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Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD topicals offer a wide range of benefits, from pain management to skin health. Effectiveness varies according to their potency, overall quality of ingredients, and cannabinoid profile.
A quick look at the 8 best CBD topicals:
- Best menthol: RE: Botanicals CBD Muscle Rub
- Best hypoallergenic: Peak Extracts Rescue Rub
- Best organic: Joy Organics CBD Salve
- Best for natural farming: CBDistillary Topical Salve
- Best oil: Papa and Barkley Releaf CBD Body Oil
- Best plant-based: Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On
- Best low price: Green Gorilla Botanical CBD Balm
- Best cream: Holmes Organics CBD Cream
Many CBD products are now available online, including topicals, such as body oils, balms, and salves. This article looks at CBD topicals and discusses considerations.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound of the Cannabis sativa plant. According to a 2017 report by the
Individuals may choose to try CBD for various conditions, such as acne, depression, or muscular pain.
The following table contains some useful terms relating to CBD.
|CBD||A compound within the C. sativa plant that does not create the high sensation individuals commonly associate with cannabis use.|
|THC||A compound in the C. sativa plant. It is the psychoactive compound that creates the high sensation from cannabis use. Its full name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.|
|Full-spectrum||A full-spectrum product will contain all of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on full-spectrum CBD products.|
|Broad-spectrum||Broad-spectrum products contain natural compounds of the cannabis plant. However, while manufacturers remove all or most of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it may still be present in trace amounts.|
|CBD isolate||This is the purest form of CBD and should contain 0% THC.|
|Cannabinoids||The compounds within the cannabis plant, of which there are |
|Terpenes||Another compound of the C. sativa plant, terpenes typically give plants their specific aromas. Some terpenes, such as limonene, may have specific health benefits.|
|Certificate of analysis (COA)||Reputable manufacturers of CBD products should ensure a COA is available for inspection. A COA provides information on the third-party testing that independent labs conduct on a particular product. Sometimes, products will have a scannable smartphone code that directs people to the COA online.|
To avoid unwanted drug interactions or side effects, a person should consult a doctor or healthcare professional before using CBD products.
Humans have a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their skin. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate several bodily functions. When a person applies CBD topically, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the epidermal and dermal skin, where it acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps relieve pain.
However, there are limited studies on the use of topical cannabinoids.
CBD topicals are any CBD product that a person can rub directly into the skin. Types of CBD topical include:
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
- Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage.
- Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage.
- Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
- Available certificate of analysis:MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best menthol: RE: Botanicals Menthol Muscle Rub with CBD
|Size||3 fluid ounces (fl oz)|
|Dosage||600 milligrams (mg)|
|Key ingredients||menthol USP 4%, hemp extract, water|
|Pro||relieves muscle pain|
|Con||may not suit for those with menthol allergies|
This product contains full-spectrum hemp extract and comes in a roll-on applicator bottle. It also contains menthol to give a cooling effect.
The manufacturer advises that the product should target pain and offer anti-inflammatory support.
The company is verified with Trustpilot, which gives them a 4.7-star rating out of a possible 5, based on 110 reviews.
RE: Botanicals claims that its plants are sun-grown in the USA and tested for purity by third-party labs.
Best hypoallergenic: Peak Extracts Rescue Rub
|Size||1 or 2 ounces (oz)|
|Dosage||125 or 250 mg|
|Key ingredients||coconut oil, shea butter, hemp extract, and essential oils|
|Pro||provides relief for a person with muscle pain, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions|
|Con||not available to all areas of the U.S.|
According to the Peak Extracts website, Rescue Rub was initially a treatment for blunt trauma. This product contains CBD and 12 terpene-rich herbs. Peak Extracts offers THC-free, full-spectrum, and CBDa formulas.
The rub is hypoallergenic and is coconut, shea, and jojoba oil-based.
Currently, Peak Extracts does not have any reviews or ratings from trusted sources.
Best organic: Joy Organics CBD Salve
|Size||1 or 2 oz|
|CBD (per bottle)||500 or 1,000 mg|
|Active ingredients||CBD oil, beeswax, lavender essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil|
|Pro||organic and cruelty-free|
Manufacturers designed this broad-spectrum, THC-free, phytocannabinoid-rich CBD salve to promote skin health and relieve muscle pain. Joy Organics claim that their organic formula is better for the environment and a person’s skin.
This lab-tested CBD salve contains an estimated 80.7% CBD. Joy Organics provides publicly accessible lab reports on all its products.
Joy Organics has a 3.2-star rating out of a possible 5 on Trustpilot, based on two customer reviews.
The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating.
