CBD Cream Ultimate Guide
CBD topicals are an enjoyable and effective way to moisturize your skin and promote a healthy lifestyle. While there are a growing number of hemp-based cosmetics, CBD cream has become one of the most popular items in natural skincare. Many people are falling in love with its versatility and effectiveness. CBD cream offers targeted skin hydration, post-workout recovery, joint support, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD cream and how to incorporate this latest wellness trend into your daily routine!
What is CBD Cream?
CBD cream is very similar in appearance, application, and texture to other lotions and creams that are popular health and beauty products. The major difference is that CBD cream is fortified with hemp extract.
Hemp extract is composed of the oils derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Within these oils is an abundance of proteins and fats that are ideal for a natural skincare regimen. They provide your skin cells with amino acids and fat necessary to rebuild and heal.
Most notably, hemp extract is enriched with beneficial terpenes and phytocannabinoids. Terpenes are volatile molecules that give plants (like cannabis) their distinct scents. However, these aromatic plant-based molecules are also behind the benefits of aromatherapy.
Meanwhile, phytocannabinoids are a group of 100+ compounds predominantly found in cannabis plants. Phytocannabinoids are what make CBD oil unique from other plant-based regimens.
How To Make CBD Cream
Upon harvest, hemp leaves are dried and put through an extraction process, when plant matter is combined with a solvent.
This interaction breaks open tiny hairs known as trichomes on the leaves, seeds, and stems of the hemp. Trichomes house the many beneficial compounds found in cannabis, including terpenes and phytocannabinoids.
Next, hemp extract undergoes a distillation process that removes the solvent from the final product. Distillation also strips unwanted plant material from the formula, such as chlorophyll and wax.
While there might be some health benefits to these plant materials, they also turn formulas green, which would make CBD cream only useful for Incredible Hulk cosplay. Plus, this plant matter has a strong cannabis scent, which can be off-putting to those who use skin creams for their pleasant fragrances.
Some companies might go a step further during the distillation process. Here, manufacturers can use chromatography to isolate individual plant molecules, including phytocannabinoids. This technology allows brands the opportunity to create a wide variety of CBD cream products.
After distillation, you’re left with CBD oil, which is then added to other ingredients that are used to formulate CBD cream!
Let’s take a closer look at the extraction process, which can play a significant role in the efficacy of your CBD cream. We’ll explore the three main types of extraction methods used to create CBD creams and how they can impact the product.
CBD Oil Extraction Methods
There are many ways to extract CBD oil. These methods will make or break the effectiveness of the CBD cream. Less reputable brands use inferior ingredients and practices to save money. One of the largest cost-cutting measures happens during the extraction process. Here are the top three CBD oil extraction methods and how they can affect the overall process.
Hexane and Chemical Solvents
The most dangerous extraction method is through the use of chemical solvents, such as hexane. Some companies use hexane because it speeds up the extraction process. However, hexane is an artificial solvent derived from crude oil.
While deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hexane is also used as a commercial degreaser. Unless your skin is layered beneath vegetable oil, the idea of rubbing it with something extracted via hexane doesn’t seem incredibly appetizing.
While hexane can be removed during the distillation process, the damage might have already happened beforehand.
Hexane, phytocannabinoids, and terpenes are all chemical compounds. When they interact, they have chemical reactions. In the case of terpenes and phytocannabinoids, these chemical reactions are beneficial for CBD oil. However, the effects of hexane or other chemical solvents on CBD are unknown. Therefore, their presence can dilute the overall potency of the formula’s beneficial plant compounds.
Alcohol or Ethanol
One of the most common ways to extract CBD oil naturally is with alcohol or ethanol. Anyone who has taken a shot of vodka or smelled gasoline knows that these vapors can be abrasive.
When hemp matter meets alcohol, its vapors tears open the plant’s trichomes. This reaction releases phytocannabinoids and terpenes into the elixir. The blend is then distilled to make hemp extract for CBD cream.
