Tattoos have different meanings across different cultures, and it's a practice that has been around since ancient times—the oldest skin markings have been found on a Peruvian mummy dating back to 6000 BCE. While some people have no issues jumping into a tattoo artist's chair for ink, others have a different experience You experience low pain tolerance, but you really want to get a tattoo? Say no more; CBD oil is the only pain relief you will ever need! Before we get to all the good CBD can do for your tattoos, let’s kick it off by educating ourselves on what CBD truly is.
CBD And Tattoos: Preparing For Your Session & Tattoo Aftercare
Tattoos have different meanings across different cultures, and it’s a practice that has been around since ancient times—the oldest skin markings have been found on a Peruvian mummy dating back to 6000 BCE.
While some people have no issues jumping into a tattoo artist’s chair for ink, others have a different experience altogether that’s wrought with nerves and the grueling healing process.
There are many ways to address tattoo pain these days, from taking oral painkillers before the appointment to numbing cream, but a highly popular compound for tattoo nerves and aftercare is CBD oil.
CBD comes from the hemp plant, and it’s a compound that’s gaining a lot of attention in the health and wellness space for its gentle effects towards supporting inflammation, calming nerves, and easing minor discomfort.
In this article, we’ll look at ways you can use CBD oil to help make your tattoo session more comfortable and choose topical CBD balms for your tattoo aftercare.
How Do Tattoos Stay Permanent In The Skin?
Tattooing involves applying pigment into deeper layers of the skin than the outermost layer that we shed daily. These special pigments aren’t easily metabolized in the body, which is why it remains visible through the skin.
With time, tattoos will fade naturally as the body tries to eliminate the foreign ink particles by the immune system’s macrophages (the clean-up crew). Sun exposure can also contribute to tattoo fading as UV rays break down the integrity of the pigment, but the majority of the ink will remain in the deep layers of skin.
Why Are Tattoos So Painful?
If you love the look of body ink, but can’t stand the tattoo pain, there’s not too much you can do to get around it as the process itself involves inflicting wounds into the skin to leave permanent markings.
Modern tattoo guns use tiny needles loaded with special dye into the skin at a very high frequency. The needles punch through the epidermis to deliver the pigment into the dermis, consisting of nerve glands, collagen fibers, and blood vessels.
Every time the needle punctures the skin, it creates a wound, and the body responds to this by initiating the inflammatory process to begin repairing the damaged skin. One way people reduce the aftermath of your tattoo session is by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and numbing cream to calm the effects of redness and swelling.
What Is CBD And How Does It Work?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound harvested from cannabis plants found to have potential health benefits in animals and humans.
One of the most notable uses of CBD is its potential anti-inflammatory properties through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system—a cell-signaling system in all mammals that support homeostasis.
It consists of neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids), receptors (CB1 and CB2), and enzymes that relay messages throughout the body like read-receipts on a text message to keep vital systems like our immune response, pain signaling, metabolism, and stress response in a state of balance.
CBD and other cannabinoids closely resemble endocannabinoids, which is how they can interact in the body. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have intoxicating effects, as it doesn’t have an affinity to bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it seems to have broad-ranging effects because it enhances endocannabinoid receptor sensitivity and inhibits the release of enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. With higher levels of endocannabinoids, the system can run much more smoothly.
CBD may also have interesting effects at other receptor sites in the central nervous system (brain and spine) and the peripheral nervous system (the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spine).
How Can CBD Oil Help You Prep For Getting A Tattoo?
Many people swear by using CBD oil or gummies to ease their pre-tattoo jitters before their tattoo session. To help make the tattoo experience go a lot smoother, you must choose a tattoo artist that you’re comfortable with, and while many people can jump into their session without a second thought, that feeling of unease and nervousness before your tattoo session is completely normal.
One of the ways CBD products may help with the feelings of anxiety before getting a tattoo has to do with its actions in the central nervous system. CBD has become extremely popular for its relaxation effects.
Research suggests that CBD increases GABA activity in the brain to help combat feelings of nervousness and stress .
GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a brake pedal to the effects of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which can help you relax tense muscles and give you a more uplifted and calm mood.
Some tattoo artists even recommend using CBD oil internally before your appointment for gentle pain relief. In pre-clinal studies, CBD has been found to inhibit vanilloid receptor activation in the peripheral nervous system . The vanilloid receptors relay information about pain to the brain, which may help make the tattoo process much more comfortable for you.
Tattoo Aftercare With CBD
After your tattoo session, you must take careful precautions with your tattoo healing, as you now have an open wound on your skin that’s prone to infection.
