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The Rub on CBD Tropicals 

From athletic ailments to epidermal irritations, CBD tropicals are the next big thing in pain relief

Balms, lotions and creams are popping up like seedlings on dispensary shelves all over Oregon, featuring phrases such as "hemp derived" and "full spectrum."

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But what does it all mean?

Have no fear: we checked out a series of CBD topicals to help you decipher the products available locally that could be right for your afflictions.

Products Produced Locally

High Desert Pure Lotion

Where to find it: Piece of Mind, Strictly CBD, Hempies and Cosmic Depot.

Contents: 500 mg CBD, mango butter, shea butter, arnica.

Excellent for: Any ailment. The chapstick, balm, lotion and relief stick offer coverage for any conceivable affliction. The products are incredibly effective and versatile.

Reviewer's comments: The assortment of products High Desert Pure offers is outstanding. While I product tested their line of CBD, full spectrum, hemp derived topicals, they also have a line of THC/CBD topicals widely available at nearly every Central Oregon dispensary.

indiCreme (from Wild Blossom Organics)

Where to find it: Orion Hyperbaric Wellness Center or direct sales.

Contents: Full spectrum hemp oil (cold press), aloe and wintergreen, plus essential oils.

Excellent for: Massage.

Reviewer's comments: Massage therapists like the texture, as it can maintain traction as well as lubricate.

Desert Green Balm (from Rainshadow Organics)

Where to find it: Currently only available at Rainshadow Organics.

Contents: 480 mg CBD, lavender, chamomile.

Excellent for: Aromatherapy in conjunction with topical relief.

Reviewer's comments: There are five organic ingredients in this product, three of which are grown onsite at Rainshadow Organics. For folks who like simplicity and the concept of local attached to their products, it doesn't get any more downhome than this.

Bend Botanicals Full Spectrum Plant Extracts

Where to find it: Shibui Spa in Sisters.

Contents: 700 mg Hemp CBD in coconut oil.

Excellent for: Any and all topical uses.

Reviewer's comments: This is a mild blend in coconut oil, contains no overwhelming odor and is also edible. For people used to using coconut oil as a moisturizer, this product will be particularly enjoyable to use. This topical contains the most CBD concentrate of all the products reviewed.

This Reviewer's Favorite Blend

Dragon Balm (from Ceres)

Where to find it: Currently only available at Washington dispensaries.

Contents: 175mg CBD, 175 mg THC with menthol, camphor and mint oil.

Excellent for: Soreness or sports injury. Promotes immediate relief.

Reviewer's comments: I like the icy/hot sensation which accompanies the use of Dragon Balm as well as the sinus cleansing aspect of the balm. My favorite blend!

The One This Reviewer Most Wants to Try in the Future

Dragon's Blend (from Medicine Farm Botanicals)

Where to find it: Plantae Health, Dr. Jolly's, High-Grade Organics, Higher Elevation, Jenny's, Oregrown, DiamondTree-East, the Herb Center, Tokyo Starfish, Top Shelf Medicine.

Contents: Five flavors and ratios to choose from.

Reviewer's comments: These products are at many dispensaries around town and the company has local roots. They have been producing CBD/THC topicals since the beginning of Oregon medical marijuana, in 2011. Their flagship product, 10 years in the making, Dragon's Blend, was Oregon's best-selling topical in 2017 and 2018.

Terms to know

Hemp or hemp derived: Made from the non-psychoactive form of the cannabis plant.

Full spectrum: Contains all terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what's known as the entourage effect.

Cannabinoids: Any of a group of closely related compounds which include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis.

Other Facts about CBD Topicals

Without the presence of THC, topicals will not get the user high. For this reason, hemp-derived versions have been able to be sold around the country and online.

Full Spectrum CBD topicals will be slightly green and have a plant odor due to the presence of chlorophyll.

CBD topicals work most effectively on ailments when used many times over and are thought to be best for issues requiring localized relief rather than chronic, systemic pain.

Research shows that humans have cannabinoid receptors on their skin. When cannabinoid receptors are activated through topical cannabinoids, skin issues such as pain, inflammation and itchiness are thought to be reduced. CBD has been shown to penetrate the skin 10 times better than THC.

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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