Smoking, vaping, and edibles have dominated the contemporary cannabis culture. But topicals are a potent force gaining a following of their own.
If you’ve been to a local dispensary, you’ve probably come across topicals. This group of cannabis products includes balms, salves, oils, and a number of other types of transdermal products that are infused with active cannabinoids like THC and CBDs, ranging from sexual lubricants to cosmetics to medical oils. Some companies are creating strain-specific topicals due the profile of terpenes and cannabinoids found in specific strains, and others may also include ingredients and essential oils like aloe and cayenne to help with relief.
Unlike eating or smoking cannabis, most topicals, even those that contain active THC, do not induce the strong psychoactive effects that you’d receive from smoking and consuming edibles. This is because of the way topicals work. When applying a balm or oil, the product is immediately absorbed through the skin. They then bind to the CB2 receptors near the skin, activating the endocannabinoid system without actually entering the bloodstream.
But even though topicals don’t cause you to get high, they provide relief to plenty of illnesses and ailments. Due to the interaction with the endocannabinoid system, many recommend topicals for localized pain relief, tension, muscle soreness, and inflammation. As a result, those suffering from chronic pain from rheumatism and arthritis are often prescribed topicals.
Given that a number of folks out there are not so keen on the actual high as much as the fact that marijuana abounds with medicinal properties, topicals are a great way to enjoy the health benefits of marijuana without any of the possibly unwanted side effects.