The world seems crazy for cannabidiol (CBD) right now. With so many products on the shelves, how can you find the perfect form of CBD for you? The fact is, ways in which you can acquire the coveted benefits of cannabidiol are diverse, and no single method is any ‘better’ than the other. It’s simply about finding the right CBD product for you, and firstly we must consider your health and wellbeing goals.
If you are searching for rapid pain relief from muscle pain or joint inflammation, or you are in need of a soothing treatment for an irritating skin condition such as eczema, than a CBD topical – such as a CBD balm or lotion - could be the most suitable option for you. A topical CBD product is simply a cream or salve that has been infused with CBD and is applied directly to the problem area. CBD balms are popular products within the UK CBD market thanks to their fast-acting effects. So how do you choose the right CBD topical balm for you? What exactly is cannabidiol and what is it useful for? Stick with us for all you need to know on the must-have soothing salve, and you’ll soon be reaping all the benefits of CBD.
What is CBD and How is it Extracted?
The cannabis or hemp plant has an abundance of natural chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most well-known cannabinoids that are frequently extracted for their health-boosting properties. Many people associate cannabis with getting ‘high’; this association stems from the THC compound which is psychoactive and therefore has intoxicating effects when ingested by humans.
CBD offers many of the same advantages to health as its psychoactive counterpart, but it possesses an altered chemical structure and therefore carries none of the intoxicating properties as THC. CBD is therefore a legal compound in the UK, and is often extracted and infused into many over-the-counter products. Some CBD products have a very low quantity of THC, but this is a trace amount (by UK law, the product must contain 0.2% THC or less).
There are several safe and effective methods by which CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant. There is the CO2 extraction method which sees pressurised carbon dioxide used to draw cannabidiol from the plant. A second popular extraction method is use of an organic solvent which is added to the plant to pull the compounds out (solvent extraction method).
Types of CBD Products
There are different types of CBD as well as a variety of products available for use. The three types of CBD you’ll find on product labels are:
- Full-spectrum CBD – This form of CBD is unrefined and contains a number of cannabinoids, including THC, plus health-boosting terpenes from the cannabis plant.
- Broad-spectrum CBD – Falling somewhere between full-spectrum and CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD contains additional cannabinoids and terpenes to boost its effectiveness, but does not contain THC.
- Pure CBD isolate – CBD isolate is a pure compound, containing no other cannabinoids.
It is believed that full- and broad-spectrum CBD are more effective than CBD isolate thanks to a phenomenon known as the ‘entourage effect’ whereby additional compounds and terpenes enhance its impact. However, relevant research is still in the early days, and many users currently opt for pure CBD isolate for its complete purity and safety.
Nowadays, CBD extract is used in a number of products, from CBD oils and tinctures to gummies and creams, and even bath bombs. Each product will offer a different CBD form and concentration, and potentially varied benefits.
What are the Benefits of CBD Topical Balms?
CBD balms are a popular choice of CBD product for a multitude of reasons:
- Fast pain relief – CBD topical balms can bring rapid pain relief to the area of application and studies have shown that they can even help alleviate symptoms of arthritis. Once applied, CBD is absorbed into the skin and can reduce inflammation and muscle pain.
- Stimulate blood flow – Some CBD salves can stimulate blood flow and boost muscle recovery, which can be particularly useful for fitness sessions. Look out for specific pre-and post-workout CBD topical balms.
- Soothes dry, irritated skin - Cannabidiol can relieve dry, itchy and inflamed skin when applied topically. It has soothing, moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Direct application – Unlike CBD oils, gummies and capsules, CBD topical balms and creams offer a convenient method of reaping the benefits of CBD via a localised area. This often means a lower concentration of CBD is required, which does not need to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Easy and convenient to use – CBD topical balms and salves can be used at any time of day, as and when required, and are easily slotted into a busy routine.
Finding Your Perfect CBD Topical Balm
Now that you have an insight into CBD and the effects of cannabidiol topicals, you can make an informed choice when it comes to selecting the best CBD topical balm or cream to suit your health and wellness goals. There are enough products on the market to suit a broad range of consumers; these offer diverse blends and added health-boosting organic extracts, varied CBD concentrations and a variety of flavours and aromas. Furthermore, you can use CBD topical balms simultaneously with alternative CBD products such as gummies for oils, for enhanced effects and added benefits such as lowered stress and anxiety levels.
You might prefer to start off with a low concentration if you are new to CBD. Select a stimulating CBD balm for providing muscles with a pre-workout boost, or a cooling salve to promote effective post-workout recovery. Choose a relaxing CBD topical balm for daily therapy and general muscle aches, and perhaps opt for a higher concentration of CBD for chronic pain or inflammation, that you can pick up any time of day. There is a great range of premium CBD products out there; experiment with one or two good-quality CBD brands to discover which products can make a truly significant difference to your life.