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Does Topical CBD Cream Get Into Your Bloodstream
Posted On: November 08, 2023

Does Topical CBD Cream Get Into Your Bloodstream?

In recent years, the popularity of CBD products has soared, with many people turning to these natural remedies for numerous purposes.

Among the different CBD product options available, topical CBD creams have achieved significant attention for their potential advantage. However, a common question arises: Does topical CBD cream actually enter the bloodstream?

In this article, we will discuss the topic of transdermal absorption of CBD and explore whether topical CBD creams can penetrate the skin and reach the bloodstream. By understanding how CBD interacts with the body when applied topically, we can gain insights into the effectiveness and potential systemic effects of these creams.

So, if you're curious about whether the CBD in topical creams can go beyond the skin and have an impact on your entire body, read on to learn more. We'll provide you with valuable data to help you make informed selection about the use of topical CBD creams and their prospective effects.

I. Understanding Topical CBD Cream

Definition and Composition

Topical CBD cream is a type of CBD-infused product specifically designed for external use on the skin. Unlike other CBD products such as tinctures or edibles, which are typically ingested or taken orally, topical CBD creams are applied directly to the skin's surface.

These creams are formulated by combining CBD extract with various ingredients such as carrier oils, emulsifiers, moisturizers, and sometimes additional beneficial compounds like essential oils or herbal extracts. The specific composition can vary between different brands and products, but the key focus remains on delivering CBD to the skin.

Modes of Action

Topical CBD cream interacts with the body primarily through two main mechanisms:

Localized Effects: When applied to the skin, CBD in the cream interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the skin cells and underlying tissues. This interaction can help modulate various physiological processes, including inflammation, pain signaling, and skin health. These effects are localized to the area where the cream is applied and do not typically involve the entire body.

Systemic Effects: While topical CBD creams are primarily intended for localized effects, there is a possibility of minimal systemic absorption. Some studies suggest that a small amount of CBD from topical creams may enter the bloodstream, but it is generally considered to be minimal and not significant enough to produce widespread effects throughout the body.

It's important to note that the intended purpose of CBD topical creams is to provide targeted relief to specific areas of the body, rather than to exert systemic effects. The localized action allows for a more direct and concentrated application of CBD to the desired area, making it a popular choice for addressing localized discomfort, muscle soreness, or skin issues.

Understanding the differences between localized and systemic effects is crucial when considering the use of topical CBD creams and managing expectations regarding their potential impact on the body.


2. Transdermal Absorption of CBD


A. Skin as a Barrier:

The skin serves as a remarkable protective barrier, shielding the body from external elements, pathogens, and regulating the loss of water and nutrients. It includes three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.

Epidermis: The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, acts as the principal barricade. It is made up of several sublayers, including the stratum corneum, which is composed of dead skin cells packed firmly together. This layer acts as a physical barricade, limiting the entry of foreign substances into the body.

Dermis: The dermis lies beneath the epidermis and contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and sweat glands. It provides structural support to the skin and plays a crucial role in managing temperature and sensation.

Subcutaneous Tissue: The innermost layer of the skin, the subcutaneous tissue, consists of fat cells that provide insulation and power storage.

Substances attempting to penetrate the skin face several challenges. The stratum corneum, with its tightly packed cells and lipids, restricts the passage of molecules, especially larger ones, into the deeper layers of the skin. Additionally, the skin's pH, moisture content, and natural oils can influence the permeability of substances.


B. Factors Affecting Transdermal Absorption:

Several factors influence the penetration of CBD through the skin:

Molecular Size: The size of CBD molecules affects their ability to pass through the skin barrier. Small-scale molecules have an easier time penetrating the skin and differentiate from larger ones.

Solubility: CBD's solubility in oils or lipids plays a role in its transdermal absorption. CBD is lipid-soluble, meaning it can dissolve in fats and oils, which can enhance its ability to permeate the skin.

Formulation: The formulation of the Vanilla Lust topical CBD rub, including the type of carrier oils and other ingredients used, can impact the absorption of CBD. Proper formulation techniques, such as using penetration enhancers or Nano emulsion technology, can improve CBD's bioavailability and enhance transdermal absorption.

It's worth noting that while transdermal absorption of CBD is possible, the primarily intended mode of action for topical CBD creams is the localized effects on the skin. The penetration of CBD into the bloodstream is typically limited and minimal, ensuring that most of the effects remain concentrated in the applied area.

