Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals can be found in numerous different forms, all of which are applied to the skin and provide calming and soothing effects.

If you’d like to learn more about how cannabis topicals can help you achieve the effects you need, read our detailed guide to learn more about this unique product category. You might just find the next product to help improve your daily routine.

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What Are Cannabis Topicals?

Cannabis topicals are products infused with cannabis extracts, which are then rubbed or otherwise applied onto the skin. Quite frequently, topical products are themselves quality skincare products that also contain cannabis compounds. This means that rather than ingesting or inhaling cannabinoids and waiting for them to enter the bloodstream to provide relief, topicals enable you to apply the cannabinoids directly to the desired area. As a result, though, it’s important to recognize that most topicals can only provide localized relief as they do not cross into the bloodstream.

For this reason, topicals are primarily used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and address other skin conditions. Some individuals who struggle with anxiety and stress have also found that topicals can help with relaxation. Those who need full-body effects must often find a transdermal patch that can provide cannabinoids to the bloodstream.

It’s also interesting to note that while cannabis topicals can contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they almost always contain cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis that can leave users feeling high, and a significant amount of THC can leave you feeling impaired. However, with the exception of transdermal patches, THC cannot cross into the bloodstream from a topical product.

How Are Topical Cannabis Products Made?

Topicals are created by infusing cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, with a carrier oil. This oil is then used as a base for a skin-friendly product. When you apply the product to your body, the cannabinoids dissipate into the top layers of your skin. This can provide physical relief without the impairment of other THC-containing products.

Various oils can be used as a base for topicals, including the following:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil

For people who prefer the emollient qualities of thicker balms, the cannabis oil can be combined with beeswax. This mixture is then blended with hot water to melt it down. When cooled, the resulting balm is a thicker product that takes more time to rub in. Other body care products can be infused with cannabinoids in a similar way.

As mentioned, the cannabinoids contained in these types of topical products do not enter the bloodstream. However, a specific topical known as a transdermal patch does enable cannabinoids to reach the bloodstream and provide full-body relief. A unique chemical process known as encapsulation must occur first to ensure the fat-soluble cannabinoids can pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. These cannabinoids are infused into a gel, which is placed onto a patch to hold the product in place for up to twelve hours.

The Different Types of Cannabis Topicals

As you can see, there are several unique topicals on the market. We’ve selected the most common categories so you can make an informed decision regarding your cannabis topical purchase.

Cannabis Lotion

Lotions are one of the most common types of cannabis topicals. Even non-cannabis-containing lotions are designed to provide relief when applied directly to the skin, and with the addition of cannabinoids, these topicals may be more effective in treating dry skin, acne, eczema, or other similar conditions. Lotions are made from an emulsion base of water, oil, and a surfactant, which allows the user to evenly smooth the lotion onto the skin. Lotions have a thinner consistency than many other products and tend to be popular with people who prefer a higher concentration of cannabinoids. These topicals also can contain anti-inflammatory properties, providing an additional benefit for cannabis users.

Cannabis Cream and Ointments

Creams and ointments are thicker in consistency and are more often used to reduce pain and soreness in specific areas. You may see these products used locally to combat arthritis, jaw pain, nerve pain, and more. Because of the consistency, many users have found topical creams and ointments to be the most effective for managing pain and feeling more comfortable.

Cannabis Gel

Similar to creams and ointments, gels are more viscous due to how much more water and oil is present. However, like lotions, they spread more thinly than creams and ointments and can be spread over a larger surface area of skin. Gels can also include other ingredients alongside cannabis, such as menthol, which can boost their overall efficacy.

Cannabis Balm

For an alternate solution to localized pain relief, many people prefer topical balms that are noticeably thicker and can contain both CBD and THC. Balms are produced from plant butters, oils, and waxes that are then fused with cannabinoids. Users with muscle pain, inflammation, and stiff joints may find balms to be the most effective product for managing these conditions. Balms are also effective for moisturizing dry skin in small areas.

Topical CBD Oil

CBD oil is arguably the easiest topical to produce and use. CBD oil contains a base oil infused with a cannabis concentrate featuring CBD. When you apply topical CBD oil to the skin, you can experience local effects just as with other cannabis topicals. It is important to note that this type of CBD oil differs from cannabis tinctures and other types of cannabis concentrates meant for vaping. Topical CBD oil should not be combusted or inhaled but is meant for external use.

Cannabis Transdermal Patches

As previously mentioned, transdermal patches allow specially modified cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream. In other words, this type of topical product may make you feel high after use, provided that it contains sufficient concentrations of THC. Transdermal patches contain a gel infused with cannabis concentrates and are designed to stay in place for some time – often as long as twelve hours. Over the application time, your body will absorb the ingredients from the patch into the bloodstream, potentially imparting whole-body effects. In most cases, transdermal patches are recommended for people who have chronic pain conditions. The patches can constantly provide positive effects for specific pain areas and do not need to be reapplied regularly like other forms of cannabis topicals.

