Cannabis can be consumed in many different forms. We can smoke it, inhale it, eat it, drink it, or use it in parches or body lotions. Contrary to what many people believe, marijuana doesn’t always necessarily get us high and actually in some of its forms. This herb has been proved to be more successful than medicinal drugs to alleviate certain physical and psychological ailments. Many new forms and benefits of cannabis topicals are being studied, and none of them include getting us high.
How do cannabinoids affect our bodies?
Even though cannabis has more than 85 cannabinoids in its composition, only the two most naturally abundant forms, CBD and THC, have been subject to scientific studies. These have been proved to offer benefits to our bodies in one way or another. THC is the cannabinoid that can get us “stoned” when used in certain forms, it acts directly on our central nervous system. On the contrary, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, both of them can act locally when applied on our skin, without reaching our bloodstream.
Let’s now try to understand the forms and benefits of cannabis topicals by understanding how our body reacts to them. The human body naturally produces an endocannabinoid (internal cannabinoid) called anandamide. Anandamide acts at the cell level whenever we feel pain. For this reason, our body cells are naturally prepared to accept and respond positively to phytocannabinoids (external cannabinoid) present in cannabis topicals. Consequently, some marijuana topicals become quite effective in the treatment of specific human ailments with absolutely no risk of intoxication or side-effects.
What are the main forms and benefits of cannabis topicals?
Topicals are cannabis-infused products that can be used directly on the skin to soothe a minor pain, irritation, or itch while avoiding all the psychoactive effects. Their onset typically occurs within 10 to 20 minutes after the application, and the effect lasts for around two to three hours.
Benefits of Cannabis Topicals
These are only some of the benefits of cannabis topicals that have been proved so far. Although studies continue and new uses are being discovered every day.
THC-based products are recommended for moderate pains, depression, insomnia, and lack of appetite. Cannabis topicals are also good for relieving migraines; acne; dermatitis, psoriasis; and mild arthritis pain in the head, shoulders, hands and ankles.
CBD topicals have been proved to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin, thus being a better option for cases of more severe pain, inflammation, nausea, and diabetes. CBD cannabis topicals are also effective to alleviate some brain-related conditions like alcoholism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and even some types of psychosis.
Forms of Cannabis Topicals
These are some of the most common forms of cannabis topicals and their properties:
- Cannabis oils and serums are useful to relieve the pain caused by arthritis and muscle fatigue.
- Cannabis creams and lotions are less greasy than oils and share the same uses, in general.
- Gels are ideal for the treatment of acne and other skin problems.
- Sprays are excellent for cases of insect rushes and other allergic reactions.
- Bath salts are ideal to relax after a day of strong physical exercise.
- Salves and balms are made by combining cannabis oil with beeswax. They are perfect for cases of intense localized pain, especially of the joints and muscles.
- Lip balms can help improve cold sores and fever blisters.
Which are best, THC or CBD topicals?
Deciding on which form of cannabis topical to use depends on each person’s taste and feeling. CBD tends to have a stronger effect because it penetrates the skin to deeper layers, without reaching the bloodstream. If a THC-topical is too mild, it may be a good idea to switch to a CBD one. In any case, even if topicals may not cure all of our pains, they will surely alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms in more natural ways than traditional remedies would, without any undesired side-effects.