Get on top of topicals

What are they and how can they work for you?

Topicals are blowing up traditional notions of cannabis consumption – namely that you have to smoke it and that it has to get you high. But topicals are the newest vehicles for cannabis use and they are safe, accessible and easy on the body.

As the name implies, topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin. They can provide relief from pain, soreness, and inflammation. Because they are non-intoxicating, topicals are popular because of their therapeutic benefits without the mental impacts associated with smoking or consuming cannabis products.

They work by binding to your cannabinoid receptors. We all have these receptors throughout our body. They are activated by the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids or by cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids (like THC or CBD).

With the majority of topicals on the market today, cannabinoids can’t reach the bloodstream, so you typically won’t feel “high” like you would if it was smoked or consumed. They only penetrate the skin for localized relief.

Topical ingredients are as diverse as the ones you’ll find in the rest of the skincare products in your medicine cabinet. Like any other cannabis products, ask your retailer for help in selecting the best topical solutions for you.



  • Julie Lawrence is a journalist and communications specialist from Halifax, NS. She is a contributing editor for Hum@n Media - Canada's largest health and wellness media company.

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