There are various types of products to consider when you shop for CBD. Two popular options on the market are edibles and topicals. According to some surveys, consumers tend to prefer CBD in these forms because they are convenient and easy to use. Before you learn about the difference between CBD edibles and CBD topicals though, you may want to learn a bit more about CBD itself.
A Brief Explanation of CBD
CBD – or cannabidiol – is one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant. However, CBD doesn’t result in feeling high like its psychoactive relative, THC. It works with the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors to regulate things like appetite and mood. Some studies even demonstrate that CBD has the potential to reduce anxiety and relieve minor aches and pains.
Now that you know more about CBD and how it works, learn more about how CBD edibles and topicals work. That way, you know when to reach for an edible or a topical.
A CBD product that can be eaten and digested is considered edible. They come in various forms, including CBD gummies and cookies. They’re also made using specific types of CBD, namely isolate and full-spectrum. Isolate CBD is the only type that is made up of no other cannabinoids and is often extracted from industrial hemp whereas full-spectrum CBD incorporates traces of other cannabinoids to bolster overall efficacy.
After eating a CBD edible, it travels through your digestive system where it’s initially broken down. Then, remaining compounds are sent through the bloodstream. This is why research has shown that the effects of edibles last longer than other methods. A lot of people prefer to use CBD in edible form because there’s no inhalation and no smell. Plus, it’s discrete, making it a popular choice.
On the other hand, a topical CBD product is applied directly to the skin and is never ingested. Products like CBD roll-on and CBD lotions are often used to target specific areas and may provide temporary relief from muscle aches and joint pain. When a CBD is applied topically, it gets absorbed through the epidermis and the pores. Then, it starts to work with cannabinoid receptors that are underneath the skin.
In other words, CBD topicals don’t get metabolized and never get into the bloodstream. However, it’s not always necessary for CBD to make it to the bloodstream to work its magic since the skin has its own CBD receptors.
Comparing Edibles and Topicals
If you’re trying to decide whether to go with CBD edibles or CBD topicals, the first thing to consider is what best suits your needs. For example, topicals tend to work best for localized areas. Using a topical like a CBD roll-on for pain relief can help you where you need it most. Therefore, the effects of topical CBD are more concentrated.
However, edibles must be digested first in order for CBD to reach the cannabinoid receptors in other parts of your body. For instance, even the best CBD gummies have to go through a first pass in the digestive system, meaning it may take longer for the desired results to take place. The effect is less localized but usually lasts longer than other forms of use.
What Works Best for You
Determining whether you’d like to try CBD topicals or edibles is often based on the desired impact you’d like to have. If you’re trying to fight pain or inflammation, a localized approach may work best for you. However, that depends on how localized pain or inflammation might be. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive effect, you may decide that edibles are the way to go. Whatever your decision, make sure you’re making the best choice for you.
1. Jordan, D. (2020, September 3). CBD edibles: What are they and what’s to know? Leafly. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cbd-edibles-what-are-they-and-whats-to-know
2. Carter, W. (2021, November 19). The difference between topical and oral CBD. cbdMD. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://www.cbdmd.com/blog/post/difference-between-topical-and-oral-cbd