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How To Use CBD On Your Skin (Topical CBD)

Use CBD On Your Skin

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Cannabis extracts have been used topically to relieve pain and treat skin rashes in India and Latin America for hundreds of years.

CBD skin products come in ointments, salves, and lotions. They are not psychoactive and can be used to treat pain, inflammatory skin rashes, and bacterial skin infections.

What are the topical uses of CBD Cream & CBD lotion?

CBD and cannabis products made for skin application have a wide possibility of use:

  • Joint pain (arthritis pain)
  • Joint swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Itchy Rashes
  • Bacterial infections (MRSA)
  • Neck and back pain
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Nerve pain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyXBw67lmjM

Topical CBD seems to be one of the most versatile applications for this already very versatile compound. Every day we are find out new applications for people who have had no luck with conventional medicine:

Screen Shot 2017 05 28 at 1.40.45 AMSource: https://tinyurl.com/ybe3lcbn

How does CBD work on the skin?

The endocannabinoid system is thought to play an important role in the immune response of our skin. An improper immune response can result in inflammation and this is why CBD is being researched as an anti-inflammatory for inflammation related skin conditions.

Other important functions of the endocannabinoid system in the skin include regulation of cell growth and wound healing.

Both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found throughout the skin.

Are there side effects of using CBD on the skin?

CBD and cannabis skin products are generally safe to apply liberally to the skin and are not likely to cause side effects. Even if the product contains THC, psychoactivity is not likely with this delivery method.

However it is very important you test a small amount on your skin first before applying liberally to the affected area. Allergic reactions have occured and you need to test yourself to see if you are allergic. It’s also not recommended to use CBD skin products which contain alcohol as this could make some skin conditions worse.

If you do have an allergic reaction, it may not necessarily be an allergic reaction to CBD or one of the cannabinoids. Instead, you may be having an allergic response to an additive in the product you are using. Check product labels and try to find products which only contain CBD, cannabinoids, and the base that acts as the carrier – i.e. coconut oil or hempseed oil.

How should I use CBD on my skin?

Always speak with a doctor before using CBD, especially if you already take other medications. CBD can cause drug interactions. You likely do not need to worry about drug interactions when using CBD topically but we always recommend speaking with your doctor.

After making sure you are not allergic, you can liberally apply CBD lotion to any place you have pain or skin irritation.

People with arthritis pain have reported fast relief by applying cannabinoid rich topical products directly to an inflamed and painful joint.

Screen Shot 2017 05 28 at 1.24.00 AMSource: https://tinyurl.com/yabuuoxm 

CBD lotions and balms can be used on the hands, knees, feet, back, and neck.

People are reporting success treating eczema with CBD.

CBD for eczemaSource: https://tinyurl.com/ycez7cjd

While it’s generally recommended to stick to external use only, some people have reported CBD lotion to be effective for treating hemorrhoids.

CBD for hemorrhoidsSource: https://tinyurl.com/y8dftwhd

Mixing different delivery methods of CBD is common and people have reported success with using topical applications at the same time as a tincture or vape product for faster relief of their symptoms.

What terpenes are good for CBD topical applications?

Look for B-caryophyllene and pinene. These terpenes are anti-inflammatory and work synergistically with THC and CBD.

What are studies saying about using cannabinoids (CBD and THC) for topical applications?

  • When CBD gels were applied to rats with arthritic knee joints, their was found a reduction in join swelling
  • Topical application of THC was found to decrease allergic inflammation in a model of eczema
  • Five major phytocannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, and CBC) showed potent activity against MRSA
  • Topical cannabinoid extracts demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in laboratory animal experiments

References

Goldstein, B. (2016). Cannabis Revealed: how the world’s most misunderstood plant is healing everything from chronic pain to epilepsy.

Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis

The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure-Activity Study

Summary
How can we use CBD Topicals like CBD Cream & CBD Lotion well?
Article Name
How can we use CBD Topicals like CBD Cream & CBD Lotion well?
Description
CBD Topicals like CBD Cream, CBD Lotion & other products are immensely effective for Skin diseases & also can utilize as Skin care or beauty products!
Vadim
Publisher Name
CBD School
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86 comments

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  • My husband has a deep bed sore which is tunneling up his back tail bone, its very painful and im wondering if cbd salve or oil can treat the wound?