Carbon dioxide extraction (CO2 extraction) is the best way to extract hemp oil for CBD cream. This natural process uses supercritical CO2. Perhaps you’ve seen someone handle dry ice while wearing gloves; this is because the incredibly low temperatures of the ice can tear your skin off! That’s essentially what happens to trichomes when they’re met with supercritical CO2.
CO2 extraction causes the least amount of chemical reactions. As the CO2 and hemp molecules integrate, the temperature is slowly increased in a controlled environment.
Eventually, the carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere, leaving phytocannabinoids and terpenes in its wake. This process creates the most potent phytocannabinoids for the most effective CBD cream experience.
Also, this practice is very green. Unlike solvents and alcohols that get boiled off, CO2 gets recycled and used in future extractions. That’s why we only use CO2 extraction to make all of Joy Organics’ premium CBD topicals.
How Does CBD Cream Work?
CBD cream provides targeted and localized support to muscle, joints and skin. It works to promote wellness through the ingredients in the topical formula.
On the surface level, CBD cream works like many other skincare products. That’s because CBD cream contains many common ingredients found in popular cosmetics.
For instance, Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream employs organic Olea Europaea (Olive) fruit oil as its primary base due to its skin-nourishing healthy fats. We also use organic Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice for ultraviolet protection and organic peppermint essential oils that promote cooling sensations which help relax sore muscles.
However, CBD cream goes the extra mile in skin health, muscle support, and joint maintenance. It uses phytocannabinoids to amplify all of these benefits.
The Endocannabinoid System
Our bodies are intricately designed with a vast communication network known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system’s goal is to promote a state of homeostasis (balance). Within this balance lies the optimal wellness we all seek.
Homeostasis is regulated by our cells. Human cells have a strong sense of how things “should be” in the body because they’ve been with us since day one.
Most babies aren’t exposed to poor diets, stress, and lackluster exercise habits. They essentially enter the world in a state of near homeostasis.
Your cells take note and continue to proliferate with the expectation that conditions won’t change. However, these cells are in for a rude awakening. Babies become adults, and homeostasis becomes harder to maintain.
That’s why human cells are affixed with gauges that monitor the surrounding areas. These internal alarm systems are known as cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors pick up on inflammatory responses that destroy skin cells, hormonal imbalances caused by parabens in cosmetics, or overworked muscles from an intense workout.
These receptors send cellular signals throughout the endocannabinoid system. Cellular signals are essentially group texts to the rest of the body. Your mind interprets these signals and manifests your issues. Cannabinoid receptors are responsible for itchy skin, sore muscles, or achy joints. So, our endocannabinoid system provides us with the antidote.
Whenever our cannabinoid receptors face adversity (or lack of homeostasis), our body goes into panic mode. Organs, tissues, cells, and muscles have the ability to produce chemicals known as endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids seek out and bind to distressed cannabinoid receptors. This interaction soothes the receptors, promoting homeostasis.
Unfortunately, our bodies are always under attack—whether from stress, environmental toxins, or dietary choices—causing our cannabinoid receptors to go into overdrive. Eventually, the supply of endocannabinoids fails to keep up with the demand. That’s why many people combat issues of dry skin, stiff joints, and sore muscles as they age.
Thankfully, phytocannabinoids in CBD oil have a similar effect on our bodies as our endocannabinoids. Even more unique, each phytocannabinoid interacts with our receptors differently.
Brands that use phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract in their CBD cream can promote a wide range of benefits. In fact, phytocannabinoids and our skin have their own unique relationship.
The Skin and Endocannabinoid System
Our skin has a pretty big job to do. It not only makes us look the way we do, it also protects us from a mess of germs destroying our natural defenses, the sun’s ultraviolet rays damaging our vital organs, and environmental toxins promoting the growth of free radicals.
