Can You Use Oral CBD Oil Topically?

Can You Use Oral CBD Oil Topically?

It is no secret that CBD is gradually taking over the natural health scene. The benefits of CBD are widespread and can help promote physical and mental health. CBD promotes better sleep, enhances calm and stress management, and is a great agent for soothing and calming joint discomfort while dealing with joint and cartilage health problems. In addition to this, CBD comes in a variety of forms. From gummies, capsules, and oils, to topical creams and lotions, CBD works to target pain at the source and relieve it.

The different types of CBD products work in various ways, but you may have wondered whether CBD oil, which is taken orally, can be used topically instead. Using CBD oil on your skin as a topical product won’t harm the skin, but the benefits may not work like you think.

Let’s explore why CBD oil isn’t effective when administered topically and how to use topical products instead!


CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of 200 cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. These cannabinoids are known for their naturally therapeutic and pain-relieving properties. Another popular cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive component of hemp associated with marijuana. CBD does not contain THC, and CBD products that do include THC do not contain enough of it to produce a “high”. 

CBD is largely dependent on our endocannabinoid system to carry out its soothing effects and pain relief.

Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a system naturally found in our bodies—and in the bodies of all mammals for that matter! This system is essential for regulating various processes like sleep, metabolism, mood, stress, pain, and more, while maintaining overall homeostasis in our bodies.

Homeostasis is the process by which our internal processes are controlled and regulated. Since our external stimuli changes often, our internal functions and hormones change too. Homeostasis is how our bodies maintain a somewhat consistent balance of these processes and functions, and the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in its regulation!


The endocannabinoid system involves endocannabinoids naturally present in the body, receptors for these cannabinoids to bind to, and enzymes which break them down after they bind to their receptors and distribute their effects throughout the body.

There are two endocannabinoids that are naturally found in our bodies. These are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Both of these endocannabinoids are responsible for promoting various processes and functions in our bodies by binding to specific receptors.

Cannabinoid receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are the compounds that carry out regulatory functions after an endocannabinoid binds to them. There are two main receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, which is made of the brain and spinal cord. The central nervous system is responsible for controlling most involuntary physical and mental functions and voluntary actions too. For instance, our muscular reflexes are controlled by this system as they are involuntary. Thinking, feeling, and processing are also controlled by our brains in our central nervous system.

The CB1 receptors in our bodies can be found in the hippocampus, cerebellum, cortex, and even ganglia in the central nervous system. The endocannabinoids target these receptors and bine to them. CB1 receptors then send signals to the part of the body in pain to relieve and soothe the pain!

CB2 receptors are located in the peripheral nervous system. This system is a bundle of nerve fibers and endings outside of the brain and spinal cord to control organs and nerves throughout the body. Our CB2 receptors respond quickly to discomfort and irritation in the body. When our body senses discomfort, endocannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors to target and relieve this pain!


Lastly, enzymes are important in the endocannabinoid system as they break down endocannabinoids after they’ve been used! Acid amide hydrolase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down AEA, and monoacylglycerol acid lipase deconstructs the endocannabinoid 2-AG. Enzymes play a very important role. If these endocannabinoids were allowed to remain in the body after they completed their task, we would build up an unnecessary excess of them.

The main difference between topical CBD and oral CBD can be traced back to the endocannabinoid system and how CBD binds to our receptors to carry out their job.

Topical CBD

Topical CBD is a popular type of CBD to use. These products come in various forms such as salves, creams, lotions, or roll-on form and are simply administered directly onto the skin. This form of CBD targets the site of pain to promote soothing and relief.

CBD Lotions and Creams

Two well-known forms of topical CBD are lotions and creams. For example, our full spectrum CBD relief cream can be massaged in small amounts onto the skin and reapplied as needed to provide target relief for joints and muscles. In addition, a hemp extract salve with full spectrum CBD can be applied to any painful area for relief from pain or discomfort.