    • If your husband has a deep tunneling pressure sore (bedsore) I would NOT try anything like CBD oil without knowing the response and getting it approved by his treating physician as he is at high risk for infection possibly even septicemia. I suggest getting a good wound specialist to come and set up a treament regime. Applying a non-sterile “ointment” or “salve” could cause infection. I would NOT be experimenting with treatments that you do not know what the response might be and no person should be even remotely encouraging it by playing off your need to heal it! Very irresponsible. SHould be saying “I can’t remark on that treatment…seek advice of your PCP”!

      • Hey Raymond. Thanks for your feedback on this. I agree with you. People need to check with their doctor before using CBD for any application. I have corrected my previous comment to reflect this. Thanks again for pointing out my mistake.

  • Great post! I really appreciate your efforts that you have shared about CBD skin products which come in ointments, salves, and lotions. They are not psychoactive and can be used to treat pain, inflammatory skin rashes, and bacterial skin infections.

      • My daughter has some CBD oil … taste nasty … Looked on box and it says topical … My question then can I rub on stomach (stomach cancer) or may be just on bottom feet ??

        • Hey Georgina. Thanks for your question. I’m sorry to hear about the stomach cancer. CBD topical products can certainly be used both on the stomach as well as on your feet. I’m happy to help with any specific questions you have about the product you are using. Which one is it?

    • Hey Lynndee. Thanks for your great question. Yes, you can use the Bluebird CBD hemp oil topically. You may find it easier to use a CBD balm or lotion but if you prefer to rub the oil on your skin, you can definitely do that. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be glad to help 🙂

        • Great question, Lynndee.

          A detailed guide on how to do this is in the works. Most people I know who add CBD oil to their creams add it to a base cream that they already like.

          Let’s say for instance you want to use a base of coconut oil (or any moisturizing lotion you like) since you already use that on your skin. You can then take the CBD oil and mix it in to your desired concentration, i.e. if you want the cream to have a total of 300 mg CBD, you would mix in a whole 300 mg bottle of CBD into your base cream.

          Which Bluebird product are you wanting to use to make your skin cream?

  • Hi: I am excited to discover your site. I’ve been using CBD topically for about 2 months. It helps my joints, sore tendons, and arthritis. I put it on my face and my wrinkles started disappearing, as well as those on my neck and chest. My question is: When used topically, does CBD pass through the liver? I am using a statin and don’t want to mess up my liver. Thanks for being here. Can’t wait to watch all of your videos.

  • Hi there
    My grandfather has skin cancer and im wondering topically what i could get to try that could help him… maybe cbd lotion? Would it be benifital to ingest aswell like cbd oil drops or caps?

    • Hey Jessica. Thanks for your question. I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I’m afraid I can’t say if it will be beneficial or not. Many people who use CBD however do choose to use it both internally and topically at the same time. Please speak to a doctor before using CBD.

  • Hi I’ve been using cbd oil drops for just over 2 month for vitiligo, I’ve started to see a little bit of pigmentation coming back, can I rub cbd oil in to the skin as well as taking the drops.

    • Hi Clair. Thanks for your question. Yes, CBD oil can be used on the skin. Some people like to use the drops directly on the skin, mix it into a paste with a base like coconut oil, or simply use topical CBD creams or lotions. No matter which method you choose, please speak to a doctor or dermatologist and inform them about your use of CBD.

        • Hey Trudy! That’s a great question that we get asked all the time. Thanks for bringing that up. We have an article coming out soon about this. Stay tuned for that.

          To answer your question, you can start by mixing an amount of CBD oil into 8 oz of coconut oil that you feel comfortable dedicating to that purpose. Let’s say you wanted to make an 8 oz coconut oil topical with 500 mg of CBD. In that case, you would take a 500 mg CBD oil or tincture and mix that into your 8 oz coconut oil. That’s one example. You could of course do more or less CBD if you want.

          Let us know please if you have any other questions and we will do our best to help 🙂

  • I have discoid lupus, where I get skin plaques on my face. Do u know or anyone on this page have used this oil on the face and has it lowered the inflammation? thank you

    • Hey Richie. Thanks for your comment. I do not know anything about this. I hope you find the information you’re looking for. Please make sure to speak to a dermatologist or doctor before using CBD.

  • HI There,

    I watched your video, i enjoyed the information. But i do have a comment about something you said. You said you like to use coconut oil as a carrier oil for the CBD. But Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. Consequently, it may actually make acne worse for some people with an oily skin type. There are better carrier oils that would clog the pores out there, if you do a bit of research.

