Medical cannabis is becoming more mainstream as a treatment for a range of illnesses and ailments. However, many people who have always been non-smokers are not comfortable with inhalation as a method of administration – and this fact alone may keep them from trying medical cannabis at all.

Fortunately there are many different ways to administer cannabis therapy. Topicals for example may be very effective, and usually do not cause the psychoactive high many people wish to avoid. Topicals are especially useful in treating painful conditions.

What are Medical Cannabis Topicals?

Cannabis topicals are lotions, rubs, or balms that are applied by rubbing into the surface of the skin. Topicals are used to help relieve muscle, joint, and nerve pain, regardless of cause.

Topicals are available with different ratios of cannabinoids, typically a mix of both THC and CBD. THC does not cause a “high” when administered through the skin, which makes it the perfect solution for those who do not want any psychoactive effects but want to take advantage of the healing THC can provide. Consuming THC through inhalation is more likely to produce a psychoactive ‘high’ which may result in changes to motor and cognitive function.

Benefits of Medical Cannabis Topicals

Aside from their ease of use, cannabis topicals are also excellent pain relievers. Therefore they are highly effective in treating acute or chronic conditions of nerves, muscles, or joints. The anti-inflammatory nature of CBD in topicals are especially practical for treating the symptoms of arthritis, including inflammation and swelling of the joints. These topical properties are also popular among those who play sports at any level, to relieve aches and pains.

Additional uses for medical cannabis in this form include:

  • Cannabis topicals can be utilized to treat bites, scratches, and other abrasions, as they provide pain relief and reduce swelling. Some topicals even offer antibacterial properties. Because some topicals may exacerbate skin irritations, be sure to ask the professionals at the dispensary for the right formulation.
  • Although there are few formal studies, many insist that topicals may be effective when treating psoriasis. This condition is known for itchy and painful areas on the skin. In addition to being very painful, psoriasis can cause embarrassment in one’s physical appearance. Because there are few effective options for people living with psoriasis, cannabis is providing hope, as it seems to provide symptomatic relief and improvement in skin appearance.   
  • One of the more surprising benefits of cannabis topicals is their anti-aging benefits. The use of cannabis-infused balms, oils, and lotions is gaining popularity as people notice the genuine benefits for healthy skin, primarily due to the high antioxidant content. Antioxidants prevent environmental tissue damage and help to heal damaged skin more quickly, keeping it looking more youthful.
  • Although more studies are needed, early research shows that topicals are being used with success to treat burns, one of the more painful skin injuries. Cannabis helps to reduce inflammation and pain and speeds up the healing process.
  • Cannabis-infused massage oil is showing great promise as a therapeutic treatment. By targeting the CB2 receptors in the skin, inflammation and pain can be noticeably reduced. These oils could represent real hope of relief for those who live with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or neuropathy.

Choosing the right cannabis-infused topical may take some research and trial, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that it will be well worth it.

Call Dr. Daniel P. Stein, a medical marijuana expert in Sarasota to set up a consultation to discuss if topicals are right for you. The professionals at Neurology of Cannabis are here to help you find relief, naturally.