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All About Cannabis Topicals

02/1/2022 Health & Wellness
bottles of marijuana topicals

Cannabis topicals are creams, lotions, oils, salves and transdermal patches that are infused with cannabis and provide localized relief when applied directly to the skin. The awesome thing about cannabis topicals is that for those folks who don’t want the euphoric ‘high’ feeling that comes along with other intake methods, topicals don’t get you stoned. And even for those who do enjoy getting high, sometimes you just want relief from muscle aches and pains.

Cannabis topicals can differ in their THC-to-CBD ratio and just like extracts, there are CBD-only topicals available. Because CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties cannabis topicals are very popular for relieving pain, but these topicals are also used for general skin care, mild skin conditions (eczema, dryness, itching) and even therapeutic massages.

What are cannabis topicals?

In short, they are creams and lotions infused with extracts from the cannabis plant. Just like marijuana concentrates, cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and other components (terpenes, for example) are extracted from dried, cured marijuana buds then added to the cream and lotion. Most producers also add other ingredients for texture, consistency and aroma. If the topical contains only CBD and no THC, then it can usually be sold online and across state borders. But if there is any THC in the product, then they can’t.

As a side note: always check before sending or taking any cannabis topical purchased from a marijuana dispensary across state lines. Ask you Buddy Boy Brands budtender for the exact amounts of THC and/or CBD.

In addition to creams, lotions, salves and oils, topicals also include transdermal patches. These are cannabis-infused patches that can be placed (stuck) directly on the skin for continual relief from aches and pains. Cannabis patches are great because they can be worn under clothing, won’t get clothing and other textiles (car seats, sofa seat, chairs) sticky like lotions and oils can, and unlike lotions/creams you don’t have to continually reapply your topical throughout the day.

The one draw back to transdermal cannabis patches is that the cannabinoids can get into your blood stream (or at very least a tiny amount could), so be careful about the THC quantity if you’re concerned about getting tested for marijuana for a job or other reason. More on that further in this post …

How do cannabis topicals work?

The active ingredients in topicals – cannabinoids – are absorbed into the skin to provide localized relief to the affected area. And for superficial conditions like eczema, rashes and acute itching, the cannabinoids do their work right on top of the skin. The cannabinoids within the topical then binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is the system with the human body that regulates a variety of biological functions, including anti-inflammatory properties, appetite, moods and a plethora of other bodily functions. They work pretty much the same way as other intake methods, but without actually ingesting or inhaling the cannabinoids.

While studies are few on the subject, there have been reports of cannabis topicals treating migraines, menstrual cramps, anti-aging, acne and even arthritis.

Read more about the Endocannabinoid System here!

Common questions related to topicals

    • Can I get high from topicals? The answer is no … well, not really. Of course if the topical is CBD only then it lacks the psychoactive properties (found in THC) that will get you high. If the topical also has THC in it, then small traces of THC could get into your blood stream. But the absorption into the blood stream is so slight and extremely slow that it is highly unlikely you would even notice this.
    • Will I test positive for a drug test if I use topicals? The answer is no … well, mostly no. Again CBD-only topicals won’t have any of the components that will show up on a marijuana drug test, but topicals with THC could. We say this more out of caution because, as mentioned above, the amount and speed the cannabinoids get into the blood stream is so low, it’s unlikely you would. Still, err on the side of caution until there has been more studies done on this subject.
    • Which is better: CBD-only or THC and CBD topicals? It depends on what you are trying to treat. My personal experience with eczema is that CBD dominant topicals work fine. It’s best to speak with your budtender – they will know exactly what ratio and which product to use.

Find our awesome array of Cannabis Topicals here!

No need to “Start low and go slow” with cannabis topicals

Like marijuana itself, cannabis topicals have been around for millennia – dating back to ancient Egypt and Asia – and have been used for a multitude of conditions. With the convenience and broad appeal, it’s not surprising that cannabis topicals are wildly popular with Coloradoans. And like with marijuana in general, there are new developments and therefore products coming out everyday. Once marijuana is reclassified away from its drug categorization on the federal level, there will be new studies and research to find more applications for this wonder plant.

Until then, enjoy the benefits of marijuana topicals!

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