SEP 15, 2022 4:00 PM PDT

What are cannabis topicals and how do they work?

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

When most people think of partaking in cannabis, they usually think of smoking or vaping it, or eating edibles. But there are more ways to indulge in weed, some of which are a great alternative to inhaling or eating it. Applying topicals is one of them.

A topical is a new form of cannabis consumption that consists of applying an infused salve, cream, lotion, balm or oil to your skin. Because of the way topicals are absorbed, they have become an increasingly popular way of soothing joints, muscles, and general aches and pains.

Topicals are typically infused with THC, CBD, or a combination of both, and largely do not get the user intoxicated. As a result, topicals are also very popular with people who want the soothing or medicinal benefits of cannabis without the high.

However, one exception to the intoxication rule is that of THC infused lubricants. Since THC infused lubes are applied on permeable membranes and areas in which the lubes can get into your bloodstream, infused lubes can and do get some users high.

So while there are few drawbacks to the topicals method of cannabis consumption, there are a few to keep in mind: If a topical does you get high, you may also test positive for a drug test. Additionally, some users experience side effects from topicals, such as a rash or itching, or even stinging or burning. It’s best to try a new topical on a small section of your skin and wait to see how your system reacts before applying more.

Furthermore, topicals are often infused with more than just cannabis, so it’s a good idea to see what else is in it before you buy. Some common ingredients include lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oils. These items bond well with cannabis, and provide fresh, relaxing, calming aromas.

If you have chronic aches and pains, suffer from headaches, or deal with arthritis, it’s worth giving topicals a try as a potential alternative to traditional pain medications.

 

 

Sources: Leafly, Weedmaps, Canada.ca

About the Author
Marketing
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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