That’s a lot of ground for our skin to cover. Inevitably, things will slip through the cracks, especially when it comes to our skin. After all, our skin is porous! Thankfully, our skin has a bit of backup in the form of cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoid receptors are prevalent within every vital component of our skin health:
- Keratinocytes—Protect against UV radiation, maintain moisture
- Sebaceous Glands—Produce oils that lubricate the skin
- Sensory Neurons—Regulate skin sensations, such as itches
- Immune Cells—Promote tissue functions and protect body from invaders
The presence of cannabinoid receptors throughout the skin ecosystem differs from other parts of the body. That’s what makes CBD cream such an excellent addition to your wellness routine. Let us explain!
CBD Cream and the Endocannabinoid System
We already mentioned how cannabinoid receptors regulate the endocannabinoid system. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors, aptly named CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor.
These receptors perform different functions and interact with phytocannabinoids in unique manners. Therefore, CB1 and CB2 receptors tend to localize in opposite parts of the body.
CB1 receptors are prevalent in the brain, while CB2 receptors hang out around the digestive tract. However, CB1 and CB2 both exist just a couple layers underneath the epidermis (external skin layer).
Both of these receptors play a significant role in keeping pathogens at bay and determining how our bodies react to these potential threats. Having the presence of both cannabinoid receptors so close to the surface also influences the efficacy of your CBD cream. We’ll discuss that a bit later when we talk about types of CBD creams.
How to Use CBD Cream
Applying CBD cream directly to troublesome areas can provide you with targeted care. You can apply CBD cream like you would any topical. Simply rub it in your skin until you experience your desired effects—these benefits might change how you use CBD cream.
CBD Cream for Skin Health
Using CBD cream immediately after a shower will help moisturize the skin after it’s been dried out by hot water and exfoliated by your towel or brush.
Apply CBD cream first thing in the morning to give your skin a refreshed glow. You can also use this ultra-hydrating topical before bed to help calm any irritated skin that might keep you up at night. Plus, CBD oil promotes a relaxing effect on the endocannabinoid system, which can also encourage healthy sleep patterns! Apply to your hands or feet whenever they feel dry, cracked, or or feet whenever they’re a bit rough.
Of course, you should always apply Joy Organics’ CBD Cream as needed. CBD is non-habit-forming and doesn’t cause mind-altering experiences. So, you can use CBD cream as liberally as necessary.
CBD Cream for Post-Workout Recovery
There are many reasons we feel sore after a workout. Sometimes we push ourselves a little too far. Other times we aggravate an old injury. Worst case scenario, we cause a new one. No matter where you are on this spectrum, CBD cream might provide your body with some relief.
If you have a previous injury that often comes back to rear its ugly head, work CBD cream deep into the skin before a workout. Massage the muscle and do a bit of light stretching for optimal results.
Applying CBD cream beforehand helps prime the muscles for your workout. However, they will still need some post-workout care. Use the same massaging techniques to rub Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream to the spots that need a little TLC.
This premium CBD cream blends the powers of phytocannabinoids with a proprietary blend of essential oils, including:
- Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
- Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil
- Organic Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil
- Organic Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Oil
- Organic Origanum Majorana (Sweet Marjoram) Oil
Essential oils are rich in terpenes. As we noted earlier, these aromatic molecules promote many health benefits.
CBD Cream for Joint Support
People who suffer from chronic joint problems are some of the first to be accepted in state medical marijuana programs. CBD cream is a non-psychoactive alternative to marijuana for joint and bone support, all while staying within the cannabis family!
Just work the CBD cream in between your fingers, rub directly into your hips, or massage the back of your kneecaps. Allow up to an hour to feel effects. If you don’t feel relief, apply again.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Cream
Like any cosmetic product or item in your wellness regimen, there are pros and cons to CBD cream. However, the pros mostly outweigh the cons.
Here at Joy Organics, we like to focus on positivity. So, let’s get the negatives out of the way first.
Cons of CBD Cream
Some CBD users prefer not to use topicals because the benefits aren’t instantaneous. Topicals need to penetrate many layers of skin before they get through to the cannabinoid receptors.
It can take up to an hour before you feel the benefits of CBD cream. However, the effects are long-lasting because your skin is always absorbing more phytocannabinoids.
If you are looking for faster relief, you might want to opt for a CBD tincture. While it can’t provide targeted support like CBD cream, phytocannabinoids are absorbed quicker when taken orally.
