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What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Topicals and How Do They Work?
What are topicals?
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, creams, balms, and oils that act as area-specific medications. When absorbed through the skin, the therapeutic compounds found in topicals can offer localized relief for pain, soreness, and inflammation, as well as cosmetic benefits such as skin protection and moisturization.
How do they work?
In part, cannabis topicals work when its healing compounds bind to chemical receptors found throughout our bodies, including many areas of the skin. These compounds known as cannabinoids—such as THC and CBD—work by activating the receptors that help us maintain internal stability and health.
The other key component in fulls spectrum cannabis topicals is terpenes, which are the aromatic oils produced by the cannabis flower that provide strains with their distinctive “flavors,” such as citrus, berries, mint, and pine. Terpenes are also thought to play a key role in synergizing with cannabinoids to enhance the strain’s therapeutic effects. For instance, some terpenes might help promote greater relaxation and stress relief, while others may support energy and focus.
Can topicals get you high?
Topicals may contain THC, but this psychoactive cannabinoid does not pass through the blood/brain barrier, so cannabis creams cannot get you high. This makes topicals ideal for patients who are interested in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without getting “stoned.”
What are topicals used for?
The combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and vitamin-rich ingredients in topicals can provide a wealth of benefits to your skin. THC and CBD are known antibacterial agents, with antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Their ability to reduce joint pain, soreness, and inflammation can apply to everything from itches, scratches, and bug bites, to eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea, according to recent research.
If you have acne-prone, dull, or oily skin, you may also benefit from topical ingredients that work to target bacteria. Routine application can also help protect your skin against environmental pollutants and the effects of aging. This can help your skin appear softer, healthier, and wrinkle-free. Because topical products are non-intoxicating, you may use them every day to promote overall skin and joint health.
Tikun’s Cannabis Topicals
Tikun offers two topical lines, including a set of creams and lotions made from our most popular healing cannabis strains: Alaska, Avidekel, Eran Almog, and Midnight. Each offers specific benefits based on its cannabinoid and terpene profile.
The Alaska line contains the THC-dominant Alaska cannabis strain, which helps with chronic pain. The CBD-dominant Avidekel line is geared to help alleviate arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as general pain and inflammation. The Eran Almog line is THC-dominant to help with chronic pain and muscle spasms. The Midnight line contains a 1-to-1 ratio of THC and CBD, which can help relieve fibromyalgia, and muscle and joint pain.
Creams vs. Lotions
The cannabinoids and terpenes in Tikun’s creams and lotions gather in the sebaceous gland area located all over the surface of our bodies, attached to our hair follicles, where they treat local inflammation and oxidative stress.
Tikun’s topical creams
are anhydrous, which means they don’t penetrate the skin significantly. This prevents water loss and promotes extra moisturization. In general, creams tend to be thicker and their formulas more potent, which makes them great to spot-treat problem areas that need more attention.
Tikun formulates creams with THC, CBD and important terpenes—Nerolidol, Limonene, Alpha-Bisabolol, and Myrcene—known for their therapeutic effects, to help soothe and calm irritated skin. They work effectively with daily use, exhibiting a controlled time release of beneficial ingredients into the skin very much like a topical patch would. Creams work best to help treat dermatological skin conditions that cause especially dry and itchy skin, or areas where you have chronic pain issues.
Tikun’s topical lotions
are oil-in-water emulsions, which allows them to penetrate your skin much faster. In turn, you’ll notice more immediate results, yet the duration is shorter than with the topical cream. This makes the lotions perfect for daily moisturization, fast absorption, and great aesthetics.
Lotions tend to be thinner in consistency and less potent in nature, which makes them great to use all over the body for everyday skin health and prevention. They are also packed with vitamins to moisturize and provide you with more cosmetic, anti-aging benefits.
All creams and lotions are formulated with a potent mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and natural botanicals to support therapeutic effects and give you skin-beautifying results.
What other ingredients do topicals contain?
To enhance the effects of the cannabinoid and terpene components of our topicals, Tikun adds a wealth of organic and natural botanical ingredients that include vitamins A, D, C, E, and K. Mango butter and aloe vera, found in Tikun’s cream products, contain vitamins C and A, which moisturize, nourish, and protect your skin. These compounds also help to soothe and regenerate cracked, damaged areas. Tikun’s creams also feature shea butter, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and rosemary extract. These extracts are high in Vitamin E, which is known to heal wounds and nourish the skin.
The combination of these healing and anti-aging ingredients in topicals help soothe your skin, calm irritation, target pain, and promote long-term health and moisturization.
What is the difference between CBD and THC in topicals?
Both THC and CBD contribute to the positive effects associated with marijuana and cannabis topicals, and each helps reduce pain and inflammation.
CBD has also been shown to penetrate the skin up to 10 times better than THC. This means that in cases of more severe pain, itchiness, and inflammation, a CBD-dominant topical product, such as Tikun’s Avidekel cream line, might be more effective. THC, highlighted in Tikun’s Alaska and Eran Almog creams, has been shown to relax the central nervous system, which can help with pain related to muscle spasms, as well as with chronic, long-term pain.
While CBD- or THC-dominant cannabis strains are each geared for specific benefits, some patients experience the greatest relief when applying topicals that contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids. Referred to as the entourage effect, the combination of THC, CBD and terpenes in a single product may synergize to provide the most benefit for certain conditions.
How should I use topicals for greatest effect?
To get the most benefits from your topical product, make sure to purchase from companies such as Tikun Olam that can verify the ingredients within the formula. Keep in mind that if you’ve never used products with CBD or THC, you may want to start with lower doses and work your way higher. For instance, Tikun’s Midnight and Avidekel lines of creams and lotions are great for those new to cannabis, while our Eran Almog products are designed for more-advanced users.
Lotions are great for everyday use and might offer faster relief, whereas creams might take longer to take effect, but they are generally more potent and therapeutic over the long term.
If you have issues with joint or skin pain, inflammation, or stress, or if you have dry, red or cracked skin, topicals may help you feel better and look better too.