There is a difference between CBD topical vs oral, but each type of product can be used in a variety of ways and sometimes interchangeably. Should You Use Topical CBD or Oral CBD? How absorption may impact your choice. There are many ways to utilize CBD for your health, but two of the most popular routes are topical application and CBD oil exists in various forms for different uses. Learn about the differences between topical CBD and oral CBD!
Topical Oil Vs Oral CBD Oil: What Are the Differences?
The CBD industry has a growing range of products now, and most fall within the two categories of topical or oral. The pharmacy savings company SingleCare tracks a large variety of statistics and conducts its own research. A SingleCare survey found that almost half of CBD users prefer topicals and oral CBD and gummies (which technically is consuming CBD orally). There is a difference between CBD topical vs oral, but each type of product can be used in a variety of ways and sometimes interchangeably.
What Are CBD Topicals?
A CBD topical is a CBD-infused product applied on the skin, thus the name “topical.” Multiple surveys have found many users of topical CBD for pain are searching for relief from dry, itchy, irritated, or inflamed skin or to relieve localized muscle pain. Though more research is needed on CBD’s impact on pain pathways, some long-standing studies, like the one published by J Manzanares, MD Julian, and A Carrascosa, report about CBD user’s experience on using CBD topicals pain relief.
To date, medical research has shown that CBD cream bypasses the CB1 and CB2 receptors in skin cells and directly affects the neurotransmitter that blocks pain signals and itching. Further research is needed to determine the best dosage for different areas of the body and how much skin should be covered with the topical. You would need to experiment and find the amount and coverage that works best to meet your needs.
CBD Topical Bioavailability
CBD bioavailability refers to the rate and degree with which CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD topicals is low because the CBD will not enter the bloodstream. Topicals are absorbed through the pores and top skin layer (epidermis), and users report the topicals relieve skin discomfort quickly.
Types of CBD Topicals
CBD topicals are manufactured in a variety of forms.
Each of these products contain different ingredients. For example, CBD ointments and salves are made with oils and waxes, so they have a thicker consistency. Creams and lotions are made by combining water and oil. Serums are primarily made with CBD oil.
Should You Use Topical CBD or Oral CBD? How absorption may impact your choice.
There are many ways to utilize CBD for your health, but two of the most popular routes are topical application and oral ingestion. Let’s dive into what they are, how they are used, and how they differ.
What is Topical CBD?
Topical CBD refers to lotions, salves, creams, or oils that have been infused with CBD, and are intended to be applied directly to sore muscles, aching or stiff joints, or at the site of inflammation. Topical and transdermal products typically have a bioavailability rate of around 45% ( 4 ). It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for topical CBD to be absorbed and felt in the affected area.
When CBD is applied to the skin, it is absorbed locally but doesn’t enter into the bloodstream like oral or other routes of ingesting CBD. Because it is absorbed into the tissue of the location where it is applied, it is often utilized for localized muscle tension, stiff joints, or inflammation.
What is oral CBD?
Oral CBD can be defined in a few different ways and is often used interchangeably by different sources. Oral CBD can be categorized as edible (ingested), oromucosal (a mouth/throat spray), or sublingual (absorbed under the tongue).
Oral CBD comes in many forms. When it’s used in a tincture it is often infused into olive, coconut, or MCT oil. It can be distilled into a potent powder or isolate which can be mixed into another substance or baked/infused into an edible or beverage. CBD can also be developed into water-compatible nanoparticles, which have a faster onset than topical or oil-based options. Nanoparticle CBD can be mixed into water unlike oil-based forms of CBD which separate when mixed into water and take much longer to be absorbed.
Historically, the bioavailability of oral CBD options has ranged from about 13-19%(5), but the technology that breaks CBD particles down into nanoparticle water-compatible CBD increases bioavailability dramatically – as much as 4-5x more. Depending on the route of ingestion, traditional oil-based oral CBD may take 45 minutes to 2 hours to be absorbed and felt. Whereas nanoparticle CBD has a much faster onset and can be absorbed within minutes of being consumed.
Many ongoing studies and anecdotal accounts suggest that oral forms of CBD have the potential to support physical wellness and may create a sense of calm or reduce feelings of anxiety.
What are “bioavailability” and “absorption” and how do they fit into conversations regarding CBD?
The word bioavailable refers to the percentage of the substance (in this instance, CBD) that has a practical and active effect in the body. The term absorption is sometimes used in combination or in replacement of bioavailability but often refers to how our bodies process and utilize the compound.
The long and short; the bioavailability of a product is how much of the substance is intended to be delivered, and absorption is the level of effectiveness in delivering the medicine to your body and the way your body puts it to use.
