Topical THC and CBD: Uses, Benefits and How Your Body Processes Them

Sep 10, 2021 | News

As a marijuana dispensary, we are at the forefront of the CBD and THC revolution. Every day, we see new products hit the shelves, brimming with cannabinoids and full of the beneficial properties of hemp and cannabis.

Our extensive background gives us perspective into how the cannabis market is changing and what consumers are looking for. Lately, there’s been increased production of topical cannabis products, like lotions, creams, salves, balms, and ointments as well as transdermal patches, which are all cannabis-infused. Some of them are THC-dominant, others are CBD-dominant, and a few have an equal amount of THC and CBD.

Due to the anti-inflammatory, soothing, and relieving properties of CBD and THC, many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies are shifting their attention to the production of cannabis-infused topical products. With more research going into cannabis and hemp, we hope to see more definitive and promising results regarding the effectiveness and prospects of cannabinoids when it comes to topical use.

How Does Our Skin Work?

It’s sometimes hard to believe that skin is our largest organ. It is also the toughest organ, protecting us day and night.

Our skin has been engineered to protect our organs, blood, and internal tissues from external aggressors such as dust, microbes, allergens, and viruses. It forms a formidable barrier that stops these intruders from entering our bodies and damaging our organs.

What Is the Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Our bodies are equipped with an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for keeping our bodies in balance. It regulates several functions, including appetite, mood, reproduction, inflammation, pain perception, and even temperature perception.

When something gets out of balance, our ECS intervenes to restore wellbeing. For example, when we get hot, our ECS alerts our body to sweat and discharge the excess heat through sweat. It also makes us thirsty, thus telling us to drink more water to hydrate.

The way our ECS works is by releasing human cannabinoids—compounds in our bodies that resemble those produced by cannabis. So far, we know of two human cannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG. These cannabinoids bind to their respective receptors, which are found across our bodies, and alert them when something is amiss. Once they have sent the signal, our bodies take action to remedy the imbalance.

Does Our Skin Have Endocannabinoid Receptors?

Just like any other body part, the skin is equipped with endocannabinoid receptors. This means it is connected to our ECS. Therefore, when a rash or something unusual happens on our skin, our ECS is alerted to send its cannabinoids and fix the problem.

Our ECS is responsible for skin oil production and hair growth as well as skin wellness and wound healing.

Does Our Endocannabinoid System Work with THC and CBD?

Research has shown that CBD and THC are chemically very close to the human cannabinoids. THC is related to anandamide and CBD to 2-AG.

Our endocannabinoid system appears to interact with THC and CBD and to respond to the intake of cannabinoids not by supplanting them but by helping our endocannabinoid system work more efficiently and more thoroughly.

While at first it was thought that CBD and THC bind to the cannabinoid receptors, further research suggests that they do not interact directly with the receptors but rather indirectly with the whole ECS.

What Happens When Our Endocannabinoid System Is out of Sync?

Our bodies are made to function in perfect balance, or homeostasis as it’s called. However, we sometimes lose that harmony. The same can happen to our ECS.

When our ECS gets out of sync and cannot perform the tasks it is responsible for, health issues occur. These can range from mental stress to excessive inflammation, causing pain and discomfort, and even autoimmune disorders.

No matter how much our ECS strives to maintain our balance, sometimes it may need some help to remedy the problem.

How Do Cannabis-Infused Topicals Work?

There is growing interest regarding cannabis-infused topicals. Because our skin is connected to the ECS, there is increasing attention around the possibility that cannabinoids may help skin maintain its balance.

Our skin can develop several issues: acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, red patches, and flaky and dry skin are all examples of a skin imbalance. In this case, our ECS has not managed to return the skin to its harmonious wellness.

Cannabis-infused topicals aim at soothing and protecting the skin and helping it fend off intruders. The goal is to alleviate itchiness and discomfort.

Likewise, because CBD and THC have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cannabis-infused products may ward off occasional inflammation and pain.

THC and CBD topicals are applied to the skin, either on a localized area or all over the skin. They slowly penetrate the upper layer of the skin and make their way into the deeper parts. Some people choose to apply cannabis-infused topicals on painful joints after a strenuous workout. Others prefer to apply topicals rich in THC and CBD all over their skin, for maximum relaxation from the wear and tear of daily life.

Differences between the Various Cannabis-Infused Topicals

You will find a great variety of cannabis-infused topicals:

  • Creams and lotions have a higher concentration of water and are easier to apply to the skin.
  • Balms have a higher concentration of oils because their basis is an oil, usually coconut oil, instead of water. Because cannabinoids are lipophilic, oil-based topicals stay longer on the skin and benefit a better absorption.
  • Transdermal patches are placed on specific skin areas and left there for hours. The cannabinoids slowly seep into the skin. Research suggests that transdermal patches offer “a sustained delivery of THC to the bloodstream,” unlike creams, lotions, and balms, which never reach the bloodstream. Transdermal patches are mostly used for painful joints and localized relief from discomfort.

Will Cannabis-Infused Topicals Get Me High?

The skin is a formidable barrier, made of seven layers. Creams, lotions, balms, salves, and ointments do not reach the bloodstream and only linger on the upper layers of the skin. Therefore, THC and CBD never reach the bloodstream or the brain cannabinoid receptors to get you high.

Although transdermal patches are more successful in penetrating the skin barrier, the ultimate quantities of THC and CBD that actively reach the bloodstream are minimal. So, transdermal patches won’t make you high. However, they may show up in a drug test, particularly if your cannabis-infused topical contains THC. Therefore, if your company requires you to pass a drug test, you may wish to avoid topicals rich in THC.

Where to Buy THC and CBD Topicals

Order your THC and CBD topicals online and pick them up whenever it’s convenient for you. Your marijuana selection will await you, carefully packaged and prepared.

Visit Mountain Annie’s for a great selection of cannabis-infused topicals such as creams, soaks, transdermal patches, and salves. Discuss your health expectations with our helpful staff and ask about our points system. You will find us at Ridgway, Durango, Silverton, and Cortez Mountain Annie’s Cannabis. We are open Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am-8:00 pm.

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