consuming CBD. Both methods are better, but it will depend on an individual need. Baswan et al. (2020) state that when using CBD topically, cannabidiol compounds attached to the skins interact with cannabinoid receptors in the targeted area of pain and discomfort. Cannabinoid from topical CBD is not absorbed into the bloodstream, but the effects of topical CBD s concentrated as it is not spread all over the body.

    O’Dell et al. (2022) explained that oral CBD application needs cannabinoid compounds in the bloodstream and the ECS. They then bind the CBD receptors in the body with other systems. Individuals are advised to take CBD sublingually because it is the fastest way for CBD consumption with a high bioavailability level allowing more CBD into the bloodstream as it avoids the first-pass metabolism.

    Side Effects

    Good et al. (2019) stated that some of the side effects that an individual can experience when using CBD both orally and topically are:

    • Drowsiness
    • Fatigue
    • Dry lips
    • Dry mouth
    • Diarrhea
    • Change in sleep pattern
    • Insomnia


    There is limited research on CBD, and most of the therapeutic properties are anecdotal even after users claim positive results like pain alleviation and reduction of inflammation. Individuals can use both methods in consuming CBD but should be cautious. An individual should seek doctors' approval to use CBD products to prevent overdosing cases, among other side effects. Individuals should go for products with CO, have third-party lab results, and know the sources of hemp, among other aspects.


    Baral, P., Bagul, V., & Gajbhiye, S. (2020). Hemp seed oil for skin care (non-drug Cannabis sativa L.): A review. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research9(8), 2534-2556.

    Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology13, 927.

    Corroon, J., Sexton, M., & Bradley, R. (2019). Indications and administration practices amongst medical cannabis healthcare providers: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Family Practice20(1), 1-12.

    Good, P., Haywood, A., Gogna, G., Martin, J., Yates, P., Greer, R., & Hardy, J. (2019). Oral medicinal cannabinoids to relieve symptom burden in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD). BMC palliative care18(1), 1-7.

    O’Dell, C. P., Tuell, D. S., Shah, D. S., & Stone, W. L. (2022). The systems medicine of cannabinoids in pediatrics: the case for more pediatric studies. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark27(1), 14.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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