Best naturally farmed: CBDistillery Topical Salve
|CBD (per container)||500 mg|
|Key ingredients||tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, green tea extract, beeswax|
|Con||unsuitable for those with specific allergies|
This hemp-derived CBD salve may help relieve localized muscle pain. Each jar of CBDol salve contains 500 mg of full-spectrum CBD extract.
According to its website, CBDistillery sources its non-GMO hemp through natural farming practices.
Best oil: Papa and Barkley Releaf CBD Body Oil
|CBD (per bottle)||400 mg|
|Key ingredients||vitamin E, blended essential oils|
|Pro||never made with chemical solvents|
|Con||unsuitable for those with specific allergies or sensitivities|
Papa and Barkley claims this full-spectrum CBD oil can help relieve soreness, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Best plant-based: Green Roads Heat Relief CBD Roll-On
|Size||3 fl oz|
|CBD (per bottle)||350 or 750mg|
|Key ingredients||avocado oil, rosemary oil, vitamin E, cayenne extract, bentonite clay|
This plant-based product contains broad-spectrum CBD. It contains cayenne to provide heat action for pain relief. It also contains rosemary oil for fatigued muscles. The avocado oil and bentonite clay support the skin.
Green Roads have a 2.8-star rating out of a possible 5 stars on Trustpilot based on three reviews. They do not have a BBB page.
Best low price: Green Gorilla Botanical CBD Balm
|CBD (per bottle)||1,200mg|
|Key ingredients||turmeric, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender oil, CBD oil, extra virgin olive oil|
|Con||shipping fee for orders under $75|
This product has a low price in comparison with other competitors on this list.
It also contains turmeric, rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil, which all have antioxidant properties. The company use organic hemp and all products undergo third party testing.
The company has a 4.8-star rating out of a possible 5 on Trustpilot. Green Gorilla do not appear to have a BBB page.
Best cream: Holmes Organics CBD Cream
|Size||4 fl oz|
|CBD (per bottle)||400mg|
|Pro||third party tested|
|Con||limited information on website about ingredients|
This broad-spectrum cream includes menthol to create a cooling effect. The company state that this cream soothes and supports sore muscles.
Holmes Organics do not have any reviews on reputable websites such as Trustpilot or BBB.
The below table compares all the products in the article:
|RE: Botanicals||Peak Extracts||Joy Organics||CBDistillery||Papa and Barkley||Green Roads||Green Gorilla||Holmes Organics|
|Size||3 fl oz||1 or 2 oz||1 or 2 oz||1 oz||60ml||3 fl oz||1.75oz||4 fl oz|
|Dosage||600mg||125 or 250mg||500 or 1,000mg||500mg||400mg||350 or 750mg||1,200mg||400mg|
CBD is only one of the
CBD possesses potent antioxidant properties, which may help prevent skin inflammation or damage due to ultraviolet (UV) rays and environmental pollutants.
Topical CBD offers a more targeted form of treatment that may address musculoskeletal and joint pain, as well as chronic skin conditions. According to the Arthritis Foundation, CBD can also effectively treat arthritic pain.
The authors of one
In a small
Scientific research into the effects and health benefits of CBD topicals is still at a relatively early stage. However, there is increasing evidence that it may have numerous medicinal properties. That said, people should not use CBD as an alternative to other treatment options without discussing it with a doctor or healthcare professional first.
A person should contact a doctor before using any CBD products, particularly if they have known preexisting medical conditions or are taking prescribed medications.
Individuals may also consider contacting a doctor or healthcare professional if they experience side effects from a CBD product. Though often well tolerated,
If side effects occur, a person should discontinue using the product immediately.
Below are some common questions relating to topical CBD.
Is CBD effective topically?
Although scientific studies are scarce, anecdotal evidence generally suggests the topical use of CBD is effective.
What is the most potent CBD salve?
Within this article, the Joy Organics Salve contains the most CBD.
Can CBD be absorbed through the skin?
Yes. CBD absorbs into the skin through receptors and penetrates through the epidermal and dermal levels.
How do I choose a CBD topical?
CBD topicals come in a variety of fragrances, ingredients, and doses.
People can look for additional ingredients they enjoy using, such as lavender oil. They should also look out for ingredients to which they may have an allergy or sensitivity.
Individuals may also consider whether the product contains THC and how much CBD is in it.
A person should also choose a topical that is within their budget.
CBD topicals may help alleviate muscle soreness, joint inflammation, and chronic skin conditions.
CBD products can contain other cannabinoids and trace amounts of THC, depending on the extraction process.
High quality CBD products undergo third-party laboratory testing that checks for CBD concentration, product quality, and contaminants.