cannabis leaf next to with jar of topical lotion

What are Cannabis Topicals & How Do They Work?

The experiential benefits of cannabis have been known for many years. The relaxation, the stress relief, and even the pain treatment has been explored first by cannabis pioneers, and now by much of the US population. As each person explores new strains and products, we learn a little more about cannabis as a whole. Today, advanced tests can also tell us the exact balance of terpenes and flavonoids, which can help to predict your experience.

Among the most popular types of cannabis products are smoke, vapor, and edibles. But topicals also deserve their place in the market and on the shelves. Cannabis topicals provide on-site cannabinoid access to your skin, muscles, and surrounding tissue. Unlike the full-body ways to enjoy cannabis, topicals can also be isolated.

But just what are cannabis topicals and how do they work to provide benefits you’ll appreciate?


What are Cannabis Topicals?

Cannabis topicals are lotions, creams, and ointments that have been infused with cannabis oil. In fact, a topical is anything intended to go on your skin instead of inside your body. Potency can range from topicals made from raw Cannabis oil to lotions with a small amount of infused THC or CBD. There is a very wide range of products for cannabis topicals, but the market is more low key than edibles or vapes.

Vapes, edibles, and smokables are fun for parties, but topicals are something you choose only for yourself. If you have a joint that aches or a skin condition that stings, cannabis topicals have the potential to change how your body handles those signals locally. That’s why some cannabis topicals are ointments and some are lotions or creams. Each one is formulated to solve an intended range of conditions or problems.


How Cannabis Topicals Provide Effects Through Your Skin

How do cannabis topicals work? Believe it or not, cannabis does not enter your bloodstream when you use cannabis topicals. Instead, the THC and other cannabinoids access your endocannabinoid receptors in the dermis and epidermis layers of your skin. These receptors respond to the presence of cannabis and, in turn, trigger some of your nearby essential systems.

For example, cannabis topicals that relieve pain are likely interacting with your local inflammation and your local nervous system.

Cannabis topicals also do not affect your entire body. Unlike vape or edibles, topicals only effect the area where the ointment or lotion is applied. You may feel a lighter or more relaxed feeling in the surrounding the area but it is not the same kind of high or spread that you might get from ingesting or inhaling¬† This is because of the blood barrier. It is very strong at the skin and cannabis isn’t released directly into your blood stream when you apply cannabis topicals.


The Benefits of Cannabis Topicals

  1. Reduce inflammation
  2. Reduce pain
  3. Soothe itch and sting
  4. Moisturize
  5. Promote healthy skin growth

Cannabis topicals offer an interesting selection of benefits. This is because cannabis oil has both internal and external benefits. Oil from the cannabis sativa plant is full of nutrients including Omega 3 and Omega 6. It is a good moisturizer and is nourishing for your skin. At the same time, the cannabinoid compounds in the oil promote a soothing response can affect tissue in the entire local area.

The primary benefit to cannabis topicals other than to moisturize is inflammation control. The cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid receptors and reduce inflammation around an injury or aging joint. Cannabis has also been known to soften the pain signs in nearby nervous system tissue.


Types of Cannabis Topicals to Choose From

What type of cannabis topical should you try? it depends on what you want to accomplish. There are different topical products for different ailments and health concerns. You might be seeking cannabis topicals for your beauty routine, for aching joints, or for a skin condition benefitted by cannabinoids. Each has their own selection of cannabis-infused products to choose from.

Cooling Cannabis Roll-On for Athletes

If you have a recent injury that is swollen and painful, a cooling roll-on gel may be exactly the type of cannabis topical you’re looking for. Surprisingly common, especially in CBD varieties, the cooling roll-on is a favorite for athletes who need a boost to injury recovery.

Soothing Cannabis Lotion and Moisturizer

For skin health, look for cannabis lotions, moisturizers, and balms. These range from beauty products to heavy-duty moisturizer treatments. Cannabis lotions can provide a gentle homeopathic boost or come with high cannabinoid concentrations to influence healthy skin growth and blood flow around the treated area.

Warming Cannabis Joint Cream

For arthritis and other joint pain conditions, warming cannabis topical creams may be your favorite choice. These are designed to soothe reduce pain over time. A warming cream will help to relax your muscles and surrounding tissue while reducing inflammation with the cannabis content.

Transdermal patches

Transdermal patches apply cannabinoids to your skin over time without being a spray or cream. The patch applies directly to your skin and lasts for a few hours.


How to Select a Cannabis Topical

How do you know which topical to get? It’s not just about the type of topical to buy, it’s also about potency. Every brand does their labeling a little differently but it’s important to understand just how much cannabis is in each container, and how strong an infused cream is per pump or finger amount. To get the potency, divide the mg of cannabinoids (THC or CBD) by the volume of the container. For example, a 6oz container with 1000 mg of THC is twice as strong as a 12oz container with 1000 mg of THC.

Be sure to see that THC and/or CBD is mentioned on the packaging, and that you are not accidentally purchasing hemp seed oil -which does not have the same benefits. Only buy from reputable brands and favor those who publish their batch test results.


If you are looking for a reliable and excellent source of cannabis topicals to explore or find your favorites, check out Euphoria Wellness.

This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition. Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.