CBD through topical application is directly applied to the skin where the symptoms appear. To ensure that the CBD has been absorbed in the skin, rub the product gently into the skin.
CBD topicals are only able to affect the surface of the body unlike other methods where ingestion is required. The other methods, ingesting, inhaling and sublingual application, allows CBD to enter straight into the blood stream, affecting immediately the endocannabinoid system. However, through topical application, the effects are different.
Key factors of using topical CBD
- Use: Topical
- Bioavailability: Medium (depending on the concentration and the quantity)
- Dose accuracy: Very low
- Time to onset: 30 minutes
- Duration of effect: 5-7 hours
Transdermal administration avoids the first-pass metabolism effect that is associated with the oral route and thus improves drug bioavailability. Topicals with CBD are potentially ideal for localised symptoms, such as those found in dermatological conditions and arthritis but also in peripheral neuropathic pain for which capsaicin patches have been proposed as a second line treatment after high quality of evidence was provided. However, there are some disadvantages to consider, such as the possibility of local irritation and the low skin penetration of drugs with a hydrophilic structure.