One of the most beautiful aspects of cannabis is its versatility. Not only do cannabinoids natural to the cannabis plant offer a psychoactive experience that eases pain, discomfort, nausea and other devastating symptoms of chronic conditions, the plant itself is extremely nutritious and possesses compounds that help people even further.
One of the most effective ways cannabis can be used in therapy and relaxations is topically. Topical cannabis solutions are unique among other forms of cannabis consumption. This is because when cannabis is applied to the skin, it doesn’t break the blood-brain barrier. What does that mean, exactly? It means, simply, that applying cannabis solutions such as salves, balms, and lotions to the skin will not get you high, nor will it be detected in your blood or urine.
The most famous cannabinoid, THC, delivers a psychoactive rush and may euphoria, hunger and drowsiness if consumed orally, sublingually or via smoking or vaporization. However, when applied topically, it doesn’t have that effect at all. In fact, without delivering any psychoactive “high”, THC has been demonstrated to provide significant relief for conditions such as eczema, warts, itchiness, scars, burns, and even arthritis and muscle tension. Topical cannabis salves have even shown to be cell-regenerative and some claim they have helped reduce common symptoms of cancer.
It’s not only THC at work within the cannabis plant though, when applied to the skin. One of the most beneficial components of cannabis is the chlorophyll. That’s right, the green stuff found in all green plants has actually been shown to have a whole bunch of benefits. These range from wound healing and fighting infections to reduce redness and swelling. Cannabis contains an extremely concentrated amount of chlorophyll in relation to many plants, and because of its nontoxic nature, it can be extracted safely and with significant yields.
Before you go running out trying to find the first topical cannabis salve you can find there are a few things to look out for when shopping. You’ll want to ask a few questions to your budtender before purchasing any topical. In general you want to know 3 things:
Were the plants grown for the extract used in the cannabis topical grown without harmful additives that may affect the skin? This is important to ask because though many pesticides and foliar nutrients are approved for the growth of cannabis, some of them may produce a reaction when concentrations are made in contact with the skin.
Was the whole plant used in the extraction, or just concentrated cannabinoids? Basically, you want to know that chlorophyll is contained in the topical. Without it, you will still get the benefits of THC but not the superpower relief that chlorophyll has been demonstrated to deliver.
Last, ask how much cannabinoids by weight are contained in the topical solution. There are many brands out there that advertise “extra strength” but might not contain the appropriate amount of medicinal components to justify that claim. Because there is no psychoactive component to topical cannabis solutions, it is safe to use high concentrations of the cannabis plant to treat severe symptoms.
If you don’t hear the answers you want to hear, there still is an option. Make your own! Making a cannabis topical salve is easy and effective. There’s a great recipe for a topical solution here
You can create a topical solution with extreme cannabinoid potency. It’s estimated that up to 1700 grams of cannabis may be dissolved into just 1 tablespoon of coconut oil under ideal conditions. The best part of making your own topical is that you can add other beneficial components. Many people find relief and success through topical cannabis in combination with essential oils that have proven beneficial for skin care and other conditions. Find the solution that works for you and always look to diversify options for self medication.