THC and CBD Bath Products

While not as common as other solutions, bath soaks can be infused with cannabinoids (typically CBD) to provide relief while you soak in the tub. If you’re looking to unwind and relax from a stressful day, you can pour CBD-infused bath soak into the water, making your bathtime feel more serene. These are often infused with essential oils for aromatherapy purposes, such as lavender and orange.

Similar to bath soaks, you can also use bath bombs integrated with CBD to provide a more relaxing and soothing experience when taking a bath. All you need to do is toss the ball into the tub before bathing, and it will dissolve, soothing your body and making your tub smell more fragrant. These products may help provide localized benefits across a large surface area of your body.

Why Choose Cannabis Topicals?

When choosing cannabis-infused products to help you relax, you can’t go wrong with a Kind Meds topical cannabis product. Our staff has spent several years researching cannabis and its properties, aiming to help cannabis enthusiasts experience therapeutic relief and/or a euphoric high depending on what they want out of their preferred cannabis products.

If you enjoy the potential health and relaxation benefits of CBD but prefer not to experience any psychoactive effects, cannabis topicals may be ideal for you. Similarly, if you feel uneasy about the idea of ingesting cannabis into your body and don’t want to leave a cloud of smoke or vapor behind, topicals can be a solid choice. Finally, while many products require at least some extent of practice to use – as well as at least one piece of cannabis equipment – topicals need only be applied to the skin. For these reasons, topicals are a simple yet efficient way to experience relief while avoiding the high often associated with other cannabis products.

There are several medical conditions that can be addressed with the use of cannabis topicals, including chronic pain that requires the use of a transdermal patch or skin irritation that may improve with a topical lotion. Topical cannabis can also be relaxing to apply and experience, especially when combined with therapeutic essential oils for aromatherapy.

Topicals can also be used discreetly. Other types of cannabis, including dried herbs, many concentrates, and vapes, leave behind that signature cannabis aroma. Since most cannabis topicals don’t smell like cannabis and can be lathered onto the skin like any other skin product, you don’t need to disclose your cannabis use unless you want to.

Cannabis Topicals FAQs

It’s natural for both experienced cannabis aficionados and those new to topicals to have questions regarding these unique products. The answers to these questions can help you make an informed decision regarding your cannabis purchase. Below are a few questions our team at Kind Meds has fielded from our loyal clients.

Do Cannabis Topicals Expire?

Yes, cannabis topicals do expire, just like other cannabis products. If you open a container of a topical cannabis product, be sure to seal it after every use and avoid transferring product to other containers. With attention to detail, many topical products can last up to two years. The different types of ingredients involved can also influence how long the product will last. If the scent has gone bad or the texture feels off, then it may be past its expiration date.

What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Topicals?

All topical products have some risk of mild side effects, including topical cannabis products. There are three side effects most commonly seen after using cannabis topicals, including:

    • Itching
    • Rash
    • Allergic reaction

What Is the Proper Way To Use Topicals?

While much easier to use than other forms of cannabis, there are still a few steps you must follow accordingly. First, wash and dry the area of the skin where you’ll apply the topical. Apply a small amount and massage it in until the topical has soaked in. The topical may take up to 30 minutes to start working, but if you need to reapply or add a little bit more, you can do so at this time. Make sure you read the product packaging for more information.

Are Cannabis Topicals Healthier Than Other Products?

Topicals can be considered healthier than other methods of inhaling or ingesting cannabis in some ways. For example, topical products are not inhaled into your lungs and don’t pose a risk for airway irritation. However, topicals don’t enter the bloodstream unless you’re using a transdermal product, so you may not experience the full range of effects you usually do with other types of cannabis.

Are There Disadvantages to Cannabis Topicals?

Depending on your preferences, there are a few drawbacks to using cannabis topicals. First, if your condition affects your entire body, it’s important to know that topicals can only provide localized relief. You also need to reapply the topicals every day, and they are often more expensive than other lotions, creams, and balms. However, they may be a more effective option to help your body and mind relax and recover from soreness or injury.

You Can Find Cannabis Topicals at Kind Meds

There are a wealth of different cannabis topicals on the market today, and it can take some time to find the one that fits your needs. If you’d like more information about cannabis topicals or are searching for the ideal topical product to address your condition, the friendly dispensary staff here at Kind Meds is here to help. For topical cannabis products in Mesa, AZ, look no further than Kind Meds.

Learn more by contacting our team today. Or, check out our cannabis dispensary menu to view the wide range of products we carry before your next trip to our Mesa, AZ dispensary.