Unfortunately, CBD is not easily absorbed by the skin so you need to combine it with something that can take it through the skin barrier. The product that we are working with to solve this problem at Blue Ribbon Hemp is called MSM. The combination of various things where you want to have a specific effect, in this case CBD, then combine it with something that will help it go through the skin, that is key for topical treatment with CBD. The good thing about the process is that you don't have a lot of systemic effect the way you would if you had to ingest it first. You can even apply THC topically and you will not have to worry about anything (aside from drug testing, but that's another topic). Basically, what we want to do is make the cannabinoids available through the skin.
Topicals, generally, are a separate category (when it comes to CBD) for a variety of reasons. First off, for skin irritation, nerve pain, or something that is relatively localized near the surface, people want a topical that does not have a systemic effect to use for alleviating those specific problems.