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How Does CBD Lotion Work? [Explained for the Complete Beginner]

The first thing that often comes to most people’s minds when they think of medicinal CBD is small bottles of CBD infused oils. As CBD continues to become an increasingly popular form of medication, new and creative ways to consume it are appearing, with everything from edibles to therapeutic bath bombs. CBD is no longer limited to herbal tasting oils that you drop onto your tongue; it can also be a pleasurable experience.

One of the most popular methods to consume on the market is CBD topicals, which offer the same healing power as CBD oils, but you do not have to ingest them; you can instead absorb through the skin. Topicals come in many shapes and forms, just as with any other method of CBD ranging from lip balms to full body lotions. Lotions are a great choice of topical because they can be applied across the body, come in many different forms, and are easy to use. 

So, what exactly are CBD lotions, and how do you use them? Let’s take a closer look at CBD lotions and find out why they should be a key component in your medicine cabinet.

What Is CBD Lotion?

CBD lotions look and feel much the same as other creams and lotions; they are applied to the skin in precisely the same way that you would apply your daily face cream or sunscreen. The ingredient list on a standard moisturizer and a CBD lotion have very few differences, other than the fact that CBD lotions are infused with CBD. 

So, if the only difference between a standard cream and CBD lotion is that it is infused with CBD, what precisely does ‘infused with CBD’ mean? CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid within cannabis flowers, which can be extracted leaving behind all of the other terpenes and cannabinoids that are found within the plant, some of which are responsible for the psychoactive effects that are associated with cannabis.

The extracted CBD is then mixed with oil, which will typically be coconut or olive due to its moisturizing properties, but other oils can also be used. This oil is then used to make lotion, often being combined with essential oils and therapeutic herbs, chosen for their healing properties. Just as with other creams and lotions, other chemicals and ingredients might be added to form the final product. 

Just like other CBD topicals, lotions are applied to external parts of the body, as opposed to CBD oils and edibles that are ingested. Topicals provide a localized dose of CBD, making them ideal for treating aches and pains without having to alter the rest of your body’s natural balance.

CBD lotions are absorbed through the skin and can provide a faster form of pain relief than CBD treatments that are ingested. Being in lotion form, they also act as a moisturizer, helping to keep skin healthy in a way that is only possible with localized CBD treatments. 

How Does CBD Lotion Work on Your Body?

When CBD lotions are applied to an area of the skin, the body instantly starts to absorb both the CBD and the other ingredients within the lotion. CBD lotions are able to act faster on the targeted area of the body than CBD oils because they are applied directly to the affected area and are absorbed through the topmost layer of skin, meaning they are able to get to work straight away. This differs from ingested CBD, which is digested by the body and works its way into your bloodstream.

CBD topicals do not enter the bloodstream, meaning that they will not affect the rest of your body and that their effects are localized to the area that they are applied. The one exception to this is transdermal patches. These patches are able to penetrate much deeper into the body and find their way into your bloodstream.

Once the topmost layer of skin has absorbed the CBD, several begin to happen that make CBD a valid form of pain relief. When cells in the body are damaged, for example, when your muscles feel sore after a workout, immune cells release inflammatory mediators that are designed to repair damaged tissue. While this is necessary to protect the body from further damage and allow healing to begin, it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

CBD limits the signal released by immune cells so that inflammation is reduced, but the body is still able to heal. 

As well as reducing inflammation, CBD also increases the quantity of pain-relieving endocannabinoids in your body. These are natural signals that work throughout your body to regulate pain and ensure that the body does not become overwhelmed. When combined with the fact that CBD desensitizes pain receptors, CBD lotions works as a great form of localized pain relief.  

It is not just the CBD contained within the lotion that acts upon your body, lotions that are made up of essential oils and healing herbs will also have an impact on pain and damaged areas. Lotions are formulated so that all of the ingredients work together to ensure the desired effect; this means that some lotions will be better at reducing muscle spasms, while others might be better at healing dry and damaged skin.

