Inflammation is a normal bodily response to injury, but it isn’t always welcome. An inflammatory response can be triggered by many different things, and sometimes it is even triggered by an overactive immune system.\nInflammatory skin conditions such as eczema can lead to painful patches of dry, flaky and itchy skin. Evidence is also increasing to suggest that acne could be an inflammatory condition.\nFor those living with inflammatory conditions, finding a way to manage the inflammation and soothe the skin is essential. The arrival of CBD cream on the market could spell hope for many.\nWhat is inflammation?\nGenerally speaking, inflammation is the body’s response to an irritant or invader. It is an essential line of defence against injury and disease. White blood cells trigger the inflammatory response.\nInflammation causes the affected area to become swollen, red, warm and painful. It can also limit mobility. In some cases, the inflammation is not in response to an external threat but an internal miscommunication. This happens when an overactive immune system causes the body to attack itself.\nThis is known as an autoimmune disease. Common autoimmune diseases include arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, MS, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease.\nInflammation of the skin can occur after exposure to allergens, sun, heat or an infection. This can lead to a cascade of symptoms, including dryness, flaking, blisters and secondary infection.\nWhat CBD is best for inflammation?\nCBD is not a cure or treatment for inflammation, but since it is generally considered safe for most healthy adults to use, it’s worth exploring if you have tried everything else.\nCBD balm is ideal for skin inflammation as it can be applied directly to the skin. However, you might also pair this with a CBD oil which will support your endocannabinoid system from the inside.\nThe endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors, neurotransmitters and enzymes that exists in nearly all living things. It helps to send messages between cells so that the body can maintain a state of homeostasis or balance.\nThe ECS is involved in everything from pain response to sleep patterns, appetite and even inflammatory response. When the body is injured, the ECS helps to send signals to trigger the inflammatory response.\nSupporting the ECS is thought to help the body to maintain a state of wellness. CBD does not bind with ECS receptors, but it does help to inhibit the release of an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, which is also known as the bliss molecule.\nBy preventing this enzyme from breaking down anandamide, your body has more available for essential tasks, including managing inflammation response.\nDo CBD lotions actually work?\nCBD lotions may offer some relief from dry, chapped and inflamed skin. The endocannabinoid system is pivotal in managing the inflammatory response, so supporting this system to function correctly is one of the key benefits of CBD.\nEndocannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the body, including in the skin. While topical CBD might not be absorbed into the bloodstream, it will help to support the ECS receptors in the skin.\nIndividuals may turn to CBD lotions to support their journey to wellness while suffering from conditions like eczema, acne, or even joint and muscle pain.\nInflammation can lead to a loss of mobility in muscles and joints, but massage may help with this. Rubbing CBD lotion directly on sore muscles and joints could help to increase mobility through the simple act of massage.\nCan I rub CBD oil on my skin for pain?\nMost CBD is safe to apply directly to the skin, but it’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients. CBD oil may have extra ingredients such as flavourings that may irritate sensitive skin.\nIt’s also worth noting that there are CBD products designed specifically for the skin, so it may be more cost-effective to use a topical product rather than CBD oil drops.\nCBD balms that are intended for the skin will include skin-supporting ingredients such as emollients, oils, butter and balms. If you have a dry skin condition, this could help to restore the moisture barrier.\nMuscle balm will also contain warming or cooling ingredients such as capsicum or peppermint. Heat therapy helps to increase blood flow to the area to accelerate healing, while cold therapy restricts blood flow to reduce inflammation.\nCan CBD cream have side effects?\nThere is the risk that you may be allergic to the ingredients in your CBD cream, but it is very unlikely that CBD is the culprit. Broad and full-spectrum CBD that is added to CBD balms and creams will typically contain other beneficial plant compounds called terpenes.\nTerpenes are the aromatic compounds that give plants their distinct scents. Some have a bitter taste that repels predators, while others have a sweet scent that attracts pollinators.\nTerpenes are commonly used in aromatherapy as many scents have been shown to have a positive impact on humans. However, these compounds are also known to cause allergic reactions.\nFor example, linalool is the compound that gives lavender its instantly recognisable smell. This terpene is also found in the cannabis plant. However, it is also a known allergen.\nThis is why CBD isolate is often used in CBD topicals instead of full and broad-spectrum CBD. This can help to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. CBD isolate only contains cannabidiol and no other plant compounds or cannabinoids.\nHow much does CBD cream cost?\nCBD cream costs will vary between retailers. The most important distinction to make when choosing your CBD creams is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD. Hemp seed balms offer some benefits but do not contain the bioactive compounds found in CBD.\nSome retailers add hemp oil to their products and then describe it as CBD, which isn’t accurate. To confirm that you are getting CBD oil and not hemp seed oil, you should always ask for a certificate of analysis. This will confirm the cannabinoid contents.\n\nClosing thoughts\nWhile CBD may not be a treatment or cure for inflammation, it is certainly worth exploring if you are suffering from inflammatory skin conditions. It is a simple addition to your daily skincare routine that could help to support your ECS to function correctly.\nFor sore muscles and joints, choose a CBD balm with warming or cooling ingredients to make the most of hot and cold therapy for inflammation. And for inflammatory skin conditions that also cause dryness, restore the moisture barrier by choosing a balm with natural oils or butter.\nTo avoid skin sensitivity, choose products designed for the skin rather than applying CBD oil directly to the skin. And finally, be sure to check that your CBD balm actually contains CBD and not simply hemp seed oil. These terms are often used interchangeably, despite having a very different meaning.