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Extracts derived from cannabis plants have been applied to wounds for thousands of years.1 CBD balm is a soothing and softening emollient made by infusing CBD into a blend of organic beeswax and regenerating oils of coconut, argan and rosehip, plus therapeutic essential oils of geranium, eucalyptus and lavender. To use, apply a thin layer and massage thoroughly into affected areas of skin or over a tired joint.
When applied to the skin, CBD balm works in several ways. First is the physical and warming action associated with massaging it in. As children, we quickly learned that 'rubbing it better' really works for reducing the pain of knocks and sprains, and the same is true for sports injuries and painful joints in later life.
The action of rubbing stimulates nerve endings in the area and helps to overwhelm underlying pain signals, so the perception of discomfort is reduced. When rubbing is combined with an active ingredient that sinks into the skin the benefits are multiplied for reducing aches and pains.
CBD interacts with your own endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, including in skin cells, skin nerve fibres, hair follicles and oil and sweat glands.2 The abundant distribution of cannabinoid receptors in the skin allows topical CBD products to have a localised effect.
CBD balm can be used in addition to oral CBD capsules or drops. It can also be used on its own for those who don't like the taste of CBD drops or who find it difficult to swallow capsules.
The organic essential oils that form the balm base have additional skin softening and soothing actions to ease dry, chapped areas.
Applying a topical joint cream or gel after a warm bath or shower, or after exertion, helps it sink in quickly.
Dr Sarah Brewer is Healthspan's Medical Director and holds degrees in Natural Sciences, Surgery and Medicine from the University of Cambridge. Having worked as a GP and hospital doctor, Dr Sarah now holds an MSc in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey and specialises in nutrition. She is also an award-winning writer and author.
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.
1Maida, V. and Corban, J. (2017). Topical Medical Cannabis: A New Treatment for Wound Pain—Three Cases of Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Journal of pain and symptom management 54(5), pp.732-736
2Ständer, S., Schmelz, M., Metze, D., Luger, T. and Rukwied, R. (2005). Distribution of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) on sensory nerve fibers and adnexal structures in human skin, Journal of dermatological science 38(3), pp.177-188