There are several different ways we can get the wholesome benefits of CBD into our bodies, and one method involves the largest organ we have – our skin. CBD reportedly has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why CBD is currently the most popular ingredient in skincare products.
But the primary function of our skin is to protect us from infections and other external threats. So how is it that CBD can permeate our skin’s surface to be effective? Read on to understand how CBD is absorbed through the skin.
How CBD Works With Skin
CBD is able to work with skin one of two ways – topically and transdermally. And we’ll discuss more about those applications a bit later. But what CBD is meant to do is support our endocannabinoid system (ECS) in maintaining homeostasis.
And in particular, CBD does its job by stimulating a specific set of cannabinoid receptors – aptly called CB2 receptors. These receptors connect to our peripheral nervous system, which stretches out to many different organs, including the skin.
However, when used on skin, CBD doesn’t penetrate deep enough to pass through any blood-brain barriers to reach the bloodstream, unlike other CBD methods. But it does provide a localized effect when applied through topical means because it becomes absorbed through the pores – working with the CB2 receptors inside the skin.
How Does Topical CBD Work?
CBD topicals include creams, lotions, and other CBD-infused products applied directly onto your skin. As mentioned earlier, topical CBD absorption offers localized relief, meaning it’s useful for mild physical discomfort and soreness in a contained surface area.
For example, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the most common form of physical discomfort that naturally occurs a few hours after a strenuous exercise or fitness routine. And CBD topicals are the most straightforward way, and most preferred method, to help ease the discomfort.
With topical CBD skin absorption, the CBD molecules affect the skin cells called sebocytes that create the sebaceous gland. And the sebaceous gland itself produces sebum, which is an oily secretion that keeps the skin flexible and resilient.
The CBD from a topical cream or lotion penetrates the sebaceous gland through the hair follicles. Once absorbed, the CBD and the activation of the cannabinoid receptors help boost the soothing abilities of other well-known pain-relieving agents, like the topical analgesic histamine dihydrochloride.
And because CBD absorption from topicals doesn’t permeate much further beyond the sebaceous gland, you typically should use a generous amount of the topical to achieve the desired effect.
But if you’re looking for a CBD absorption option that can penetrate the skin much further, a transdermal might be the choice for you.
How Does Transdermal CBD Work?
A better question would be, “What’s the difference between topical and transdermal applications?”
Transdermal typically means something that is skin permeable – it penetrates through the skin and enters into the body. The skin’s epidermis works to protect the lower layers from toxins, harmful rays, germs, and bacteria.
A transdermal product is specially formulated to bring its active ingredients to those lower layers beneath the epidermis – and transdermal CBD absorption is a better choice for CBD that has to penetrate deeper into the skin and get into the bloodstream.
Once the CBD reaches the bloodstream, it may affect the entire body – leading to other potential benefits such as calmness, relaxation, and comfortability. This reaction comes from CBD molecules activating CB2 receptors other than those found in the skin.
In other words, transdermal CBD is useful for several other purposes than minor discomfort and soreness.
CBD And Skin Care
Conversely, topical CBD absorption is useful for soothing a specific area of the skin. And many topical CBD products contain several other ingredients that specifically help to repair, protect, and moisturize the skin.
With these specialized ingredients and the wholesome benefits of CBD infused together, CBD topicals are also ideal for reducing blemishes, which is why many beauty products are currently incorporating CBD into their formulas.
But remember, CBD topicals are useful only for the skin surface. They do not permeate into the lower layers beyond the epidermis, so the CBD or any other of the active ingredients never hit the bloodstream.
But suppose you like your CBD absorbed through the skin but still need it to enter your bloodstream? In that case, a transdermal cream or patch is specifically designed to get its active ingredients through the lower layers of skin and into your blood.
Have you had the chance to try any CBD topicals for discomfort relief or skin nourishment lately? If so, how was your experience? Do you prefer transdermal CBD absorption versus a topical application? Or do you think CBD should even be included with beauty and skin care?