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How do CBD topicals work? What you need to know

How do CBD topicals work? What you need to know

Something is buzzing in the wellness industry, and its name is CBD. CBD has risen in popularity over recent years, and its popularity seems like it is here to stay. CBD topicals are found everywhere from corner stores to cafes.

Naturally, this depends on where you are in the world and your area’s precise legislation. The 2018 Farm Bill was passed by Congress in the USA, which catapulted CBD into commercialization. This bill effectively legalized the extraction of the CBD cannabinoid and deems any CBD product legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC in the USA.

But aside from what clever marketing tells you, what do you need to know about CBD topicals?

There is one important aspect to consider with topicals of any kind, whether it’s CBD infused or not, and that is bioavailability. In this guide, we will cover the fundamentals of bioavailability and why it matters to you.

What Is Bioavailability?

While bioavailability might sound like a complicated term, it is actually quite a simple concept. Bioavailability is the rate at which the bloodstream absorbs the substance, in this instance, the rate at which CBD is absorbed.

The Bioavailability of a substance can depend on several things, but most especially on how you take CBD. And by ‘take’ CBD we mean whether you inhale, ingest, or absorb.

So, what’s the deal with CBD’s bioavailability?
Pharmacokinetics dictates CBD’s bioavailability. Again, another scary-sounding term with a simple enough explanation. Pharmacokinetics is simply how the body processes compounds and substances, more specifically how the body absorbs and any external influences that may prevent the absorption. The way you take CBD will influence the bioavailability of the compound because the body’s pharmacokinetics changes with each delivery method. That’s why a CBD oil may have a higher bioavailability than a balm.

Let’s dig a little deeper into CBD’s bioavailability.

CBD Science: The body and bioavailability

CBD Science: The Body and Bioavailability

To kick things off, we will begin by discussing absorption.


We’re going to throw another complicated term at you: lipophilic molecules. But before you sigh in exasperation, it has a super simple meaning; it refers to a molecule that is not water-soluble. Now, we know that the human body is basically a moving mass of water. Okay, that might be going a bit far but the body is made up of a high water content. This means that cannabinoids, being the lipophilic molecules that they are, might struggle to have a high bioavailability and are not so easily absorbed if they are not formulated with supportive substances. This is why it is so important to choose a premium CBD topical that is specifically formulated to have a high bioavailability. On its own, without a bit of help from the folks responsible for formulating the CBD topical, the product has a naturally low bioavailability.

On the plus side, when you use a CBD topical you don’t have your metabolism to contend with. With oral CBD, the cannabinoid has to pass through the liver, which metabolizes the cannabinoid and thus hinders its bioavailability.

Now you have a clearer picture of what bioavailability means, let’s see how this impacts CBD topicals.

What is Topical CBD’s Bioavailability?

There is a massive following for CBD topicals, and business is booming in the cosmetic industry.

What is a CBD Topical?

A CBD topical is typically a balm, lotion, or cream that contains the CBD cannabinoid and is applied to the skin. Most of these products are geared towards intense hydration, anti-aging, or even muscle relief.

How is the CBD absorbed?

Most of what we put onto our skin is absorbed via the skin’s pores and the epidermis. There are receptors in the skin that are there for this specific absorption function. The skin has two specific receptors that get to work: the CB2 receptor and the TRPV1 receptor.

While this sounds like the skin has an easy time of absorbing CBD, this is not necessarily the case. Permeability is typically rather low, which again highlights the need for choosing a premium CBD product that has been designed by experts in the field.

The best CBD topicals are those that are designed with supportive ingredients and formulated with premium CBD. Look out for supercritical CO2 extracted CBD and check the third-party reports to ensure you are buying a product that contains what is stated on the label.

There is another buzzword circulating the CBD scene: Transdermal. What does transdermal mean and what is transdermal CBD?

What is a Transdermal Topical?

Well, since transdermal refers to something that can permeate the skin, a transdermal topical is a product that will be able to transfer through the skin and into the body.

If a topical is formulated to be a transdermal product, it simply means that the active ingredient will be able to penetrate the epidermis and be absorbed into the bloodstream.

From the bloodstream, the active ingredient can then pass throughout the body.

How to Choose a CBD Topical

When choosing a CBD Topical, you need to purchase from a reputable company that creates premium products. But, how do you do that?

Several indicators can tell you who (and what product) you can trust.

Look out for:

  • Supercritical CO2 CBD extraction
  • Third-party lab reports (also referred to as independent lab reports)
  • Read up on customer reviews
  • Amount of CBD per ml

Companies that make it easy for you to access their product information are a good indication that you can trust them. For example, Canzon offers complete transparency on their CBD products and their third-party reports are super simple to access too. Simply click on the product page and you will find the third party report in a matter of seconds. Here at Canzon, we value our customers and want to offer the best possible products. This means that we use supportive ingredients in our CBD topicals to maximize efficiency. Come check out the Canzon products and see how you can boost your skin’s health today.

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