A cannabis topical is a cream, ointment, and balm that’s infused with cannabis and is applied directly to the skin. The cannabinoids absorb into the epidermis and bind with cannabinoid receptors to provide localized pain relief and other benefits.

Why Use Cannabis Topicals?

When you smoke, vape, or ingest edibles, THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids absorb into your bloodstream. Strains high in THC produce psychoactive effects. Cannabis topicals, on the other hand, absorb into the skin. No topicals, even those high in THC, get you high. You can use them at any time of day without having to worry about affecting your mind or ability to work.

Cannabis topicals can help with a wide array of different issues, including:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Arthritis
  • Burns
  • Skin infections
  • Skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema

How to Apply a Cannabis Topical

To get the most out of your cannabis topical, you need to apply it correctly. Here are a few tips for the best results.

Choose your spot. Cannabis topicals provide localized relief. You need to apply them where they’re needed. Determine the trouble spot, whether it’s your wrists, knees, or shoulders. You can also apply a topical to your temples, the soles of your feet, or your neck.

Clean your skin. Once you’ve determined where you want to apply your cannabis topical, you need to clean the area. Unseen bacteria, dead skin cells, and contaminants on the surface of your skin can keep the topical from getting absorbed. While you don’t have to shower off, you should use a washcloth with warm water and soap and then dry the spot.

Apply the topical liberally. Don’t be skimpy with your topical. Apply a generous amount to the skin and rub it in it. Be firm, but don’t use too much pressure. Doing so can make your pain worse, and that’s the last thing that you want. If necessary, give yourself a second, or even third, application.

Wash your hands. After applying your topical to your skin, wash your hands thoroughly (unless you’re using a topical made for hands). Topicals contain other ingredients to help treat different ailments, including capsaicin, mint, or citrus. These ingredients can irritate your eyes, nose, or lips. If you use a topical for your hands, be sure to avoid touching your face.

cannabis topical, Applying a Cannabis Topical

Be Realistic with Your Expectations

Cannabis topicals provide numerous benefits. What they don’t provide is a miracle cure. While a topical can help to alleviate pain, discomfort, inflammation, and other issues, don’t expect it instantly solve your problems. A cannabis topical can’t eliminate years of pain.

Instead, what you should expect is subtle relief. Depending upon the ingredients, you may also feel warming, cooling, or other sensations. While the topical won’t cure you, it can make your pain and discomfort more bearable.

A cannabis topicals can help to alleviate localized pain, skin issues, and a variety of other ailments. How you apply them makes all the difference. If you’re not sure where to start with topicals, speak with a budtender at your local dispensary.