An Introduction to Topicals

Educating all about topical cannabis

Explain what topicals are, how they work, and what kinds are available.

Cannabis topicals are becoming more popular these days, but what are they, and how do they work? Cannabis topicals are cannabis products that are absorbed through the skin. Our skin has the ability to absorb substances like THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. This absorption transfers cannabinoids into the blood stream, providing symptom relief to localized areas of pain, stiffness, or inflammation.

Topicals are non-impairing, meaning they typically don’t give you any sort euphoric feeling. This means you can get the medicinal benefits of cannabis without getting high. For this reason, topicals are very popular among seniors, and other patients who might not want to feel high. This makes them a great way to introduce cannabis to seniors, or anyone who may be hesitant to try a cannabis product for the first time. It’s also a good alternative if you want to consume cannabis, but don’t want to smoke.

Cannabis topicals commonly come in creams, lotions, balms, and transdermal patches. Transdermal is a just a fancy word for applying medicine through the skin. The differences between cannabis creams, lotions, and balms, is slight. All of them are infused with THC, CBD, CBG, or a combination of cannabinoids. They are applied directly to the skin for symptom relief. One of the major benefits of topicals is being able to precisely target specific problem areas, whether it be pain, stiffness, or inflammation. If you have pain in your knees, your back, your hands, wherever it may be, topicals allow you to focus on that area by applying directly to the spots you may be having the most trouble with.

The only drawback is that you may have to reapply the topical every few hours, depending on how strong the doses are, in order to maintain continued symptom relief. Luckily, that’s where transdermal patches come into play. These patches are adhesive and attach to the skin similar to a bandaid. Just stick it on and go about your day. They are often designed to provide symptom relief for several hours, some of them even entire days.
Some other cannabis topical products are infused bath bombs and bath salts. These products are meant to be used in combination with a bath, which can its own medicinal benefits, including just relaxing in the tub for 20 minutes.

The list of cannabis topicals available on the market seems to always be growing, with manufacturers infusing other everyday products like makeup and other traditional skincare products, as well as lubricants. 
Many of these cannabis topical products incorporate other beneficial ingredients, like lavender, peppermint and other essential oils. These sort of ingredients have their own medicinal benefits and work together with cannabis to help provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, and improve quality of life.

Each of the different products we’ve talked about can offer different benefits depending on the ingredients used, and how they’re manufactured. Talk to one of our patient care specialists about what topicals we carry. We will be happy to help you decide on a topical product best for you. 

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