how to use cbd topicals - mary and wanda

Many people have used CBD oil and capsules, but some don’t know how to use CBD topicals to their benefit. And there are so many benefits when using the right topical product for your ailment.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has so many uses. And tinctures, capsules, and edibles are just some of the types of CBD products available to us. But if it’s a relief from physical pain or treatment of a skin condition you’re looking for, a CBD topical may be the answer. You can get topicals in various forms and can be applied directly to the skin.

The efficacy of CBD topicals is promising, with many already reporting excellent results. Although studies are still in their early stages, the research available is positive. And it suggests that you can treat chronic pain and skin irritation quite successfully.

One study conducted in 2016 indicates that CBD topicals could be effective against inflammation and pain associated with conditions such as arthritis. And in 2018, the American Academy of Dermatology recommended using CBD topicals to combat specific skin conditions.

What is CBD?

In short, CBD is a natural alternative to taking medication for pain relief, inflammation, and more. It’s derived directly from a hemp plant and contains minimal to zero traces of THC.

It’s important to note that CBD does not make you high. But it does influence chemicals in the brain and tissue in the body. As a result, there is a broad range of uses for CBD, which is why it’s available in different forms in Canada.

CBD is a versatile substance and you can use it for vapes, tinctures, edibles, capsules, drinks, topicals, and more. And your choice of product type will depend on the result you’re trying to achieve. But CBD has medical properties and can ease seizures, ward off pain, combat inflammation, and reduce the effects of anxiety, to name a few.

Tips on How to Use CBD Topicals and More

One must be careful, as there are fake and low-quality CBD products on the market in Canada. So, it’s essential to ensure that you buy your products from a credible source. This way, you know you’re buying safe CBD products of a high standard. And it’s a great starting point when learning how to use CBD topicals.

Finding the Best Quality CBD Topicals

You should investigate a few factors to ensure your CBD supplier in Canada is credible. And you’ll also want to make sure that the products you buy follow strict safety guidelines. To ensure this, you should confirm the following information before placing an order:

  1. Check that the company that makes the product can verify testing of the product by a third party. The organization that did the test should have a laboratory compliant with ISO17025 regulations.
  2. Ensure that the manufacturer stipulates where they’ve sourced their hemp.
  3. Double-check that the THC level within the product is no more than 0.3%. And that the manufacturer can provide a certificate of analysis (COA) confirming this.
  4. Ensure that the product’s COA also indicates that it has passed specific tests. These include testing for the presence of heavy metals, molds, and pesticides.

Apart from the above, you should also confirm the ingredients and potency before buying. And you could perhaps investigate whether the manufacturer has ever received a warning letter from the FDA.

Customer reviews are also a great indicator of authenticity. And, if you struggle to find any of the above information online, you should email the manufacturer to request it. However, most credible manufacturers and suppliers willingly make this information available on their websites.

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Choosing the Right Type of CBD Topicals

The type of CBD topical you choose to purchase depends on the ailment you want to treat. But, for the most part, they come in either cream, gel, or balm form.

These topical products are all infused with CBD at different levels of potency. So, if you’re experiencing intense pain, it’s best to opt for a lotion with a substantial amount of CBD in it.

Your average CBD topical should contain between 3 and 8 mg of CBD in terms of potency. Whereas the high-potency products have more than 8 mg of CBD in them.

You may want to purchase a CBD product that helps to hydrate your skin. Or maybe you’d like to reduce the tenderness and itching brought on by a rash. Perhaps you need relief from persistent muscle or joint pain.

Whatever the reason, it’s essential that you consider your desired outcome when investigating how to use CBD topicals. This will inform your decision regarding the type of CBD topical best suited to your condition.

As mentioned, your CBD topicals may come in the form of cream, lotion, gel, balm, or oil. And it’s wise to consider the texture and consistency of each. Especially when you consider the condition and affected area of the body.

