September 09, 2022 4 min read

You've heard about the myriad of benefits associated with CBD topicals, but how long will it take for CBD lotion to work? The answer is– it depends, but CBD topicals usually penetrate the skin pretty quickly. Whether you're hoping to soothe skin irritations or stifle joint pain, here's what you should expect when using CBD topicals:

Key Takeaways

  • CBD may take around 20 minutes to penetrate the skin, but other ingredients in CBD topicals may help to provide instant relief. 
  • Topicals may last a few hours, but they can usually be applied as needed. 
  • You can combine CBD topicals with ingested doses for sustained relief.

How do CBD topicals work?

Once CBD is applied topically, it can penetrate the dermal and subdermal layers of the skin to interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System. This regulatory system is responsible for helping the body maintain homeostasis, which includes regulating signals of pain and inflammation sent between endocannabinoid receptor and the brain. In the skin, CBD can bind with these endocannabinoid receptors in a way that may be beneficial for managing a wide range of different topical or localized concerns. Research is still underway, but some potential benefits of CBD topicals include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • General pain relief
  • Treatment for acne and other blemishes
  • Treatment for itching
  • Relief from nerve-related pain
  • Managing infections, like MRSA
  • Boosted healing process
A woman applying CBD lotion to her hands

The primary benefit to CBD topicals compared to ingestible CBD products is that you can apply it locally. While an ingested CBD dose, such as an edible or tincture dose, may reach the bloodstream and help promote total body wellness, a topical product works where you apply it. This is a major benefit to consumers with localized discomforts, like joint pain or skin rashes.

Plus, CBD topicals don’t reach the bloodstream, so you can pair them with systemic doses to target discomfort from both angles. This is a great method to help achieve fast-acting and long-lasting relief.

How fast does a CBD topical take effect?

One of the greatest benefits to using CBD and topical form is that it can take effect pretty quickly. Depending on the formulation, the relief you get from a CBD topical may be instant, and the relief from most topicals will often peak benefits within 20 minutes after application. The type of product you use and it's specific formulation will affect how quickly it can penetrate the skin. The benefits you hope to experience also affect how quickly you'll get relief. Here's what that means:

How quickly do different types of topicals take effect?

Some topicals, like a CBD muscle rub, may include supplementary ingredients that help to quickly take the edge off of pain and discomfort while CBD works it's magic below the surface. For instance, a CBD muscle rub formula may include menthol, camphor, or other botanicals that instantly help to relieve pain or inflammation.

Vida Optima CBD Muscle Rub

Our CBD Muscle Rub, for instance, combines a potent CBD extract with hand selected botanicals, including cooling menthol, soothing arnica, and a powerful dose of turmeric oil. The combination is designed to support blood flow, lower inflammation, and offer a synergy that helps to calm pain and discomfort in the joints and muscles.

Alternatively, skin salves and lotion may include botanicals or additional ingredients that are more appropriate for soothing topical irritations, like rashes or blemishes. Depending on the formula, these may provide some instant relief as well, but may take a little longer to manage the underlying issues. For instance, while you may get some instantaneous relief from the pain of a burn or the itch of a rash, it may take a few regular applications to begin to notice the skin healing.

Vida Optima CBD Skin Balm

Our CBD Skin Balm is designed to soothe topical scrapes, cuts, burns, and more. The functional formula combines nourishing rosehip oil and shea nut butter with rejuvenating essential oils to help support optimal skin health and healing.

There's no way to quickly summarize how quickly a CBD lotion or other topical will work, but the CBD itself may be working in the background of other ingredients. CBD, on its own, can take around 20 minutes to penetrate the skin and reach endocannabinoid receptors in order to take full effect.

How long do the effects from CBD topicals last?

So they kick in pretty quickly, but how long will the effects from CBD lotion last? Usually, you can expect sustained relief for a few hours after applying a high-quality CBD topical. The effects may not last as long as the effects you can get from a systemic CBD product, but the good news is that you can reapply most topicals as often as necessary. Since topical CBD doesn’t make it to the bloodstream, you’re typically safe to apply it as needed without worrying about the risk of taking too much. Pay attention to the dosing recommendations on the specific product you choose, however, since some other ingredients may cause irritation when over-applied.

Combining topical CBD with a systemic CBD dose, like a CBD edible or tincture, is a great way to get sustained relief.

Where to Buy High Quality CBD Lotion

Because CBD topicals are derived from hemp, they are much more accessible than other cannabis products. In fact, you can order federally legal hemp products online and have them shipped right to your door from almost anywhere in the country.

There’s one drawback–the hemp industry is still poorly regulated, so you’ll need to take care to choose a high-quality, well-formulated CBD lotion. At Vida Optima, we follow the same stringent quality standards for all of our CBD products, whether they are meant to be ingested or applied topically.

Our VidaDerm CBD Skin Care line is carefully formulated with premium CBD extract, hand chosen botanicals, and nourishing plant oils to offer a gentle and effective option for combating skin concerns at the surface and aches and pains deep in the joints. Pair it with a systemic CBD dose from our Vitality Collection for a full-coverage CBD wellness routine.

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