What are CBD Candles? Do They Actually Do Anything?

Are CBD candles legit or just another case of CBD craze?

CBD candles iStock / Ridofranz

Both candles and CBD have become synonymous with self-care, but what are CBD candles? Do they work, and are they worth the price? Let’s take a look at some of the facts and research on CBD candles so you can determine if they’re the right product for you.

What are CBD Candles?

A CBD candle is simply beeswax or soy wax infused with CBD and other oils. Some cannabis candles are meant to be burned and enjoyed like an everyday candle, while some others melt into a liquid that can be used topically as a salve or massage oil. 

CBD candles come in a variety of scents and sizes. Some CBD companies market that their candles give off the familiar aroma of cannabis while other brands offer more subtle blends that contain essential oils and other fragrances. CBD sellers are required to print the quantity of CBD in milligrams on the label.

Online retailers describe their CBD candles as relaxing, balancing, soothing, and moisturizing. 

Do CBD Candles Work?

Let’s be clear: burning a CBD candle is not the same as vaping CBD, taking it sublingually, or swallowing a CBD capsule or gummy. A candle with 50mg of CBD that burns for 30 hours would only burn through 1.67mg per hour. This is not nearly a high enough concentration to elicit noticeable internal effects.

One study found that even when exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke in a confined space(a van, in this case) for an extended period of time, non-smokers had cannabinoid levels well below the limits of detection. It stands to reason that a candle with only a few dozen milligrams of CBD in a well-ventilated room would have even less impact. Any “relaxing” effects one may notice are probably due to the scents used and the pleasant experience of burning a candle.

It is possible, however, that using the melted wax of a CBD candle as a soothing oil may elicit some positive effects. Research shows that the skin contains its own endocannabinoid system that controls the “proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells.”

As we know, cannabinoids like CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system. Massaging oil from a CBD candle into your skin may provide some moisturizing and soothing benefits. Remember, when it comes to skincare, consistency is key. Consider whether you’ll keep up with melting hot wax, waiting for it to cool, and rubbing it into your skin on a regular basis. For some users, it may be more practical to use a topical CBD salve or balm.

Beware of CBD Health Claims

So far, only one CBD drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. The FDA has stated that while it “recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds,” there were still “many unanswered questions” about the science and safety of cannabinoids. 

The FDA has issued strict warnings to CBD companies who have claimed their products prevent, treat, or cure any serious diseases. Although CBD shows promise as a treatment for sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, and skin conditions, businesses that make claims to this effect are in violation of the FDA policy.

If you’re shopping for CBD candles and other CBD products, beware of companies that market their products as a medical treatment. Reputable companies are aware of CBD’s regulatory status and will avoid making unverified health claims.

Why Do People Buy CBD Candles?

You may be wondering: if CBD candles come with a high price tag and not a lot of research to back them up, why are people still shopping for them? There are a few possibilities:

  • Candles are great. Who doesn’t love a candle? Whether you receive one as a gift or splurge on yourself, candles of any sort provide a gentle glow and warming ambiance. Lighting a few scented candles to unwind is the perfect relaxation ritual, especially paired with a soothing strain of cannabis, a bath, or a glass of wine.
  • Aromatherapy: Another widely-used wellness practice, aromatherapy makes use of the chemical compounds in essential oils to promote health in various ways. Studies have shown that the terpenes in aromatherapy essential oils contain anti-inflammatory, analgesic(pain-relieving), and sedative properties. Aromatherapy practitioners use essential oils for stress relief, sleep support, headache relief and many other common health issues. Like CBD, much more research is needed in this field, but preliminary findings are promising. Cannabis contains many of the same terpenes found in essential oils, including limonene, myrcene, and linalool. Aromatherapy users may enjoy the effects of CBD terpenes when released into the air.
  • Placebo Effect: Some people experience beneficial effects from an activity or treatment simply due to their belief that it will work. While there lacks significant research to prove the efficacy of CBD candles, some users do report feeling more relaxed while using them. 

How does CBD Work?

CBD has been infused with everything from mascara to pillowcases, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern effective products from snake oil. Before we get into whether CBD candles are an effective product, it’s important to know a little bit more about CBD and how it interacts with the body. 

In 1988 Allyn Howlett and William Devane confirmed the existence of cannabinoid receptors in the brains of mammals. Dr. Devane and other researchers went on to discover that the human body produces endocannabinoids and that this signaling system helps to regulate many biological functions and promote homeostasis. Researchers have identified over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and the non-psychoactive CBD. 

Users have claimed that CBD products help them get better sleep at night, manage pain, treat skin problems and much more, but the evidence is anecdotal thus far. Scientists and the public have been fascinated by the effects of these compounds on the human body, and more research continues to be done on cannabinoids. 

If you have the means and the desire to try out CBD candles, why not give it a shot? Enjoy the relaxing scents and taking some time for yourself. Just don’t expect it to cure all your ills.


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