Cannabidiol, or CBD, has quickly become one of the most popular supplements for the health and wellness industry, which has led to an explosion of new products on the market. Up until recently, the majority of CBD products were made to be ingested, but the last few years have seen the inclusion of CBD into everything from makeup, shampoo, facial creams, and even clothing. This sudden onslaught of CBD products has led to many questions on the part of consumers — including whether it is even worth adding CBD to topical products.
CBD is derived from the cannabis plant — it is what is known as a phytocannabinoid. Cannabis contains hundreds of different phytocannabinoids, which are compounds that are specially designed to interact with cannabinoid (CB) receptors that exist within our body. These CB receptors comprise part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a modulatory subsystem that works by regulating internal homeostatic balance. CB receptors are found on cells all throughout the body, including neurons from the nervous system, as well as white blood cells in the immune system; there are even CB receptors located on our mitochondria.
When phytocannabinoids interact with CB receptors, they activate the release of specialized neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, which perform a broad assortment of functions that typically involve the modulation of receptors from other body systems.
In addition to CBD, cannabis also contains Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — another prominent phytocannabinoid that is distinct for its ability to generate intoxicating effects when ingested; it is the only phytocannabinoid that is capable of achieving this. Different strains of cannabis having varying amounts of each phytocannabinoid — for instance, hemp is a type of cannabis that is naturally very high in CBD while having only trace amounts of THC. This is in contrast to most commercial strains of cannabis, which contain high amounts of THC with almost no CBD. This explains why most CBD on the market has been extracted from hemp, as opposed to commercial cannabis flowers.
Although THC has acquired a negative reputation due to its intoxicating properties, it is actually a necessary component to achieve the occurrence of the “Entourage Effect”, a term that researchers use to describe the synergistic interaction between all of the raw components within the cannabis plant — the phytocannabinoids as well as the natural terpenes and sterols. This is why some CBD companies opt to use full spectrum hemp extract as opposed to an isolated CBD, because full spectrum extract contains a majority of the raw plant compounds, but CBD isolate has been stripped of everything except the singular compound.
CB receptors are also located in the skin, which means that topically applied CBD, as well as other phytocannabinoids, will interact with CB receptors in the epidermal layer. What is interesting is that when phytocannabinoids are absorbed into the skin, they do not enter the bloodstream — this means consumers who use topicals that contain full spectrum hemp extract do not have to worry about the trace amounts of THC potentially causing them to fail a drug test. It is important to note that topical products differ from transdermal CBD gels, which are designed to penetrate the epidermis and put the substance directly into the bloodstream.
ECODERM™ pain cream blends our exceptional quality, full spectrum hemp extract with methyl salicylate, a potent analgesic, to create a formidable topical pain reliever that applies easily and dries fast.