With cannabis’ explosive growth in visibility and innovations in consumption, it’s become clear that smoking cannabis isn’t the only way to benefit from the plant’s therapeutic properties. Among plenty of new options to partake without psychoactivity (AKA “getting high”), cannabis products are also available in much more approachable and discreet methods, like infused edibles, beverages, and arguably the most accessible – topicals.
Now, what exactly are topicals? Cannabis-infused topicals are defined as any locally applied substance to relieve pain, inflammation, tension, and other physical ailments. This includes lotions, balms, oils, transdermal patches, suppositories, and even lubricants! These products provide relief by penetrating the skin barrier to bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which are activated by naturally-occurring endocannabinoids or applied cannabis compounds (i.e. THC, CBD, THCA, CBN etc.)
Aside from some high-THC transdermal patches, cannabinoids cannot access the bloodstream when applied topically, therefore won’t induce the “high” you’d experience with other cannabis products. Because they are typically non-psychoactive, topicals are frequently the preference of patients with chronic pain or those who aren’t interested in the cerebral effects associated with other consumption methods. Many topical brands tailor their products to a certain strain’s terpene and cannabinoid profile by adding additional beneficial ingredients and essential oils to enhance the consumer’s experience. For example, you may find clove oil or cayenne extract in products for pain relief or lavender essential oil to aid in muscle relaxation.
Topicals and other innovative consumption methods are revolutionizing the public perception of cannabis to even the most unlikely “canna-curious” individuals. In our opinion, the best part of topicals is that they can be enjoyed by anyone, any time of day, anywhere you like. As with most cannabis products, your experience may vary and may take time for you to find one that’s best for you, so it’s best to explore and see what the magical world of cannabis has to offer. You might just be surprised what one little plant can change!