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If you are looking for a broad-spectrum CBD product that will work quickly to calm tension, help ease joint pain, soothe sore muscles, and relieve discomfort, you may want to consider a CBD lotion or other topical CBD products. 

But what exactly is CBD lotion, how are they different from ingestible CBD products, and–most importantly–do they really work? Let The Brothers Apothecary break it down for you.

What Is CBD Lotion?

CBD lotion is quite simply a lotion that is infused with CBD from the cannabis plant to provide extra health benefits. 

As one of the most commonly used CBD topicals, CBD lotion is meant to be applied directly to the skin. These lotions typically pair CBD with other nourishing ingredients such as terpenes, minerals, vitamins, coconut oil, menthol, and antioxidant-rich herb or plant compounds, all of which work together to provide the support that goes above and beyond the skin-deep.  

Shea butter, essential oils like lavender, aloe, and vitamin E are commonly used in body lotions alongside high-quality CBD for the best results.

What Can CBD Lotion Be Used For?

CBD lotion and topical creams can support healthy skin, as well as provide relief for your overall well-being in ways that your normal lotion couldn’t even dream of, thanks to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

The endocannabinoid system uses naturally produced cannabinoids called endocannabinoids to send messages throughout the body. These messages respond to stress, tension, discomfort, and more. The ECS also responds to external cannabinoids such as CBD, allowing CBD lotion to support this vital system.

When CBD lotion is applied to the skin, the cannabinoids are absorbed through your pores, moving beyond the dermal and subdermal skin layers to where they can reach nearby CB receptors. 

From there, the CBD can get to work supporting a range of body functions.

Helps Soothe Muscles

Muscle tension is an unfortunate reality that most of us face at one point or another. Whether you’ve slept too long, sat too long, or simply slept in a wonky position once, you may find yourself with a sore muscle or two...or three.

Applying CBD lotion with full-spectrum hemp extract directly to the area experiencing soreness, however, allows the CBD to bind with the receptors directly on or near those muscles. 

From here, the cannabinoids can further support the endocannabinoid system in sending out chemical messages to bring relief to the places it is most needed, along with prolonging the effects of endocannabinoids already doing this work within the ECS.

Because CBD lotion or pain relief cream can be applied as needed, it can be a useful tool in soothing temporarily sore muscles, or providing ongoing relief to more chronic points of tension. 

Promotes Calmness and Relaxation

Along with relieving muscle tension that can stem from mental stress, CBD body lotion may play an even larger role in calming the mind and body.

Cb1 receptors work with the central nervous system to send messages to and from the brain that can help regulate stress and promote relaxation. While CBD isn’t thought to bind with these receptors directly, it can prolong the effects of endocannabinoids produced within the body that do. 

THC is also capable of binding with cb1 receptors, meaning it can help support and regulate brain function. This is also why substances with a high THC content can lead to psychoactive effects, while CBD does not. 

This means that when a topical CBD cream contains full-spectrum CBD–CBD that includes an amount of THC that is under the federally-legal amount of 0.3 percent–you wouldn’t feel the psychoactive effects, but the cannabinoids would be able to connect with cb1 receptors near the point of application. Once connected, the cannabinoids can send messages through the body that promote relaxation.

So, where should you apply full-spectrum CBD lotion to help find a sense of calmness as needed? 

Along with any of the muscles that are feeling tense, you can massage a small amount of lotion directly on your temples and forehead. This is thought to hit on the main area that stress is held in the body, and can also help connect to receptors that will provide relief quicker than other parts of the body.

Helps Ease Discomfort

Just as with sore muscles, CBD oils, balms, or lotion can provide temporary relief when applied to parts of the body experiencing signs of discomfort, such as swelling or uncomfortable joints. 

By partnering with the endocannabinoid’s anandamide and 2-AG, CBD absorbed through the skin is able to help send messages to the neurotransmitter responsible for relieving discomfort through the ECS. 

Studies suggest this process helps bring relief for people who face chronic joint discomfort

Calms Dry Skin

With so many cb receptors found in skin cells, CBD lotion can really get underneath dry and irritated skin to hydrate and rejuvenate. And by working with endocannabinoids that connect with cb2 receptors–the receptors that work closely with the immune system–within skin cells, CBD’s anti-swelling properties may also improve visible signs of scarring or blemishes. 

How Long Does it Take for CBD Lotion To Ease Discomfort?

Because CBD lotion works with endocannabinoids and receptors directly beneath the application site, it is capable of bringing swift relief to the source of discomfort: often taking just five to ten minutes before the effects are felt. 

This is quicker than ingestible CBD’s work, as cannabinoids in that form are absorbed into the bloodstream before partnering with endocannabinoids.

How Do You Apply CBD Lotion?

CBD salves and lotions should be massaged into the skin, at the location where you are experiencing signs of tension, discomfort, or dryness. The act of massaging sore muscles and aches is already soothing, and now you can do it with the comforting knowledge of what is going on behind the signs as your ECS sparks to life!

Unlike oils, which are typically meant to be ingested once per day, CBD lotion can be reapplied as needed. Make sure to check the label for specific directions related to dosage, serving size, and application instructions.

Will CBD Lotion Cause Nausea and Headaches?

When it comes to CBD lotion, you shouldn’t have to worry about nausea or headaches. While these are some of the rare and minor side effects associated with oral CBD products–typically only occurring with high doses–there is currently no evidence of these side effects occurring with topical CBDs from hemp plants. 

What Impacts CBD Lotion’s Effectiveness?

Potency

A CBD lotion’s potency is largely dependent on how many mg of CBD are included in the product. Be mindful that because the immune system works to keep unrecognized objects from entering the body, you’ll want a product containing enough CBD to pass by the immune system and reach the ECS. 

A lotion with average potency will have three to eight milligrams of CBD per suggested dosage, while a product with high potency will have eight or more milligrams of CBD per recommended application. This typically comes out to 100-500mg of CBD per ounce.

Also, look for lotions that contain fatty oils such as coconut, avocado, or rosehip oil. CBD is fat-soluble, so these fatty oils can help the skin absorb CBD more effectively.  

Severity & Type of Discomfort

When it comes to discomfort, CBD can help relieve the physical discomfort, but it won’t address the root cause, so if you’re experiencing consistent soreness, other therapies may be required to solve the underlying issue.

While CBD lotion can be reapplied throughout the day to provide temporary relief, particularly severe discomfort or injury may need more attention than CBD alone can offer. 

Make sure to speak to a physician if you are feeling continuous discomfort, as prescription medications or treatments are sometimes necessary to cure the underlying cause.

Conclusion

When CBD is paired with other hydrating ingredients and applied to the skin, it can not only nourish the skin but also work beneath the skin to support other aspects of your wellbeing. 

Simply seek out products with organic and third-party tested ingredients (all of ours are!), choose a lotion with a scent and feel that intrigues you, and get ready to feel that fast relief with The Brothers Apothecary.

Sources:

Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain | National Library of Medicine 

FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD) | FDA

Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis | National Library of Medicine

A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars | National Library of Medicine 

Jesse Richardson, Health & Wellness Advocate
Ambassador of Teas, CEO

Jesse Richardson is the co-founder of The Brothers Apothecary. He's an avid tea drinker and the primary creator behind The Brothers' products. An undergraduate of UCLA for Political Science, Jesse currently studies Medicinal Plants at Cornell University and The International School of Herbal Arts & Sciences.

Meet the Brothers.

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