Do you suffer from skin conditions like acne or eczema?
Do you or someone close to you suffer from back pain, arthritis, or regular muscle soreness?
If so, you might have heard that CBD creams can help.
And they can.
Read on for a detailed look at the unique benefits of CBD creams.
What is CBD?
You probably already know a little about CBD (or cannabidiol), a unique compound found in cannabis and hemp plants.
While studies into cannabis and its compounds date back to the 1960s, it wasn’t until a few years ago that cannabis started making headlines for its medicinal properties.
The medical potential behind compounds like CBD comes from their ability to stimulate the endocannabinoid system (or ECS).
The ECS is basically made up of 2 cannabinoid receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) and endocannabinoids like anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (or 2-AG).
When our bodies produce endocannabinoids, they latch onto their respective receptors, which are found all throughout the brain and body.
This stimulation of the endocannabinoid system can have all kinds of effects.
For example, research shows that the endocannabinoid system is involved in inflammatory processes, managing metabolism and appetite, regulating mood and emotion, controlling body temperature, and much more.
The fact that the ECS is involved in so many different bodily processes is exactly what gives cannabinoids like CBD so many potential therapeutic uses.
Below is a quick overview of some of the main health benefits of CBD:
CBD Has Powerful Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Properties
The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in managing inflammation.
And that’s really big news, seeing as chronic inflammation can damage healthy body tissue and has even been linked to serious illnesses like diabetes and cancer.
Chronic inflammatory conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, for example, are caused by the body’s inability to properly turn it’s inflammatory responses on and off.
Remember, acute inflammation is a natural response that your body uses to eliminate pathogens and fight infections.
Chronic inflammation, however, does a lot more harm than good.
Luckily, stimulating the ECS can help regulate inflammatory processes in your body.
We still don’t completely understand how the endocannabinoid system and CBD affect inflammation.
However, research shows that CBD might work similarly to regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, which affect COX enzymes and their ability to produce inflammatory prostaglandins.
By helping reduce inflammation, CBD can also help reduce the pain caused by inflammatory conditions like arthritis, for example.
Cannabinoids like CBD can also help reduce both nociceptive and neuropathic pain, which also makes them attractive alternatives to prescription pain medications, especially for people dealing with chronic symptoms.
There’s a really solid body of research exploring the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD and other cannabinoids.
For more info, make sure to check out some of the following studies:
- The Endocannabinoid System in Pain and Inflammation: Its Relevance to Rheumatic Disease (European Journal of Rheumatology 2017)
- The Endocannabinoid System and Pain (HHS Public Access 2009)
CBD Can Help Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Another main benefit of CBD is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
This has to do with the fact that the endocannabinoid system is involved in mediating our emotions.
There are a number of ways CBD can help us deal with stress and anxiety.
First of all, CBD can temporarily increase serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn can help stabilize our mood, stress response, and more.
How does CBD do this?
Well, it seems to do so in similar ways to prescription antidepressants like Prozac, which temporarily reduce the activity of certain serotonin receptors in the brain.
By doing so, the targetted receptors absorb less serotonin, allowing serotonin levels in the brain to rise temporarily.
Another way CBD can help reduce stress and anxiety is by increasing anandamide levels.
Anandamide, sometimes called “the bliss molecule,” is an endocannabinoid very similar to THC, the chemical found in marijuana that makes us feel “high.”
When our brains experience a boost of anandamide, we experience a similar yet much milder euphoria characterized by a heightened mood, reduced stress, reduced sensitivity to pain, and more.
In fact, anandamide is believed to cause that iconic “runner’s high” we sometimes experience after exercising.
There’s been a lot of solid research into CBD and its effects on stress/anxiety.
For more info, make sure to check out some of the following studies:
- The Endocannabinoid System in Anxiety, Fear Memory and Habituation (Journal of Psychopharmacology 2012)
- The Endocannabinoid System in Guarding Against Fear, Anxiety and Stress (HHS Public Access 2018)
CBD Can Help Promote Skin Health
Another exciting health benefit of CBD and cannabinoids is their ability to promote skin health.
Research shows that the endocannabinoid system exists inside the skin where it plays a key role in controlling the growth of new cells, mediates immune function and regulates inflammation.
This is exciting for people who, like me, suffer from skin conditions, many of which are caused by inflammation.
Let’s take acne and eczema, for example.
Both of these conditions are caused by inflammation.
Acne, for example, is caused by the inflammation and infection of the oil glands and hair follicles of the skin, while eczema is caused by a more generalized inflammation of the skin which can be caused by an irritant, stress, and other factors.
And just like CBD can help regulate inflammation in the joints, gut, and other parts of the body, it can also help calm inflammation on the skin.
That’s because there are cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the skin.
When these receptors are activated or inhibited by compounds like CBD, they help regulate inflammatory processes and can help fight inflammation caused by acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
In fact, the endocannabinoid system of the skin is believed to do much more than just regulate inflammation.
