How Cannabis Topicals Work


Let’s talk about topicals.

Topicals are applied to the surface of the skin to interact directly with that area for targeted effects. They are typically used for localized pain or soreness, inflammation, skin irritations, etc.

Topicals come in many forms such as sprays, lotions, oils, salves, and more.

Unless a topical is labeled as “transdermal,” the CBD typically won’t reach the bloodstream because cannabinoids are generally too big to pass through the skin. This means that even if a topical has THC in it, you won’t get high (or cause you to fail a drug test). The cannabinoids do, however, permeate the skin through its pores and interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.

Your body naturally produces endocannabinoids of its own that interact with these receptors to suppress inflammation and prevent the immune system from turning on when it is not needed. And if our bodies aren’t producing enough endocannabinoids of their own to support this system, we can supplement with phytocannabinoids.


Average Onset Time: 0-15 min • Average Length of Effects: 1-2 hrs

Photo by    Haiikuu Design

How to Use Topicals

Apply topicals directly to where you are experiencing discomfort to help relieve muscle soreness, cramps, or pain. If you’re experiencing a headache, try applying a CBD topical to your temples (see our DIY Relief Roller recipe here).

When purchasing cannabis topicals, choose a topical blended with other essential oils for enhanced relief tailored to your specific needs. Learn more about the therapeutic properties of the terpenes found in essential oils here.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this product has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

**This product contains CBD that has been derived from hemp that has been grown in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill, and contains between 0-0.3% THC.

This article was written by Kristen Williams and published on September 13, 2019. Copyright © 2019 Hempsley®, All Rights Reserved