Cannabis topicals are ointments, balms and lotions that are infused with cannabinoids like THC or CBD. They are used on the skin as a lotion or rub to help treat inflammation, pain and other related ailments. Some use cannabis topicals in place of painkillers like ibuprofen because they have less side effects. Other people use them to relax or get a bit of a buzz.
Cannabis topicals can be used for several ailments and conditions. Some ailments that cannabis topicals are known to help include:
In general cannabis topicals help relieve inflammation and pain. Lotions and creams can be used for aches and pains, psoriasis and other skin conditions. Rubs can be used for muscle soreness, joint pain and even cramps. Depending on the formula of the cannabis topical, the effects can last anywhere from a few hours to a day or two depending on the person.
Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the body called CB1 and CB2. These receptors are involved in processes like inflammation and pain. When cannabinoids bind to these receptors they effectively reduce inflammation and pain. Topical application is preferred over smoking or ingesting as it allows the cannabinoids to bind directly to the site of the problem without being metabolized by the liver or having unwanted effects on the mind. Topicals also don’t expose the lungs or brain to any unnecessary cannabinoids.
The main difference between cannabis topicals and other ointments or rubs is that topicals contain cannabinoids like THC or CBD. While there are other lotions or rubs out there that might have some analgesic effect, cannabis topicals are known for their ability to provide effective relief from pain and inflammation. Additionally, cannabis topicals are regulated differently from other lotions and rubs as they are considered medicine whereas other lotions aren’t. The laws regarding their usage may vary from one state to another so it’s best to consult with medical professionals if you have any questions about using cannabis topicals for your ailments.
Cannabis topicals are generally considered safe when used properly but there are some risks associated with their usage. Some of these risks include allergic reactions, dry skin, tingling sensations and even some feelings of intoxication or sedation if used in large quantities or ingested rather than applied directly to the skin as intended. This effect is likely due to higher amounts of THC getting into the bloodstream via ingestion or absorption through the skin leading to effects on the mind as well.
Cannabis topicals can be made in several different ways depending on the product desired. Lotions, creams and rubs can all be made differently depending on their end use and application method. Generally speaking most products start with a base like coconut oil which is then mixed with other ingredients like herbs, extracts, vitamins and potentially cannabinoids like THC or CBD. Depending on the application method some products may also contain alcohol to help them dry faster or propylene glycol which helps the product retain moisture longer. Beyond that they may be colored, scented or flavored independently depending on what the manufacturer is trying to achieve with their product.
Since they are considered medicine, cannabis topicals are regulated differently depending on where you live.
Consult your local provincial laws to see where you stand with regards to using cannabis topicals or marijuana-infused products for your ailments.