Menthol, Arnica and CBD, Oh My

Three Over The Counter Options For Soothing Relief

Whether you’re off to see the wizard only to get sore feet, or experiencing aches and pains from regular life - or maybe a strained muscle or joint pain - you’ve probably turned to over the counter pain relief creams or gels. Chances are those products have included menthol, arnica or more recently, CBD.  But how much do you know about these popular ingredients? Let’s take a look at each and how you can tap into them together to help soothe what ails you.

Menthol: Soothing Topical Pain Relief

Chemically speaking, menthol is an organic compound. It can be made from the oil of peppermint or synthetically. It’s waxy, white or clear in color and is solid at room temperature but melts as it warms.

Because of its analgesic benefits, menthol is often used topically to treat minor muscle or joint pain, including symptoms of backaches, sprains or arthritis. 

It’s known as a counter-irritant. You may recognize its distinctive sensation of cooling, then warming of the skin. Did you know that sensation actually works to distract you from the pain?  

A couple reminders about menthol:

  • Don’t use it on irritated or injured skin - like scrapes, sunburn, rash, open wounds or infections.
  • Avoid getting it in your eyes, nose or mouth, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying it. (If it does get in, flush with plenty of cool water)

Arnica: Alternative Pain Relief 

Arnica is an herb (arnica montana) that primarily grows in central Europe, Siberia and some parts of North America. The flowers of the herb are bright yellow in color and look similar to daisies. 

You may have heard of people using arnica for a variety of conditions, from treating insect bites, after surgery swelling, muscle pain or arthritis pain. Some evidence suggests it acts as an antibiotic.

 Overall, the benefits of topical application of herbal arnica include:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Relieve pain and soreness
  • Reduce swelling 
  • Help heal bruises 
  • Relief from sprains 

Note that arnica can irritate broken skin or mucous membranes, and you should avoid it if you have an allergy to ragweed.

Topical CBD Benefits

Topical CBD pain relief rubs and salves are everywhere, and research into the benefits of CBD for pain relief has been growing. Recent studies have focused on using CBD for a range of conditions, from muscle soreness, arthritis and nerve pain to skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. 

One of the reasons for CBD effectiveness topically is that it’s well absorbed into the skin, penetrating both the dermal and subdermal layers (yet it doesn’t enter the bloodstream). CBD activates the endocannabinoid system, which is associated with pain sensation (as well as immune function, appetite and other areas). CBD binds to the cell receptors in the skin, muscle tissue and nerves, and then alleviates pain and inflammation. Topical CBD doesn’t just mask pain or inflammation. Instead, studies show that it can actually make pain go away for a period of time.  To get the full benefits, be sure you’re using full spectrum CBD, with .03 THC.

Remember that CBD has not been evaluated by the FDA, so it’s especially important to be sure you’re using high quality CBD, with a certificate of authenticity from a third party lab that validates purity and potency.

Try Two...or All Three

You’ll find both menthol and 1,000 mg full spectrum hemp CBD in Hälsa Botanicals Comfort CBD Salve. We also use camphor, squalane and soothing botanical oils, including lavender, eucalyptus and honeysuckle. It was formulated to easily absorb in the skin, which is important to get the maximum benefits of topical CBD. With all that, you can see why we named it Comfort, right?

And here’s a way to use all three in a single product: Hälsa Botanicals Ease CBD Soothing Roller.  Menthol, arnica and 1,000 mg full spectrum hemp CBD, plus eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and yerba mate. All in a pocket-sized roller that fits in purses and gym bags so you can take it wherever that yellow brick road might lead you. Happy travels!