Tinctures might provide some benefits for those looking for joint or muscle support. However, the effects won’t last as long as they would with CBD cream.
The most glaring con for CBD cream is the potential for long ingredient lists. As we mentioned earlier with hexane, everything that comes into contact with CBD has a reaction with it. Even you do—that’s why you use CBD cream in the first place!
There is a lot to consider when creating a cosmetic product. Manufacturers need preservatives to prolong shelf life and emulsifiers to give cream its, well, creamy texture.
Then there are all the artificial fragrances that draw people to the products in the first place. Who doesn’t want to smell like a cool cucumber or crisp apple? You might think twice when you learn about what these products might do to you.
A 2016 study found that the average woman uses 515 synthetic chemicals in her beauty routine every day. These ingredients include estrogen-mimickers like parabens that thicken formulas. Many formulas also include sulfates as foaming agents, yet these additives strip away moisture from the skin. That’s right! Cosmetic companies even use products that exacerbate your skin conditions.
Another issue with CBD cream is that there isn’t a lot of regulation within the CBD industry. Many companies have to manage themselves and operate with full transparency. They can get away with selling CBD cream made with artificial ingredients and hemp that was extracted via chemical solvents.
As a consumer, you must be proactive with your health. Only purchase from a company that performs third-party lab testing. Verify the results to determine the phytocannabinoid content and purity of the formula.
Pros of CBD Cream
The pros of CBD cream far outweigh the cons.
CBD cream provides localized care to your aching body. You can work this soothing cream directly into your creaky joints. This moisturizer can also be worked deep into the dry nooks and crannies between your fingers to provide a naturally hydrating experience.
The fact our skin is lined with CB1 and CB2 receptors helps many physiological functions associated with healthy bones and joints.
Cannabinoid receptors modulate our comfort levels. If there is swelling in joints or you’re losing bone mass, neighboring cannabinoid receptors are going to sound the alarm. In turn, you experience discomfort in various pockets of your appendages.
These receptors also play a separate role in hair growth. For instance, CB1 receptors are located at the root of a follicle. As the hair grows towards the epidermis, it reaches the sebum glands. These have CB2 receptors, which modulate the secretion of oils.
This oil helps keep your hair from drying out. Oils also allow your skin to lock in moisture, so your skin has a radiant glow all day long. Sebum oils dry out from hot showers, which is why we recommend using Joy Organics’ CBD Cream to moisturize after a shower.
Lastly, this moisture lock also traps in other vitamins and minerals that are present in topicals, so your skin has a chance to absorb beneficial terpenes and phytocannabinoids.
Some CBD creams are even more beneficial due to the other active ingredients in the formula. For instance, Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream contains a blend of essential oils that promote post-workout recovery.
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol and provides a natural cooling sensation that combats the heat conducted by strained muscles. Meanwhile, rosemary oil helps dilate blood vessels, promoting more efficient circulation, enhancing absorption.
The inclusion of essential oils is an instance where individual ingredients benefit the whole. At Joy Organics, we only use natural ingredients—including essential oils—that actually benefit your skin health while offering joint and muscle support. You can verify the purity of our formulas by accessing our lab reports.
Finally, CBD cream is a wonderful addition to any beauty or wellness routine because it’s enjoyable and fun! Our CBD creams feel and smell great. Joy Organics’ CBD Cream uses essential oils for genuinely natural scents and phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract to provide fast-acting relief.
Which CBD Cream Is Right for You?
Choosing a CBD cream is as personal as picking out your favorite type of lotion or body wash. It’s an expression of your personal preferences combined with your body’s specific needs. That’s why you must understand the difference between different types of CBD oil to help make the most educated decision for your health and beauty routine.
Types of CBD Cream
There are three types of hemp extract formulas used to create CBD topicals. Each differs in potency and effects on the endocannabinoid system.
You will see many CBD creams made with CBD isolate. That means they used 99.9% pure CBD crystalline powder in their formula.
