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What are Cannabis Topicals & How They Work

Cannabis topicals are among the wave of new cannabis products flooding the market, taking us further away from the traditional forms of the way cannabis is consumed. We are so familiar with cannabis being smoked, vaporized and eaten but did you know that you can apply cannabis to your skin? Cannabis topicals are a perfect […]
April 6, 2021
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Cannabis topicals are among the wave of new cannabis products flooding the market, taking us further away from the traditional forms of the way cannabis is consumed. We are so familiar with cannabis being smoked, vaporized and eaten but did you know that you can apply cannabis to your skin? Cannabis topicals are a perfect example of how far cannabis has come over recent years and how the consumption of cannabis has revolutionized the overall perception, safety, accessibility and practicality cannabis can have for medical purposes. Cannabis topicals come in a variety of different products from lotions, balms and oils that are absorbed through the skin, targeting localized ailments throughout the body. Cannabis topicals also come from different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Both CBD topicals and THC topicals are non intoxicating treatment options that provide an endless array of medical benefits, from pain relief, sore skin, inflammation and so much more.  Cannabis topicals have become increasingly popular due in large to the fact that patients desire the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the “high” that is typically associated with cannabis. Cannabis topicals are flooding the market, making it hard to keep up with the every growing popularity of various products. Here we’ll break down what marijuana topicals are, the different kinds and how they work.

What are Cannabis Topicals & How they Work

What Are Cannabis Topicals?

What Are Cannabis Topicals?

Topicals are commonly found in most households across the world, from skin cream to pain relief lotions, millions of people use topicals to help with a variety of different ailments. Marijuana topicals are no different, except they have the added power of both THC, CBD or both mixed together. Marijuana topicals are non-intoxicating making them a safe alternative to topicals found in your local grocery or drug store. Marijuana topicals apply directly to the skin to relieve ailments, allowing for the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants to produce their healing abilities. This occurs when the cannabinoids become absorbed in the bloodstream through the skin, when applied to a specific area the effects are localized to the area of application, unlike spreading throughout the body like when cannabis it is either eaten or smoked. This is where the benefits of a topical come in handy, when you have a specific injury such as tennis elbow you could consume cannabis through eating an edible which would go through your digestive system, entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the entire body. With a topical however, you rub it directly on the effected area that is producing the pain and you will begin to feel a almost instant relief, with no trace of any psychoactive hindrance.

How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?

How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?

When weed topicals are applied the compounds from the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin. Our bodies have a natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) that our body relies on to regulate appetite, mood, pain, pleasure receptors and other functions. When our body absorbs cannabinoids such as THC  and CBD they directly interact with the endocannabinoid system which consists of natural cannabinoids. When the body feels pain, stress or fatigue it deprives the endocannabinoid system of the natural cannabinoids it needs to help heal those certain ailments. When the endocannabinoid system needs additional cannabinoids to help repair issues within the body, the consumption or application of cannabis can help boost the ECS and assist in the recovery process. The feeling of pain, discomfort or mood changes are channeled from the body to the brain using what is known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 is the psychoactive receptor that mediates pain and various other functions, while CB2 is a non-psychoactive receptor that mediates pain along with inflammation. Both these receptors are found in the skin and are directly related to things like pain, inflammation and itchy skin, all factors that warrant people to use weed topicals. CB1 and CB2 receptors are plentiful in the skin’s epidermal cells, sensory cells and mast cells which effect pain, inflammation and allergic responses. When weed topicals are applied the cannabinoids begin to bind to the CB receptors in the skin, muscle tissue and local nerves. THC topicals bind to both CB1 and CB2 in the skin, while CBD topicals bind to the CB1 receptors, reducing the production of enzymes which breaks down a key endocannabinoid known as anandamide, allowing for the therapeutic neurotransmitter to excel.

The different between CBD and THC can be complicated. We've made it easier for those who want to understand the different, head over to our CBD vs THC article to learn about the differences between the two most influential cannabinoids on the market. Maybe you suffer from arthritics from those years of working hard? CBD is a great option when reducing the pain that comes with arthritis, read our How to Use CBD Oil for Arthritis article to learn more!

