What are cannabis infused topicals and how do they work?

Topicals infused with cannabis or CBD include products such as salves, balms, lotions, oils, ointments, patches, bath bombs and more. A topical is anything that is applied to the skin, then absorbed for localized relief.

One of the benefits of recreational cannabis in California is that it has given us access to new and unique products, revolutionizing perceptions of cannabis and its usability. For one, people are learning that cannabis can be used without getting high and this is where topicals come into play. You don’t have to smoke THC or CBD in order to reap its many purported benefits.

What are topicals?

Topicals infused with cannabis or CBD include products such as salves, balms, lotions, oils, ointments, patches, bath bombs and more. A topical is anything that is applied to the skin, then absorbed for localized relief.

Topicals are sometimes infused with terpenes, essential oils and other ingredients in order to achieve a specific desired effect.

How do cannabis topicals work?

Our bodies have two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. All cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, can produce effects in the body by attaching to these receptors. The receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of naturally occurring cannabinoids and receptors that regulate bodily functions.

Our skin is home mainly to CB2 receptors. Topicals are applied to the skin and absorbed by our body’s endocannabinoid system. When you apply topicals directly to the skin, they are absorbed quickly because receptors are directly exposed to the cannabinoids.

Cannabis-infused topicals do not get you high because they are not directly entering your bloodstream. This means that cannabinoids responsible for THC’s intoxicating effects are not being exposed to the receptors in your body that cause that high feeling.

What benefits are received from using cannabis topicals?

Topicals are best used for conditions that bring about inflammation, swelling or an immune response. Topicals may help some of the following conditions:

What forms of cannabis topicals exist?

March and Ash has an entire section devoted to cannabis topicals! Check out our many topicals options and browse some of our favorite cannabis and CBD infused topicals below.