CBD Cream Vs. Oil – Why Topicals Might Be a Better Fit

There are pieces of evidence to prove that using CBD for chronic pain relief can be best achieved via delivery through the transdermal route. These are strong indications of why topicals might be a better fit. On the flip side, CBD oils also pose practical ways to administer CBD as they have a high bioavailability.

Yet, which form is a better fit for CBD consumption? Topical creams? Oils?

Let’s find out!

What Are CBD Creams and Oils?

CBD Cream

Any lotion, salve, cream, or balm mixed with CBD and produced for skin application is CBD cream. They are also known as CBD topicals. The skin absorbs the nutrients from the topical cream and ingests them into the bloodstream and other skin areas.

Creams vary in the percentage of CBD composition and thus have different efficiencies.


CBD Oils are cannabis-derived products made by removing CBD from the cannabis plant and then mixing it with an oil like coconut oil. It reduces inflammation, pains, and anxiety. The oil can be kept in sprays or capsules. It works on opioid receptors, which are known to control pain and reduce stress.

Potential Benefits and Side Effects of CBD

The following are some benefits and possible side effects of CBD usage:

Potential Benefits and Side Effects

Potential Benefits of Topicals

Potential Sides effects of Oils

High blood pressure treatment


Chronic pain alleviation


Skin moisturization

Mood swings

Seizure treatment


Reduction of heart disease risks


Acne removal

Dry Mouth

Glaucoma treatment

Appetite Change

Insomnia reduction


How Do They Work?


CBD Oils come in varying potencies, determining the amount you will consume. The CBD molecules bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system upon ingestion. These receptors prevent any molecule from sticking to them and thus producing anti-inflammatory effects.

On the other hand, CBD creams bind themselves to the cannabinoid receptors specifically on the skin, thus producing an anti-inflammatory effect. They are suitable for topical treatments. They come in salves and lotions, ideal for muscle and joint pains.

Things to look for in CBD Cream and Oil

Extraction Method

It is essential to know the technique used to extract the CBD. The extraction method affects the Potency of the CBD oil. Ethanol and CO2 extraction are two of the best ways.


Check to find out the spectrum of CBD you are getting. Isolates are safe, and full-spectrum is also ideal.

Third-party Tests

Ensure a dermatologist tests it before you apply it to your skin. Also, ask about the safety of the product based on the ingredients used.


On the product packages, you can find the potencies mentioned. The Potency should not be below 750 mg.

Why CBD Creams Are A Better Fit

CBD creams are a better fit for pain alleviation because they provide a more localized action on the skin. They can reduce pain and inflammatory reactions like joint swelling on specific body parts. This effect is because of the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors on the skin.

Here are some reasons why topicals might be a better fit for pain alleviation:

  • Easy application

  • Localized action

  • Convenient usage

  • Nice fragrances

  • Skin moisturization and hydration

  • Treatment of skin conditions

CBD Creams Vs. Oils

CBD Creams

CBD Oils

Type of Pain

Mild Pain

Extreme Pain

Area of action

Local action

Extensive action

Absorption Route



Speed of Relief

Slow relief

Fast relief





Varying fragrances

Earthy and green

Oral administration is one of the most common ways of administering CBD. Although, the infusion of CBD into lotions, creams, or salves that can be applied on the skin is fast-becoming mainstream. However, CBD topicals are more effective and quicker for skin issues, muscle, and joint pains.

Topical CBD contains ingredients that aid an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. This makes it your best bet if you need to treat skin issues or joint pains. They also don’t have enough tetrahydrocannabinol to make you high. CBD topicals also help manage pain associated with arthritis by evading the GI system, which results in more steady plasma levels.

Medical experts at the American Academy of Dermatology believe that CBD topicals can be used to cure acne, eczema, and psoriasis. These products do not have the side effects of oral medicines, and they help maintain the skin. Dosage, quality, serving size, and source determine the effectiveness of CBD topicals.

Unlike oils, topicals target surface areas to treat pain, tension, and spasms because they do not enter the bloodstream. Rather than treating your whole body system, you are just treating the spot where you have pains. For people who also do not like ingestion treatments, topical creams are a good fix as they do not have to taste the oils.

Final Thoughts

CBD creams and CBD oils are effective ways of delivering CBD into the system. CBD creams are good for relieving pains on specific body parts and alleviating skin concerns. They are also used to treat acne breakouts. In general, topicals are a better fit for localized pain relief. Although they provide slower pain relief, they make up for comfort on targeted sites, ease of use, and overall convenience. You should try one sometime.

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