Defining the Differences: CBD Topicals

CBD topicals are one of the fastest growing fields. Are topicals right for you?
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There are a lot of CBD products on the market these days, and topical options are one of the fastest growing fields. From salves to balms to ointments to lotions, the varieties of CBD topical options are wide ranging. The use of topicals has become popular among seniors for a variety of reasons centered around aging skin and body. Topicals are used to alleviate pain, irritation and soreness by applying directly on the skin and allowing the topical to absorb. But what are the differences between them all and which is the best treatment for what?

Here is a simple breakdown of what topical labels actually mean. You might be surprised to see that the differences are minimal and mostly circulate the base used for the topical. One thing to pay attention to when buying CBD topicals is the milligram amount of CBD or other cannabinoids present, this is the active portion of the topical and will provide the affects you are looking for depending on potency. Always trust CBD companies that have third-party lab test results to ensure the quality of the CBD product you are purchasing.

CBD Balm

Balms are a common topical in the health world, typically used for sore muscles. Balms are usually the hardest of CBD topicals because they have a high ratio of beeswax or other base. Balms are perfect for massaging into the skin, great for soreness relief. CBD balms can be a great option for athletes as part of their recovery process.

CBD Lotion

The main difference between CBD lotions and all other topicals is the ratio of water to base. With CBD lotion, also known as CBD cream, there is a bit of water and moisturizing agents in the base, while balms and salves primarily use fatty oils and wax without water. CBD lotions and creams absorb into the skin rapidly and can deliver quick results.

CBD Salve

CBD salves are very similar to CBD balms, with the man difference being a slight texture change. Salves are a bit softer than balms, making them easier to rub into the skin. Because salves have a more pliable texture than a balm, they absorb faster into the skin to deliver effects. Similarly, CBD salves are different from ointments or lotions mostly due to texture.

CBD Ointment

An ointment can have many uses, whether it’s medicinal or cosmetic. CBD ointments are usually the smoothest, most oily of CBD topicals. Because ointments are more oil based, they can have high concentrations of CBD. Typically the oil to water ratio is 80/20, so ointments make a good choice for pain relief and especially for moisture.


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CBD skin care products are said to help with inflammation, chronic pain, acne, psoriasis and many other ailments and skin issues. Especially among seniors with aged or thinned skin, a CBD topical can be a great asset to a skincare routine. Most topicals are THC free, but be sure to always double check the label for the product you are purchasing. CBD topicals can generally be applied to the skin liberally and won’t cause any psychoactive effects. For general health many people opt for an oral method of consumption, but if you are new to the world of CBD and looking to treat a skin condition or want topical pain relief, a balm, salve, lotion or ointment is a great place to start.

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