Marijuana Topicals | What You Need to Know



With the legalization of medical marijuana in Canada, the forms of medical marijuana available to patients have increased dramatically over the past few years. Previously, we reviewed the different consumption methods of medical marijuana. Today, we will go into more detail regarding topicals.

Topicals are cannabis infused lotions, oils, balms, salves, and sprays that do not cause a psychoactive effect and provides robust medical efficacy for a variety of medical ailments including inflammation, soreness, and tension and specific medical conditions including itching, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Because cannabis if fat soluble, it easily penetrates your cell membranes, making it perfect as a topical medicine applied directly to your skin. As topical medicines don’t pass through your digestive system, becoming diluted by your liver and stomach, topicals have a much faster onset than edibles, with a much greater localized potency. Topicals are a great way for patients looking to gain relief without experiencing the high typically associated with marijuana.


Why No High?

Why doesn’t topical cannabis provide the patient a high? The answer lies in the fact that the human body contains two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. Topical medical marijuana products utilize the CB2 receptors, which are abundant in skin. The CB2 receptors don’t allow THC – the psychoactive agent in cannabis – to permeate into the bloodstream and reach the brain.



The cannabinoid profile of topical products is what is key when evaluating its potential medical efficacy for a specific ailment or medical condition. Typically, indica strains are more effective than sativa strains for topical applications. The following are ailments and medical conditions that topical medical marijuana is effective.

  • – Arthritis

  • – Burns, including sunburns

  • – Dry or chapped skin

  • – Eczema

  • – Headaches, including migraines

  • – Insect bites

  • – Muscle soreness

  • – Muscle pain

  • – Psoriasis

  • – Rashes

  • – Rheumatism

  • – Stiff or sore neck

  • – Swelling

  • – Tendonitis



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