Topical cannabis preparations are some of the most under-used forms of cannabis medications that exist. They are also one of the most effective against pain and spasming.
The reason that topicals are effective is due to the location of cannabinoid receptors within the dermal layers. CB1 and CB2 receptors have been located in many areas of the body. When cannabis comes in contact with those receptors, homeostasis is attempted. In many cases, healing occurs quickly.
Topicals are increasingly popular among the older crowd. Patients as young as in their forties who experience repetitive stress injuries and arthritis find that by using a medicated hand cream before they start working, their amount of pain and stiffness is greatly reduced.
There are many different types of topical cannabis preparations. For the purposes of this article, we will categorize them into three main types: root therapy (containing no cannabinoids, derived from cannabis or hemp roots), CBD-only preparations (containing only the cannabinoid CBD, no THC) and whole plant topicals (containing all cannabinoids including THC).
Root therapy creams and lotions can be sourced from the cannabis or hemp root. Although the DEA has recently stated that hemp products are under the Controlled Substances Act, they are widely sold in natural food stores as well as online and delivered to all 50 states.
Preparations containing CBD only can be difficult to find. Making them requires a cannabis that is high in CBD and containing low or no THC. They are frequently sourced from hemp. Hemp has started to be produced in Colorado and Oregon as part of the 2014 Agricultural Act, but it is unclear whether the DEA will allow the use of the product for medical purposes. Recent developments with the DEA would seem that improbable.
The most common form of topicals available in medical dispensaries and recreational shops with a medical endorsement, are full plant extract sourced topical creams and lotions. Some ointments are also available. Through private sources, many forms of topicals including foot spray, might be located.
Patients in search of relief have been known to get creative. Coconut oil infused with cannabis can be eaten, used as a topical or even used as a sexual lubricant. Concentrated cannabis oils such as “Rick Simpson type oil” can be added to a patient’s favorite hand lotion or cream to boost its healing ability.
Topical creams and lotions infused with cannabis are providing much needed relief without the fear of intoxication that some patients have. Although whole plant topicals can, in sensitive patients, give a very slight feeling of euphoria, most do not.
Using topical preparations is a great way to get the medicine where it’s needed for quick relief. It is a method that even seasoned, experienced patients may tend to forget, but are happily surprised with again and again.