The way the CBD is formulated – like a water-based nano CBD particle vs. an oil-based CBD- may also allow for more of the actual CBD compound ( sometimes up to 80% or more ) to be absorbed and utilized by your body. Overall, nanoparticle water-based CBD is superior in bioavailability, absorption, and has a faster onset compared to oil-based CBD options.
In addition, absorption is affected by several additional things:
The lipophilicity of CBD (a fancy word for fat-soluble nature)
The route in which we consume CBD (edibles, sublingual tinctures, combustion, etc.)
Naturally existing organ tissue differences (i.e., alveolar/lungs, dermal/skin, or gastric/the stomach and liver) ( 1 )
The extraction method that was used to isolate the CBD
Each person’s natural biological differences
And the time of day it is consumed
It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly how you’ll absorb CBD. It may take time to understand how your body processes and utilizes CBD, but keeping a log can help to narrow down what works best for you.
Is there anything you can do to increase the absorption of CBD?
In fact, there is! Choosing the right product can make all the difference. Knowing the source and extraction practices is important because not all products are made equally.
Consuming a product that has nanoparticle CBD can increase the potential bioavailability up to 80-100% and absorption to near 100% and have a much faster onset – taking mere minutes. Whereas some oil-based tinctures only offer up to 45% bioavailability, and when consumed orally can deliver a low absorption rate of 6%. The absorption of oils and capsules can also be slow, erratic, and variable ( 3 ), and may take anywhere from 60 minutes to 6 hours to reach full absorption.
One study suggests that a potential method to increase oral bioavailability is to administer CBD alongside a high-fat/high-calorie meal, which could increase bioavailability up to 4x versus consuming CBD on an empty stomach ( 2 ).
What is nanoparticle CBD?
Nanotechnology has been widely used in medicine because it increases the absorption of the substance into the bloodstream. When particles are broken down into microscopic pieces, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest or process them, but rather gets to work absorbing them into the bloodstream. This allows the particles to be delivered faster and to be absorbed at a much higher rate.
CBD is both hydrophobic and lipophilic – it doesn’t dissolve in water , but it does dissolve in fats. Breaking it down to the microscopic level allows CBD to dissolve better in water or other non-oil-based liquids. This makes nanoparticle CBD the closest thing to being “water-based CBD” on a microscopic level – even though it never fully dissolves in water. Due to the small size of the particles, they are absorbed easier by our tissues and are distributed into the bloodstream faster as well.
Nanotechnology has improved the oral bioavailability of CBD dramatically, offering effective new options to consume CBD. This makes nanoparticle water-based CBD the most versatile, bioavailable, effective, and fastest CBD option available.
If you are curious about water-soluble CBD, check out the shop pag e for products that fit your needs.
Topical CBD vs Oral CBD
For those new to the world of CBD, it might seem like there are endless ways to add a CBD supplement to your daily routine. However, not all of them are the same.
Certain ways of taking CBD, such as topical CBD vs. oral, for example, are more different than you might think.
With that in mind, understanding the different ways you can take CBD is an important step for anyone looking to try it as a supplement. That’s why we’re breaking down the differences between topical CBD and oral CBD, and outlining some benefits of each so that you can choose the best CBD for you.
In this article, you will learn:
– What is topical CBD?
– What is oral CBD?
– What’s the Difference Between Topical vs Oral CBD
– How does the way you take CBD affect results?
– How to decide if Topical or Oral CBD is best
– Can you use oral CBD topically?
– Where to find Topical CBD?
What is Topical CBD?
Using CBD topically is one of the easiest ways to add it to your daily routine. Topical CBD comes in many forms, including products like lotions, creams, salves, and oils. These are easy to store, easy to apply, and allow you to target certain areas of the body.
It’s worth noting that topical CBD doesn’t enter your bloodstream the same way orally consumed CBD does. Rather than having a far-reaching effect, topical whole food hemp extract acts in the area where you applied it, providing moisturizing, skin-soothing benefits.
Benefits of Topical CBD vs. Oral
Many people are eager to discuss the benefits of topical CBD vs oral CBD, but the truth is that they’re totally different in function. Whole food hemp extract that’s rich with omegas and oils as well as topical CBD offers a perfect way to support your skin’s health. CBD topicals like lotions, creams, and balms give you the best of both worlds.
One of the biggest benefits of topical CBD versus other forms is that it can be applied in a targeted manner. In other words, you can apply the skin-soothing CBD cream exactly where you need it most. While adored by CBD devotees across the spectrum, topical CBD is often seen as a good option for those who are new to using CBD and are interested in exploring the benefits of hemp-derived oils topically.
