Fad or Fact: Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Absorb through the skin?

Fad or fact is often found surrounding cannabidiol because there is so little research done on CBD. So, can CBD absorb through the skin? Does it work differently when absorbed through this skin? Is it safe to use daily? What even is CBD? Does CBD get you high like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does? Are there other kinds of CBD?  Why should you use CBD? Where can one find CBD? These are all of the questions that we will answer in this article. Read on to find out more! 

What is CBD? Will it get me “high”? 

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.  It is the non- inebriating factor that many confuse to be THC. CBD is typically extracted from the hemp plant, which is Cannabis sativa L., that is lower than 0.3% THC, which means hemp-derived CBD will not inebriate users.  CBD can also be extracted and purified to have no detectable THC. CBD may also extracted from Cannabis plants, but this allows a higher percentage of THC to be in the CBD product. CBD derived from hemp, meaning plants lower than 0.3% THC are legal across the United States.. CBD has been described to assist certain health issues in holistic way. CBD reacts with a person’s (or animals) Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that is full of neurotransmitters to create potential positive effects if used correctly. 

Is there a difference between CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)?

This is a question that many ask when researching CBD. This is because there is a lot of misinformation about the difference between THC and CBD out there. CBD and THC are the two main cannabinoids that are taken from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD has been described to give a sense of calm among other positive wellbeing effects. THC, however, is the cannabinoid that gives the psychoactive effects that many researchers have studied. Because of the attention on THC, CBD research and effects are often overlooked. THC is legal in few states and for those 21+ or for medical purposes. Aside from legality, the largest difference between THC and CBD, THC creates the “high” effect and CBD does not get the “high” effect but may provide a plethora of overall health benefits. The effects of both cannabinoids are conducted by the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) but make the body and mind feel differently.

Does CBD absorb through the skin? Why should I use a CBD topical? 

The short answer to this question is, yes, CBD does absorb into the skin but does not penetrate through the dermis into the like other types of CBD products. That being said it is important to note that CBD topicals, when applied to the skin, reach the cannabinoid receptors near the application site and interact with them. The skin has low permeability, which means that our skin blocks most things that try to enter it. It is important to note that a user can still get benefits of CBD topicals by applying it liberally to the affected area. When CBD topicals are applied liberally it can absorb through the skin from the pores. To reach peak effects of a CBD topical, you must be consistent with your applications.

What are the benefits of a CBD topical? Skin health! There have been described positive effects with CBD topicals and skin health. This study used multiple measurements to evaluate the skin health before and after the use of CBD. Researchers measured skin elasticity, hydration, and a trans epidermal water loss. Photographic evidence was also gather to support the measurements taken in the study. The researchers found that the administration of a topical CBD ointment may be a positive way to improve skin health for those with or without skin conditions. Who doesn’t want a little extra skin health? 

What other kinds of CBD products are there?

There are many different types of products that contain CBD that are not administered through the skin. Your choice in product depends on why you are looking to use CBD. Here is a list of other types of CBD products besides topicals: 

  1. Softgels or capsules:  Softgels or capsules are a great way to get a daily amount of CBD into your routine. These are taken orally like a pill. After the softgel or capsule is taken it is broken down in the stomach and then enters the bloodstream from there. This way of taking CBD takes a bit longer to feel the potential effects as it has to go through the digestive system, but it generally lasts longer in the system.
  2. Edibles: This way of using CBD is similar to a softgel or capsule. Some people have added CBD oil to their favorite snack or try out gummies for a daily ingestible. This way also takes longer to feel the effects, but lasts longer too.   
  3. Tinctures: This type of CBD product is the quickest way to get CBD into your bloodstream as it is administered in the mouth and then goes into the bloodstream from there. It does not have to wait for a system to break it down. You feel the effects quicker than a softgel or capsule but it does not stay in your bloodstream as long. People often worry about the taste but it is easily masked by drinking or eating something sweet directly after. 
  4. Vapes: Although Panacea Life Sciences does not endorse the use of vapes, it is an option for CBD use. This way of using CBD has the highest rate of absorption as it is directly entering in the bloodstream via inhalation. That being said it is important to note that the effects are shorter lived and there has been a report of injuries associated with vaping.

Are there more than one use for CBD?

Besides skin health, there are plenty of other reasons to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. CBD has been described to have anti-inflammatory traits.  CBD has been reported to reduce joint inflammation in many studies. This includes a study done by us here at Panacea Life Sciences. We tested dogs with age-related movement issues. The conclusive reports were that dogs given CBD for a month demonstrated increased ability to run, climb stairs and get into cars as reported by owners.  You can read more about our study here. Another use of CBD is found in the drug called Epidiolex. This is the an FDA approved medicine that contains pure CBD(keep this in mind while shopping and doing your own research on CBD). Epidiolex was shown to be effective at treating  two forms of severe epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Mental wellbeing is also another reason to use CBD daily. A study involving rats found that CBD assisted with the overall feeling of helplessness and lessening anhedonia (a symptom of depression where activities that normally provide pleasure and happiness no longer do so). Because of these findings we can infer that their overall mental wellbeing would improve upon taking CBD. Another described use of CBD is a sense of calm. This use of CBD would assist those who may feel anxiousness from day to day. There are many uses of CBD but, it just depends on what way a user would like to improve their lives in a more holistic way. But, wait, where do you get such things? 

Where can I find CBD?

There are many places where one can find CBD. CBD is often found online and that is where one can find Panacea Life Sciences products. There are also walk-in retail stores that offer CBD products. It is important to purchase your CBD from a reputable retailer as not all CBD products are created equally or have the same quality. Purchasing CBD from a dispensary (if you live in a state that has legal marijuana) it is likely the amount of THC is higher and may cause effects that a pure CBD product would not. 

Conclusion: Fad or Fact: Can CBD absorb through the skin? 

Absolutely! CBD can absorb into the skin but, it is important to note that it will not reach the bloodstream like other types of CBD products. A liberal application of CBD will also insure the CBD topical to reach the cannabinoid receptors through the pores in the skin. And, no, this application of CBD will not get you “high” nor will any other application of a quality CBD product as long as it is derived from hemp meaning there is less than .3% of THC in the product. There are also many other uses and products of CBD including: softgels, tinctures, edibles and vapes (Panacea Life Sciences does not endorse this type of CBD application). Finding the right product for you is important to use because not all CBD is created equal. If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact us at 1 (800) 985-0515 or [email protected].