How to Tell if Topicals Are Really Working

topical cream

CBD-infused topicals are storming the CBD market, and it’s hard not to want to try one of the trending products. But if you’ve tried them before and haven’t had the results you desired, you may be asking yourself how you can tell if your topicals are really working.

According to the 2019 US Insider Consumer report, 58.1% of CBD consumers use CBD for aches and discomfort. A 2019 report from the Arthritis Foundation also found that 79% of surveyed patients had considered using CBD or had already used it. Among those using CBD, 55% used a topical product applied to the joints.

If you also want to try CBD for relief, CBD topicals are the best choice. That’s because as a topical product, they won’t need to go to your bloodstream to provide an effect. Rather they work in a localized area on the surface of the body. Besides, CBD topicals, based on their formula, usually combine numerous beneficial natural ingredients that help soothe skin and joints much quicker than oral supplements. However, like any other CBD products on the current market, they are of different quality and do not all provide the same effects.

Although it’s exciting to introduce a new product in your self-care routine, now you might wonder if topicals are really working for you once you have already applied to your skin or if you’re only experiencing the placebo effect. Here’s everything you need to know to help you understand whether topicals work for you.



Factors that Affect the Efficacy of CBD Topicals

A Product’s Quality

As mentioned above, not all CBD products, including topicals, are of the same quality. So even though your CBD consumer friends might have already experienced noticeable results from CBD, you might not feel the same if your CBD product is of low quality. Unfortunately, the CBD market is full of unreliable brands making unproven claims about their products.

A preliminary study by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020 found many CBD products had different CBD amounts than advertised. The CBD dosage is one of the most crucial factors in determining the effectiveness of CBD for both oral and topical products.

If the topical you are using has low amounts of CBD than what’s indicated on the label, it might not provide desired effects. Moreover, low-grade products may contain harmful ingredients like heavy metals and pesticides, so always look for third-party lab test results before buying CBD topicals. Test results can confirm the quality and pureness of a product.


The amount of CBD in the product is another factor impacting its effectiveness. Although there’s no universal CBD amount to apply to experience its effects, many products come in varying CBD potencies to allow you to see which amount works best for you.

Product Type

Nowadays, there are numerous options for CBD topicals. Although some might suit your muscles and joints, others are better suited for a skincare routine, such as CBD moisturizers or products for overall body relaxation like CBD bath bombs. The best CBD topicals for discomfort are CBD salves and roll-ons you can use in a specific body area.

How Do I Know If Topicals Are Working?

You Feel the Immediate Effects

Even before CBD penetrates your skin, additional ingredients in many CBD topicals like menthol or eucalyptus will provide a cooling sensation on your skin and provide you with immediate short-term relief after application.

You Feel the Difference

It’s difficult not to notice the difference when you deal with discomfort and suddenly feel relief. However, if you haven’t experienced any notable outcomes from CBD topicals, it might indicate they don’t work for you, or perhaps the product you’re using isn’t of the highest quality.

When Topicals Aren’t Working

Your skin doesn’t absorb the product.

CBD in topicals works by interacting with ECS receptors under the skin. The interaction will be impossible if CBD doesn’t penetrate your skin. Still, many products on the market use formulations that are too difficult for your skin to absorb, and thus they can be less effective. On the other hand, many products use beneficial natural ingredients to help with penetration, like menthol and eucalyptus.

You do not see any difference.

If you do not see any immediate or long-term results even after using CBD topical regularly, it can mean the product isn’t working for you. In this case, you might want to consider switching to other CBD topical.

How to choose an effective CBD topical that will work?

The outcomes you experience from a CBD topical product will significantly depend on which product you choose. The best way to ensure you invest in a safe and effective product is to shop from reliable brands that provide information about their product, including where their hemp grows. CBD’s quality is greatly affected by its source, and when hemp grows in contaminated land, it will bring unwanted ingredients into the product. Shop from brands that offer a certificate of analysis (COA) for their products per batch. Third-party lab tests determine the ingredients in the product and help you see if it’s safe and will drive desired effects.

Additionally, check the other ingredients besides CBD and ensure there are no artificial preservatives or ingredients like paraben. A high-quality CBD topical will combine hemp-derived CBD with natural, beneficial ingredients that provide their own benefits and help CBD penetrate the skin to interact with ECS receptors.

Finally, choose the products designed for relief. Although CBD is the primary active ingredient for all CBD topicals, they combine various other natural ingredients depending on what they are intended to target. For example, CBD topicals for discomfort usually contain soothing ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus, or lavender, so once applied, these ingredients work synergically with CBD to provide effects.


According to the 2019 US Insider Consumer report, 58.1% of CBD consumers use CBD for aches and discomfort.


Choose a Premium CBD Roll-On at the Hemp Doctor

At the Hemp Doctor, America’s Premier Hemp and CBD Dispensary, we provide customers with top-grade, pure, effective, and safe solutions.

Our wide inventory includes products for anyone’s needs, including a CBD roll-on. In addition, our CBD topical combines our premium CBD extract with natural ingredients like menthol, providing instant relief with its cooling sensation.

At the Hemp Doctor, we use only the U.S.-grown hemp grown in the nutrient-rich soil without pesticides in the growing process. Additionally, we prove our products’ purity and quality through third-party lab test results, so you can be well-assured to be purchasing a safe and effective product.