the skin you’re in
You’re skin is the first barrier that comes in contact with the outside world. It consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis gives is a waterproof layer that gives us our skin color. The dermis consists of collagen and connective tissues that support the epidermis. The hypodermis is mainly composed of fat. Within these layers exist neurons that allow us to experience touch and heat. There are also hair follicles and sweat glands that begin deep in the dermis. These are all places where medicinal creams and ointments could absorb into. It is generally thought that absorption occurs through diffusion, which means that molecules go from areas of higher concentration to lower concentration.  This suggests that topically applied creams passively bypass the barrier that the skin creates to be absorbed by the cells within.
cbd and endocannabinoid receptors in the skin
The Endocannabinoid system (read about it here) has CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, including the skin.  Studies on rats suggest that the availability of these receptors in the skin could allow for anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive (which means blocking the feeling of pain by sensory neurons) interactions.  Studies also suggest the efficacy of CBD in treating pain trans-dermally, especially associated with arthritis.  Although mainly tested on rats, these studies show that CBD, when applied topically, has the ability to penetrate the skin deep enough to reach sensory neurons and receptors.
TRPV1, a vanilloid receptor, has also been associated with skin cells.  This receptor is important in inflammatory processes. CBD is known to interact with TRPV1 to modulate pain and desensitize neurons, so CBD applied topically has the opportunity to alleviate surface pains through penetration of the skin.
It is suggested that CBD, rather than interacting with the endocannabinoid system directly, enhances the endocannabinoids that are already present in the body. 2-AG is an endocannabinoid naturally circulating in our body that is thought to exist as a mediator in inflammatory responses and may alleviate sensations of pain.  In CBD’s enhancement of the concentration of 2-AG, pain sensations can be reduced.
hurts so good
CBD continues to be a promising solution to a variety of daily issues. Muscle and joint pain are common sensations felt by the full spectrum of people, and CBD is showing promise that it has the exact methods to fight such sensations. CBD, through interaction of vanilloid receptors and 2-AG, can moderate pain and allow for someone to continue their day without complaints.