The next biggest part of the hemp industry is booming in Canada with good reason. There is an explosion of topical sticks, salves, balms, and lotions containing CBD and other inflammation relieving botanicals. There are even roll-ons for headaches. CBD Topicals for Pain. Are they effective? Science is starting to suggest that in fact it is.

CBD Topicals for Pain. Are they effective? Women with lotion

If you have read past articles or anything related to CBD you’ve already heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system best described as your bodies monitor & supervisor. Its key role is regulating and balancing many of the processes that take place in your body. Now your probably wondering what this have to do with pain relieving topicals, but bare with me.

An important piece of your endocannabinoid system is the unique receptors known as your CB1 and CB2 receptors which can be found throughout all parts of your body. Including, you guessed it, your skin. These receptors are like guards, waiting for the messages brought by either *endogenous cannabinoids or *phytocannabinoids. CBD is a phytocannabinoid that does not directly bind with the receptor like other endocannabinoids but influences the receptor on how it modulates other “messenger’s”. This seemingly complicated process is what begins to impact many processes like pain, immune system, appetite, mood and more. 

How does CBD manage pain?

Want to learn more? 

Check out our How Does CBD Oil Work For Managing Pain And Inflammation In The Body? blog. 

This in depth blog will have you understanding why CBD works to help you manage pain. 

This process and the receptors in your skin is what makes topicals another reasonable option for targeting pain and inflammation on joints and muscles. Now its fundamental to remember that inflammation is an important process the encourages healing after injury. This is evolutions way of telling you, hey! give that ankle a break, limp, keep pressure off of it. But it becomes a nuisance when this inflammation is prolonged and debilitating. Chronic pain can be a result when there is problems with the “messengers” mentioned above.

These receptors absorb the CBD lotion, and the CBD interacts begins to influence the pain signals that are being received, which means you can specifically target those problem areas. 

CBD Topicals for Pain. Are they effective?

Those suffering from arthritis and joint pain often end up dealing with this life-long. The use of cannabinoid infused topicals gives us another tool to help manage it. [1] It has even been even shown that CBD applied as an ointment could potentially protect against further progression of acute inflammation that can lead to nuropathy. 

Another study that was done took a group of 29 people suffering from neuropathy in lower extremities. They then split this group and gave CBD topically to 15 members and 14 of them were given a placebo. After 4 weeks the placebo group crossed over to join those getting the CBD topically. Based on questionnaire and using the Neuropathic Pain Scale it was concluded that CBD use applied to the skin seemed to statistically significant reduction in pain, tingles, and weakness.[2]

Five Natural Options for Pain Relief

Potency of CBD Infused Lotions, Balms and Topicals

This is significant to get the best results. While infused lotions are a great tool to add into your pain management routine, its important to note that as our skins major goal is to protect us from external factors. This means things don’t absorb effortlessly so low dose lotions won’t offer you optimal benefits. The number one thing to look for is concentration. You should aim for something that is at least 300mg total concentration. 

Want to try Infused Skin Care?

Visit our online store to find trusted Canadian brands you’ll love.

Everything from bath bombs and soaks, lotions and balms.

While more research is always needed, these studies and our understanding of our skin and the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD lotions look like a prime option when trying to manage pain. Especially those formulated with other healing ingredients like menthol and arnica. These give you the ability to target areas that are causing you pain. Lastly, lotions don’t have the ability to be psychoactive so it’s an ideal option if you’re new to the world of cannabinoids or have a loved one who is interested but hesitant. 

Check out a few of our favourites Canadian companies that created 

CBD topicals that you might want to try. 

SunnySide Relief

Cooling Menthol Muscle Pain Balm

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A potent dose of CBD featuring Cooling Menthol and SunnySides Botanicals in-house infused Arnica-Oil. 400mg per oz of balm to provide the RELIEF you need. Naturally warming sensation to help sooth muscles and release tension to provide comfort. It is specifically formulated with ingredients that work together to aid and target those troubles areas.

Calyx Smooth + 1200mg

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Calyx Wellness created this CBD lotion. It is a strong concentration to help target the many receptors you have on your skin. It’s anti-inflammatory properties may help with muscle and joint pain as well as skin conditions.

It’s combined with other botanicals like lavender, sandalwood and tea tree. Leaving your skin feeling nourished, healthy and smooth

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National Center for Biotechnology Information

Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related 

behaviours in a rat model of arthritis

Author: D.C. Hammell,  L.P. ZhangF. Ma S.M. AbshireS.L. McIlwrathA.L. Stinchcomb, and 

K.N. Westlund


[1] National Center for Biotechnology Information

Attenuation of early phase inflammation by 

cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis

Holly T. PhilpottMelissa O’Brien, and  Jason J. McDougall



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