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What Are Cannabis Topicals? How Do They Work?

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What Are Cannabis Topicals? How Do They Work?

Have aches and pains? Cannabis topicals are a great way to find relief. Learn about topical cannabis and its many benefits.

By Cristina Barbee

Topical application is among the oldest delivery methods of cannabis use by humans. However, while this method may have a long history, it is only recently coming into its own as a gateway allowing for the treatment or relief of a wide variety of ailments and symptoms.

 

Cannabis topicals are new to the market as cannabis legalization has evolved across the US. Recent studies have shown that cannabinoids absorb through the skin, providing more localized therapeutic effects without the “high.” 

 

Cannabis topicals are non-psychoactive products applied directly to the skin to alleviate pain, inflammation, and other localized symptoms. Cannabis topicals are Cannabis-infused lotions, oils, or gels that are directly applied to the skin and have shown to help relieve a variety of acute symptoms. For this reason, many cannabis cultivators are creating products applied to the skin for quick absorption to provide relief from whatever ails you.

 

Brief History of Topical Cannabis

 

Cannabis use has been around for millennia despite the legislation around legalization. One of the oldest mentions of cannabis use was in Ancient Egypt, where Cannabis was a primary ingredient for lotions and salves used in pain relief.

 

In addition, ancient Chinese medicine recognized the plant’s antibacterial benefits and frequently used it to help treat wounds. Through trade routes and increased knowledge of the benefits of the plant, it quickly spread through the world, making it a staple in natural medical practices.

 

How Cannabis Topicals Work

 

Cannabis topicals work because they provide localized relief through skin absorption. Topicals are absorbed through the skin’s pores and carried through the bloodstream. The cannabinoids are then distributed to the endocannabinoid system, triggering an acceleration of collagen cells that assist with the reduction of inflammation, pain, aging, and bacteria growth.

 

Because most topicals contain a well-balanced amount of multiple cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, topical Cannabis is one of the best ways to stimulate the entourage effect. When we consume the right balance, our endocannabinoid system can benefit from the parts of the plant providing its best overall benefits. 

 

In addition to cannabinoids, topical Cannabis also contains terpenes. Over 200 unique terpenes are present in the cannabis species, each with multiple advantages. Including terpenes in topical cannabis products allows the skin to absorb the best parts of Cannabis, allowing our bodies to experience its amazing therapeutic effects. 

 

Benefits of Topical Cannabis

 

Combining ancient knowledge with modern research practices has increased information about the benefits of using Cannabis in topical form. One of the main benefits is the absence of psychoactive effects associated with other forms of consumption. Many cannabis enthusiasts appreciate the benefits cannabinoids present without wanting to get high. By using topicals, they have the option of localized treatment without psychoactive effects.

 

Furthermore, some cannabis users want to steer clear of inhalation. Cannabis topicals provide an alternate route for those trying to avoid consumption through inhalation because of a respiratory diagnosis.

 

Uses of Topical Cannabis

 

The many uses of cannabis topicals have been passed down over the years. However, as research continues, the benefits of topical cannabis use are becoming more known. Below you will see some of the many ways topical Cannabis can help:

 

1. Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is one of the leading causes of chronic illness today. Skin topicals containing Cannabis extracts provide relief from various conditions like insect bites, sprains, and strains, joint and muscle pain, swelling, burns, and bruises. A recent study showed cannabis topicals applied to the skin aid in controlling the immune system by reducing the body’s inflammation response.  

 

2. Antiseptic

Research also demonstrated how Cannabis disrupts the growth of microbial agents that can lead to infection. Similar to antibacterial agents, antiseptics eliminate and slow the growth of microorganisms, including viruses. Additionally, the use of cannabis extracts has shown success in combating cases of antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

 

3. Anti-Cancer

Though the science is still evolving, a January 2017 case study showed promising results using topical Cannabis on malignant skin wounds. The case highlighted how Cannabis applied directly to the skin site reduced pain and symptom management associated with the wound site.

 

4. Pain Relief

Cannabis consumers everywhere have noted multiple benefits in pain reduction associated with Cannabis. While the research is ongoing, growing anecdotal evidence has shown that people turn to Cannabis to regulate pain in place of harmful prescription medications such as opioids. In addition, using topical Cannabis lets consumers apply beneficial cannabinoids directly to the site of pain, providing relief.

 

5. Anti-Aging

Ongoing analysis of the benefits of Cannabis has also shown it contains many antioxidants. Using antioxidants on the skin helps break oxidation chains, a known contributor to aging. Using Cannabis-infused topicals can help your skin detoxify from these harmful elements and reduce the signs of aging.

 

See if Cannabis Topicals are Right for You

If you struggle with arthritis, inflammation, skin issues, or other acute concerns, speak with your medical marijuana provider to see if topical Cannabis is right for you. In Florida, topical Cannabis requires its own prescription separate from other forms like edibles or inhalation. Once you have your MMJ recommendation for topical cannabis use, ask a curator about Fluent Elara Cream and start your journey with topical Cannabis!