Maximize Your Relaxation With CBD Bath Bombs

CBD bath bomb
By Bethan Rose Jenkins Published March 21st

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly becoming a staple ingredient in millions of people's medicinal, kitchen, and even bathroom cabinets. CBD bath bombs are a cannabis-inspired version of the original bath bomb invented by Lush co-founder Mo Constantine. The successful British company's investor was exploring ways to enhance bath time and deliver the skin a dose of irritation-free TLC. Today, people are adding a dose of CBD to their relaxing bath time. 

The CBD market is gaining major interest in the health and wellness spheres, with the global market generating $7.71 billion in 2023. Beyond the scientific allure of CBD’s therapeutic benefits, consumers are taking a liking to the abundance of product options on the market. Consumers do not need to smoke, vape, eat, drink, or swallow CBD in the form of capsules to enjoy the cannabis compound’s remedial perks. Something as simple as taking a dip in the tub is enough to capture the essence of this non-psychotropic cannabinoid's soothing properties. 

After dissolving in the water, bath bombs disperse citric acid and CBD around the tub. The merging and fizzing of these substances helps to loosen damaged skin layers. Combined with oil, bath bombs add an element of aromatic moisturization to the skin, resulting in soft, supple, and hydrated skin. 

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What are CBD Bath Bombs?

Aside from offering a sensory experience, a CBD bath bomb can be infused with elements that provide a visual experience. Bath bombs are usually a blend of colorants, salts, bicarbonate of soda, and oils. Some CBD bath bombs also contain aesthetic elements, such as sequins, glitter, or flower petals. Their ease of use makes them an attractive choice for consumers who want to sit back and relax at the end of a busy day. 

With a wide selection of custom, handmade options throughout the market, there really is a bath bomb to suit every taste. CBD bath bomb producers usually combine CBD oils with essential oils to deliver a fragrant dose of plant goodness. Once all of the ingredients have been combined, they are added to molds and left to dry.

CBD bath bombs and hemp bath bombs are usually the same, depending on what the ingredients say. If you find a hemp bath bomb, and the ingredients do not list CBD oil but instead list hemp seed oil, then there are no cannabinoids present. However, hemp seed oil can have numerous skin benefits, so using it won’t hurt. 

Benefits of CBD Bath Bombs

Why use a CBD bath bomb

Topical CBD products are becoming increasingly popular among cannabis consumers who want to integrate CBD use into their daily wellness routine without smoking or consuming edibles. CBD bath bombs offer an enjoyable way to benefit from CBD skin absorption. These wellness products work in a similar way to topical balms, creams, and lotions. Conversely, transdermal drug delivery (TDD) works via systemic circulation. 

Both natural and synthetic cannabinoids can permeate the skin and activate cannabinoid receptors by entering the sebaceous gland via the hair follicles. The addition of other ingredients, such as ethanol, oleic acid, ethosomes, and nanocryogels, may amplify the efficacy and bioavailability of CBD. 

Organosilane particles like dimethicone may also work well as transdermal delivery vehicles, allowing for faster absorption of cannabinoids. Pre-treating the skin with microneedle arrays is another effective strategy for improved CBD absorption. It involves pore formation via the application of solid microneedles.1

Since CBD inhibits fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), products that work topically — such as CBD bath bombs — may amplify endocannabinoid levels. CBD bath bombs and other topicals may help regulate cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptor responses. CBD, a CB2 inverse agonist (antagonist of CB2 agonists) and TRPV1 agonist, demonstrates anti-itching effects on murine models. However, the research is scarce, and further studies are necessary. 

The same study explored the efficacy of wound repair using topical CBD. Scientists observed elevated levels of HMOX1 and the “expression of proliferation and wound repair keratins 16 and 17.” A separate in vitro study using human keratinocytes revealed that CBD can successfully “penetrate the cells and balance the oxidative stress response resulting from UVB irradiation and hydrogen peroxide.” The research team also proved that CBD exerts “protective effects against the peroxide-induced reduction of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, helping to protect membrane integrity.” A growing field of evidence also signifies CBD's ability to activate PPAR-γ. 

Aside from CBD, hemp essential oil is enriched with an abundance of aromatic and therapeutic terpenes that possess antimicrobial effects against C. acnes (previously called ‘Propionibacterium acnes’). Taking this into consideration, hemp seed extract or hemp EO may help to minimize the appearance of acne vulgaris due to “its anti-lipogenic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties, which may target similar or independent mechanisms than that of CBD.”

HMOX1 and PPAR-γ play strong cytoprotective roles with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties. Treatments regulating their expression could be beneficial for skin conditions characterized by inflammation and keratin disorders, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis. The preliminary data indicating the antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of hemp come from the essential oil (steam distillate) fraction of hemp, which is composed mainly of terpenoids such as myrcene, α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, and other terpenes but no significant levels of CBD.2

TPVR-1 has also been found to be expressed on cutaneous sensory nerve fibers, epidermal keratinocytes, dermal blood vessels, and hair follicles. This may serve a complex role in the pathogenesis of cutaneous pain and itching. CBD also enhances adenosine A2A receptor activity, which can downregulate over-reactive immune cells and decrease inflammation in surrounding tissue. These findings suggest that cannabinoids may be used for therapeutic purposes in a number of dermatological conditions.3 

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Drawbacks and Risks of CBD Bath Bombs

Dermal formulations fall into two categories: transdermal (for systemic effects) and topical (for local effects on the skin). Some product manufacturers add “permeation enhancers,” but this may lead to irritation. The existing research indicates that topical and transdermal CBD administration is safe to use. There is no evidence of CBD's abuse potential. However, some studies on CBD-consuming epilepsy patients highlight the possibility of certain side effects, like appetite loss, diarrhea, fatigue, sedation, and sleep disturbances.4

One rodent study saw scientists apply transdermal CBD to rats in the form of a hydroalcoholic gel with the primary goal of easing inflammation and pain in a monoarthritis knee joint model. Scientists observed long-lasting therapeutic effects, with the results prompting Phase II trials of a permeation-enhanced transdermal CBD gel (Zygel™). 

