One of the biggest changes in the pain relief market in the past few years has most likely been the addition of CBD. CBD has been added to creams, sprays, gummies, lotions, and much more. But is CBD just a buzzword that is thrown on the side of a product to boost sales? Why do CBD Topicals relieve pain and inflammation?


How Pain and Inflammation Work


Pain is a very complicated and well-investigated process. We are all familiar with what pain feels like and what causes it, but we don’t normally think about what is going on under the surface. When we are injured, our body begins the healing process and provides much-needed nutrients to the site of injury. At the same time, it recognizes that this area of the body is at greater risk for further injury. Bearing weight or applying pressure to the injured area can make matters worse, so the body also sends an emergency signal to the brain that makes it so that we avoid further injury. This is the signal that we interpret as pain.


These mechanisms serve as great protections when we break a bone, get a major cut, or completely tear muscles. But when the injury is only small, it is not uncommon for our body to overreact and send more pain signals than are needed. At times like these, other hormones try to balance out the inflammation response to give your body the nutrients it needs to heal without excessive pain or swelling. Sometimes, this balance isn’t properly reached, so a little help is needed.


There are many commonly known ways to reduce inflammation and pain. Athletes may be familiar with the acronym “R.I.C.E.” meaning rest, ice, compression, and elevation. All of these can help reduce swelling and decrease pain. In addition, many over-the-counter or even prescription-strength medications can stop the process of inflammation and reduce swelling. However, CBD works differently.


CBD and You


Cannabidiol, known commonly as CBD, is a naturally occurring substance known as a cannabinoid. These substances can be found in cannabis, but not all cannabinoids have the same effect on the body. Another cannabinoid, THC, is known for producing the psychoactive and euphoric effects that most associate with cannabis. However, CBD is a non-psychoactive component, meaning it does not alter one’s mental state or impair one’s ability to operate machinery.


Because CBD and other cannabinoids are so unique when compared to other substances, the body has developed a specialized system exclusively for processing them- the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This processing system takes in the cannabinoids applied to the body and causes a distinct reaction based on both the cannabinoid and the delivery method used. This means that careful thought must go into using CBD for pain and inflammation relief.


How CBD Targets Pain and Inflammation


CBD is known for having a generally “calming” effect on the body. Even though the exact way this calming takes place will vary depending on the method of CBD application, the general mechanism remains mostly the same. For example, when CBD is taken orally, such as through a gummy or tincture, it promotes an overall relaxation that can be helpful for those dealing with insomnia, anxiety, or depression. However, internally ingested CBD is not as beneficial for targeting localized inflammation or reducing acute pain.


By topically applying CBD, the ECS activates the body’s built-in anti-inflammatory response. This helps to bring down swelling while at the same time reducing pain. By using the body’s own anti-inflammatory tools, you are able to experience a gentle and natural relief from pain without nasty side effects. Also, many studies have shown that allergic reactions and harmful effects are rare when using CBD. However, it should be noted that CBD is currently only recognized by the FDA as a supplement, not a medication. As such, there are fewer regulations in the application and production of CBD than other medications. If you ever have questions about taking CBD, talk to your doctor or another medical professional.


How To Choose a CBD Topical


Because of the popularity of CBD, you can find CBD products in just about any store. How can you know which CBD products are high quality and a good fit for you? There are a number of factors to consider before looking into buying.


First, you need to consider closely the company that you are buying from. There are countless brands of CBD products, some of which do not ensure the purity and potency of their products. This can be recognized by looking through the ingredients. While CBD will likely not be listed as the first ingredient in a topical application, it should be listed as one of the first active ingredients. The company should also clearly stand behind its products and focus on CBD.


Next, you will want to select a topical application that fits your needs. While there are a wide variety of CBD topicals available, careful consideration should be given to the application method you choose. Some, like sprays or lotions, do provide easy absorption by the body and are readily available, but are not a very good fit for targeted applications, such as acute aches and pains. Instead, most people prefer using CBD balms for topical pain as those allow you to apply CBD directly where you need it.


Finally, before buying anything you will want to look for third-party testing. As is mentioned above, CBD is not regulated as heavily as medications, allowing producers a certain amount of leeway. This could potentially allow for low-quality products to enter the market. To counteract that, third-party testing has been established as an industry standard. By having an unaffiliated third party test the products for purity and potency, you can be sure that you are getting the high-quality product you deserve. As an example, CBD Move Free backs all of its products with recent third-party testing very clearly so that you know what you are getting.


So, whether you are a longtime CBD fan or are simply curious about how CBD can help your pain and inflammation, CBD topicals can be very beneficial for you. When applied to the skin through a balm, in particular, healing and relief can come quickly and naturally.

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