Can a CBD Salve Be Used for Bug Bites?

cbd and bug bites: tanasi cbd salve on porch

Posted on September 2nd, 2020

You may be an avid outdoorsman, or you might just enjoy the occasional outdoor activity like picnics, swimming, and camping overnight. Either way, you’re likely to have experienced a bug bite. Most bugs are nice enough to keep to themselves, but there are a few culprits that like to sting and bite. These unwanted pests can quickly ruin a pleasant picnic. They can also leave you with sensitive bite wounds.

You’ll find a lot of products for bug bites sold at local stores. They usually contain chemical ingredients that are impossible to pronounce. If you’re interested in a much more natural option, then you might consider a hemp-based CBD salve. 

Here are a few of the potential benefits of a CBD salve:

  • It may be a natural and safe topical option for symptoms experienced by bug bites.
  • It contains other natural ingredients like beeswax.
  • Its many effects have been suggested by several research studies.

Let’s take a closer look at what a CBD salve is and how it can be used for bug bites.

cbd salve in natureWhat Is a Hemp-Based CBD Salve?

You’re likely already familiar with CBD (cannabidiol). It’s one of the most well-documented cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It is often extracted from the plant and combined with a carrier oil. It’s also found in several health products, beauty creams, supplements, and edibles. The list of potential health benefits associated with CBD continues to grow.

CBD can be extracted from the marijuana plant as well as the hemp plant. Cannabidiol itself does not change on a molecular level. However, a marijuana-based CBD product will contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Products derived from marijuana are illegal in most states and only allowed under very specific circumstances.

The hemp plant is a far more common source of CBD extracts because of its legal status. As long as THC levels remain below 0.3 percent, farmers can grow their hemp and companies can use that hemp to produce CBD products. Very few states have laws prohibiting the use of CBD products as long as the THC levels remain below the threshold.

Hemp-based CBD oil can be used in various ways. It can be ingested, vaporized, or applied topically. A CBD salve simply combines CBD oil with a few additional ingredients to improve its effectiveness when applied topically. It can then be applied to scratches, irritated skin, and even bug bites.

What Happens When a Bug Bites?

To understand how a CBD salve can help with a bug bite it’s a good idea to understand bug bites. We know they’re annoying, itchy, and sometimes painful. But what exactly is happening on and under the skin? It varies slightly from one bug to the next, but the end result is often the same. 

Take the mosquito for example.

When a mosquito bites it draws blood from the body. At the same time, it is also injecting a small amount of its saliva back into our skin. Saliva that is packed with foreign proteins.

The human body is designed to fight away these invading proteins using the immune system. The immune system releases a hormone called histamine and white blood cells are sent to the area of the bite. The boost of blood flow from the histamine causes inflammation in the area, which results in pain and itching.

As with many bugs, the pain, redness, and itching is actually caused by our bodies fighting back against cellular invaders. It’s all due to the immune system and the strange process of inflammation. Inflammation is good in the brief moments following the bite, but the effects tend to linger much longer than is useful. It can also be worsened or triggered again by scratching the wound.

The Link Between the ECS and Inflammation

Sometimes referred to as the 12th internal system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a massive network of receptors spread through the nervous system and in other areas of the body. The ECS interacts with naturally occurring endocannabinoids inside the body as well as plant-based cannabinoids like CBD.

The ECS performs a very complex and crucial function. Its primary goal is to maintain homeostasis. This is the process in which the body maintains a continuous balance while also adjusting for certain conditions. For example, maintaining constant internal body temperature is part of homeostasis. The ECS interacts with many other internal systems and functions while attempting to maintain homeostasis.

When the body detects something functioning outside of the normal range it will send signals to the ECS. This includes the immune system and the effects of inflammation. If the ECS were triggered properly, then it could send the signal to reduce the inflammation almost immediately.

Some of the other functions that can be regulated with ECS signaling include:

How Might CBD Help With Bug Bites?

Most endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids will bond with either the CB1 or CB2 receptor. These are receptors in the ECS that are responsible for signaling other systems. CBD is unique in that it has very little affinity for bonding with these receptors. Instead, it can inhibit or enhance the binding potential of other chemicals with those receptors. It may also act independently on many other non-ECS receptors.

What does this mean for a bug bite? When you apply a CBD salve topically it could improve communication between the skin cells and other internal systems. The ECS may be able to better regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation promptly. In many cases, the result may be a noticeable reduction in irritation, pain, and itching within a few moments.

To get the best results, it is important to use a topical CBD product. CBD can fight inflammation whether ingested or applied to the skin, but the time it takes to work and the effectiveness will vary.

topically using cbd salveAdded Benefits of Using a Salve

CBD is an excellent ingredient all by itself. However, if you’re using it to manage topical pain, itching, or irritation, then there’s nothing wrong with adding a few additional natural ingredients. A salve is perfect because it combines a handful of natural remedies into a single, powerful product that is safe to you. At Tanasi, our CBD salve is made with beeswax and an almond oil base.

Almond oil is a fairly common ingredient in skincare products. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. That’s great news if you plan to use this salve for bug bites because inflammation is a large portion of the problem. Combining the anti-inflammatory properties of almond oil and CBD oil suggest this product could have powerful effects.

The beeswax is primarily used to give the salve a better texture. However, it happens to be an excellent ingredient when using the salve for a bug bite irritation. Beeswax also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help accelerate the healing process of wounds. The wax can also form a protective barrier on the skin to reduce further damage.

The Full Spectrum Approach Is Best

You may have noticed that many Tanasi CBD products, including the salve, are labeled as full-spectrum. This means that they were extracted from the hemp plant along with all of the additional cannabinoids and other phytochemicals present. In contrast, a pure isolate CBD product would remove all other phytochemicals and leave only the CBD.

CBD may be the anti-inflammatory powerhouse, but it’s certainly not the only chemical in the cannabis plant that can help. There are over 100 different cannabinoids present in the plant and many of them could benefit the body in one way or another.

Some people believe there is some risk involved with a full-spectrum product because of these additional cannabinoids. There is indeed very limited research available for these other chemicals, but these studies tend to indicate positive potential health benefits.

The benefit of any cannabinoid is much greater when it is taken alongside CBD. The other cannabinoids will bond with receptors in the system while the CBD increases receptor sensitivity. The ability of CBD to boost the effectiveness of these other cannabinoids is often referred to as the entourage effect.

The Benefits of Using CBD for Bug Bites

Final Thoughts

Finding a natural and safe product is difficult no matter what you’re looking for. Chemical pharmaceuticals often seem so effective that many people are willing to ignore the risk. Full-spectrum CBD continues to be one of the few natural products that show promise when it comes to its effects on several conditions. However, further research is needed before we know the full benefits of CBD.

A hemp-based CBD salve may be a smart investment if you plan on spending any time outdoors this summer. You can quickly apply a small amount to the area and may experience relief within moments. It may also be used to help alleviate other sources of pain, inflammation, or irritation on the skin. There’s no reason not to keep a jar handy for when the bugs come out to bite!

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