It is important when buying CBD lotions to read the packaging and check that it is designed to do what you want. While CBD does aid your body in natural healing and pain management, the other ingredients within lotions can be just as vital in producing certain effects. 

Why Use CBD Lotion?

CBD lotion is an excellent alternative to ingestible CBD, such as edibles and oils; it offers a more localized form of CBD that targets a particular area of the body. As the lotion is absorbed through the skin, it only affects the area of the body that it is applied to; this makes it the perfect solution for treating more external ailments without affecting the rest of your body.

CBD lotions can also be used in conjunction with other oral forms of pain medication and CBD in order to give areas of severe pain an extra dosage. One of the primary uses of CBD lotion is as a form of topical pain relief, easing the pain within as little as 10 minutes, but there is a whole range of skin conditions and ailments that can be treated with CBD lotion.

Below is a list of just some of the conditions you might want to consider using CBD lotions for:

  • Muscles spasms
  • Post-workout soreness
  • Skin inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Eczema
  • Skin infections
  • Burns
  • Rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety

CBD can also be used for cosmetic purposes, acting as an excellent moisturizer that helps your skin stay looking young and fresh. Lotions can be used as a daily moisturizer, in just the same way that you would apply a regular moisturizer to your skin. CBD lotions work to keep your skin hydrated, ideal if you are someone who suffers from dry and damaged skin.

Some people find that CBD lotions work better than chemical-filled moisturizers, as they tend to be much lighter on your skin and offer a much more natural alternative, especially great if you have sensitive skin. Using a CBD lotion as part of your daily skincare routine helps to protect your skin against the elements, prevents blemishes, and leaves skin feeling radiant and looking shiny smooth.

How Do You Apply CBD Lotion?

How you apply, CBD lotions are going to be very much based on what you hope to get from it. If you are planning on using it as a form of pain relief, you are going to want to apply and use it in much the same way you would a pain killer, waiting for the pain and applying to the affected area.

If, on the other hand, you intend to use CBD lotion for consistent pain, for example, Arthritis, applying CBD to the painful area should form part of your daily skincare routine, even on those days when you are not in pain. Similarly, if you are using CBD lotion as a moisturizer, you are going to be applying it at least once a day and possibly even twice.

Before applying CBD lotion, it is good to get into the habit of ensuring your skin is clean; this does not have to be anything drastic. However, you only need to rinse the area under cold water, and that should be enough. This removes bacteria on the surface of your skin and prevents you from spreading dirt around your body.

A good way to think of it is about your face; would you put lotion on your face with dirty hands? If you would not inflict germs on your face, do not do it for the rest of your body. Before applying lotion to your skin, make sure that you also dry the area thoroughly.

Place a small amount of your chosen CBD lotion onto your finger, or directly onto the target area if you prefer, and massage it into your skin. It really is no different from applying other creams and lotions to your body, treat it just as you would any other medical lotion. Once you are done, it is best to wash your hands, as there might be ingredients within your chosen lotion that act as an irritant to your eyes, something that it is always best to avoid.

Within 10 minutes of applying the lotion, you should find that pain starts to ease, and the area might even feel slightly numb. Just as with regular pain killers, it is unlikely that the pain will completely disappear, but you will find that the pain is less noticeable and easier to manage. If you are looking to use CBD lotion for treating more long term effects, for example, to rejuvenate your skin, it might take a few days before you start to notice a difference. It is the same for chronic pains; it will take time for your body to heal.

Final Thoughts on How CBD Lotion Works

CBD lotions are a versatile way to apply CBD to your body, and it can target particular areas that need a little extra attention. Whether you are looking for a moisturizer that gives your skin some of its youthful shine back or you are searching for a way to manage chronic pain, CBD lotions might just be the perfect solution for you.

Just make sure you keep your skin clean and use it as much as you need – if you only apply it a little bit at a time, you likely won’t notice many effects at all.

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