    Thanks Rebecca

  • Hi recently I had surgery on my spine c5/c6/c6/c7 compressing now I have spine damage and nerve damage is this oil any good for me to use

  • I have thoracic degenerative disc disease or arthritis in my back and neck. I have been living with this for 5 years of this being severe. This causes my whole back to inflame including sore ribs and making it hard to breath as the arthritis inflames against my lungs. I don’t like the pills the doctors gives and side effects. I started the CBD oil 4 days ago it has 15% THC. This has been amazing for me. I have had to use it up to 3 times a day as I am in the middle of a flare up. This takes the pain away and I am starting to feel human again. I am very excited with using this as I have not taken any other medicine since then. There is instant relief when I put it on. The price was 120.00 for 4 ounces well worth for the relief with no pills. Sleeping so good to pain free.

  • I am an L1 paraplegic with wounds. I am very interested in applying the CBD oil to my wounds but I’m NOT SURE YOU CAN APPLY TO OPEN WOUNDS. The inside is dark red and healthy. we are currently putting anti-septic gel covering with a bandage IF YOU CAN APPly HOW MUCH?ONLY HAVE cbd oil..Is that just as good as a cream or salve? Maybe its only for ingestion?Will it helppeople that have had staph or mrsa in the past? APPLY To WOUND AND INGEST?these worms have probably been a year or over trying to get healed this would totally be a Godsend PLEASE REPLY

    yes I am wondering if staff could be rearing its ugly head or if another fungus is possible.

    • Hi Debbie. Thank you for your question. I am not able to provide any medical advice. Please consult with a doctor or medical professional before using CBD. CBD oil can be used for both ingestion and topically but most people find that creams and salves are more convenient to use topically. I’ll do my best to provide helpful advice about products but I cannot answer any medical related questions.

  • I currently use emu oil and Emu Joy Banish My Pain salve when I have aches and pains. I’d like to add CBD oil to them. What proportion should I use?

    • Hey Carole. Thanks for your question. I get asked this question often but unfortunately I haven’t yet found an exact answer of how much to add to your salve. My best advice is start with a small amount, see how it works, and then gradually add more CBD until you get the desired result. Which CBD oil will you be using?

  • I have constant neck, shoulder, back, elbow, wrist and knee pain as well as headaches, joint/nerve pain and sciatica. My doctor gave me the ok to start using CBD oil. My question is, what’s the best way to use it? Bottom of my feet, rub on my body or take drops orally? What’s the recommended dosage? it safe to use the oil long term. Thank you

    • Hi Lisa. Thanks for your questions. Sorry to hear about the constant pain. It’s good you got the OK from your doctor. You may need to experiment with a few different methods of using CBD before you find the best one. You can try using a tincture or capsules for general pain. Topicals can be helpful to rub on specific areas of pain. There is no established recommended dosage which applies to everyone. However many people have found a good way to start is with a serving of 10 – 20 mg CBD, two servings per day. Most people will try that for about 3 – 4 days and see how it goes. Then they will increase the dosage only if necessary. There is a good book I recently read by a physician about CBD which has information on dosing for specific conditions. You can find it here.

  • Thanks professor for your knowledge and your school my silly question is how long do I leave and oil on skin? And do you have recipes for diy’rs I like to make my own

    • Thanks Mike for your comment. Typically people do not “take off” the CBD oil when it’s already on the skin. You just rub it on and let if get absorbed. No need to remove it. As far as recipes go, great question! We have plans for more of that in the future including food recipes too 🙂 Please let us know if you have more questions and we will do our best to help.

  • I have a keloid scar that is very painful. Will the topical CBD Oil or cream help my pain. I also wanted to know if this product shows up in your urine. This would not be good when looking for employment.

    Inez

    • Hey Inez. Thanks for your comment and question. It’s impossible for us to know if CBD topicals will help with your pain. But we sure do hope it will! This is something you would only be able to know after you try it a few times. Topical creams and balms are generally not a problem for urine screenings as the cannabinoids are not entering your bloodstream. Transdermal patches may be an exception to that. But you specifically asked about creams. If you are concerned about drug tests, the best thing you can do is avoid any amount of THC in the products you’re using since THC is what the drug screening would be looking for. Please let us know if you need more help and we’ll be glad to offer assistance 🙂

  • Due to kidney and bladder failure I am incontinent and must wear Depends the underpants. I am always in contact with urine. My perineum is red looking and is weeping. Will using a topical CBD oil protect my bottom from the irritation? I have tried 4 creams so far. I end up using Aquaphor to protect my skin but it doesn’t help with inflammation.

