The use of cannabis topicals can be traced back historically to ancient China and Egypt. To many, it may have seemed like a recent discovery as a result of the popularity and acceptance that the plant is currently experiencing but alas isn’t it glorious to know that our ancestors long knew about its skin healing properties long before scientists jumped on this train. In ancient China, it was used topically to treat wounds, fungal infections among a myriad of other skin ailments. In Egypt, the practice of topical application of cannabis for inflammation is seen to be mentioned in the Ebers papyrus, written in 1500 bc.
Topicals can be described as cannabis infused balms, creams, lotions, salves, oils and even sprays. They have revolutionized the whole concept of consumption of marijuana that had largely been viewed in the lens of a joint or a bong. They work through absorption into the skin onto the targeted area, resulting in relief to the affected area. This new concept of consumption has made cannabis more accessible and allowed the most unlikely of persons to tap into its exploration and experience the benefits that are coupled with incorporating cannabis into one’s skin care regime. One notable feature about cannabis topicals that would also qualify as its most attractive to those that are apprehensive of immersing themselves into the world of cannabis is that it is free of the intoxicating effects that are usually experienced upon consumption of cannabis
The Science behind Cannabis Topicals
The skin is our largest organ and has one of the most crucial roles, which is to provide a barrier between ourselves and the outside world. This highly important organ is regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is made up of cannabinoid receptors which are found throughout the body. The receptors are CB1 and CB2.
The ECS has a direct impact on the sebaceous glands which are responsible for oil production. It affects skin pigmentation, inflammatory processes and pain. In addition to this, it is also known to moderate the growth and death of skin cells. This system is essential because it is what interacts with phytochemicals from the cannabis topicals to realize the benefits that have been evidenced by scientists. Topicals accomplish their work by activating the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. They bind to them, initiating a series of events that leads to a targeted response for the problem area, resulting in a sense of relief.
Uses of Cannabis Topicals
Let’s explore the different uses that a topical can be used for, now that we have an understanding of how it works.
Pain and Inflammation Relief
Perhaps the most prominent and obvious primary use that topicals are lauded for is their ability to work as anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agents. The localized relief that they have been recognized to provide are able to treat a variety of pain-related ailments including and not limited to muscle pain, stings and bites, joint stiffness, bruises as well as burns.
The preferred use of topicals has arisen as a result of the fact that it eradicates the need to take medication that may end up affecting the entire body system. It is more convenient as it targets a specific area and all efforts directed for that specific function thereby ensuring faster results.
In the recent past, there has been a growing number of surgical procedures that have been realized to help people all over the world from all walks of life to reverse the effects of aging. However, from this budding enterprise we have witnessed the internet rife with botched procedures. Aging in itself is something glorious because we know that in most cases it comes with wisdom. Luckily, CBD has been found to have a significant positive impact that leads one to having youthful skin. Allowing one to experience the best of both worlds.
Free radicals that are usually produced by outside effects such as prolonged sun exposure, pollutants and in some cases naturally occurring biological processes that happen in our body, often cause cellular damage in our bodies resulting in the aging process. The CBD in topicals as a result of its impact on the endocannabinoid system works diligently to minimize the free radicals. It is able to do this because it is a potent anti-oxidant and therefore uses its ability to balance the anti-oxidants and the free radicals. With an achieved balance, it becomes easier to win the fight against the free radicals and the end result are healthier cells and inevitably youthful healthy skin.
Eradication of Facial Blemishes
In the era of social media where every moment is a probable Instagram capture moment that will live on the internet for years on end, facial blemishes are an absolute nightmare, they are not wanted at all. Luckily cannabis topicals have the capability to nip it in the bud.
Blemishes occur when the sebaceous glands, responsible for producing oil that lubricates the skin to prevent it from drying out, produce too much of the sebum, and this excess mixes with dead skin cells and ends up clogging the little holes in the skin. They may either result in white or black heads and neither of them is pretty.
Again tapping into the functionality of the endocannabinoid system, it directly impacts the production of sebum by sending signals that production should either continue or stop. This can only be achieved with the help of its receptors which are also cannabinoids. When CBD is introduced to the skin in the form of a topical, it reinforces the already present cannabinoids and ensures that the relevant signal is sent and that there is prevention of excess production of sebum. Once that is controlled, it’s easier to achieve a face free of blemishes that is ever Instagram ready.
