Topicals are an alternative way of administering cannabis without having to smoke. A wide variety of cannabis products exist today, such as topical creams, lotions, oils and balms. These types of products are only for external use and should be massaged into the skin or mucous membranes. Topical cannabis products are becoming increasingly popular for naturally treating ailments and skin conditions, as they do not contain any added scents or chemicals.
How do topical products work?
The beneficial effects of medical cannabis are felt throughout the body, but it is possible that these effects take some time to become apparent. However, cannabis that is administered through the use of topical creams and body oils act a little differently. Cannabinoid-based products are applied directly to the affected area, giving the consumer a quicker and more concentrated relief.
CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system play a very important role in the function of cannabis-based lotions. Topical creams, aerosols and oils work by being absorbed through the skin, which is enough to break through the barriers of the CB2 receptors, but not enough to enter the blood stream, so even if the product does contain THC, it will not induce any psychoactive effects.
What are cannabis-based topicals used for?
Topical creams, lotions and other cannabis-based products can be used to relieve ailments and skin conditions such as:
Several studies, including one by Hutton, have demonstrated the efficacy of topical products on animals to combat inflammatory and neuropathic pain.*
How are they made?
Topical products are made by extracting hemp oil from hemp seeds. The fatty acids from hemp seed oil are very good for the body. In fact, hemp oil is often integrated with active cannabinoids, such as CBD, so that consumers can take advantage of their beneficial properties. Most topical cannabis products are made with natural and organic ingredients.
*Hutton, H. (2014). Topical uses for Cannabis sativa L.