CBD balm contains cannabidiol, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. This compound has several health benefits that are often utilised to enhance a person’s overall well-being and quality of life. Unlike another well-known compound in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol does not produce a ‘high’ or inebriating effect.
Although there are a number of ways you can take cannabidiol such as through oils, capsules and edibles, CBD balms offer some unique benefits. They can be applied directly to a localised area of the skin that is causing pain or discomfort. Many people use balms containing cannabidiol as part of a therapeutic routine before going to sleep at night.
Uses of CBD Balms
Balms infused with cannabidiol are most often used to alleviate pain as well as disorders that affect the skin. The following are some of the main health issues that balms containing cannabidiol are used to treat:
- Attenuation of arthritis pain
- Relief from nerve pain (also known as neuralgia or neuropathic pain)
- Soothing of muscle pain, cramps and aches
- Treatment for psoriasis
- Reduced inflammation and dry skin associated with eczema
- Relief from the symptoms of acne
- Revitalisation of skin and anti-ageing effects
The body naturally produces compounds which are similar to cannabidiol, called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system was only discovered in the early nineties and is believed to play an important role in various bodily functions. These functions include the regulation of sleep, appetite, inflammation and pain sensitivity.
The cannabidiol contained in balms easily penetrates the surface of the skin and interacts with the endocannabinoid system. As a result, it effectively nourishes skin cells and bonds to cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2.
These receptors can be found on the surface of cells and they communicate what is happening on the outside of cells. Cannabidiol receptors convey signals to the inside of the cell if conditions change, thereby activating an appropriate cellular response.
CBD Balm for Pain
The cannabidiol balm mechanism of action is often effective in the treatment of various types of pain. Whether it is acute pain, such as a muscle injury, or chronic pain like peripheral neuropathy, pain can interfere with daily activities and reduce the quality of a person’s life. A person with pain often experiences psychological consequences like anxiety, irritability and sometimes, even depression.
In clinical studies, the main compound in CBD balms has been shown to bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, making them less sensitive as a result. This function subsequently reduces inflammation as well as the perception of pain. Although the source of the pain may still be present, a lower level of discomfort is experienced.
In a randomised controlled trial, the efficacy of topical cannabidiol in the treatment of pain associated with peripheral neuropathy of the lower body was assessed. Diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy, although, this condition can also be the result of other problems like infections, injuries or poor nutrition.
In the controlled study, 15 patients randomly received a product similar to CBD balm for pain, while the remaining 14 patients were given an inactive placebo treatment. Approximately 62% of the study participants were males and 38% were females with an overall average age of 68.
An assessment tool called the Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS) was used and patients who received placebo were permitted to take the cannabidiol treatment after 4 weeks. The results of the NPS revealed considerable improvements among patients who received the cannabidiol topical treatment in terms of the following:
- A reduction in intense pain
- Decreased levels of sharp pain
- Fewer cold and itchy sensations
The study found that applying cannabidiol to the skin can significantly reduce pain as well as other uncomfortable sensations associated with peripheral neuropathy.
CBD Balm for Skin
In addition to relieving painful conditions, CBD balm is also beneficial in the treatment of skin conditions. Cannabidiol is a potent antioxidant that counteracts dryness and keeps skin looking and feeling healthy. It has the ability to strengthen and regenerate the skin, making it useful in the treatment of the following skin ailments:
Treatment with balms containing cannabidiol
A condition that is characterised by inflamed, red skin patches, psoriasis can impact various aspects of a person’s life from physical to mental health. Balms infused with cannabidiol are able to stop the accumulation of skin cells, which helps ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, which is a condition characterised by red, itchy and dry skin. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, balms containing cannabidiol help prevent itchiness and relieve the symptoms of eczema.
Acne is a common problem that is characterised by oily skin, blocked pores, spots, bumps and pimples. This condition tends to happen when sebaceous glands produce too much sebum which is an oily, waxy substance. This substance can plug hair follicles, resulting in acne. Balms with cannabidiol help reduce the activity of sebaceous glands as well as overall sebum production. The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol also help reduce acne symptoms and scarring.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin issue that most often affects the face. This condition is often mistaken for eczema or acne as the symptoms are similar and include skin irritation, flushing and pimples. Rosacea appears to be caused by inflammation and balms containing cannabidiol can help act against this.
Best CBD Balm
Balms infused with cannabidiol can effectively relieve pain and help promote healthy skin. When choosing the best balm, it is advisable to look for products that meet the following criteria:
- Do not contain more than 0.3% THC
- Are third-party tested by an accredited laboratory
- Have passed safety testing and strength assessments
- Produced in high-quality manufacturing facilities
The best balms do not contain water and only use wax and fatty oils as a base. Cannabidiol is hydrophobic which means it does not dissolve easily in water. So the more fatty acids a balm has, the more cannabidiol it will be able to contain.
The best products usually have a comprehensive list of ingredients on the product packaging. Most reputable brands use industrial hemp as the source of cannabidiol.