A Breakdown on the Types of CBD Topicals
For those interested in topical CBD, there are many ways to get started. Since it comes in many forms, you can choose one that best fits your lifestyle and daily routine. Here are a few of the most common types of topical CBD:
– Creams: CBD creams can be found at a wide variety of stores. Typically, creams tend to be thicker than lotions, which makes them a good choice for those with dry skin. As a bonus, creams usually absorb quickly, making them ideal for those who need fast support.
– Lotions: Although creams may be a better choice for those with dry skin, CBD lotions are very similar. They also absorb quickly and are easy to apply to almost any area of the body.
– Balms: Unlike creams and lotions, CBD balms are made with ingredients that take a little longer to fully absorb, making them longer lasting. Many athletes choose a CBD balm as their topical of choice for this reason.
What is Oral CBD?
Taking CBD orally is another extremely common method of adding the supplement to your routine. For those that want more generalized benefits from CBD, such as relaxation, CBD oils, capsules or gummies are the way to go. Unlike topical CBD, oral CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. Many CBD users report that when CBD is ingested daily, it may help them better manage post-workout soreness and support healthy stress levels.
Unsurprisingly, oral CBD also comes in many forms, such as capsules, oil tinctures and gummies, as we mentioned above, but even in baked goods, tea or coffee.
Benefits of Oral CBD
A primary benefit of CBD orally is that it is incredibly convenient to use and easy to take. People also appreciate knowing precisely how much CBD is in the serving size.
One of the advantages of oral CBD is that the CBD interacts with your entire body, supporting your entire endocannabinoid system. With topicals, however, there are some areas of your body that topicals can’t reach.
A Breakdown of the Types of Oral CBD
As with topical CBD products, there are many types of oral CBD on the market. Here is more detail on the top three types you’ll see on the market today: CBD oil tinctures, CBD capsules and CBD gummies.
– Oil tinctures: For those looking for an easy way to start taking CBD, oil tinctures are a good choice. Liquid oil by mouth is one way that many feel is a great way to take CBD oil. Some even feel that it may be slightly better absorbed. As a bonus, oil tinctures may start acting more quickly.
– CBD pills & capsules: Although tinctures are easy to consume, pills are thought by many to be even easier. They’re discreet, easy to travel with, and offer a pre-measured serving size of CBD.
– Gummies & edibles: CBD gummies are probably the most fun (and delicious) way to add the supplement to your routine. Like pills, each gummy contains the same amount of CBD so there’s no need to wonder if you’re getting the right serving size. They also come in a wide variety of delicious flavor such as HempFusion’s Cherry 10mg CBD Gummies.
Topical CBD vs. Oral CBD: What’s the Difference, Really?
So just to recap, the difference between topical CBD and oral CBD is significant in that one oral CBD may offer more overall support, whereas topical CBD offers moisturizing, targeted skin care support.
This is due to one of the key differences: how CBD enters your body via an ingested product vs. how it’s found naturally in moisturizing, antioxidant-rich hemp-derived oils. When using a topical cream or balm that contains hemp extract, the oils offer incredible skin-soothing perks.
By contrast, oral CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and may support inner balance. Topical CBD is only able to affect the area where you apply it, offering a more targeted skin-soothing support.
How to Decide if Topical CBD or Oral CBD is Best for Me?
Ultimately, choosing between topical and oral CBD comes down to the type of support you’re looking for. If you are looking to support your skin with nutrient-rich hemp oils, a topical CBD cream or lotion will likely be the best option.
If you’re after overall support for your endocannabinoid system, oral CBD is probably the better option.
Where to Find Topical CBD?
Naturally, we would say the best place to shop for all your topicals that contain CBD needs is right here on HempFusion.com. We go to great lengths to make sure our organically produced CBD oils offer the widest array possible of skin-soothing nutrients and antioxidants like Omegas, terpenes and CBD. And like all of our CBD products, each bottle or jar comes with transparent information and CBD batch reports. You can rest easy knowing that our topical CBD products are free of things like heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.
If you want more information about topicals made with hemp-derived oils, you can browse our line of CBD topicals here. We can’t wait for you to try one. As always, when you try one of our products, be sure to tag us on Social to let us know how you like it!
HempFusion Staff HempFusion consists of a team of passionate individuals working together for a common goal — to create the best CBD products on the market and to educate consumers like yourself about the different aspects of this unique cannabinoid found in hemp. We’re committed to providing accurate, compliant, educational, and engaging content so you can make informed choices about your life.