Types of Cannabis Topicals

Types of Cannabis Topicals


Skincare falls under an umbrella of multiple products like serums, face creams, masks, body lotions and lip balms, each of these is commonly used on a daily basis. Specifically, CBD skincare topicals are starting to become a regular household item, they offer multiple benefits that can help with a variety of skin care issues. CBD for acne is a particular hot item, acne is caused by a multitude of possibilities but one of the biggest causes is inflammation. Want to learn more about how CBD and THC can help with your acne? Head over to our 6 Health Benefits to Using Cannabis Oil article. CBD has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory, specifically when applied to skin, making CBD an effective ingredient for fighting against acne. CBD has also shown that it has the potential to decrease sebum build up, also known as oily skin, helping eliminate build up of dirt in the pours which cause skin to become red and irritated. CBD not only works on skin plagued by acne but also on wrinkles and anti-aging. CBD is rich in antioxidant properties, which is key to helping reducing the signs of again on skins. When CBD is applied to skin it helps counteract any free radical damage, reducing the look of inflammation helping eliminate things like wrinkles, skin dullness and irritated red skin.


Bath bombs

Bath bombs are a soothing and relaxing way to enjoy some time in the tub while you unwind from a long-hard day, soothing muscles and relaxing the nervous system from feeling stressed. Cannabis infused bath bombs are no different then your typical bath bombs, but are rich in CBD or THC. Many who use cannabis bath bombs use it for healing things such a s menstrual cramps, radiating pain, muscle stiffness and soreness from physical activity. When using a bath bomb the exposure to CBD is particularly effective, as CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin helping with localized pain. Want to learn more about the powers of marijuana and pain? Read are in-depth article on How Medical Marijuana Helps with Pain.

Balms, Salves and Roller Balls

Things like salves and balms are usually highly concentrated topicals helping target specific areas of pain, with the added bonus of applying directly to a concentrated area. The endocannabinoid system is deeply rooted in the perception of pain, pain response and inflammation. So if you have an issue in a specific area the cannabinoid receptors absorb the CBD, altering the overall pain response. CBD also doesn’t need to get deep into the body to have a positive impact in fighting both pain and inflammatory issues, providing a similar effect just like you were consuming CBD orally or smoking it.


Cannabis has been used as a sexual stimulant for some time now, helping provide a more heightened experience during a sexual encounter. When cannabis infused lubricant is used it is claimed that is adds more sensation, while also relaxing muscles and reducing any pain you may have been experiencing. THC is also a vasodilator, which also means it helps with blood flow in genital area. CBD infused lube is a great anti inflammatory for women who often experience pain during sexual encounters or experience dryness. While CBD can help with discomfort, THC is a great option to help increase organisms in women with THC getting into the bloodstream, increasing orgasm intensity.

Not sure how much THC or CBD is the right amount for you? Dive into our Weed Measurements Guide to learn everything you need to know to get the right dosage to help your everyday life.

How To Use Cannabis Topics

Both CBD and THC topicals should be used on a product-by-product scenario, but for the most case they can be used fairly liberally due to the fact that there is no chance of possible overdose or abuse. Like many CBD and THC products you should always start small and low, applying a small amount to your fingertip to better understand what you need. Effects usually last a few hours but one can apply as much as they want because there are no known side effects to CBD and THC topicals. Everyone has a different endocanabinoid system, with some needing more cannabinoids then others, so it's best to try it our for a few weeks until you understand the amount that works for you. It's important to be aware that many CBD and THC topicals come with additional essential oils and other ingredients, so those who have sensitive skin or allergies should be cautious when applying certain topicals.


Haute Health

Haute is the leading online dispensary in Canada with the best selling cannabis anywhere online. Each day we offer discounted weed deals that range between 40-70% off, with deep discounted products like cannabis edibles, cannabis flowers, wholesale cannabis, THC distilate , hash and so much more.

Maybe you're looking to buy topical cannabis oil? Head over to our CBD page and you'll find plenty of topical cannabis oil for you to choose from.




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