    • Hello Paulette. Thanks for your question. I think a topical CBD product could certainly be a good thing to try for that problem you are having. While I cannot guarantee it will work, I think it’s definitely worth a try. Just make sure any product you use, check the ingredients carefully to make sure it contains nothing you are allergic to. Another option you could try is to mix CBD into the Aquaphor you are already using. Let me know if you have additional questions 🙂

  • Do you know of any CBD oil I can use for my acne that does not have coconut oil? There are some highly comedogenic oils which includes coconut oil :/

    • Hi Rosie. Thanks for your question. Yes, there are plenty of options out there for you that do not have coconut oil. You can even make your own CBD anti-acne topical. We have an article coming out soon about exactly that.

      Let me ask this: what base (olive oil, hemp seed oil, etc.) would be suitable for you? Or do you need to completely avoid bases like this? Let us know and we’re happy to point you in the right direction 🙂

      • Not sure if this would be helpful, but I use sea buckthorn oil for my skin. I have rosacea and sea buckthorn oil is helpful and soothing. I mixed in a little cbd oil into it today and applied it to my skin. It’s hard to know how much to add. Let’s hope it helps!

  • If taking statins is it safe to use cbd oil 1000mg as a topical for arthritis?
    They say it not a good mix if it is ingested.

    • Hi Sherrill. Thanks for your comment and great question. I recommend you check this with your doctor but my (non-medical) opinion is that you will be fine using it as a topical and should have no issues with drug interactions. Let us know if you have any other questions 🙂

  • I am having a real problem with burning, dry lips. I’ve tried all kinds of lip balms and treatments, but they have not worked. I have some Charlotte’s Web Hemp infused balm (450 mg hemp extact). Would it be ok to use this balm on my lips and if so how many times a day should I apply it.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Vitor. Thanks for your great question. At this time there is no standardized method on the exact way to use CBD for acne. Most people experiment with using CBD as a topical, either by applying a CBD topical product to their acne, making their own topical by using a CBD isolate, or directly applying a CBD tincture to their acne.

      The main thing to keep in mind is to check if there are any potential skin irritants in the product you apply to your skin. Many CBD products have additive ingredients which may be OK for most people but irritable to others with sensitive skin.

      It’s always a good idea speak to a doctor or dermatologist before using CBD.

  • I’m going thru a case of shingles, ( age 79 ) and want to try CBD for pain relief. Nothing I have tried works yet,. is it worth a try?

    • Hi Gerald. Thanks for your comment and question. I think CBD could certainly be worth a try. Just make sure to check with your doctor and dermatologist first. Also make sure there is no additional ingredient in a CBD topical (if you are using a topical cream) that could cause the skin condition to get worse. Best wishes and let us know if you have more questions we can answer for you 🙂

  • How much cbd oil does someone put into a bathbomb mix or a salve mix? Medium size bath bombs and abiut 4 oz lil bottle for the salve

    • Hey Lisa. Thanks for your great comment and question. I’ve never had this question before as everyone I know who uses bath bombs buys them pre made. It’s cool you are making your own. I would say experiment carefully with it and see what works best. Please let us know about your results! 🙂

  • Hello. I have been diagnosed with Graves disease, accompanied with hyperthyroidism. It causes inflamation, pressure & swelling around my eyes.that is uncomfortabe at best & quite painful at worst. Can aCBD oil help with this? If so, how often can it be applied?
    Thanks, Deb/

    • Hi Deborah. Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear you are dealing with these problems. We cannot provide medical advice on whether CBD can help with your condition or how much to take. We have personally never known anyone to use CBD for this condition. Please OK it with your doctor first and as long as you feel confident about it, you can try to use some CBD as an experiment to see if it will help. Let us know if you have more questions and we will do our best to help 🙂

  • I am new to this CBD oil and would like to know what strength of oil to use to add to lotion to rub on my knees for arthritis pain. I don’t want to add too much but do want it to work. thanks.

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks for your question. Most people have had success using topical CBD products by starting out by applying a small amount to the area in need and then gradually adding more until desired results are achieved. This little bit of experimentation is the best way to figure out the right amount for your needs. Please let us know if you have any additional questions and we will do our best to help 🙂

  • I would like to know if I should look for the highest amount on cbd’s in topical creams for back pain. Why is there such different amounts all claiming to help arthritis and localized pain?

