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How Cannabis Topicals Can Help Relieve Pain

June 16, 2020 • • General

Cannabis-infused oils, creams, and salves can provide deep relaxation and pain relief — without causing a psychoactive high.

  Medical marijuana can be used or taken in a number of different forms, including flowers, edibles, and tinctures. The variety of products offered by most dispensaries allows individual patients to choose the form of medication that is the best fit for their lifestyle, budget, and needs.

Another type of cannabis-based treatment that’s become popular are topicals, which are balms, lotions, or oils that, when massaged onto the skin can provide localized relief for soreness, inflammation, and other kinds of pain. The advantage of topicals is that they are non-intoxicating, so patients can receive the analgesic and soothing benefits of cannabis without the high typically associated with taking it through other methods.

Here’s what patients should know about medical marijuana topicals and which conditions they can be used to treat.

How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?

In addition to our cardiovascular, skeletal, nervous, and other systems, there’s one more in our bodies that you may not have heard of: the
endocannabinoid system. This system is not fully understood by scientists, but it’s thought to play a role in managing hunger, mood, pain, and even fertility.

Our bodies naturally generate cannabinoids to help manage inflammation and keep our immune systems functioning properly. The majority of receptors are located in our brains, so when smoking marijuana or taking an edible, the cannabinoids pass through our lungs and stomach into the bloodstream, which leads to intoxication.

The reason most topicals won’t cause the euphoric high associated with marijuana is that cannabinoids molecules are too big to reach the bloodstream through the skin (though some options, such as transdermal patches could have intoxicating effects). This means topicals also typically won’t be detected on a drug screen. This allows many medical cannabis patients to get relief without having to worry about compromising their job security.

Which Conditions Can Topicals Help Treat?

Topicals are primarily known for their pain-relieving qualities, and can be useful for managing acute or
chronic forms of pain, including joint, muscle, and nerve conditions like arthritis (which is caused by inflammation) and multiple sclerosis. A growing body of research also shows promise about cannabis products being used to treat skin conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis, in addition to cramps and headaches.

Topicals can also be used to prevent inflammation after workouts, hikes, or long bike rides. Patients can apply rubs with menthol or peppermint for a cooling and relaxing wind-down or use warming oils and balms for deep, localized pain relief. Marijuana also has antispasmodic properties and can even help
ease muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Much like how different marijuana strains will produce a variety of physiological effects or sensations, different kinds of topicals will provide differing forms of relief. If one kind of medication doesn’t provide the relief you’re looking for, consider asking the dispensary staff for a recommendation.

If you live in Ohio and are curious whether medical cannabis or topicals are right for you,
contact us today. Lakewood Medical Clinic offers free consultations with our specialists and experts, so you can find the relief you need. We provide an open, welcoming environment for new and experienced patients alike to ask questions and have their concerns addressed.