What are cannabis topicals?
Cannabis infused or CBD infused topicals can be found in the form of salves, creams, gels, lip balms, massage oils, and even intimate lubricants. These topical creams or balms are applied directly to the skin so, they cannot enter your bloodstream to get you “high” or make you feel intoxicated. However, the effects you feel when you apply cannabinoids to your joints and muscles (and other parts) is quite magical, and unlike anything you could experience from any standard comparable product. Topicals are typically made by infusing cannabis material or cannabis isolates into a skin-friendly oil, usually something like organic coconut oil, then mixing this infusion with extra ingredients like beeswax or aloe vera, and then finally, adding in essential oils depending on the desired scents or therapeutic effects.
How do cannabis topicals work?
Topicals might not get your mind “high,” but, they surely do elevate your dermis to another level and take you to a place where you may feel very uplifted and awakened, or very soothed and relaxed. A small amount of how a balm will make you feel is mediated by the effects that the essential oils have on mood, but, the majority of the healing by cannabis topicals happens via the endocannabinoid system. Our skin is our largest organ, and the whole surface of it is plentiful with CB1 and CB2 receptors, or, channels that cannabinoid molecules can attach themselves to. When the activated cannabinoids that are found in your cannabis creams touch your skin, they enter through the receptors in the dermis and cause a whole diversity of effects. The cannabinoids on your skin can work to suppress inflammation in the area, provide local pain-relief, promote healthy skin function and regulation, and even combat skin-related diseases.
What should I use cannabis topicals for?
I personally use my topicals for: loosening sore back and neck muscles, providing pain relief on my hands and wrists after too much computer work, applying on my temples to relieve a headache, rubbing on my tummy when I have menstrual cramps, cracked dry lips, my face to improve acne and scars, and also as a special lubricant to make things extra fun in bed.
Other uses for topicals can include: remedying specific skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis, relieving dry or itching skin, dulling sensory pain in conditions like fibromyalgia, relief for joint pain or arthritis, and there is even a possibility that applying cannabis topically can stimulate hair re-growth, while also inhibiting unwanted hair growth.
Product: Earth Dragon Organics CBD Roll-On Muscle Care
This product comes in a small 10 ml glass cylinder, with a metal ball applicator, like one you might see on a roll-on perfume. The core ingredients are grapeseed oil, CBD isolate (pure CBD, no THC), plus a host of different essential oils. This is advertised as a “muscle care” product, and the user is advised to apply the formula directly onto the affected areas. Upon first glance, it appears that the ball applicator would be a nice, precise way to apply such a product effectively and without waste. However, in my experience, muscle pain usually occurs in more large and spread out areas of the body, rather than small localized spots, therefore, in most cases, this actually becomes a fairly inefficient application method, with respect the muscle-relief. Earth Dragon also has a second CBD roller advertised for sleep and relaxation, I assume due to the essential oil blend. The “CBD peace” roll-on seems like a product more logically delivered in a precise roller format, as you would probably apply directly onto pulse points. However, I found the price tags on the roll-ons to be too steep to be worth a re-order. There was some nice calming relief and some delightful scents, although a small vial priced at $20 a pop is not a cost effective way to medicate ailments with cannabis topicals, in my opinion.
Product: Earth Dragon Organics Black Citrus & Tranquillo Balms
The contents of these petite jars are whipped and creamy, like a delicate mousse, and an intoxicating aroma drifts up from each soft green elixir. The first balm is the Black Citrus, and it is filled with the invigorating scents of grapefruit and spruce. The second one that I have is the Tranquillo balm, flavoured with relaxing scents like bergamot, sage, and geranium. I can’t say that I have a distinct favourite from the two selections, the balm I usually choose mostly depends on my mood or the time of day. I like the Black Citrus scent in the daytime, because it is less overwhelming to me, and so, less likely to trigger nausea, as strong scents can sometimes make me sick. Regardless of the scents, however, I would say that cannabis topicals, in general, have become a new obsession that I wish I had known about sooner. I have not yet done the research, but I would definitely not be surprised if topical applications were the most common uses for the cannabis plant in more ancient civilizations. I say this because, when cannabis is massaged into your skin, it feels like every cell on that surface is dancing and has come alive for the first time. When I first experienced the gentle caress of the cannabis flower on my skin, I almost felt like this is what cannabis was made for, like as if one its primary applications should be on a person’s skin. I feel the cannabinoids travelling from the surface of my skin to massage deep into my muscles, and an instant dulling of the pain in my hands so I can continue to work without interruption.
Needless to say, Earth Dragon’s topical Canna-balms have become essential within my medical cannabis cabinet.