5 Cannabis Topicals That Actually Work

Brian Pietrus | February 8, 2019 | Leave a Comment

As cannabis use has entered the national conversation about pain management and holistic care, non-smokable forms of cannabis have increasingly grown in popularity – including many cannabis products that do not produce “high” (psychotropic) effects. This shift in cannabis use may have helped destigmatize cannabis for some individuals, and the increased market for alternative consumption methods has redefined the ways that cannabis can be used to help treat certain ailments.


Part of this may be due to rising consumption rates among Baby Boomers, many of whom use cannabis to treat pain while minimizing the use of pharmaceutical medications. One study from New York University’s School of Medicine reports that cannabis use has increased by 71% among adults over the age of 50. And that increase in cannabis consumption is not just for Rolling Stones reunion shows; many Baby Boomers are using cannabis to supplement their prescription drug needs. A University of Georgia report estimates that Medicare has so far seen savings of over $165 million in prescription costs in states where medical cannabis has been legalized. There’s a clear trend which shows that consumers across all demographics increasingly want options that don’t involve smoking. But what’s so special about topicals?


First, let’s start with the basics.


What Are Topicals?


Cannabis topicals include any skincare product that contains cannabis extracts. When skincare brands make products that contain cannabis, they’re typically infusing an existing lotion, salve, or balm with cannabinoids that have been extracted from the cannabis plant. The most common cannabinoids found in topicals include:


  • THC: the main psychotropic ingredient in cannabis. It’s also the thing in cannabis that makes you feel stoned.
  • CBD: a non-psychotropic cannabinoid that may offer certain health and wellness benefits without causing intoxication.


Some topicals contain both THC and CBD, while others contain just one or the other. CBD-only products can be sold in any state, but any product containing THC can only be sold through a licensed dispensary or delivery service in states with legal cannabis.


Will Cannabis Topicals Get Me Stoned?


No, using topicals – including those made with THC – will not cause intoxication. That’s because cannabis topicals interact with the endocannabinoid system in your skin without actually entering the bloodstream and altering your brain chemistry.


The one exception to cannabis topicals not getting you stoned is cannabis transdermal patches. These products are similar to a nicotine patch, and some patches can bypass the skin barrier, causing intoxication.


Because cannabis topicals (other than transdermals) do not cause intoxication, it’s generally safe to assume that using topicals alone – without smoking, vaping, eating edibles, or using transdermals – will not cause you to fail a drug test.


What Are The Best Cannabis Topicals To Use For My Needs?


The answer to this question depends on your specific needs. However, we here at Nugg have our fingers on the pulse of emerging cannabis brands and their medicinal and wellness products. Here are a few of our favorites, available for delivery in the LA area through Nugg Club.


  1. Papa & Barkley 1:3 Balm – This product contains a one-to-three ratio of CBD to THC. It comes in two sizes: 15 ml and 50 ml. Our experts recommend that you start by applying a nickel-sized portion of balm to a problem area, then gently rub the balm into that area until it’s completely absorbed. Ingredients: Cannabis, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Essential Oil Blend (Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Lavender), Vitamin E Oil, Natural Terpenes


  1. Apothecanna Extra Strength Creme – Expect a healing experience with Apothecanna’s blend of organic compounds designed to relieve pain and inflammation. The Extra Strength Creme comes in eight-ounce bottles and contains 100 mg of CBD, along with arnica, peppermint, vitamins, and essential oils. There’s a long list of ingredients, from cannabis oil and organic sunflower oil to glyceryl stearate, arnica extract, organic juniper oil and phenoxyethanol.


  1. High Gorgeous “In Your Dreams” Body Lotion – It’s hard not to love a product that smells good and feels good. That’s exactly what you can expect from this High Gorgeous product. The “In Your Dreams” body lotion is infused with lavender and chamomile, and each four-ounce jar contains a 2:1 ratio, offering 100 mg of THC and 50 mg of CBD. It’s ideal for all-over external use and it’s made without allergens like soy. 


  1. Kush Queen Awaken Bomb – This medicated bath bomb contains a one-to-one ratio of THC and CBD, serving up 25 mg of each for your therapeutic bathing pleasure. It’s recommended that you soak for approximately 30 minutes to enjoy the full relaxing effects that this product offers. Ingredients: 100% Organic Peppermint Oil, Cannabidiol, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium sulfate, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Natural Colors.


  1. Honey Pot Body Lotion – Take comfort knowing that Honey Pot has won a prestigious Cannabis Cup award for their cannabis-infused body lotion. It’s available in a two-ounce bottle (which contains 250 mg THC) or in an eight-ounce bottle (which has 1,000 mg THC). Both versions also contain lavender, aloe vera, and wildflower honey, along with a unique blend of essential oils.


How Do I Use Cannabis Topicals?


Using cannabis topicals couldn’t be easier. First, determine what part of your body is currently achy, uncomfortable, or otherwise in need of relief. Make sure that part of your body is clean; if you haven’t showered, you can use a wet towel or washcloth to remove any dirt and sweat that may have accumulated there. Apply a generous amount of topical to that body part, then gently massage the area until the topical is completely absorbed. Wash your hands when you’re finished and reapply as needed.


What Should I Expect When Using Cannabis Topicals?


Expect gentle relaxation and some minor pain relief. Remember that with severe and/or chronic injuries, you probably won’t get total instant relief of your symptoms. It’s more like using a heating pad or soaking sore muscles in a hot bath: you’ll definitely notice a difference, and ideally, your discomfort should be a little more tolerable.


Finding the right product for your needs may require some trial and error. If a product that only contains CBD doesn’t work for you, try something that combines CBD and THC. Because of a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, a blend of cannabinoids is often more effective than just a single isolated cannabinoid. You can also try experimenting with different ratios and concentrations of CBD and THC.


No matter what your needs may be, there’s a Nugg Club product to help you find relief! 


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