Reading the product’s label information and instructions will help immensely. And be on the lookout for CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD. These terms indicate the level of THC contained in the product.

CBD isolate is entirely free of THC. While broad-spectrum CBD contains some other cannabinoids except THC. And full spectrum CBD incorporates a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and THC.

How to Use CBD Topicals

The following is a breakdown of the best approach when learning how to use CBD topicals for optimal results.

How to Use CBD Creams

Cannabidiol cream is probably the most widely used CBD topical. Its popularity is likely due to its ease of use and availability. Most reputable CDB stores will have at least one topical cream available to purchase.

CBD creams usually contain broad-spectrum cannabidiol. This means that the product has various cannabinoids that work together to increase its potency. However, this type of cannabidiol does not contain any traces of THC.

The topical cream is great for application directly on the skin as with any other type of cream. Therefore, when determining how to use CBD topicals, it’s best to rub the cream onto the affected area of the skin.

Due to their above-average strength, CBD creams are great for warding off various types of pain. But they can also assist in reducing inflammation or swelling associated with skin conditions like Eczema.

According to interim studies, thus far, CBD cream has proven to be effective against arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and jaw pain.

How to Use CBD Lotions

To many, CBD lotions and creams might seem like the same thing. But their benefits are slightly different. As discussed above, you should CBD topical cream to the affected area to ease any pain or inflammation.

A CBD topical lotion works to achieve the same result. But you would choose a lotion over a cream for its additional benefits to the skin. Using a CBD lotion would be as if you’d infused your regular moisturizing body lotion with CBD.

Therefore, when understanding how to use CBD topicals, one would see improved skin health when utilizing a lotion. While relieving yourself of pain and inflammation, you’d benefit from the lotion’s skin hydrating properties.

Using CBD lotion will help to diminish dark skin spots, combat dehydrated skin, and reduce visible wrinkles. In fact, CBD lotion is excellent for aging or blemished skin.

How to Use CBD Gels

Most folks use CBD topical gels to relieve muscle and joint pain, that’s why Mary + Wanda makes some top shelf creams and gels for this very purpose. And they frequently contain the full-spectrum CBD variety. In other words, they usually comprise an array of cannabinoids, including THC.

These are more intense pain relievers. So, only use a thin layer of CBD gel when you apply it. You’ll often see gels packaged in the form of a roll-on for ease of application. But you can also choose to massage the gel into the affected area a bit. Just wash your hands thoroughly afterward, since you shouldn’t ingest any CBD topicals.

Stronger gels can even be applied to muscle strains and minor sprains to reduce pain and swelling. One usually feels the effects of CBD within 15 to 20 mins of application to the affected area. Which is essential to know when exploring how to use CBD topicals.

But no matter what you use CBD topical gel for, you should always speak to your doctor first. This will mitigate any unwanted side effects because of other medication you’re taking. And it will ensure that your doctor is aware of your condition should further tests be required.

How to Use CBD Balms

Any good CBD product supplier will have a selection of CBD topical balms available. These are not to be confused with salves, mind you. Balms are slightly thicker and stiffer than salves and contain a higher percentage of beeswax.

Other standard CBD topical balm ingredients include CBD oil, vitamin E, and essential oils. The CBD-infused oil is often coconut oil or a combination of oils. And essential oils traditionally found in CBD balms are lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus oils.

Typical CBD balms are used to treat chapped lips and heal fresh tattoos. But CBD balms can also be applied to other areas for relief from pain and inflammation of the skin.

CBD topical balms offer a solution that gently soothes the affected area. And the wax and oils also aid in softening and moisturizing the skin.

These balms are generally safe to use on any part of the body and provide quick relief once applied.

How to Use CBD Body Butters & Oils

While body butter is often thrown into the same category as body lotions, they aren’t the same. CBD topical butter has a heavier consistency when compared to CBD lotions. And they tend to leave a thin protective layer of oil on the skin after application.

