As new studies are done on cannabis and its effects on the body we are becoming further removed from the notion that cannabis belongs only in bongs, blunts and brownies — or that it is only used for a signature psychoactive high.
The introduction of cannabis-infused topicals is just one example of how the medical community and the world are redefining its approach to the consumption of certain cannabinoids that are safe and effective and treating a variety of conditions.
Being presented in CBD balm, spray, oil or ointment form, many of these cannabinoid-infused topicals have applications in the cosmetic and pain relief industries. As natural products go, they have been found highly effective.
If you have come across these products at your local drugstore and wondered why on earth anyone would apply cannabis-containing products to the outside of their skin, you have come to the right page. The following article will include all you need to know on the fastest growing market for cannabis consumption.
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What Are Cannabis Topicals?
The medical and scientific communities are learning more and more about the endocannabinoid system, its receptors and the cannabinoids that can engage the system. THC, CBD, and a few others are important cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant and can be introduced to the body in different ways for different effects and benefits.
In a topical treatment, these cannabinoids are introduced through the largest organ in the human body, the skin. Cannabis topicals are infused with a strong supply of active cannabinoids which are applied and absorbed directly through the skin, and then the cannabinoids are taken to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system distributed throughout the body.
These topicals are found in health, beauty & drug stores everywhere and used to address chronic pain, skin health and even enhance sexual pleasure.
How Do Topicals Work?
Smoking a joint or eating a brownie is one way to enjoy the full-blown effects of cannabinoids on the body. While THC is the cannabinoid with psychoactive properties, CBD and CBN also contribute to overall feelings of calm and relaxation as well as relieve pain. The high will endure for up to a few hours before slowly subsiding.
Another way to take advantage of these cannabinoids and their effects is transdermal. By topically applying these compounds to the body the effects are more focused and delivered more effectively. This is a minimally invasive introduction to the marvels of the cannabis plant on human health and is a less intrusive form of application than smoking.
It is also important to understand that you will not experience any psychoactive effects from topical cannabinoid. This is very important for individuals looking for treatment but must keep a competitive edge and can’t afford the “high”.
Non-psychoactivity in topicals is due to the fact that the CB2 receptors to which they will attach are all located just below the skin. The endocannabinoids receptors are activated without the presence of any cannabinoids in the bloodstream.
Another factor that contributes to the non-psychoactivity of topicals is the skin which does not allow cannabinoids to pass so freely. Many of the indications on CBD topicals direct the user to apply liberally to the affected area.
Furthermore, THC the cannabinoid that will get you high is hardly absorbed through the skin at all. CBD and CBN are more permeable and also found in higher quantities in commercial hemp (low in THC) rather than marijuana (high in THC). This means that whatever small amounts of THC that find their way into an ointment will not exist in sufficient quantities to produce a high.
What Can Topicals Be Used For?
Localized Pain Management
Cannabis infused creams can be applied to sore joints and bones suffering from chronic pain or residual pain from old injuries. This fast-acting treatment can be used to counter the discomfort of arthritis, sore muscles and fatigues.
The way cannabinoids pass through the skin and activate the CB2 receptors and endocannabinoid system has a special advantage to those suffering from chronic pain. This has been established in ancient medical texts as well as documented by modern medicine.
E.B. Russo stated that cannabis-infused balms and salves both should be valued for non-psychoactive properties and their capacity to relieve pain, in an article titled “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain” and published in a study by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management in 2008.
Enhances Sexual Pleasure
Men and women everywhere can now enhance their pleasure and performance in the bedroom with a wide variety of massage oils and lubricants. Cannabis as an aphrodisiac dates back many moons before the 69’ Summer of Love. As a matter of fact, there are several references to the potency of these agents in 2000-year-old Indian traditional literature.
Treats Mild Skin Irritations
Where some reach for the Neosporin, other find a natural approach to cleansing, treating and relieving the pain of all manner of minor injuries. From burns and stings to cuts and scraped knees cannabis-infused salves can provide topical relief to pain and antibacterial properties that stave away infection and promote the healing process.
Just be sure to read the indications on your topical treatment, as some have additives that could have a negative.
Keeps Skin Youthful
Everyone is looking for a magic salve that will restore their youth and vigor. This may be a good time to include an effective cannabis infused product to your beauty regimen. There is a large variety of cannabis-infused lotions, soaps, balms, and oils that can have some very specific benefits to the skin.
Cannabis has antioxidant properties that can fight the buildup of free radicals in the skin and help to preserve the natural supplies of elastin and collagen. Collagen and elastin are essential for maintaining that youthful bounce.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant found in many anti-aging products, but studies have shown that CBD can be an even more potent than Vit C and Vit E combined. So, while this may not reverse the hands of time, it can certainly hold them in place.
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