Although cannabis is most often associated with getting high, the plant has a rich history of benefits beyond intoxicating effects. Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, creams, balms, oils, and bath soaks made with cannabis oil; they are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. These products come in a wide variety of THC and CBD potency ratios, delivering the right amount of cannabinoids without intoxicating effects.
How Topicals Interact with the ECS
Topicals interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), consisting of a complex network of receptors, neurotransmitters, and degrading enzymes. The two different types of receptors are activated, either directly or indirectly, by the cannabinoids CBD and THC.
Experts believe that cannabinoids from topicals bind with the endocannabinoid receptors on the surface of our skin. Therefore, topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, so they won’t reach the brain or central nervous system and produce intoxicating effects. The exception is transdermal THC products that are absorbed through your bloodstream and may have intoxicating effects.
The Benefits of Topical Cannabis Products
The mechanism of topicals isn’t as understood as smoking or using cannabis edibles; however, anecdotal and scientific research suggests that topicals can provide numerous benefits. Cannabis is non-addictive and is used by many as an alternative to prescriptions pain medications. While Star Buds does not make specific medical claims, people use topicals for the following benefits: