There are a million different kinds of CBD products on the market. Tinctures, topicals, powders, gummies, bath bombs...the list goes on and on. One commonly found products are topicals (salves, balms, etc.). While simple to use, many consumers are left wondering how effective they are.
Before you even apply your CBD topical, the first step should always be verifying the COA. As previously discussed, a COA is a third-party verification that details potency, residual solvents, and other important information. Quality CBD brands will regularly test their products and make the COA's easily accessible to their customers. However, there are always bad apples that will try to embellish the potency of their product. If you are interested in a product, always look for a current COA. If your retailer does not have a copy (and they should), then the information should be available on the brand's website.
It is worth noting that CBD topicals are best used for localized issues. According to CBD MD, "Because you apply CBD directly to the area of discomfort, the effects are typically immediate and more centralized than other application methods. However, CBD topicals have low bioavailability – no matter how much you apply, your skin isn’t permeable enough for the CBD to reach the bloodstream."
Bioavailability is best described as "the extent a substance or drug becomes completely available to its intended biological destination(s)." Since CBD topicals have a low bioavailability, it can be a more appealing option to those who are more sensitive to the effects of various cannabinoids.
Various studies have shown CBD and other minor cannabinoids to have anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this fact, researchers have begun exploring the possibility of topicals as a localized treatment for arthritis, chronic pain, eczema, and other diseases. While research is still preliminary due to the still-recent expansion of CBD legalization, studies are showing promising results.
In an article published by Chiropractic Economics, Author Joseph Rosenblatt states, "However, as this is still a novel area of medicine, do your own research on CBD. There are many online sources of information, but note the internet has a mix of both valid and misleading data. Vet your sources to ensure that they are reputable."
CBD topicals can be a great option for those who want a product designed for localized priority. Research is making leaps and bounds in understanding how CBD can help people live their best life possible. This research can help consumers make an informed opinion when choosing the right product for them. And for many, that right product is a topical.