Whether you’ve personally used CBD products before or not, you’ve probably heard about them. It’s also likely that you’ve encountered CBD products on the shelves of your local grocery store, pharmacy, or health and wellness shop.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the main cannabinoids in both the hemp and cannabis plant. While cannabis is still illegal at the federal level (although several states have legalized it), the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in all 50 states. Unlike cannabis products, hemp-derived products contain no more than 0.3% THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed many legal barriers that prevented widespread production of CBD products. As a result, CBD has exploded in popularity and availability over the last few years. Today, you can find a wide variety of CBD products readily available, such as vapes, gummies, chocolate, beverages, capsules, or tinctures.
People use CBD products to help manage a wide variety of conditions. Some of the most common ailments CBD is used for include:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis)
Most CBD products are eaten or taken sublingually (under the tongue). You can take tinctures under your tongue or eat CBD-infused gummies, chocolates, or drinks. You can also inhale CBD using a vape pen.
Another option is topical CBD products like creams, lotion, and balms. Instead of inhaling or ingesting these products, you apply them to the surface of your skin. Many people who choose topicals do so to help manage pain caused by various ailments like arthritis and neuropathic pain. While there’s currently limited research to back the purported benefits of using CBD cream for pain, the evidence currently available seems promising.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the research behind the claims so you can decide if a topical CBD product may be right for you.
CBD Cream for Pain: How It Works
Your body has what’s called an endocannabinoid system or ECS. Its purpose is to help maintain internal balance (homeostasis) by regulating many vital systems and processes within your body, including your immune system, mood, appetite, reproductive system, and pain.
Throughout your body, you have CB1 and CB2 receptors (cannabinoid receptors). They exist in your brain, central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system. They’re even present in your skin, along with other receptors such as TRPV receptors which mediate, among other things, pain perception and inflammation.
When you apply a CBD-infused cream, the cannabinoids absorb into your skin and interact with the receptors at that location. While CBD doesn’t interact directly with the cannabinoid receptors, it may help to block pain signals and alleviate inflammation. The cannabinoid also directly interacts with your TRPV1 receptors, which can provide a therapeutic effect for those suffering from pain and inflammation.
What the Research Says
We’re still in the early stages of research on exactly how CBD can alleviate pain and inflammation. Most of the studies scientists have done so far involve animals rather than humans, but their results suggest that CBD may be beneficial for humans too.
A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pain found that topical CBD could help reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Scientists administered topical CBD gel to rats for several days and monitored the results. They noted a significant decrease in joint swelling and arthritis-related pain behaviors.
Another animal study in 2017 also looked at the effects of CBD and arthritis pain in rats. It found that CBD could stop osteoarthritis-related pain and hinder the development of new pain.
A 2018 review in Molecules found that topical CBD may be effective for alleviating localized pain caused by arthritis, as well as for decreasing symptoms of peripheral neuropathic pain. It looked at a variety of studies and noted that several found some evidence that CBD could be an effective treatment.
The Arthritis Foundation conducted a survey of 2,600 people with arthritis in July 2019. The organization found that there is significant interest in the use of CBD for pain management among people with arthritis. Nearly 80% of survey respondents already used CBD, had used it, or were considering it. Of those who were using it at the time of the survey, 87% responded that they were doing so to manage their arthritis symptoms, primarily to alleviate arthritis-related pain.
Approximately three-quarters of those currently using CBD to manage symptoms said that it was either effective or very effective at providing relief. While this is more anecdotal, the findings of the survey show that CBD could be an effective treatment for pain.
While there are several studies showing the potential benefits of CBD cream (and CBD in general) for pain, there isn’t enough evidence yet to make definitive claims. Still, the results suggest that it may be an effective solution for pain management, and a good alternative to more conventional treatments.
Tips for Choosing Quality CBD Products
You’ve likely noticed that there is a wide variety of choices available when it comes to CBD products. Along with the myriad of products available, there are also numerous companies that make these products. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that not all companies are the same.
When shopping for CBD cream (or other CBD products) for pain management, you want to make sure you purchase from a reputable company. Take some time to read reviews and investigate websites before you make a purchase.
You might also want to check for the company’s lab test results. The best companies have their products third-party lab tested. They will either display the test results on their website, or be more than happy to provide you with the information you seek. Be wary of anyone who refuses or makes excuses.
There are some companies out there looking to make a quick profit, but there are also plenty who want their customers to be happy and achieve their desired results.
Is CBD Cream Right for You?
While there isn’t a ton of conclusive evidence that shows CBD cream and other topicals will alleviate pain, the currently available research and anecdotal reports are promising. Scientists will need to conduct further research to uncover more definitive results. For now, we know that CBD products, including topicals, may provide some relief from pain and other ailments.
If you’re unsure about whether you should use CBD cream for pain, you may find you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. When choosing products, make sure that you select those from reputable companies that get their products third-party tested, such as CBD Direct Club. For quality CBD topicals and other products, visit CBD Direct Club today!