Often made with essential oils and other natural ingredients, CBD body roll-ons are a popular new product in the cannabis beauty market. These small, glass vials — which usually contain between 10 mL and 30 mL of liquid — get their name from the metal balls on the top of the vial, which allow them to be rolled across the skin for quick, topical application of CBD oil.
They’re now being offered by a number of well-known CBD manufacturers. On the high end, Lord Jones offers a 30 mL product that sells for $65 and contains 100 mg of broad spectrum CBD oil, combined with organic avocado, jojoba, and safflower oils. Less expensive options include those from brands like RE Botanicals, which offers a stronger and more concentrated product (cramming 200 mg of full spectrum CBD into a 10 ml roll-on) for $30.
CBD body roll-ons tend to be soothing to the nose as well as for their purported benefits for the muscles. Lord Jones’ roll-on features a blend of evergreen, bergamot, and orange, while RE Botanicals’ line includes lavender, peppermint, and ginger lime varieties.
They’re also widely available — Lord Jones’ CBD body roll-on is among the infused products now available at Sephora (it’s also available through the brand’s website, which offers free shipping throughout the U.S.), while RE Botanicals’ products can be found both online and in supermarket chains like Lucky’s, Pavilions, and Vons.
One of the main advantages of CBD body roll-ons is their ability to target specific pressure points, a tactic that has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to relieve pain, anxiety, and other symptoms. For example, the oil can be massaged into the inner frontier gate point (located on the inside of the arm, just below the wrist) for potential relief from stress. Applied to the center of the forehead, it may help relieve headaches.
CBD body roll-ons can also be applied directly to the site of pain or discomfort — for example, if you’re feeling tense after a long day of hunching over your computer, they can be applied to the shoulders or neck. For people with arthritis, rolling them over the wrists and other joints could be a quick, mess-free way to get relief from inflammation and discomfort.
Whether applied to pressure points or elsewhere, ease of application is a major benefit of CBD body roll-ons. Aside from being virtually mess-free, they’re light, compact, and can be applied quickly and discreetly, making them ideal when tension arises at work or out in the world.
While no scientific studies have specifically examined the efficacy of CBD body roll-ons, a small but growing body of research indicates that the substances they contain could be useful in the treatment of everyday aches and pains. For example, a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Pain noted reduced symptoms of inflammation and increased mobility with daily, topical application of CBD gels. No significant side effects were reported, even at high dosages.
One potential problem with CBD body roll-ons (aside from the cost, which can be steep depending on the product) is that the oil might not be able to penetrate deep enough into the muscle tissue to relieve serious pain. It’s a significant issue facing these products — and many other types of cannabis topicals — but future versions might be able to solve it by using nanotechnology.
This involves breaking down CBD molecules so they can be more easily absorbed and processed by the body. While research is still in its infancy, the early results are promising. As Italian researchers explained in a 2018 study published in the journal Molecules that examined potential new delivery methods for cannabis, “[nanotechnology]-based drug delivery strategies have flourished in several therapeutic fields in recent years and numerous drugs have reached the market.”
While most existing products don’t offer this yet, given the breakneck growth of the CBD industry, it might be only a matter of time — and if/when that happens, CBD body roll-ons could in every purse, duffel bag, and medicine cabinet across the country.