April 17, 2024

Cannabis Topicals: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Thanks to the raging popularity of CBD oil, topicals are among the hottest sellers on the cannabis product market. Though many people are only now learning about the potential healing benefits of marijuana topicals, our forebears were in on the secret.

Marijuana topicals may be traced back to ancient Egypt, where the Ebers papyrus reveals their use for anti-inflammatory purposes. Much later, Queen Victoria of England is reputed to have used cannabis tinctures and cannabidiol (CBD) oil to relieve menstrual cramps. Today, cannabis topicals are widely available and tapped for their potential to treat pain, inflammation, mood disorders, and much more.

How Cannabis Topicals Work
Cannabis topicals act as lubricants that penetrate the surface layer of the skin. But their treatment goes much deeper. Cannabis topicals work by directly entering the bloodstream via the skin. Once in the bloodstream, they bind with different cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Within an hour, you will likely start to feel the effects of a topical.

You may opt to use a full-spectrum cannabis product containing THC, CBD, and a range of terpenes (flavorful and aromatic compounds). Or, you may choose a pure CBD isolate product. Full-spectrum products do precisely what their name implies; they offer an infusion of every possible element the plant naturally provides. On the other hand, CBD isolate strips away other cannabinoids and loses some therapeutic properties.

The other main difference between the two types of products is that hemp or CBD-derived topicals are legal to purchase over-the-counter. Any products containing THC require a medical marijuana card and doctor’s prescription and are not available at all in some states.

Types
The market for cannabis topicals has heated up in the past decade with an ever-increasing demand for CBD products. Here are some of the most common types of marijuana topicals:

Creams and Lotions
Cannabis creams and lotions are easy to apply anywhere on the body. They are especially useful for people seeking skin benefits and may be applied to extra dry body parts such as the knees and elbows. Some people even use cannabis creams on their faces as a beauty treatment.

Oil
Cannabis and CBD oils are versatile; you may apply them topically or ingest them orally. A small amount of cannabis oil under the tongue or a teaspoonful may complement topical application.

Salves
Cannabis salves or balms are similar to creams and lotions but may offer even greater healing benefits. Salves are usually softer than lotions as they contain beeswax. People suffering from psoriasis and other skin disorders may find relief in medicinal salves.

Gels
Gels exert a cooling effect, which makes them an excellent option for treating headaches. Applying a few drops to the temples and forehead can help relieve sinus pressure or provide cool relief for a tension headache.