Your tattoo artist may cover your tattoo with a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage and instruct you to keep it on for 24 hours before you clean it with gentle antimicrobial soap and pat it dry. You can apply a layer of anti-bacterial ointment or CBD-infused tattoo creams to protect it from infection and support healing.
CBD Has Anti-Bacterial Properties
One of the biggest concerns after getting a tattoo is the increased risk of infection. You should regularly clean your tattoo and keep it dry to avoid bacterial infection.
Researchers believe that cannabis plants produce cannabinoids to defend against bacteria and pests, making it a natural anti-bacterial compound . Applying a strong CBD cream or ointment can help keep your wound clean and help with the tattoo healing process.
Topical CBD May Support Healthy Inflammatory Response
Tattooing essentially involves wounding the skin to deliver pigment. The inflammatory response kicks in to heal the damage, but it can leave you feeling sore and inflamed. CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory benefits may help to calm down some of the swelling and irritation.
The skin is our largest organ, containing endocannabinoid receptors to relay messages for our immune system and pain perception. CBD interacts with these endocannabinoid receptors to help fight off inflammation for a much more comfortable healing process post-tattoo.
Topical CBD May Support Discomfort
Tattoo pain will leave you feeling sensitive, tender, and itchy for the next several days, which can become distracting when you have your life to get back to.
Many people use topical CBD for mild pain relief for muscles and joint pain and skin irritation, and it may be effective because CBD has been shown in preclinical trials to inhibit the pain signals to the brain .
How Much CBD Should I Take Before My Tattoo Session?
We want to clarify that while CBD has been shown to have many promising benefits to support comfort from pain. However, CBD oil is not a painkiller—and one person’s experience with CBD can vary greatly from the next due to genetics and other lifestyle factors.
When it comes to easing minor discomfort, some experts believe that higher doses of 50MG+ can help. But if you’re new to CBD oil, it’s best to start with lower doses, as taking too much can lead to negative side effects like headache, drowsiness, and an upset stomach.
The best benefits from using CBD come with consistent use—which is why it’s best to take CBD daily at the same time each day to support your endocannabinoid system. Rather than treating it as a band-aid when something goes wrong, think of CBD as something that supports your body’s natural ability to be more resistant to stressors.
If you’re deciding to take CBD to relax your body and take the edge off the nervousness, some tattoo artists online have said that 15-25MG of CBD an hour before your tattoo session may be helpful for some. Make sure you also drink plenty of water and feel comfortable before you go to your appointment.
Best CBD For Tattoo Care
There are many different CBD products on the market, and not all of them will offer the same amount of support. CBD oil can contain other compounds besides cannabidiol, and CBD ointments and lotions have a long list of other ingredients that you should carefully consider.
Let’s go over some of the factors you should think about if you’re planning to use CBD oil for the tattoo process and topical CBD for post-tattoo care.
1. Use Full Spectrum Or THC-Free Broad Spectrum Products
Hemp flowers are sprinkled with tiny crystal resins that house cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBD is just one of over a hundred known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and when it’s combined with other minor cannabinoids and terpenes, it can provide more well-rounded benefits when used topically and internally and strengthen the effects of CBD. This is called the entourage effect.
Extracts that maintain as close to the hemp plant’s natural phytochemical makeup are called full spectrum extracts. These may contain up to 0.3% THC, but if you’re concerned about these trace amounts of THC, then a broad spectrum extract may be the better option for you.
Through sophisticated distillation processes, we can identify and remove certain cannabinoids from a full spectrum of extracts. Our broad spectrum extracts still contain a diverse range of cannabinoids but are completely THC-free.
CBD isolate products are stripped from all other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. They tend to be cheaper for brands to purchase in bulk because the extraction process doesn’t require strict temperature control and pressure to preserve heat-sensitive compounds. You can still get the benefits of CBD from isolate products, but they won’t be as potent.
2. Read The Certificate Of Analysis
Unfortunately, you can’t always trust the label on your CBD products. The only way to tell exactly what’s in your CBD oil is to reference a certificate of analysis.
We’ve come across CBD oils that claim to be full spectrum extracts only to find out from the certificate of analysis that it only contains CBD. And worse still, hemp oil—made from seeds of hemp plants that contain no cannabinoids—marketed the benefits of CBD.
A certificate of analysis is a report conducted by a non-biased lab to identify the cannabinoid profile, potency, and presence of contamination. This is the only way to verify that you’re getting what you’re paying for. These should be accessible on the brand’s website. On all Neruogan products, you can scan the QR code to read the report on the batch of CBD extract in your product.