Oral CBD

Oral CBD is another popular way to use and consume CBD. This type of CBD works from the inside out to promote calm, pain relief, and promote health. 

There are a few different types of orally ingestible CBD products that provide this relief:

CBD Tinctures

CBD tinctures include distilled alcohol or vinegar and have a longer shelf life than CBD oils. These can be placed directly under the tongue to dissolve quickly into the bloodstream. Tinctures can also be mixed in with foods or drinks! CBD oils are simply oil extract that comes directly from the cannabis sativa plant. Ingestible CBD oils are often mixed with another kind of oil.

CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are a common way to consume CBD as they’re tasty and easy to chew and swallow. CBD gummies, oils, and tinctures work from the inside out to deliver calm and relief to muscles and joints!

Why You Shouldn’t Mix Products

Topical CBD products are formulated differently than ingestible CBD products because they’re meant to work in different areas. For instance, topical CBD is specifically designed to work on site for pain relief while oral CBD is specifically designed to work inside to dull pain relief signals and soothe discomfort.

The defining factor between topical CBD and oral CBD is how it’s absorbed by the body. While oral CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream from the inside, topical CBD is not. Instead, it simply works on site to promote pain relief. For this reason, oral CBD would not have the same benefits on skin as it does when ingested.

While it may seem fine to use CBD oil topically, it won’t work the same way topical CBD works. Oral CBD is made specifically to target receptors and agents inside our bodies to carry out relief. If you were to use oral CBD topically, it would not harm your skin, but it would keep the nourishing and healing properties found in CBD lotions, creams, and salves from helping your skin.

How to Find a Topical Product

Topical products can soothe joint pain, discomfort, or any tense area on the body. They work differently than orally ingestible CBD. Oral CBD must travel through the bloodstream to find CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is typically slower than a topical form of CBD which is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead, topicals work on site for temporary pain relief.

 If you’re looking for a topical form of CBD, try a hemp extract skin relief cream to target joint and muscle pain on site and promote relief.

You can also try a hemp extract roll-on for an easy way to massage hemp onto the affected area. This also targets CB1 and CB2 receptors to promote pain relief. Our hemp relief salve is also a great topical form of CBD soothing pain.


Whether you live with joint and cartilage pain, or have difficulty managing stress and anxiety levels, CBD may be able to help you manage and soothe whatever challenge you face. The benefits of CBD are just as widespread as the forms it comes in.

Many have wondered whether the forms of CBD can be mixed. For a short answer—not really. While it won’t harm your skin, using oral CBD topically won’t have the same effects due to differences in CBD receptors and agents.

The benefits of using topical CBD products on the skin to promote relief are abundant. Hemp can soothe a variety of ailments from joint pain to stress, but it’s important to know how to use hemp so you can reap the best benefits!  

Learn more about what CBD products may be right for you!



Topical Benefits of CBD | Echo Connection

The Central Nervous System | Berkeley Wellness.

The Nervous System |

Cannabidiol | Harvard Health 

More Articles:

Dementia and Incontinence: How to Cope
Dementia and Incontinence: How to Cope

By Because Market on May 12, 2022

Dementia and Incontinence: How to Cope Many older adults live with bladder leaks, but for older adults who also have Alzheimer's disease or dementia, there are a few special considerations for how to manage ...

Read more
Older Americans Month: An Interview with Ashton Applewhite
Older Americans Month: An Interview with Ashton Applewhite

By Because Market on May 06, 2022

Older Americans Month: An Interview with Ashton Applewhite May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate older adults and their contributions to society. Despite being important members of our communitie...

Read more
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: What our 65+ year old moms want for Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: What our 65+ year old moms want for Mother’s Day

By Because Market on Apr 28, 2022

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: What our 65+ year old moms want for Mother’s Day Mother’s Day is a chance to celebrate the mothers and mother figures in our lives, but choosing gifts they’ll appreciate can be chall...

Read more