Let’s Talk About Hemp & CBD Topicals

What are they and how do you choose the right product for you? If you are new to the world of hemp wellness, it can all be a bit overwhelming. There are gummies, capsules, chewing gum, oral sprays, tinctures, vape products, and a whole range of topicals meant to be applied directly to the skin. We hear about 𝚫9-THC and CBD, but also maybe CBN, CBG, CBC, and recently, a surging interest in 𝚫8-THC. Add to that the huge variation in reported strengths, doses, package sizes, testing protocols, and prices; and we are left with quite a confusing landscape of hemp products offered by a seemingly unending lineup of companies.

The type and method of administration dictate how these products and compounds work with our bodies. Inhaled products are typically the most potent and have the fastest onset as the active ingredients are introduced directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. This can bring on effects in minutes. Oral products such as tinctures can be absorbed through the oral mucosa with the remainder being ingested, while edibles are processed exclusively through the digestive system and metabolized in the liver. Once there, all of these routes of administration allow the active ingredients to work systemically and interact with the body’s complex signaling network known as the endocannabinoid system1. But what about applying hemp products topically to the skin?

Topicals: What Are They?

Topicals are any products that are applied for use externally. They are easy to use and usually involve applying a cream, balm, or lotion directly to the affected area to attain some form of relief. Hemp-Derived topicals are generally utilized for the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities thought to be associated with unique compounds derived from hemp or cannabis known as cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. Significant evidence supports the idea of an Entourage Effect which occurs when cannabis compounds work together synergistically to produce an effect or benefits not seen from the isolated compounds alone.

CBD Topical Pain Relief

These cannabinoids, once purified from less desirable parts of the plant extract, are combined with other functional ingredients and delivery agents to create a final product with specific properties. This can range from simplistic methods such as blending raw extracted hemp oil with a carrier, to careful purification, distillation, and even isolation before formulating the perfect topical. At Sycamore BioPharma, we take no shortcuts when it comes to formulating our Full-Spectrum Muscle & Joint Relief Lotion and Menthol Roll-On products. We start with the highest standard in extraction, Supercritical CO2 Extraction, which utilizes harmless CO2 gas and leaves no trace of solvents or chemicals. From there, we carefully purify and filter the botanical extract before a thorough distillation to create a pure, concentrated, and repeatable cannabinoid distillate. This distillate is titrated to the appropriate dosage of CBD with careful third-party testing before being formulated with our proprietary blend of functional ingredients. These ingredients deliver the cannabinoids to the skin, help with penetration and absorption, and some assist with pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

Hemp Topicals & Skin

Our skin is an incredible structure that provides a protective barrier from harmful agents but also provides pathways for transport. Topical cannabinoid products are a wonderful choice for many people, especially when dealing with localized ailments. They have a major advantage in that they can be applied directly at the source of discomfort and act in a targeted manner. Once applied, they are absorbed through hair follicles and the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis, where they begin to interact with receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the skin2.

The effects can be noticed rather quickly, and unlike an ingestible, the cannabinoids are not metabolized before they begin to take action. Specific ingredients can act as penetration enhancers to help improve absorption and, in turn, the effectiveness of the topical. The possible benefits include direct pain relief and a reduction of inflammation3. There is also a growing body of reports indicating potential benefits for psoriasis, eczema, minor burns, and other skin ailments.

Choosing Your Topical

A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to choosing a topical CBD or Hemp product. Prices vary widely, as do product sizes, potency, purity of the Hemp source, and manufacturing standards. It’s best, if possible, to choose an American grown source of Hemp from a reputable company that adheres to strict manufacturing protocols. A quick browsing of a company’s website can provide a lot of information to inform you in your search. While many extraction methods yield a safe product, Supercritical CO2 Extraction guarantees that the botanical compounds are not tainted by harmful solvents. A reputable supplier should provide a third-party analysis to verify the purity and potency as claimed by the product packaging. A full panel analysis will also show the presence or absence of pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Remember, not all Hemp topicals are created equal and it is important to consider the different potencies and the value they provide. The total content of CBD is generally listed on the product packaging and is useful when comparing similar products. Because of the low permeability of cannabinoids, it’s important to select a product of suitable potency, especially when it comes to pain relief. We have worked hard in the development of our Sycamore BioPharma Full-Spectrum Topicals. Our customers love them because of their quality, potency, and effectiveness. If you are interested in or think a Hemp-derived topical could be a good fit for you, reach out to us. We’d love to assist you and answer any additional questions you may have in your search.


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