3. Use High Potency CBD
CBD oils and topicals come in a range of strengths indicated by how many MG of CBD it contains.
To get the most use out of your CBD product, choose a CBD oil with at least 2000MG of CBD—if you choose a higher potency, even better. Higher potency CBD oils often come at a better cost per mg of CBD, and you can still dial in your doses drop by drop to meet your needs.
If you choose something too weak, like 200MG, you may end up using half of the bottle before you feel any of its effects kick in.
When it comes to CBD balms and lotions for tattoo aftercare, a high CBD strength of at least 8MG/mL of product is best, or you might not offer any benefits towards inflammation support and mild discomfort.
Some CBD lotions for tattoos don’t indicate the CBD content. They’ll sprinkle just enough CBD to have it as a list of ingredients, but it may not provide any effects, so always be sure to shop with brands that offer this transparency with a certificate of analysis.
4. Check The Ingredient List
People use CBD for several reasons, from sleep support, stress, energy boost, and more.
Look to see that the ingredients in the formula make sense for the application you want to use it for. For example, a CBD oil with melatonin probably wouldn’t be ideal for your three-hour tattoo session.
Most CBD oils contain two simple ingredients—hemp extract and carrier oil. If you want CBD to help with your pre-tattoo jitters, a simple CBD oil like this should do the trick.
For CBD topical formulas, you can find sports rubs containing compounds like menthol and capsaicin that provide cooling and effects to promote muscle recovery, but that’s not ideal for tattoo aftercare as it can irritate your wound.
Look for specially made CBD ointments designed for tattoo aftercare with gentle skin ingredients like jojoba oil and are unscented (to prevent irritation) to help protect your new tattoo and offer some relief in your healing process.
The Takeaway: CBD And Tattoos
A high potency, quality CBD oil may help limit tattoo pain and nervousness by supporting the endocannabinoid system’s ability to regulate inflammation and mitigate pain signals, but it’s not a pain killer.
Topical CBD products designed for tattoo aftercare can also help make the recovery process more comfortable as CBD can interact with endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to provide localized comfort and fight off infection-causing bacteria.
Not all CBD products are the same, so make sure you do your research before ingesting CBD oil or applying the product to your fresh tattoo.
Does CBD Oil Make Tattooing Less Painful?
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Those who have never had tattoos before like to entertain the idea of getting a tattoo under the influence, just to ease the pain and finally get over it. And, for some time, getting drunk and going for a tattoo session was a thing among the youngsters with low pain tolerance or fear of needles.
But, nowadays, tattoo artists do not like to offer their services to drunk people. As you can imagine, things can easily get messy, and in some states, it is illegal for the artist to tattoo someone if they appear intoxicated.
But, what about being under the’ influence’ of, let’s say, CBD oil. It seems that an increasing number of people do entertain the idea of using CBD oil to calm the nerves and increase pain tolerance before getting a tattoo.
And, if you’re thinking about doing the same thing, you’re in the right place. In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at the way CBD oil can ease the pain and whether it is effective when it comes to tattooing. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
CBD Oil: Quick Insight
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a product derived from marijuana or hemp plants. CBD is a compound found in these plants, alongside THC (a compound responsible for the sensation of being ‘high’ from marijuana). CBD oil products do not contain THC, or if they do contain it, it has to be within legal limits of 0.3%. So, CBD on its own is cannabidiol known to not cause any psychoactive effects.
What Are The Man CBD Oil Types?
The main types of currently available CBD oil include;
- Full-spectrum CBD oil – the product contains high levels of cannabidiol, as well as compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD oil is generally made from whole-plant CBD oil. The oil can contain legal amounts of THC up to 0.3%.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil – this type of CBD oil doesn’t contain any THC, not even the legal amounts. However, it does contain high levels of cannabidiol as well as other plant compounds, like flavonoids or terpenes.
- CBD isolate – this oil contains pure cannabinoids, and is free from other plant compounds, including THC. The oil is produced when the manufacturer isolates CBD from other hemp or marijuana compounds hence the name CBD isolate.
Note (important terms explained):
Flavonoids – responsible for plant pigmentation and protection against plant diseases. Cannabis, hemp, or marijuana contain over 20 flavonoids, known for their anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects. They can often serve as natural alternatives for ibuprofen or aspirin.
Terpenes – plant-found chemicals responsible for the fragrance of the plant. The chemicals ensure the plants are protected from insects since the fragrance works as an insect-repellant. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sedative effects.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil production belongs to the legal cannabis industry, and brings in over 1.6 billion dollars a year; the number is expected to go up to whopping 2 billion dollars in the years to come.