CBD isolate denotes that there are no other phytocannabinoids present. At first, that might seem like a selling point. For those who are new to CBD, they would assume it’s a hefty serving of CBD, so it should be perfect for their wellness regimen.
On its own, CBD isolate can help promote healthy-looking skin because CBD interacts with our CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors modulate immune responses around the skin barrier.
However, the benefits of CBD isolate might not be enough. There are more cannabinoid receptors and phytocannabinoids that complete this wellness puzzle.
As we noted, each phytocannabinoid has a role in cultivating balance. CBD promotes homeostasis by stimulating our CB2 receptor. It will sometimes interact with the CB1 receptor, but rarely.
Thankfully, other phytocannabinoids can pick up this slack. Each phytocannabinoid has a unique interaction with cannabinoid receptors, which promotes different responses from the endocannabinoid system.
With phytocannabinoids, it becomes a case of “the more, the merrier!” A wide spectrum of phytocannabinoids and terpenes promotes a synergistic act known as the entourage effect. You can experience the entourage effect through two different types of hemp extracts.
- Full spectrum hemp extract contains all naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the phytocannabinoid that causes mind-altering effects when you smoke marijuana. However, there are also health benefits to THC, which is why we have medical marijuana programs.
Agriculture hemp must have 0.3% THC or less. This small amount of THC shouldn’t cause a psychoactive experience. It should, however, support the entourage effect.
- Broad spectrum hemp extract is THC-free but contains other naturally-occurring phytonutrients that elicit the entourage effect. Joy Organics’ CBD Cream is made with broad spectrum hemp extract. For those who are uncomfortable with THC but need more support than CBD isolate, our CBD Cream is suitable for the whole family!
How to Choose CBD Cream
When you choose a CBD cream, make sure to read the label carefully. Be familiar with all the ingredients in the formula and how they interact with your body. As we discussed, why would you buy a moisturizer made with a synthetic ingredient that dries your skin out?
Next, make sure the product is third-party lab tested for purity. Don’t take the company’s word for it. Actively seek out these lab reports and verify that they match the claims on the label.
Lastly, determine why you need a CBD cream. Consider Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream if you need post-workout recovery or to ease discomfort from an old injury. This formula is fortified with essential oils that speed up healing while simultaneously promoting healthier skin.
For those who are looking to rejuvenate their skin and recapture their natural glow, opt for Joy Organics’ CBD Cream. This CBD cream is unscented, without the cooling action of Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream. It’s ideal for someone who doesn’t want to use cold therapy on their joints and doesn’t like the smell of menthol.
Where to Buy CBD Cream?
CBD cream is rising in popularity and you can find it popping up everywhere, from boutiques to beauty salons to the pharmacy.
However, these places also sell many of the same products you already use in your beauty routine. Remember those 515 synthetic ingredients we discussed earlier? The probability that the CBD cream at these establishments has many of the same additives is pretty high.
For premium CBD cream, try a local dispensary or head shop. These staff members are more knowledgeable about CBD products. They can help you find the right products to match your needs and discuss any concerns you have about active ingredients.
Of course, you can always shop online. Hemp products are legal in all 50 states. So, shipping across state lines shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, shopping online sometimes takes away the personal touch of a brick-and-mortar experience. There’s not always somebody to answer your questions in real-time. Plus, it’s easier for companies to be elusive about things they wouldn’t like you to know, such as the use of inferior ingredients or chemical solvents.
When it comes to online shopping, you must be proactive with your purchases. Vet the brands, look into their processes, and research all active ingredients.
You can also get the personal touch of in-store shopping online with Joy Organics. All of our products are made with natural ingredients and are third-party lab tested for purity. Our processes and lab reports are easily accessible.
If this seemed like a lot of information and you’re left with unanswered questions, let us answer them for you!
The entire Joy Organics team is extensively trained in all things CBD, including the skin endocannabinoid system connection. We are here seven days per week to explain anything and everything to you!
Lastly, all of our products come with free shipping and a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. We are confident that you will notice the Joy Organics difference!
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.