CBD Oil or CBD Cream for Joint Pain? [Answered]
Before we discuss the topic of this article it is important to state that CBD has not been approved by the FDA and CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Over the last few years CBD has become become popular for so many reasons. Apart from being used as a general dietary supplement to support health and well-being, it is also being used as a means to promote balance.
When it comes to taking CBD, however, there are a multitude of methods you can use. Different applications seem to work better for reasons, and that’s why it’s important to do your research. For local annoyances in particular, two methods stand out: CBD oils vs CBD topical creams. But which one is better?
We will be taking a look at the answer to this question…
CBD Oil vs. Cream, How Does it Actually Work?
The reason why CBD has any effect on the body at all is due to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This is a biological system (that all humans possess) which helps us to regulate bodily functions like sleep, mood, appetite, immune response and – you guessed it – pain. Essentially, the ECS helps maintain internal homeostasis by keeping our bodies in balance.
The ECS appears to work through a number of cannabinoid receptors and their respective endocannabinoid molecules that trigger them. These work like a lock and key; certain endocannabinoids fit into certain cannabinoid receptors, and the interaction between them helps to send signals around the body. When something changes or goes wrong, the endocannabinoid system alerts the rest of the body so that we can adapt to fix it.
Phytocannabinoids (the cannabinoids found in plants) like CBD can also interact with our cannabinoid receptors. CBD is quite unique in that, rather than binding with the receptors itself, it appears to actually stimulate the creation of endocannabinoids in the body. Through this process, it can encourage the ECS (and in turn our whole body), to function better.
In 2016 the European Journal of Pain published a study on the effectiveness of CBD against arthritis pain in rodent models. The rat models were treated for 4 days with a topical CBD gel, and the results were impressive. There was a significant decrease in inflammation and an indication of pain relief, even after just 4 days.
Furthermore, a 2017 study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found similar results on human subjects. Adult volunteers were treated with cannabinoids to help their pain symptoms, wherein the subjects were “more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.”
Sounds promising, no? Still, how do you know which one to take?
CBD Oil vs CBD Cream for Joint Pain: Understanding the Effects of Each
Without a doubt, the most common way to take CBD is through a sublingual oil or tincture. These come in a variety of potencies, but are all administered the same way.
First, the CBD (and sometimes other cannabinoids) is extracted from the hemp plant, often using CO2 extraction. It is then suspended in a carrier oil, usually MCT or coconut oil. This oil is sold in bottles that come with either a dropper or a spraying mechanism.
To take CBD oil, you simply place a few drops of it under your tongue. Hold the oil there for around 1-2 minutes, and then swallow. While the oil is in your mouth, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream via the capillaries in your mouth, and what isn’t absorbed is carried to the digestive system by the oil when you swallow.
CBD oil is considered to be a very effective method, as it delivers the CBD to your ECS without much getting in the way. As a result, there is quite a high level of bioavailability, and you get the most out of your CBD.
What About CBD Topicals?
A ‘CBD topical’ refers to a CBD application that is applied directly to the skin. This can be in the form of a cream, ointment, salve, balm, or moisturizer. CBD topicals often contain other ingredients besides CBD, usually “skin-health” ingredients like cacao butter, shea butter, and various aromatic herbs like lavender.
Using topical CBD lotion is incredibly easy; you simply apply a small amount of lotion to the area, and massage it a little before allowing the cream to sink in. It’s just like any other skin cream.
Using this method, the CBD penetrates the skin barrier and affects the ECS directly, rather than having to go through the bloodstream or digestive system. This can make it a highly effective method.
Choosing Whether to Use CBD Oil or Topical Cream for Pain
Anecdotal evidence shows that both CBD oils and CBD creams work well. As long as the active ingredient is CBD, you can be sure that it will do something. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these methods, so it all depends on what you are looking for.
CBD oil is so popular that there is a huge variety on the market. You might have to consult with a professional to understand what type of CBD is best for you.
Another advantage of oils is that they target the whole body. Sublingual oils will often balance out other parts of your body where you weren’t aware there was a problem. Generally speaking, oils are better for improving your overall balance.
On the other hand, CBD topicals can be ideal for targeting specific areas. If you have a localized irritation, topicals can potentially provide a faster and more immediate solution. If you want to target a specific area and leave the rest of your body to its own devices, then topicals are a wonderful option.
There are proponents for using both CBD oil and CBD topical lotions, so really it’s a matter of finding what’s right for you.
The Last Word: How to Choose Between CBD Oils and CBD Lotion for Joint Pain
CBD products in general are becoming increasingly popular. With CBD becoming normalized, more and more people are using products containing this cannabinoid, and we can see why.
In terms of “Which CBD”, the argument surrounding CBD oils vs CBD creams continues to be a major discussion. In reality, both are both great options, and choosing between them is simply a matter of personal preference (and of course, you can always combine the two).
Furthermore, most CBD oils can actually be applied directly to the skin and used like a topical, as well as being taken orally. This is great, but it can leave your skin feeling oily.
If you use CBD daily, let us know which method of consumption you prefer. We are always happy to know.