“Heussler has reported that the gel was well tolerated and produced clinically meaningful reductions in anxiety and behavioral symptoms in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome (n = 20), with an administration of 250 mg of CBD daily as a gel,” wrote the researchers, suggesting that a CBD bath bomb made with skin permeation enhancers may be a reliable solution for patients with arthritis and other forms of joint inflammation.5

How to Use a CBD Bath Bomb

How to use a CBD bath bomb

There is only one true way to use bath bombs - by dropping one into the bathtub! However, you may also choose to break a CBD bath bomb into segments and infuse it in a foot spa to nourish sore, cracked heels. While CBD is not a cure for these ailments, its soothing effects may provide relief. 

If you've never used a bath bomb before, here's how:

  1. Plug the bathtub and fill it with warm water. 
  2. Drop the CBD bath bomb into the water gently. 
  3. Allow the bath bomb to fizz until it is completely dissolved. 
  4. Enjoy your bathing experience!

How to Make a CBD Bath Bomb

If you don't fancy buying bath bombs online or at licensed dispensaries, you may consider creating your own from home. DIY bath bombs allow for ingredient and dosage experimentation, giving you control over what substances you apply to your skin. You can add CBD tinctures and oils to a bath bomb mixture. If you already have these products at home, you're one step ahead. 

Another benefit of making DIY CBD and hemp bath bombs is that you can choose between cannabis-derived or hemp-derived CBD and can tweak the ingredients based on your lifestyle choices. For example, you may choose to swap allergens for vegan products. To begin with, you'll need the following supplies:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon or whisk
  • Measuring cup
  • CBD bath bomb mold of your choice

Next, it's time to prepare the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup citric acid
  • ¼ teaspoon of CBD oil
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons of water
  • One teaspoon of your preferred essential oil

With your ingredients ready, prepare your CBD-rich skin infusion as follows:

  1. Measure and mix all of your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl until you get a clump-free consistency. 
  2. Combine the wet ingredients thoroughly to ensure even CBD distribution. 
  3. Merge the dry and wet ingredients slowly and mix gently to ensure no fizzing. 
  4. Transfer the wet sand-like mixture to your molds. 
  5. Allow the bath bombs to dry for 20 minutes. 
  6. Store in a dry place and use as desired.

Best CBD Bath Bombs

Best CBD bath bombs

New and experienced CBD consumers should always practice caution when buying CBD bath bombs. The legal market is saturated with sellers and brands, each offering something unique. Avoid the legacy market to avoid buying products that have not undergone lab testing; they may contain irritants or lack the essential compound that you're seeking in the first place! 

Reputable brands will have positive customer testimonials and lab-testing standards. CBD and hemp bath bombs, as well as other cannabis-based products, should meet the following quality control standards:6

  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) certification from the US Food and Drug Administration 
  • European Union (EU), Australian (AUS), or Canadian (CFIA) organic certification
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) International certification

Finally, find out what other active ingredients are present in the CBD bath bombs. In addition to CBD, identify if the product contains any other cannabinoids and cannabis-derived substances. Since cannabis sativa contains over 100 unique yet structurally related cannabinoids, it is essential to determine the presence of such compounds. Each cannabinoid produces different effects, and some, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, have been more intensely studied than others. 

The vast majority of CBD products sold in today's market undergo analytical testing to rule out the presence of contaminants, such as heavy metals and pesticides. However, with a third of CBD products being improperly evaluated for CBD quantity, it is important to confirm product composition by reading the labels and certificate of authenticity (COA). Labels should also indicate the quantity/dose of CBD. 

Before you choose a specific brand of CBD or hemp bath bombs, ask yourself if the company has an independent adverse event reporting program, if the product is certified organic or eco-farmed, and whether or not the products are laboratory tested to ensure they do not contain heavy metals, pesticides, and tetrahydrocannabinol levels exceeding 0.3%.

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  1. Filipiuc S-I, Neagu A-N, Uritu CM, Tamba B-I, Filipiuc L-E, Tudorancea IM, Boca AN, Hâncu MF, Porumb V, Bild W. The Skin and Natural Cannabinoids–Topical and Transdermal Applications. Pharmaceuticals. 2023; 16(7):1049. ↩︎
  2. Baswan SM, Klosner AE, Glynn K, et al. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:927-942. Published 2020 Dec 8. doi:10.2147/CCID.S286411 ↩︎
  3. Nickles MA, Lio PA. Cannabinoids in Dermatology: Hope or Hype?. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(4):279-282. Published 2020 Dec 15. doi:10.1089/can.2019.0097 ↩︎
  4. Millar SA, Maguire RF, Yates AS, O’Sullivan SE. Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD). Pharmaceuticals. 2020;13(9):219. doi: ↩︎
  5. Stella B, Baratta F, Della Pepa C, Arpicco S, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid Formulations and Delivery Systems: Current and Future Options to Treat Pain. Drugs. 2021;81(13):1513-1557. doi: ↩︎
  6. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2019;94(9):1840-1851. doi: ↩︎

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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