by Rose Carman
An increasing number of research studies on the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids THC and CBD prompt new and innovative uses of cannabinoids to treat physical and psychological ailments. What's more, as the market for medicinal cannabis grows, more and more patients are seeking out treatments that don’t deliver intense psychoactive effects. Topicals are an effective way of receiving the benefits of cannabis use without the head high. Topical application of cannabis evolves as interest and experimentation in absorption of cannabinoids through the skin continues.
How do cannabis-infused topicals work?
Cannabis-infused topicals offer relief by being absorbed through the skin’s lipid bi-layer and binding to a network of CB1 and CB2 receptors. In other words, the oils and taken in through a mechanism of the skin. CBD receptors are found throughout the body and are a key component to balance and regulate the Endocannabinoid System. These receptors are activated either by the body’s natural occurring endocannabinoids or by phytocannabinoids found in plants.
In a recent study, evaluation of the presence of cannabinoid receptorsshows evidence of an abundant distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors on the outer layer of the skin . CB1 receptors are responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects and play a role in mood, sleep, and pain sensation. CB2 receptors are responsible for marijuana’s anti-inflammatory effects.
What symptoms do cannabis topicals treat?
Topical products are commonly chosen for localized pain relief, muscle tension, muscle spasms and inflammation. The topical application of cannabinoids allows them to be directly absorbed into the affected area for faster and more focused relief.
Topical application can also benefit the skin thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits . Burns, rashes, eczema, and other mild skin infections can be relieved by said properties.
For those patients seeking the benefits of medicinal marijuana without the psychoactive effects, topicals are a great place to start. For users who smoke and/or ingest marijuana, topicals are still an effective compliment to other forms of medicine.
1. J Dermatol Sci. 2005 Jun;38(3):177-88. Distribution of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) on sensory nerve fibers and adnexal structures in human skin.
2. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2007, August 17). Cannabis May Help Alleviate Allergic Skin Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 7, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070816094649.htm