How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?

Cannabis topicals are ointments, balms, oils, or lotions containing cannabinoids that are applied directly to the skin. Topicals are a great option for people wanting to experience the benefits of cannabis without the intoxicating effect of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound.

As the cannabis industry grows so does the demand for topicals. This growing category now includes topicals in the form of personal lubricants and essential oils.

How do Cannabis Topicals Work?

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and cannabidiol (CBD). When applied to the skin, these compounds slowly penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the body.

The human body creates endocannabinoids. As the body absorbs the chemicals from the cannabis topicals, they react with the body’s endocannabinoids and create different effects. Receptors in the skin and bloodstream bond with the cannabinoids and distribute them throughout the body.

What Do People Use Topicals to Treat?

Cannabis topicals are used for a variety of symptoms and conditions. Some of its more popular uses are for:

  • Inflammation: Inflammation is when a part of the body experiences an injury and becomes hot, red, or swollen. Cannabis topicals may provide relief for the inflamed area.
  • Pain relief: Some people report experiencing joint pain relief or migraine relief from topicals. More research is needed to determine if topicals can help with severe pain or pain caused by cancer.
  • Skin conditions: Topicals may have some effects when used to treat eczema and acne.
  • Skincare: Cosmetic companies are beginning to offer cannabis creams with anti-aging effects. Cannabinoids are great antioxidants and can help protect the skin from UV radiation and pollution.
  • Wound care: Some topicals are used as an antiseptic, because CBD may have antibacterial properties. Research suggests CBD may also be antimicrobial.
  • Sexual pleasure: Cannabis topicals may be used as a lube in the bedroom. Users have reported euphoric effects when CBD topicals are applied to the genitals. However, if you want to use CBD topicals this way, make sure they’re specifically intended for it. 

Can Topicals Get You High?

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for producing the “high” effect, not CBD. Topicals may contain small amounts of THC, but when THC is absorbed through the skin, it loses its psychotropic effectiveness. Even if a topical you purchase contains trace amounts of THC, you won’t be able to get high.

Choosing A Cannabis Topical

Not all topicals are created the same. Things to consider before purchasing a cannabis topical are:

  • Your treatment goals
  • What the THC laws in your area are
  • How much you want to spend.
  • Your travel plans

Keep in mind, if you want to travel with your cannabis products, you’ll need to know the laws of your area and the area you plan to travel to. States, cities, and counties all have different laws regarding the ownership and transportation of CBD products‌, so plan ahead!

Do I Need a Prescription to Purchase Cannabis Topicals?

Your local laws will dictate your purchasing options. In Colorado, you don’t need a prescription to buy cannabis topicals. 

Frost Denver Dispensary dispensaries have many topicals available, and our friendly staff will help you with any questions you have. Our Denver, Colorado dispensary allows you to easily order online and pick up in the store, or you can visit our physical locations and browse. See you soon!

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