As cannabis research continues, more and more companies are turning to CBD oil production. The oil has been studied over the years and proven to be extremely effective and useful for people with a variety of disorders and diseases. It has even become useful for people’s everyday use, in terms of relaxation and sleep improvement.
CBD Oil And Tattooing Pain Relief: Explained
CBD Oil and Overall Pain Management
For years, CBD oil has been studied for a variety of its applications in everyday life, from sleep improvement, anxiety and depression relief to pain management. Because the number of positive evidence is numerous, researchers and scientists have concluded that the evidence regarding CBD oil efficacy is conflicting. So, when it comes to pain management, in particular, we’ve decided to take a closer look.
For example, one study gathered several controlled trials reviews in regards to the use of cannabidiol for pain management. Over 750 publications were identified, and the conclusion is that there isn’t enough sufficient evidence to support the claim that CBD oil can provide pain relief, not even medical marijuana.
The studies were done by providing CBD oil and medical marijuana to those suffering from neuropathic pain, cancer, visceral pain, pain associated with rheumatic diseases, appetite/weight/nausea issues, etc.
The only sufficient evidence for the positive efficiency of CBD oil was in the case of neuropathic pain or pain caused by nerve damage. This is the type of pain affecting the nervous system or is caused by damage to the nervous system. At least 30% of study participants experienced pain relief. So, since tattooing pain is caused by the aggravation of the nerves and damage to nerve endings, many believe that CBD oil can in fact be useful in managing tattooing-induced pain.
CBD Oil And Tattoo Pain Relief
Note: Taking CBD oil won’t make you ‘high’. It doesn’t contain THC so it doesn’t have psychoactive effects. Taking CBD oil won’t make you feel drunk while being tattooed either. It is not something that will intoxicate you to relieve pain.
Because intoxication can make people jittery and bouncy, it is better to take CBD oil than alcohol! Jitters and sudden movements can compromise the tattoo process itself, and make it hard for the artist to do good work. Remember that it can take between 20 min to an hour for the CBD oil to activate, so make sure to plan your intake ahead.
So, we’ve seen that CBD oil and medical marijuana can help pain relief to some extent. But, what about pain management during a tattooing session. Can CBD intake decrease pain levels?
Well, as we’ve mentioned, CBD oil tends to contain compounds other than cannabidiol. The compounds include flavonoids and terpenes, among many others. These compounds and chemicals are known for their anti-inflammatory and sedative effects, which is exactly what one may need during a tattooing session.
Cannabidiol, flavonoids, and terpenes affect the nerves sending pain signals, reduce their activity, or reduce the overall infection and inflammation caused by persistent skin and nerve damage during the tattooing process. Tattoo inflammation after the session is also a big problem in many cases, which is something CBD oil can also prevent or reduce.
In some cases, CBD oil has helped the tattoo heal much faster, and prevented infections related to ink allergies or improper tattoo aftercare.
However, you should bear in mind that these claims are completely anecdotal since there is no scientific evidence showing the efficacy of CBD oil in ink-related allergies and tattoo infections. So, to sum it up, here’s how CBD oil intake can help reduce and manage pain during and after tattooing;
- Reduces infection probability
- Tones down inflammations during and after the tattooing process
- Interacts with pain receptors to reduce and manage pain levels
- Creates a pleasant and relaxing feeling during the stressful tattooing process
- It is anti-stress, so it’s great for the first time getting a tattoo
- It is natural, safe, and completely legal
- It won’t make you jittery and bouncy, nor compromise the tattooing process
If you want to know more about CBD oil preventing infections and inflammations, you can do the following things;
- Talk to your doctor or dermatologist; these professionals will know exactly how to help you and answer your questions. The doctor will introduce you to the positive effects of CBD oil, while the dermatologist will educate you more on tattoo infections and inflammations.
- Talk to your tattoo artist; in this case, you need to talk to your tattoo artists and see what they think of CBD oil intake prior to getting tattooed. Surely they’ve come to meet or work with people who have taken the oil before, so you’ll get some first-hand advice and recommendations.
- Learn how to buy proper CBD oil; if you buy CBD isolate, you’ll get CBD oil without any of the necessary, anti-inflammatory compounds. So, what you need to do is learn how to shop for CBD oil. We recommend you read the ingredients label thoroughly, check the THC content, the origin of the oil, recommended dosage, side effects, as well as other ingredients like flavorings, tea, etc.
CBD Oil And Tattoos: FAQs
1. Can you put CBD oil directly on the tattoo?
Many believe that putting CBD oil directly on the tattooed area can speed up the healing process. The reason for this lies in the belief that the CBD oil anti-inflammatory effects can reduce swelling and prevent the development of inflammations and infections. It also supposedly promotes cell growth and reduces the pain and discomfort of tattoo healing.
