What are Topicals? Discover a World of Relief

What are topicals? You may have heard this term before, but what does it mean? In the cannabis world, topicals refer to any product applied directly to the skin. This can include lotions, balms, oils, and even transdermal patches. Cannabis topicals offer a world of relief from aches and pains, inflammation, and other skin conditions. In this article, we’ll explore what they are, how they’re made, what benefits and effects they offer, how to use them, and suggest products to try. So, get ready to soothe your skin with cannabis topicals!

What is a Cannabis Topical?

Topical is a broad term used to refer to any medication that is applied to a specific part of the body. Typically, topicals are applied to body surfaces like skin, scalp, and gums (only if they’re safe for human consumption) to treat local ailments like soreness, rashes, joint and muscle pain, and others. A topical can be a:

  • Gel
  • Spray
  • Lotion
  • Cream
  • Tincture
  • Ointment
  • Transdermal patch
  • Bath products (salts, bath bombs)

Cannabis topicals, as the term suggests, are topicals made using elements derived from the cannabis plant. Most cannabis topicals are made by adding pure hemp seed oil to versatile topical ingredients like water, glycerine, corn oil, and others.

Most cannabis topicals have active ingredients like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), all of which are naturally found in cannabis plants. Each component has different properties that make it beneficial for various ailments.

How Weed Topicals Work

Cannabis topicals deliver the active ingredients directly to a specific area of your body. The active ingredient binds with cannabinoid receptors in our body on the skin, joints, muscles and other areas. This interaction triggers what is known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is what gives cannabis topicals their therapeutic effects.

Benefits & Effects of Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals are known for their therapeutic properties that range from relieving inflammation and muscle pain to treating skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. This is because the active ingredients in cannabis topicals interact with cannabinoid receptors in our body, which triggers the entourage effect. This means that cannabis topicals relieve local aches and pains and offer a wide range of benefits, such as anti-aging properties, increased blood circulation, and improved skin elasticity.

Reducing pain and inflammation of the skin 

A 2019 study exploring the role of cannabinoids in dermatology found cannabis topicals to be excellent alternatives to traditional treatments for chronic pain and skin inflammation.

THC and CBD are known to help control pain receptors in the body, thus functioning as effective pain-relief medications. Weed topicals, although slower to take effect, are great alternatives to other cannabis products like edibles for treating muscle soreness.

That is because these topicals are directly absorbed into the skin of the affected muscle area and provide better, more localized relief from pain. As for skin inflammation, topicals help activate local cannabinoid receptors in the affected area, which starts the healing process faster. 

Treatment of skin conditions 

Cannabis topicals are also known to help reduce skin symptoms like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. This is because the cannabinoids present in cannabis topicals will interact with local cannabinoid receptors to reduce inflammation, flaking and scaling associated with these conditions.

Treating headaches 

Topical medication has also been found to be an effective treatment for headaches. When applied directly to the forehead and temple, special topical gels can help cool the head and provide instant and effective pain relief. There have also been promising preliminary studies exploring the efficacy of weed topicals in treating more severe conditions like chronic migraine.

While topicals are yet to be proven as a complete treatment for such ailments, they are milder and safer alternatives for treating pain for migraine patients who currently rely on heavy medication. 

Reducing Acne 

Weed topicals are rich in several vitamins and antioxidants that help restore skin health. This makes them a very effective treatment option for facial and truncal (on the body) acne in adolescents and adults. Research studies have proven that weed topicals can help treat acne by soothing the skin and nourishing it with the necessary vitamins and minerals for repair. 

While some of these benefits are still being studied, what is certain is that cannabis topicals are a safe and effective form of alternative medicine.

How to Use a Cannabis Topical

Topical cannabis preparations come in different dosages and durations. Reading the labels on these products is key, as many topicals include other natural ingredients. In addition, those with allergies should take care to read labels to avoid any potential reactions.

Some people feel the effects of using topical CBD almost immediately, while others may take up to an hour to notice a difference. Some manufacturers have come up with ways to improve the absorption rate of cannabinoids so that they work more quickly. Products that utilize this technology are quickly absorbed to provide immediate relief to the targeted area. Always read the label before use; the duration of effects can differ based on the ingredients. Most people generally report four to six hours of symptom relief after topical application.

While cannabis topicals generally won’t make you high, some THC-based patches will because they let the compound enter your bloodstream. Also, while many weed creams probably wouldn’t cause you to fail a drug test, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so use them at your own risk.

  • Balms and salves: These are the thickest kinds of cannabis topicals and are typically used for highly targeted use on small, affected areas like the lower back, forearms, forehead, and others. Balms and salves are mostly used as pain relief medication. 
  • Creams and lotions: Cannabis-infused creams and lotions have a runnier texture. These are usually applied on broad areas of the body, like the limbs or the entire back. These topicals are used to soothe sensitive, irritated skin and help with skin ailments like rashes that have spread across a large area of the body. 
  • Gels: Cannabis-infused gels are used to immediately relieve pain in targeted areas. These topicals come with added substances like menthol and essential oils that help produce an instant soothing sensation in areas where a muscle has been pulled or torn.
  • Tinctures: Tinctures are highly concentrated solutions of cannabis. They are usually sold in spray-on bottles or rubber droppers for easy application. They are generally used as highly-concentrated applications for managing severe muscle pain and recreational purposes. 
  • Transdermal patches: Transdermal patches are small adhesive patches of weed topicals that stick directly to the skin and maintain a steady supply of a concentrated cannabis solution over time. They are usually used to deliver cannabis directly into a person’s bloodstream to enjoy its medicinal or recreational benefits. 

If you’re going to buy cannabis topicals, it’s always a good idea to speak with the dispensary staff for advice. They can help you determine which topical is best and how much you should use. As for medicinal purposes, talk to a registered medical practitioner who can prescribe the right strength and frequency of usage in writing.

Topicals to Try

At WHTC LA, we specialize in creating unique weed experiences for our customers. Our team of experts handpicks only the highest quality topicals to ensure you can enjoy all the medicinal and recreational benefits of marijuana. Here are some of our best products:

  • Relax 1:1 CBD: THC Bath Bomb: This product is perfect for those struggling with stress or anxiety and sensitive skin.
  • Releaf Balm 1:3 CBD: THC: This product is best for easing muscular and joint pain, and it is also effective for sore muscles, headaches, and cramps.

These are only a fraction of our offerings, and we’re always adding new products to our selection. Today is a great day to explore what weed topicals have to offer. Try it out today and experience the many benefits cannabis-infused topicals can provide! We are sure you won’t regret it.


Do topicals get you high?

No, topicals generally do not get you high. That being said, some products, such as THC patches, may produce psychoactive effects due to the delivery of cannabis through your bloodstream.

Are weed topicals safe?

Yes, weed topicals are generally safe if used according to instructions and dosage recommendations from a qualified medical practitioner. However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before using cannabis products for medicinal purposes.

Can I use weed topicals with other medications?

We recommend speaking with a doctor or pharmacist before combining weed topicals with other medications. Many medications may interact with cannabis and cause dangerous side effects.

Take a Topical Trip with WHTC LA!

We at the WHTC LA dispensary believe that every person is unique and so are their preferences. Our priority is to cater to each of them and craft memorable weed experiences for our customers. We offer a variety of cannabis topicals for all needs, from soothing balms to potent tinctures. So what are you waiting for? Shop our selection today, take your own weed journey, and order online!