Cannabis is not just found in the local coffeeshops in Amsterdam! You can also apply it to your skin – and that’s where topicals enter the spotlight.
Read Green House Effect Cannabis topicals guide with THC, CBD, and other cannabis formulations.
A guide to CBD topicals, balms, and lotions image.
Topicals are an underrated form of cannabis consumption which, although it doesn’t cause an all-time high, can have benefits to treating your body aches without the possible adverse effects of smoking.
But what are topicals anyway?
Topicals are basically oils, lotions, and balms infused with cannabis that get absorbed through the skin. Topicals are mostly CBD based because they are used for pain relief, inflammation, or soreness in the body. Unlike THC, CBD causes relaxation to the body without causing a high the way THC does.
They are most often enjoyed by patients who suffer from physical aches and/or struggles with their mental health.
How do they work?
Well, these topicals bind to a whole network of receptors in the endocannabinoid system called CB2. CB2 receptors can be activated in two ways: the first is by the naturally occurring endocannabinoids. The second way is by phytocannabinoids (like CBD and THC).
However, even if the lotion, balm, or oil has active THC, it still will not cause the type of high you get from smoking a THC-packed strain. When it comes to topicals, the phytocannabinoids cannot reach the bloodstream – they only go as far as the system of CB2 receptors. In other words, topicals will not cause the “heavy” high that THC causes.
Although there is missing research on whether cannabis applied for headaches is effective, some preliminary studies could be a foundation for clinical trials on cannabis treating headaches, but these trials have not started.
So, currently, topicals show the most noticeable results for muscle pain, skin rashes, and joint pain.
Also, combining them with medical ingredients is excellent since the phytocannabinoid can enhance the other ingredient. This means you don’t feel the cannabinoids per se, but since they enhance everything else, they have many benefits.
What are the benefits of cannabis-infused topicals?
As previously mentioned, topicals are mainly used for muscle soreness, inflammation, and pain relief. Still, there’s research that it helps with skin issues like dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as cramping and headaches.
A THC-rich cream can help you recover from a workout or intense hike. Bonus points if it has cooling menthol and peppermint in it.
If you’re feeling pain, you can try a balm that consists of a combination of deep properties that painkillers have and a soothing sensation.
Different topicals can offer various benefits, depending on their ingredients and processing. More importantly, be aware of the placebo effect. Placebo, especially in people who experience pain, can be powerful. Some treatment with CBD-infused oils is more placebo than reality.
In conclusion, using topicals to treat your pains and aches is naturally a good idea, but being mindful that it might not “cure” headaches and could have a placebo effect is also possible.