CBD oil is also known to have analgesic effects that promote pain management and relief. Studies show that CBD oil use results in pain relief because cannabinoids increase the effects of glycine receptors. These receptors are found in the central nervous system and affect the way the body perceives and handles pain.
2. Can CBD oil serve as an alternative to pain killers?
Some people take pain killers before the tattooing session to relieve or reduce pain. As we’ve mentioned earlier, CBD oil does have similar sedative, analgesic (painkiller) and pain-relieving effects to Aspirin or Ibuprofen. So, sure, CBD oil can be an excellent, natural alternative to pain killers.
However, you do need to bear in mind that the tattooing process will still hurt, despite the CBD oil. This is not a miracle pain removing oil; it simply reduces the pain levels and makes the tattooing process more bearable for those with low pain tolerance.
3. Can I use CBD oil-infused lotions and creams for tattoo aftercare?
Just like you can use CBD oil on the tattooed ares, you can use CBD oil-infused lotions and creams as well. You should use these products to moisturize the tattooed area and prevent it from scabbing and itching.
However, do not overdo it with moisturizing, especially during the first few days after receiving a tattoo. The tattoo is a fresh, open wound the first 3 days, so avoid putting any lotions on it. When you start moisturizing the tattoo, try to do it twice a day, maximum (once in the morning and the evening, after you wash it and tap dry it with a paper towel).
4. Are there any disadvantages to using CBD oil for tattooing pain relief?
There have been cases where people reported feeling more sensitive to the tattooing process after taking CBD oil. Using CBD oil made them more aware of the discomfort and the pain, and made them fidgety and hard to communicate with.
Some people also experienced breathing issues (as in, started breathing heavily). So, if you suspect something like this might happen to you, then make sure to test the effects of CBD oil long before the tattoo session. This way you’ll know how the oil affects you and whether you should use it before the tattooing.
We hope that our little insight into the world of CBD oil was helpful. Remember; always talk to your doctor or tattoo artists before you try out CBD oil for pain management or tattoo aftercare. These professionals will assess whether you’re suitable for CBD oil, as well as your skin. You don’t want any side effects compromising your tattoo. So, do the necessary research, ask around, and finally, decide what your pain relief of choice will be.
CBD and Tattoos. For your consideration.
Before we get to all the good CBD can do for your tattoos, let’s kick it off by educating ourselves on what CBD truly is.
WHAT IS CBD REALLY?
CBD is often times confused for its psychoactive counterpart THC, which is found in the cannabis plant. CBD is actually short for cannabidiol which is one of many cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the psychoactive ingredient associated with marijuana while CBD is it’s non-psychoactive cousin packed with several known health benefits. There is no THC in CBD oil, unless specifically noted. PS: Our foam soap contains 100mg of high grade, ethically sourced CBD oil.
HOW DO I KNOW IT’S GOOD FOR ME?
Cannabis is currently receiving an increase in legalization support and this has brought a resurgence of research efforts. Clinical trials are on the rise and doctors testing treatment efficacy across a wide array of medical conditions. Although this research is in its early stages findings so far have shown there are several possible benefits.
TOP 5 CBD Tattoo Benefits
- Healing – Healing is one of the most important steps of the tattoo process. All new tattoos should be treated as open wounds – after all you just spent the last few hours getting a needle repeatedly inserted into your skin. Yikes! CBD has been touted for its countless healing properties which makes it a great addition to your aftercare routine.
- Anti-Inflammatory – Like we mentioned previously, a new tattoo is a fresh wound and therefore inflammation is common. CBD is one way you can counteract redness, itchiness and swelling all at once!
- Non-Comedogenic – This fancy word simply means you don’t have to worry about clogged pores. Clogged pores can complicate healing and even lead to infections. Different oils and creams like coconut oil and petroleum jelly will clog your pores, while CBD oil keeps pores open and actively healing.
- Pain Relief – One of the most recognized benefits of CBD oil is pain relief. The oil will help relax the area not like a numbing agent but simply as an aid to pain. Think – super herbal healing ointment!
- Moisturizing – As anyone with skin knows, moisturizing is EXTREMELY important. Keeping your skin young and hydrated. You don’t want old wrinkly, discolored tattoos… Do you?
The only way to know how effective CBD can be is to give it a try. There are several recognized benefits and we know you didn’t just spend your hard earned money to let your ink sit and fade. Take care of your skin and try our new CBD foam soap. You won’t regret it
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