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What Is the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Cream?

Key Takeaways

  • CBD oil is for oral or sublingual use, whereas, CBD cream is generally for topical use.
  • Both the CBD oil and cream may help with certain skin conditions like acne, as they may help reduce sebum production, and counter stress.

People use CBD oil in different ways, such as managing health conditions, improving mood, and much more. They also use CBD for skin health. Moreover, studies show that endocannabinoid receptors are present in the skin. There are multiple ways of using CBD for skin health. One may take CBD oil but also use it topically.

Manufacturers are now increasingly adding CBD to products for topical use, like CBD cream. CBD is also added to various cosmetics products. Adding CBD to skincare products increases their value and extends their health benefits. CBD is known to reduce sebum production, help with acne, reduce skin irritation, and help with skin inflammation.(1)

CBD may even have a role in managing skin rashes. There are many conditions that cause skin rashes, like allergies, eczema, dermatitis, and autoimmune diseases.

Of course, CBD is not a treatment or a medication. However, people want to use CBD as it is very safe when used responsibly. If people take CBD in dosages as recommended by the FSA, UK, it does not cause any harm at all.(2) Topical CBD use or CBD cream is even safer, and the chances of any side effects are almost nil.

In fact, there are more chances that one may develop an allergy or experience harm due to other CBD cream ingredients than due to CBD since CBD creams have many ingredients.

CBD Oil Vs. Cream

CBD oil and CBD cream are two popular forms of cannabidiol (CBD) products that offer distinct methods of application and potential benefits.

CBD oil, typically taken orally, contains CBD extract, carrier oils, and terpenes. It is commonly used by placing drops under the tongue and allowing for sublingual absorption. CBD oil is versatile and can also be added to food and beverages for ingestion. The primary ingredients in CBD oil include CBD extract, carrier oils such as hemp seed oil or MCT oil, and sometimes flavourings or additives. Many high-quality CBD oils contain terpenes for added health benefits, as terpenes have potent antioxidant properties.(3)

On the other hand, CBD cream is a topical product designed for application to the skin. It is formulated with CBD extract and other ingredients such as moisturisers, emulsifiers, and essential oils. CBD cream is applied directly to the skin at targeted areas for localised relief. It is often used for soothing discomfort associated with muscle soreness, joint pain, and skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. It is also good for managing acne.

One key difference between CBD oil and cream is their absorption and bioavailability. When CBD oil is taken sublingually, it bypasses the digestive system and enters the bloodstream more quickly, providing systemic effects. In contrast, CBD cream is absorbed through the skin and acts locally, offering targeted relief to specific areas without affecting the entire body.

The choice between CBD oil and cream may also depend on individual preferences and the desired outcomes. CBD oil is favoured by those seeking internal benefits such as stress relief, anxiety reduction, and sleep improvement.

On the other hand, CBD cream appeals to individuals dealing with localised discomfort or inflammation, offering a non-invasive and easy-to-use solution for targeted relief.

When comparing ingredients, it’s essential to consider the entire formulation of CBD products. While CBD extract (isolate/broad spectrum/full-spectrum) is the primary active ingredient, other components play a role in determining the product’s effectiveness and safety. CBD oil often contains carrier oils like hemp seed oil or MCT oil, which provide additional nutritional benefits. Some CBD oils may also include flavourings or additives to enhance taste and palatability. Terpenes are also commonly present in high-quality CBD oils.

In contrast, CBD cream contains ingredients for topical application and skin health. These may include moisturisers such as shea butter or coconut oil, which help hydrate and nourish the skin, as well as emulsifiers to ensure proper texture and consistency. Essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus may also be included for their aromatherapeutic properties and potential synergistic effects with CBD.

Here one more thing to know is about hemp cream vs. CBD. It is vital to understand that although CBD is extracted from hemp plants, not all products made from hemp have CBD. Hemp seed oil is naturally CBD-free. Therefore, if manufacturers write hemp cream, there is a chance that the product may only contain hemp seed oil and no CBD. Hemp seed oil is good as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nevertheless, always read product labels carefully, as many hemp creams do not contain CBD. Alternatively, buy high-quality products from CBD Oil King.

Some of the conditions creams are good for are CBD for eczema, acne, allergies, and dermatitis. It may also help reduce rashes related to psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions.

Even if CBD cream does not heal, it can help reduce certain signs and symptoms of skin issues. How does CBD cream feel? Generally, it has a soothing effect, helps calm skin and nerves, and improves mood. One may also consider CBD balm for muscle aches.

The Bottom Line

There are different ways of using CBD. One of the popular and effective CBD products is CBD oil. However, for some people, a CBD vape pen may also be a good option.

Regarding skin issues, CBD cream is yet another excellent way to experience the health benefits of cannabidiol. It is least likely to cause any side effects when used as cream. One can use CBD cream daily for a long.

I may even combine topical CBD cream with sublingual CBD oil to manage more severe skin issues like chronic eczema. However, I recommend patients never overdose on CBD and follow FSA dosing guidelines.


  1. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, Sugawara K, Szöllõsi AG, Czifra G, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep 2;124(9):3713–24.
  2. Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland update consumer advice for CBD | Food Standards Agency [Internet]. [cited 2024 Mar 25]. Available from:
  3. Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, Eger G, Koltai H, Shoval G, et al. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18(2):87–96.
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.



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