CBD Oil or CBD Cream for Joint Pain? [Answered]
Cannabidiol, a.k.a CBD, has become popular for so many reasons. It is used as a general dietary supplement to support health and well-being, but has also been used as a means to alleviate the symptoms of various conditions.
Clinical trials are being carried out continuously on the effectiveness of CBD for these uses, but most indications have been very positive. In fact, one of the most popular uses for CBD is to treat symptoms of chronic pain, as it is known to be an anti-inflammatory that may be able to reduce the sensation of pain.
When it comes to taking CBD, however, there are a multitude of methods you can use. Different applications seem to work better for different conditions, and that’s why it’s important to do your research. For joint pain 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, but first, let’s investigate available research that shows how CBD really can reduce inflammation in sore, arthritic joints, and thereby help to ease the sensation of pain.
Before We Talk About CBD Oil vs. Cream for Arthritis, 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.
So what about the use of CBD oil vs CBD cream for joint pain? Well, 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.”
These studies, among other similar ones that have been carried out, suggest that topical CBD pain cream could be a viable treatment option for those suffering from arthritis and other forms of joint pain. Of course, we all know that standard CBD oils can have amazing effects as well – so 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 – including the potential for it to help with things like joint pain and arthritis.
What About CBD Topicals?
A ‘CBD topical’ refers to a CBD treatment 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 for joint pain is incredibly easy; you simply apply a small amount of lotion to the affected area, and massage it a little before allowing the cream to sink in. It’s just like any other skin treatment.
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, but only for certain conditions.
Choosing Whether to Use CBD Oil or Topical Cream for Pain
Anecdotal evidence shows that both CBD oils and CBD creams work well for joint pain. As long as the active ingredient is CBD, you can be sure that it will do something to help you alleviate your pain. 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. If your pain is severe, you may need a more potent product, and this might have to be CBD oil. Furthermore, sublingual administration is considered to be one of the most efficient methods for taking CBD, which is why it might be of greater benefit to you.
Another advantage of oils is that they target the whole body. Although you are taking CBD for pain, sublingual oils might also balance out other parts of your body where you weren’t aware there was a problem. Oils are better for improving your overall health.
On the other hand, CBD topicals can be ideal for specific treatment. If you have a localized pain like joint pain from arthritis, topicals can potentially provide a faster and more immediate form of relief. In some instances, they have also been used for skin conditions like eczema. 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 pain 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 treating pain, 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, which is where the “healing effects” of CBD topicals come in.
By taking sublingual CBD oil each day, you may be able to improve your general well-being and potentially alleviate the symptoms of chronic joint pain. But if you feel that this is not enough, having a topical CBD cream on hand to deliver quick and efficient relief throughout the day is also an option.
If you suffer from a pain condition and use CBD to help, let us know which method of consumption you prefer.