Home » How To Use CBD On Your Skin (Topical CBD)

How To Use CBD On Your Skin (Topical CBD)

Use CBD On Your Skin

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

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


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

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?
CBD Topicals like CBD Cream, CBD Lotion & other products are immensely effective for Skin diseases & also can utilize as Skin care or beauty products!
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CBD School
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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.


    • 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 🙂