CBD topical lotions have skin moisturizing and hydrating properties because they contain water. And they can be rubbed into the skin well. However, CBD butter and oils do not hold water and cannot be rubbed into the skin thoroughly.

Butters and oils are used to treat areas experiencing more severe dry skin, such as the heels, knees, and elbows. They replenish lost natural oils and continue to positively affect the skin a few days after application.

You can rub your CBD topical butter or oil directly onto the very dry section of the skin to treat it. And, unlike lotions which you can use daily, you can reapply topicals such as butter and oil every few days.

Some have reported relief from pain and rashes using CBD topical butter and oils. However, as you discover how to use CBD topicals, you’ll realize that it’s most often used to relieve skin-related ailments.

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How to Use CBD Ointments

CBD topical ointments, such as salves, have tremendous healing properties. For this reason, they make for an effective treatment for the healing of certain wounds. The CBD in the ointment helps with cell regeneration, speeding up skin recovery.

That said, you should never apply any ointments, creams, or the like to an open wound. Only once the wound has formed a solid scab can you start using your CBD topical ointment safely.

Your CBD ointment will promote collagen growth, reducing the visibility of potential scars. And CBD is known to have antibacterial qualities, which means that it will prevent infection.

Topical CBD ointments can be applied to scabbed wounds from burns to cuts and scrapes. But you should ensure that your ointment doesn’t contain any fragrant oils, as these may interfere with the healing process.

How to Use CBD Patches

Some people consider CBD patches as part of the CBD topical family because the cannabidiol is absorbed through the skin from the patch. So, we’ve decided to include CBD patches here as part of the product breakdown.

Known formally as CBD transdermal patches, they are often used by individuals seeking pain relief. This type of application delivers more speedy and intense results, with noticeable effects felt within 5 to 15 minutes.

The difference between patches and traditional CBD topicals is that patches transmit the CBD through the skin into your bloodstream. In fact, using a patch is like taking CBD orally, with a similar level of potency experienced.

CBD patches are available in different strengths, so individuals should select a patch based on what they want to achieve. And if the potency level becomes overwhelming, you can always remove the patch to reduce and remove the effects.

The patch is applied directly to the skin and can be worn for several days. The CBD in the patch is then slowly released through the skin into the bloodstream for long-lasting relief.

It’s an inexpensive solution that’s easy to use, provides a lasting effect, and can be hidden discreetly under clothing. CBD patches alleviate pain and inflammation like traditional CBD topicals. But they’re also helpful for combatting anxiety and insomnia, like CBD taken orally.

How do CBD Topicals Work?

Using CBD topicals effectively is straightforward. But what is the science behind these products, and how do they work? These are vital questions to ask when first learning how to use CBD topicals.

Essentially, when CBD topicals are applied to the skin, the CBD is absorbed into the underlying tissue. Here, it releases cannabinoids that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS comprises a network of receptors that span the entire body. These receptors are responsible for controlling several bodily functions, such as healing. When it encounters CBD, the level of endocannabinoids in the body increase. And this enhances their ability to heal the body.

Manufacturers include ingredients with CBD to assist with effective application and skin penetration. And, dependent on the type of CBD used, there may be additional ingredients from the cannabis or hemp plant. For instance, full-spectrum CBD contains terpenes, making the topical particularly effective against inflammation.

Earlier, we discussed that CBD has proven to be effective against inflammation, pain, and scarring. However, studies show that CBD also carries immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. Therefore, CBD topicals promote overall skin health and wellness.

So, apart from the everyday use to relieve muscle and joint pain, CBD topicals have numerous other benefits. One of these is the healing of scar tissue. And another is the reduction of inflammation and discomfort caused by stings, rashes, etc.

That said, it’s important to note that when your skin absorbs CBD, it doesn’t enter your bloodstream. CBD topicals only affect the skin, tissue, muscles, and joints.

