Smoked, vaporized, or ingested cannabis can bring relief from the inside, but marijuana topicals are here to make you feel good on the outside.
Topical products make for a great way to enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD without actually consuming cannabis.
They’re praised for the ability to bring relief from localized pains and aches without inducing the cerebral, psychoactive high linked to smoking or eating the flower.
On top of that, cannabis topicals have amazing moisturizing and nourishing properties, which makes them a great, natural solution for maintaining healthy skin.
With so many products available on the market, you might be wondering how to use marijuana topicals to get the most out of their therapeutic benefits.
This article will help you figure this out.
What Are Marijuana Topicals?
Topicals are any cannabis products that can be applied to the skin. Most common marijuana topicals include:
- Shampoos & conditioners;
- Muscle Rubs
- Cooling creams
- Transdermal patches & sprays
- Anti-inflammatory serums
How Do Marijuana Topicals Work?
Marijuana topicals work by affecting the network of cannabinoid receptors called CB2.
These receptors are present in the entire body and are activated either by the body’s endocannabinoid system or by active compounds in cannabis known as “phytocannabinoids” (e.g., CBD, THC).
Marijuana topicals contain THC in both its inactive and active form.
If a topical has been made with using raw cannabis, the THC will come as THCA, which has no psychoactive properties while showing remarkably strong anti-inflammatory effects.
But even if the manufacturer uses the activated THC in its topicals, it still won’t induce a high you could expect from smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis products. Most topicals aren’t capable of transferring the cannabinoids into the bloodstream; they only affect the system of CB2 receptors in skin tissues.
So far, only transdermal patches are known to deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream and could induce psychoactive effects with a high THC content.
What Are the Benefits of Marijuana Topicals?
Marijuana topicals have many potential applications, ranging from pain relief to skin nourishment. Here’s the list of most common benefits of the topical treatment with weed:
- Effectively fights localized pain;
- Eases muscle soreness;
- Relieves tension;
- Reduces inflammation;
- Prevents headaches and itching;
- Can be used in the treatment of many skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, dandruff, eczema, acne, and more;
- Moisturizes the skin;
- Delivers valuable nutrients to the skin (cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids).
Keep in mind that not every topical product will offer the same benefits. The exact properties of marijuana topicals depend on the way they are sourced, processed, what ingredients are used, as well as what the ratios of particular cannabinoids are.
Now that cannabis is entirely legal in Canada, we may expect more studies on the benefits of marijuana topicals emerging in the near future. This, combined, with galloping technological progress, will allow cannabis companies to come up with new, innovative products to meet the market’s demand.
How to Use Marijuana Topicals
Choosing the right marijuana topical boils down to what you’re going to use it for. Still, the application process remains the same in most cases, so here’s a set of sure-fire methods to enjoy every last bit of your topical treatment.
1. Decide Where to Apply the Topical
When using marijuana topicals to treat pain or inflammation, you must localize the source of your discomfort. This might sound like Captain Obvious speaking, but here’s the deal:
Many people succumb into this pointless solution advertised everywhere in the media — whenever you’re in pain, just pop a pill and the pain will be gone.
It doesn’t work that way.
Let’s say you’re getting a headache from the tension in your neck. You might feel it throbbing right at the back of your head, but when you move your fingers down to the neck, you’ll know the exact source of your discomfort.
So, are you going to pop the pill and numb yourself for the rest of the day, or will you apply the marijuana topical to where the tension comes from? Common sense suggests the latter.
People use topicals on the following spots:
- Back of the heel/foot
2. Clean the Affected Area
When it comes to using marijuana topicals, hygiene is of the utmost importance.
We are exposed to a whole world of undetectable bacteria and contaminants that stick to our skin, so before applying a dose of your marijuana topical, make sure to carefully wash the affected area, give it a quick rinse, and dry it with a towel.
There’s no need to get in the shower and rub yourself thoroughly as if you were to face a sanitary-epidemiological inspection, but a couple of swift moves with a moist washcloth should be enough to protect you from any unwanted reactions.
3. Take a Generous Dose and Firmly Rub the Topical
Now that the affected area is clean and ready for the treatment, it’s time to apply your marijuana topical.
Don’t get us wrong, you don’t have to use the entire jar, but most of the time, you’ll need to apply the initial dose and follow through with a second or third application.
Each time you use the topical, rub and massage it vigorously into your skin. Of course, too much pressure may cause you to experience discomfort, but don’t be too gentle with the application.
4. Wash Your Hands Thoroughly
This one may sound like a dead giveaway, but it’s a good practice to wash your hands well after applying marijuana topicals. Many topical products have distinct aromas like citrus, mint, or pepper; all of these compounds can get pretty hard on the nostrils or eyes, so you’d better be safe than sorry.
5. Don’t Expect the Impossible
As much as we admire the spectrum of health benefits offered by cannabis, marijuana topicals are not miracle-workers. Don’t expect lifetime relief from severe chronic conditions. Weed is not a quick fix to all your health concerns, so instead, prepare for steady yet effective relief that comes with time and consistent use.
What is your favorite marijuana topical? Do you have any kickass recipes to share with us in the comments?