    • Hi Gerry. Thanks for your comment and question. The important thing to look for is not the amount of CBD necessarily but the product and amount that works best for your needs. Have you had success with what you’ve tried? If not, what was the product and how much CBD did it have in it? How much of it did you use approximately at a time?

  • Hi, I’ve been suffering with atopic dermatitis to my face and private parts for over 22 years. I have tried pretty much everything on the market and nothing works. Last Friday, I started to use CBD oil mixed with glycerin because I am allergic to every and it’s seems to help a bit but the itching is still there. I put it on my face and take it orally 3 times a day. Can I apply it to my face more than 3 times a day? Thank you

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks for your comment and question. It’s good to hear you are seeing some possible improvement. If you think increasing the amount of times you would apply the CBD would help, you can consider giving it a try so long as you don’t experience negative side effects. There is no set protocol for application of CBD for this purpose that we know of. We suggest you consult with a dermatologist about this question as well.

  • My chiropractor used CBD CLINIC pro sport pain stick on the back of my neck and at the base of my skull after an extensive adjustment and laser treatments, to relieve neck pain and vertigo. It helped the pain and the vertigo, but a few hours later I broke out in a severe skin rash and burning. What can I use to relieve this?

    • Hi Nicole. Thank you for your question. We have never heard of this specific application for CBD though we completely understand why you would ask that.

      Since CBD has anti inflammatory action, it may be helpful for herpes.

      The most important thing is to confirm with your dermatologist that using a CBD topical will not make the condition worse.

  • I’m a Massage Therapist looking to add CBD topical to my practice. I am wondering if there is a preferred delivery method. Lotions vs Oils. Also are there any established protocols for application for maximum effectiveness? Any information or redirection would help. Thanks

    • Hi Mike. Thanks for your comment and question. It’s great you want to add CBD into your practice!

      Best advice is to try out different products and brands to see what works best for you and your clients. There are many factor involved so it’s best to give a few a good products a try.

      One thing you might want to be on the watch for is CBD topicals with enhanced delivery systems or proprietary blends which include ingredients which optimize the absorption or effectiveness of the CBD 🙂

  • my wife had gastric bypass 15 years ago. She has been told do not take anti-inflammatory medication. My question is, can she take THC with a higher dose CBD relief. The ratio is three CBD one THC she would be taking it topically to the anointment after knee surgery will this affect her stomach like oral anti-inflammatories.

  • Good afternoon, can CBD oil be applied to broken skin, via a Derma roller, to treat Acne and dermatitis etc… along with anti aging? Thanks

    • Hi Kirby. That’s an excellent question. You can certainly try it. This may be a break through way of using CBD for sure 🙂

      People are certainly using all kinds of CBD containing products on their skin.

      We recommend if you decide to try this you use a small amount at first to make sure you don’t have any negative reaction.

      We also recommend checking with a dermatologist and also ensuring you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the CBD products you are using.

      All CBD topicals contain more than just CBD, at the least this will be a carrier base oil like coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, etc. Other additional ingredients could be fragrances and other enhancing agents that are part of the blend.

      Also – if you have more questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂

    • Hi Mayda. Thanks for your question. There is no current set standard for how often you can use the CBD topicals. You can use them liberally as long as you need them for the desired results.

  • I bought some cbd cream and I think it has helped for my swollen arthritic knees , but should I use it continually or just when I have pain?

  • I have been taking CBD oil tincture for 6 weeks for knee arthritis. It is helping reduce pain but I’ve also been experiencing some memory loss which is a known side effect of the oil. I’ve stopped ingesting the oil but wonder if topical application has the same memory loss effect.

    • Hey Frances. Thanks for your comment. I have never heard of memory loss being a side effect of CBD. Either way, I don’t think you would have anything to worry about in regard to that side effect if you use only a topical. Let us know if you have any more questions 🙂

  • I am using cbd oil for pain. I have a liver enysmes and have read this could be caused by cbd oil.
    Is it better for my liver to use tropically

    • Hi Karen. It’s best you discuss this with your doctor who can help you understand anything that’s going on with your liver function. It’s important.

      Yes, using CBD topically would allow you to avoid any drug interaction.

      We still always recommend making your doctor aware of your CBD use. Thanks.

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