In this ever-expansive world of cannabis products, cannabis topicals are a new player on the scene.
You’ve probably heard that topicals are a fast-acting ointment for localized relief and that they may also be good for your skin, or great for relieving tension. While a lot of these claims praise the efficacy of cannabis topicals, being a new product on the market, the research on the subject is still in its infancy.
Depending on what you desire from cannabis, topicals may or may not be what you need to strengthen your arsenal.
What Exactly are Cannabis Topicals?
Unlike many other pharmaceuticals, Medical cannabis comes in a vast array of unique consumable products. Cannabis topicals may encompass THC or CBD infused skin creams, body oils, or even lubricants.
Topicals are meant to be applied directly on the skin for a fast-acting treatment that can target specific areas of interest. Along with the regular attributes of cannabis-infused products, topicals can assist in treating localized pain, inflammation, and various skin-related conditions.
Common infused compounds among topicals include THC and CBD. Although less popular, cannabis topicals are also gaining traction with other lesser-known cannabinoids such as Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabigerol (CBG).
The Benefits of Using Cannabis Topicals
1) Allows for Targeted/Spot Treatment
If you’re looking to deal with isolated spots causing discomfort, topicals provide the solution to exactly that. Whether it’s acute back pain, sore joints, or even areas of inflammation, cannabis topicals can be used on specific areas to treat each location as needed without the effects of intoxication.
2) Great for Healing Burns Quicker
Burns can be an incredibly painful experience, worse yet, the idle inflammation left after the initial burn can cause extreme discomfort as well. Coupled with a slow rate of recovery, burns can be quite a nuisance to deal with. Luckily, cannabis topicals are known to ease the pain of inflammation while simultaneously providing relief to the burn.
Limited evidence suggests that a high-quality topical with the right ingredients will not only be able to help alleviate much of the pain but also expedite the healing process.
3) Keeps the Skin Glowing
When it comes to looking our best, we all want to maximize our potential. That said, smooth and wrinkle-free skin is an important indicator of youth and beauty. Cannabis topicals are loaded with antioxidants that interact safely with free radicals and terminate them before any molecular damage occurs. In fact, one study suggests that CBD may be a more potent antioxidant to Vitamins C and E.
In Layman’s terms, it means that cannabis topicals can reduce your skin from aging and prevent tissue damage, keeping your skin plump and healthy.
4) An Amazing Companion for Massages
A nice massage is already quite relaxing but combined with the therapeutic effects of cannabis, and you’ve got yourself a superior experience. Current research has demonstrated that the skin is home to an abundance of several CB2 receptors and a small reserve of CB1 receptors. These receptors are what cannabinoids bind to in order for us to feel marijuana’s therapeutic effects.
That said, the combination of the two can be an excellent remedy for chronic pain, arthritis, injury, and much more.
5) Keeps Inflammation and Arthritis at Bay
Arthritis is known to produce swelling and pain at the joints. As mentioned before, cannabis is an effective fighter of inflammation and can help with pain relief at the joints for those who suffer from arthritis or similar issues.
Cannabis naturally contains anti-bacterial properties, providing relief to a range of bacterial skin infections such as acne, folliculitis, and several others.
7) Enhanced Sexual Pleasure
When it comes to the bedroom, men and women alike can harness the power of this ancient aphrodisiac.
In fact, cannabis use as an arouser dates back centuries in areas of central Asia where the plant was integrated into various ancient tantric sex practices.
Lucky for you, several companies have developed cannabinoid-infused oils and lubricants with the specific aim to elevate your private experiences.
The Disadvantages of Using Cannabis Topicals
1) Topicals are Usually Inefficient in Getting You High
While not entirely impossible to achieve a state of high through topicals, it is definitely trickier than traditionally smoking or eating your cannabis. Luckily, transdermal patches are one of the best topical options for this.
2) There is limited research on the subject
As with any new emerging product, there is limited research. While in theory topicals are supposed to provide the effects they claim, there is limited anecdotal evidence supporting this.
Who Should Use Topicals?
For those who are interested in the non intoxicating side of cannabis, topicals may fill a niche while killing two birds with one stone.
Those who are looking to treat pain and inflammation or skin conditions such as Edema or Psoriasis may find utility in topicals as well. It should be noted that exposure to broken skin allows cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream, which can potentially cause psychoactive effects.
Getting High Using Topicals
As mentioned before, getting high using topicals can be tricky. However, the advent of transdermal patches has made it easier than ever to allow its users to experience a steady release of cannabinoids in complete discretion.
This form of consumption works by allowing cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream via the venous regions of the body, where the cannabinoids traverse to the brain and then the rest of the body.
Like most other cannabis products, transdermal patches come in a variety of cannabinoid profiles with split ratio profiles being an option as well.
How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?
Cannabis produces its effects by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. The system is comprised of two different types of receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are what cannabinoids bind to when consumed and absorbed by our bodies.
That said, our skin is home to several CB2 receptors and a smaller portion of CB1 receptors. When topicals have been applied, the cannabinoids are absorbed by these receptors and quickly absorbed by our bodies, providing fast-acting effects.
Different topicals offer various attributes with different benefits. With an already vast array of skincare products on the market, the difference one ingredient can make is immense.