Topical Cannabis: Healing without the High
When it comes to cannabis, you do not always need to feel high to feel better. Topicals are possibly one of the least understood applications for cannabis. They can provide relief to specific locations of the body through their unique interactions with the endocannabinoid system. Here we will look at how they work and why, some common questions when it comes to topicals, and some possible applications for these awesome products.
How do topicals work?
First, let’s brush up on how some better-known consumption methods work. When you smoke or eat an edible, your body takes the THC and sends it to cannabinoid receptors throughout your brain and body. This whole-body experience has many different results depending on the specific product, but it cannot necessarily target any one reaction without having some other effects.
Topicals are different.
Inflammation and pain are natural reactions to problems in the body, but they can often be more severe than necessary. causing all kinds of problems that we experience as pain, a rash, or other skin or muscle condition. When cannabis is applied to the skin, the cannabinoid receptors just below the skin help to regulate responses from the body’s immune system. Topical cannabis can manage these over-stimulations of the immune system and reduce much of the discomfort caused.
The skin is your body’s armor, and it can be difficult to penetrate this armor to get THC into the system. However, just below the surface of the skin, cannabinoid receptors are present in nearly every cell, from nerve endings to immune cells. So, let’s focus on the first step of the topical process: getting cannabinoids into the skin.
For something to get through the skin, it needs to either be very small or take a lot of time to pass through the first layer of skin, called the epidermis. Other products must use a fat-based carrier oil, like coconut oil, to deliver the cannabinoids onto the skin. This prevents them from penetrating the skin easily and limits much of the potential for relief beyond the top layer of skin. By contrast, Redbud Roots uses the same water-soluble technology that powers our edible products to make it easy for cannabinoids to pass directly through the skin’s tough outer layer.
Cannabinoids aren't the only means of helping the body when it comes to topical applications. The same terpenes that can influence what ingested cannabis can do for the body can have powerful healing properties of their own. Therefore, the scents that are commonly applied to topical creams do more than just smell nice. They can also provide additional relief for many of the same problems that topicals look to help with in general. Because these molecules are small and easily pass through the skin, they can be a great way to help boost the power of a topical.
Topicals, getting ‘high’, and Drug Testing
One of the key points to consider when using almost all topical products is that they will not leave the consumer with any sort of ‘high’ that is central to using other cannabis products. This is because the cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream - they only work in the areas that the topicals are applied to and will not reach the brain as other methods of ingestion do. This means that a consumer can use a topical as often as they like without experiencing the potentially negative effects of smoking or eating a cannabis product.
Because topicals only affect the area upon which they are placed, they are never able to penetrate the blood barrier and enter the blood stream. Studies have shown that the use of a topical cannabis product may not cause a user to test positive for cannabis because of this and therefore are safe to use no matter the circumstances of a person's life.
It is important for each consumer to weigh the risks and rewards associated with cannabis use in their daily life and to do their own research before deciding to try a topical should they be subjected to drug screenings regularly.
Common problems that topicals can address:
No matter the means of getting the cannabinoids to the skin, there are a few key areas and common problems that you can utilize topical cannabis to help with.
Inflammation, the root cause of most pain, is both one of the most common and one of the best uses for topical cannabis. Any injury to the body causes the immune system to send blood cells to the area, causing swelling and redness at the site of injury and often bringing discomfort with it. With cannabinoids’ ability to regulate the immune system response, this pain can be alleviated while improving the natural healing process the body uses to repair damage.
More specifically, consider someone with arthritis. This condition causes the body’s immune system to be overactive, attacking the joints and causing the same inflammation that is meant to heal to instead degrade and damage otherwise healthy joints. Topical cannabis will help to reduce this pain and inflammation by regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the problem area and can very effectively treat the symptoms felt with arthritis.
The benefits of regulating these receptors doesn’t stop there. When the skin receives too much sun, the body's natural reaction is a sunburn. This can be not only painful but can cause lasting damage to the skin and the cells found within it. A cannabis topical can help to repair the damage caused by the sun while simultaneously minimizing the pain, redness, and dryness that cause the burn to peel and turn red.
The same is true for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These scaly rashes can not only be painful and difficult to manage but are often difficult to treat with traditional medications. A cannabis topical can drastically improve the affected area and reduce the overactive immune response at the root of the condition with consistent applications.
Skin infections are a common issue that have a multitude of causes. No matter the culprit and diagnosis, an infection in the skin is something that most everyone has dealt with at some point.
One of perhaps the most prolific infection in the skin is acne. The root cause of acne is a compound called sebum, the oils produced by the skin that help make us waterproof and protect our skin. If there is not enough, or too much, of this oily compound on the skin, pores can become clogged and then infected as the skin cannot properly maintain itself. This makes it easier for bacteria to infect the skin. Cannabis topicals help to regulate the body's production of this critical compound while also being an anti-septic that can fight infections on the skin, helping to reduce acne and the scaring caused by serious cases on multiple levels
Another key function of the cells in the skin is the hair follicles that grow the hair our body uses for multiple purposes. As with all other functions of the endocannabinoid system, the main goal is to maintain a stable and healthy function of any process the body does. Cannabis may be able to maintain this healthy balance by either stimulating or controlling growth of hair in problem areas. The imbalances can cause both baldness and excessive hair growth, providing another possible avenue for topicals to help promote healthy skin.
There are many other potential benefits that come from topicals. These versatile products can help with anti-aging, reduce the pain of headaches, and perhaps more importantly heal cancerous tissue in the skin. With so many potential benefits and very few potential side effects, topical cannabis can be an amazing way to relieve the damage that life throws at one of the most important, and often neglected, organs of the body, our skin.
How do Redbud Roots topicals work?
By incorporating our Rapid Rush water soluble technology into this product, we were able to create the instantly different texture from other products that comes with a water-based lotion compared to a salve or other high fat lotion product. Our technology allows us to create THC that will permeate the skin, but not the bloodstream. This localizes relief to the area applied without any sort of psychoactive effects while using this product.
Our topical absorbs quickly into the skin rather than sitting on top without much absorption. This instant absorption not only moisturizes but provides immediate relief. With its calming lavender scent this product is sure to provide many new ways to experience relief from cannabis topicals anytime you need it.