5 Things to Know When Using CBD as a Topical Pain Reliever

5 min read

5 Things to Know When Using CBD as a Topical Pain Reliever

Topical use of CBD creams, balms, ointments, and lotions for pain relief - 5 Things to know

5 Things to Know When Using CBD as a Topical Pain Reliever

In recent times, cannabidiol (CBD) has established itself as a non-prescription side-effect free solution for a myriad of mental, emotional, and physical issues. It shows potential to benefit the entire body quickly and help one shift towards homeostasis via the endocannabinoid system.
One of the most frequent uses of CBD is in pain management. With a significant portion of the U.S. population suffering from some sort of acute or chronic pain at any given moment, effective products for common pain conditions such as arthritis, RA, joint pain, knee pain, and lumbago are in high demand and for some, a necessity.
There are 2 ways to take CBD products: internally, or externally. This article will focus on the external method, i.e. topical application, of CBD which would fall under the category of topical analgesic.
For many pain sufferers, topically applied CBD products offer significant relief. It’s a direct way to treat the painful area and put the CBD exactly where it hurts. This lets the CBD work on the target area, rather than be spread around to other parts of the body where it may not be needed. Plus, topically applied CBD products can provide strong pain relief that can work almost instantaneously when absorbed through the skin.
In addition, cannabidiol can be an incredibly safe and natural alternative to opioid consumption that can be expensive, harmful to the liver, and addictive. CBD is playing a significant part in transitioning addicts away from these opiates and other pharmaceutical grade painkillers.
Topical CBD products are generally safe and easy to use. Whether you are a first time user or an avid user, we want to ensure that you get the most benefit out of your topical CBD products in your self-care regimen, pain management protocol, or physical therapy rehabilitation!

Below is our list of 5 things to know when using CBD topicals.

1. Make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients

As with any other product, it is important to know if your CBD product contains substances you are allergic to. Since we’re talking about topical, those with sensitive skin will usually know what will invite itching, hives, or other irritation.
For best practice, find a brand that uses natural and organic ingredients. Petroleum, paraffin, and petrolatum are cheap, base ingredients that can cause clogged pores and poor absorption of CBD through the skin. Generally, natural ingredients have fewer contaminants
Instead, opt for products that contain jojoba oil, or other nut oils that can provide moisture, nourishment, and protection for skin. Battle Balm contains USDA certified organic jojoba oil and USDA certified organic beeswax as the carrier system for maximum transdermal absorption of CBD through the skin.

2. Identify the sore spot

The best pain management practices begin with determining what area to treat. In the body, the sensation of pain can be directly at the area of sensation, or it can be indirect, or nearby the area of pain sensation. An example of a direct source of pain would be a broken toe that was damaged on the corner of a coffee table leg. An example of an indirect source of pain would be lateral knee pain caused by the tensor fasciae latae muscle on the thigh. In this indirect example, applying CBD cream, balm, or oil to the knee would be ineffective. Understanding where the pain is stemming from, will make the application of the CBD pain reliever, much more effective. You may need to consult a professional to help you identify the cause of your pain to better treat the area.
At Battle Balm, we are pain professionals. We can help you identify potential causes for musculoskeletal pain in your body. NOTE: We are not a substitute for an in-person visit to your medical professional, if you require one.

3. Clean the Area

Every day, our skin is exposed to dust and other environmental particles. In addition, our skin generates sebum, an oily protective film to help skin maintain moisture. All of these things can slow or block cannabidiol-infused lotions or topicals from getting to and penetrating skin. Therefore, you will want to wash the target area, preferably with soap and water, and let it dry. This process will remove dirt and oils that may have accumulated onto the skin and provide for the greater penetration of CBD transdermally.

4. Apply enough CBD topical

The idea for applying CBD topicals is to use as little as possible to get the desired effect. That being said, you should try to use as few fingers as possible to apply and spread the product thinly and evenly.
Here, it is better to err on the side of caution. Choose to apply more product to cover the painful area, rather than using too much and having to wash a significant amount off of your hands.
Since not all of the CBD you apply to the skin is bioavailable, you should consider multiple applications of your CBD product throughout the day for best results. As always, if you get pain relief from the amount of product you used, you do not need to apply more. Just wait for the pain sensation to return and reapply a small amount if desired. Remember, topical CBD is faster acting than the oral variety and can be felt within minutes.

5. Dress appropriately

Wearing clothing that can rub or soak up the CBD balm you just applied will cause you to reapply product often. If possible, wear loose fitting clothing over the area that you have treated. Or, use an elastic bandage or neoprene wrap to cover the treated area.
We have found that most CBD lotions, balm, creams, and oils penetrate better when warm, rather than cold. Also note that warmth opens up skin pores, increases circulation, and allows for better skin permeation. So, think about wrapping the treated area to bring even more pain relieving power to your CBD topical.

Also consider what type of activities you will be doing after using CBD products. Being in the water, or exposed to extreme temperatures can also affect how the product will interact with your skin.


Using CBD balms, creams, lotions, oils, etc. for topical pain relief can bring many benefits and allow you to return to activities you once enjoyed. As cannabidiol grows in popularity, more and more people will have access to this great natural substance that when used properly, will positively interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body and enhance your life. 

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