CBD lotions, creams, butter, and oils promote overall skin health. Whereas CBD gels, balms, and ointments are best when you apply them in a localized area. This is for deeper penetration to overcome a specific issue.

Side Effects

Indeed, CBD is generally safe for adults to use in various forms. Of the tests and studies conducted, we know that CBD works well for most people who use it. And that most people are unlikely to experience any severe side effects.

However, it’s still important to be aware of possible side effects, especially when it comes to negative interactions with other drugs. Therefore, if you’re taking prescription and chronic medication and want to try CBD products, it’s best to double-check with your doctor.

That said, studies indicate that CBD products have fewer side effects than most other drugs prescribed for the same ailments. And when it comes to CBD topicals, there is even less risk involved as they don’t enter your bloodstream.

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Will I Get High?

Another vital point is that even if there are minimal traces of THC in a topical, it cannot make you high. And many who don’t know how to use CBD topicals may not be aware of this. But it is because the THC levels are far too low and don’t reach the bloodstream.

As is the case with any topical product, some with sensitive skin may experience an allergic reaction. If so, this would likely be in the form of a rash or the like. However, the likelihood of such a reaction occurring due to the CBD is reportedly low.

On the other hand, CBD patches enable CBD to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, you should treat them the same as a CBD product taken orally. However, serious side effects are still unlikely in this case.

Reported side effects of using CBD patches include fatigue, changes in appetite and weight, and diarrhea. And, if you are sensitive to CBD, we advise that you don’t drive or operate heavy machinery while taking it. That said, it’s always best to check with your doctor before taking CBD to be safe.


CBD may be 100% natural, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions when using it. It’s likely safer than aspirin, but you never know how your body will react to something new. And it’s better to be cautious when examining how to use CBD topicals.

When using a CBD topical, it’s always safest to test some of the product on a small spot of skin. This way, you’ll know if you have an adverse reaction to it before you apply it liberally to other areas of your body.

However, it is advisable to steer clear of CBD topicals that contain alcohol. The presence of alcohol could result in some adverse side effects and will likely prevent the CBD from doing its job. So, always read the label on your topical product to determine what’s in it.

Narural is Always Better

If you’re ever unsure of the ingredients you see on a label, look out for anything that seems unnatural. CBD topicals should always contain a natural carrier as their base ingredient. And this will usually be hempseed oil, coconut oil, or the like. Other standard ingredients listed are cannabinoids, terpenes, and THC.

Again, CBD topicals do not allow CBD to enter the bloodstream, apart from CBD patches. And the levels of THC, even in full-spectrum CBD, are super low. So, there’s no chance you’ll get high on a CBD topical. Nor will traces of the product show up in a blood test.

Also, be careful when mixing CBD products for a more potent effect, such as vaping and using topicals. It’s best to exercise caution and introduce new elements minimally and slowly for safety.

Always speak to your doctor and dermatologist when adding CBD topicals to your skincare routine. And remember that CBD topicals are for external use only. Taking these precautions should help reap the benefits of your CBD products without issue.


When learning how to use CBD topicals, you’ll come across several product options that can seem confusing at first. From creams to balms, lotions, and ointments, dozens of topicals and applications are available. Understanding each type of product and how to apply it is vital.

And the ability to determine which type of product is best for each ailment is just as crucial. As is exercising caution when using a CBD topical for the first time. But, if you utilize the information detailed above, you’ll know exactly how to use CBD topicals.

You might also like…

What are CBD topicals?

CBD topicals are creams, balms, lotions, or any other substance meant to be applied on the skin that is infused with CBD.

What are CBD topicals for?

CBD topicals are meant to be rubbed on the skin to ease pain, arthritis, eczema, heal tattoos, and more.

How do you use CBD topicals?

Always consult the label of the CBD topical you are using to see the instructions. CBD topicals are generally applied to the skin and rubbed in.

What are the best CBD topicals?

The best CBD topicals are the high-quality, natural products at Mary and Wanda. They really work and ship across Canada.