Understanding these factors and the challenges involved in transdermal absorption helps us comprehend the complexities of how CBD interacts with the skin and its potential to penetrate beyond the surface. Formulation techniques play a significant role in optimizing transdermal delivery, allowing for better absorption and effectiveness of topical CBD creams.


III. Limited Systemic Absorption of Topical CBD


A. Scientific Studies:

Several studies have explored the transdermal absorption of CBD from topical creams. While findings vary, they generally indicate that systemic absorption of CBD through the skin is limited. For example, a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that CBD applied topically in a cream had minimal systemic exposure in comparison to oral administration.

However, it is essential to note that these studies have limitations and irregularities. Factors such as variations in study design, formulation techniques, skin conditions, and individual variations can contribute to differing results. Additionally, the measurement of CBD in the bloodstream can be challenging, leading to potential inaccuracies in determining the extent of systemic absorption.


B. Bloodstream Detection:

To detect CBD in the bloodstream, researchers primarily rely on blood tests. These tests measure the attentiveness of CBD or its metabolites in the blood samples. Techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry are commonly used for exact and sensitive detection.

Research findings regarding the presence or absence of CBD in the bloodstream after topical application are not entirely consistent. Some studies have reported negligible or undetectable levels of CBD in the blood, supporting the notion of limited systemic absorption. However, a few studies have observed detectable CBD levels in the bloodstream, albeit at significantly lower concentrations compared to oral administration.


IV. Potential for Systemic Effects:


A. Rare Circumstances:

In infrequent circumstances, topical CBD may enter the bloodstream to a greater range. Compromised or damaged skin, such as wounds, burns, or skin conditions, can enhance the permeability of the skin, potentially allowing for increased systemic absorption. Additionally, highly permeable formulations or the use of specific delivery systems, such as transdermal patches, may promote greater penetration of CBD into the bloodstream.

However, it is essential to emphasize that such instances are considered exceptional rather than the norm. Under normal circumstances and intact skin, the systemic absorption of CBD from topical creams remains minimal and localized.


B. Health and Safety Considerations:

The limited systemic absorption of CBD from topical creams generally translates to a low risk of experiencing widespread systemic effects. However, it is still important to consider possible concerns or risks associated with systemic incorporation.

CBD can interact with certain medications, and individuals should consult with healthcare professionals before using topical CBD creams, especially if they are taking other medications. Furthermore, it is crucial to ensure the use of reputable CBD products that undergo rigorous quality control measures and adhere to regulatory standards.

The current state of regulatory oversight varies across regions, and consumers should be mindful of the legality and regulations surrounding CBD products in their respective jurisdictions. Responsible and informed use of CBD products is essential to ensure safety and maximize potential benefits.



Q. Is topical CBD cream the same as CBD oil or other CBD products?

No, topical CBD cream is specifically formulated for external use on the skin, whereas CBD oil and other products are typically ingested or taken orally.

Q. Can topical CBD cream cause psychoactive effects?

No, topical CBD creams typically do not cause psychoactive effects. CBD is non-psychoactive, and the creams do not penetrate deeply enough to reach the bloodstream in significant amounts.

Q. How long does it take for topical CBD cream to work?

The onset and time span of effects can vary depending on factors such as the specific product, the concentration of CBD, and separate responses. Generally, topical CBD creams are designed for relatively fast-acting localized relief.

Q. Are there any potential side effects of using topical CBD cream?

Side effects associated with topical CBD creams are infrequent but can include skin annoyance or allergic response. It is advisable to perform a patch test before full application and abandon use if any adverse reactions occur.

Q. Can topical CBD cream interact with medications?

CBD has the prospective to interact with certain medications. It is salient to consult with a healthcare professional before using topical CBD creams, especially if you are taking other medications.

Q. Are there any regulations for topical CBD creams?

Regulations surrounding CBD products vary by region. It is important to be aware of the legality and regulations in your specific jurisdiction when purchasing and using topical CBD creams.

Q. Can topical CBD cream be used for specific conditions?

While topical CBD creams have been used for various purposes, including soothing muscle discomfort, and promoting skin health, individual experiences may vary. It is nominated to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice regarding particular conditions or concerns.


In conclusion, while there is a possibility of minimal systemic absorption, topical CBD creams primarily provide localized effects on the skin. Scientific studies suggest that CBD's entry into the bloodstream through intact skin is limited. Rare circumstances, such as compromised skin or highly permeable formulations, may allow for increased systemic absorption, but these instances are exceptions.

Health and safety considerations include consulting with healthcare professionals and using reputable CBD products. Understanding the intended use and limitations of topical CBD creams helps individuals make informed decisions about their usage.