If you have ever had a wound in your life that needed you to apply an antiseptic to prevent bacteria that would likely cause an infection, then you probably remember how much pain those alcohol based antiseptics caused. You’ve probably wondered when they’ll discover or create one that causes less discomfort and researchers have heard your silent pleas.
In recent tests, there has been a discovery on CBD having similar potential to that of common antibiotics in its ability to kill bacteria. It so happens that the strain that they chose to test it on is, staphylococcus, a bacteria that is known to cause skin infections. From the observations, the CBD worked by breaking the film around the bacteria that usually made it difficult for the antibiotics to penetrate and kill the bacteria effectively. With this recent discovery, you have been awarded an additional alternative that you can explore to treat your wounds in the case that you find yourself in such a predicament.
Helps in Retaining Skin Moisture
As described above in its efforts to regulate sebum production, the CBD in topicals is already half-way in ensuring that you are able to achieve skin that is not over or under moisturized. In addition to that, CBD is known to be rich in two prominent fatty acids, Omega-3 and 6. Omega-3s are famously known for improving the skin barrier function thereby sealing in the moisture. When you combine regulated sebum production and sealed in moisture, the result is astounding supple skin.
The antimicrobial properties that CBD has combined with its ability to keep the skin moisturized and reinforced by its anti-inflammatory capabilities make it the most effective anti-itching agent available. Itchiness usually happens when the skin is dry and flaky. Cannabis topicals alleviate the possibility of the occurrence of both these conditions to the extent that researchers are recommending it for the treatment of both eczema and psoriasis which are skin conditions that cause dry and itchy patches of skin.
Relieves Tension Headaches
If you’re like me, a throbbing headache means that absolutely nothing else will be done until I feel better. These types of headaches usually occur in adults and older teens so we know that it is most likely related to the stressful things that occur that cause this unimaginable pain that may at times take several days to resolve. Cannabis topicals work like a charm to tame this problem. If the issue is embedded within the muscle, combined efforts are directed towards the area of concern where the topical has been applied and all that’s left is for the individual to relax and let the CBD perform its miracle.
It goes without saying that when these types of headaches are usually a norm for an individual, resistance to painkillers is very probable, not mentioning the fact that the liver is working double time to rid the body of all those painkillers. Without a doubt, topicals have become a game changer in this regard in that they can be used severally without fear of losing their ability to perform their functions satisfactorily.
Boosts Memory and Brain Health
The CB 2 receptors have been found to play a key role in several brain processes and knowing the impact of CBD to these receptors CB1 and CB2, it is confirmed that the functionality of the brain can be improved through cannabis topical application. CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor to affect neuroinflammation which is denoted by headache and painful eye movements, central visual blurring, dim vision as well as complete loss of vision. When there is prevention of this, inevitably better brain health is achieved.
Benefits of Using Cannabis Topicals
The uses that have been highlighted where topicals should be considered as a go to solution make it easy to understand why people would prefer this alternative mode of treatment rather than the conventional methods that have not worked out so well. However, there are many other ways in which cannabis can be incorporated into one’s regimen rather than using the topical method. Below are outlined benefits that are derived when one chooses to go the topical way instead of the other known methods.
No systemic effects, therefore no impairment
The THC which is the other major occurring psychoactive element that is found in cannabis other than CBD that causes the high in individuals is not active in topicals. This is because the topicals are not absorbed into the bloodstream. They work on the surface of the skin. This enables an individual to experience the benefits without the adverse effects.
Effective local treatment
The effect is targeted and works rapidly on the specific part on which the application is made. This means faster results and surety that you’re not affecting other parts of the body that are not currently ailing.
No dose limitations
Whilst using other forms of cannabis it is imperative that someone be very aware of the potency of the product that they are consuming and ensure that the dosage that they are administering to themselves is of the right quantity. With topicals, you can’t go wrong, no need to have a calculator on standby.
Can be applied many times per day
The fact that it doesn’t enter into the bloodstream opens up the door for so many possibilities. In this regard, you don’t have to get a schedule where you time the intervals by which you have to use this product. You can apply it to your skin for as many times as you deem necessary and acquire the relief that you need without any worry that you have exceeded the number of times.
Easy to try different cannabis varieties
There is no limitation to the number of varieties that you could explore when you choose this route. It is up to you to decide the type of topical application that you want to test out and simply go for it. These products are the gifts that keep on giving.
When you’re ready, there are a whole bunch of types ready in the market for you to try out. There’s always a professional at your disposal at Seattle dispensaries that is happy to guide you on your first steps on this journey.