It’s believed to play a big role in maintaining skin homeostasis.
To learn more about the endocannabinoid system of the skin and how it works, make sure to check out these resources:
- The Endocannabinoid System of The Skin in Health and Disease: Novel Perspectives and Therapeutic Opportunities (HHS Public Access 2009)
- Skin Deep: The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Cutaneous Homeostasis (New York Institute of Aromatic Studies)
Note: This list of CBD benefits is by no means complete. However, for the purpose of this article I’ve chosen to focus primarily on these 3 CBD health benefits.
3 Amazing Benefits of CBD Creams
Now that we’ve talked about CBD and its benefits in general, let’s look at the specific benefits of CBD creams and topicals.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the variety of CBD and hemp products available today.
And while I use a wide variety of CBD hemp products myself (including oils and capsules), I’m particularly fond of CBD creams and ointments.
1. CBD Creams are Great for Treating Localized Pain and Inflammation
A few years ago, my father started complaining about constant pain and swelling in his knee.
As a laborer, he was always on his feet at work, and he also played a lot of sport all throughout his life.
Following a checkup with his doctor, the cause of Dad’s knee pain was clear:
Dad was first prescribed some NSAIDs for his pain, and his doctor also gave him some tips about reducing his symptoms naturally using supplements like glucosamine, fish oil, and chondroitin.
All of these things worked, for a little while.
But, as I’m sure you know, there is no cure for arthritis, and Dad’s condition eventually got worse, to the point where his standard medication no longer did the job.
We knew that his doctors would likely prescribe him stronger pain medications, but I wanted to avoid going down this route.
Instead, I turned Dad on to CBD.
Today, he uses CBD creams and ointments to spot treat his sore knee and get fast-acting, long-lasting relief from the constant swelling and pain.
In fact, CBD has almost completely replaced the other medications the doctor prescribed my Dad upon his diagnosis.
My husband also uses CBD creams and ointments all the time to treat his sore muscles after the gym, and I also use them to treat a sore back or neck from a long day at work.
2. CBD Creams are Very Easy to Use
This is one of the main reasons I love CBD creams.
Like I mentioned earlier, I also regularly use CBD oils, capsules, and gummies to deal with poor sleep, anxiety, and stress.
And while I love all of these products for different reasons, they can take some getting used to (mainly when it comes to dosing).
Like with any medicine or supplement, you want to get your dose right when you ingest CBD.
When you use it as a topical, however, there’s no need to be so fussy about your dosing.
That’s because topically applied CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream.
Hence, you can apply CBD topicals freely whenever you need.
My dad, for example, applies his creams numerous times during the day or whenever he feels his symptoms coming on without any negative side effects.
3. CBD Creams Can Help Treat Acne, Eczema, and Other Skin Conditions
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you or someone close to you is considering using CBD to treat some kind of skin condition.
Well, let me tell you: it works.
My skin is very far from perfect.
Ever since I hit puberty, I regularly battle against acne flare-ups, and my skin is also very sensitive, meaning I often get rashes and dermatitis from harsh sanitizers or soaps.
My acne, on the other hand, tends to flare-up when I’m stressed or anxious, which happens very often thanks to my job.
I work in a big, fast-paced company and carry a lot of responsibility.
And while I love what I do, my work often leaves me feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, which in turn also causes my skin to flare up with acne.
Luckily, CBD helps me deal with these symptoms really quickly.
Just a small amount of CBD cream can help me spot-treat zits and other skin imperfections.
Sometimes, my pimples go away after just one overnight application of a CBD cream.
As I said, I’ve dealt with these skin conditions all my life, and I’ve never gotten such fast, reliable relief.
Best of all, there are all kinds of natural CBD creams out there, most of which often contain other natural ingredients to help keep your skin moist, smooth, and looking healthy.
How to Use CBD Creams
After reading all of this, you’re probably eager to start using CBD creams yourself.
Well, doing so is easy.
Like I mentioned earlier, CBD doesn’t absorb into your bloodstream when used topically, meaning you don’t have to be as strict about your dosage.
That being said, you obviously don’t want to use more than need be.
So, start with about a roughly a fingertip worth of cream and gently rub it into the skin of the area you’re looking to treat.
You can re-apply CBD creams multiple times if need be.
Note: These are general guidelines. For more info, always consult the instructions included with your CBD creams/products.
What Conditions and Symptoms Can CBD Creams Treat?
Here’s a list of conditions/symptoms you can treat using CBD topicals:
- Hot spots
- Swollen joints/arthritis
- Sore muscles/DOMS
- Back pain
Find the Best CBD Creams for You
In this article, I’ve discussed some key benefits of CBD and CBD creams in particular.
If you suffer from any of the conditions or symptoms I just mentioned, I really recommend trying CBD topicals.
Just check out my homepage for upcoming reviews of specific CBD products and brands, and remember to check out my blog for more articles on the benefits of CBD creams and other topicals.