Skip to main content
Close Menu

What Are Cannabis Topicals?

white cream in container

There are many ways to consume cannabis, and topical application is one of them. However, the reasons for choosing topical cannabis products can be quite different from traditional ingestion methods. 

In this guide, we’ll further explain this unique product and answer the questions:

  • What is Topical THC? 
  • How Do Cannabis Topicals Work?
  • Do Cannabis Topicals Have Psychoactive Effects?
  • What Are The Types Of Cannabis Topicals?
  • How to Find Cannabis Topicals?

What is Topical THC?

Cannabis topicals are marijuana-inflused solutions that are offered as lotions, balms, creams, and lubricants. They are applied transdermally (on the skin) to deliver the desired cannabinoids directly to a specific area of the body. Topicals can also have additional extracts like peppermint or menthol to offer an aromatic experience much like essential oils. 

How do Cannabis Topicals Work? 

Topicals - both cannabis and non-cannabis topicals - are applied directly to an affected area of the body and absorbed through the skin. Some are used in localized areas, but others can impact the entire body by entering the bloodstream. Cannabis topicals differ in that they target the cannabinoid receptors in the skin to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system

Do Cannabis Topicals Have Psychoactive Effects?

There are many different types of cannabis topicals, and not all products contain THC (e.g. CBD creams). If you are using a topical THC, you will likely not experience psychoactive effects. This is because most topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, so they are limited to a small, localized area of the body. However, even if the topical does pass through the skin barrier, the impact of the THC will likely be minimal.

What Are the Different Types of Cannabis Topicals?

There are a wide variety of cannabis topicals available on the market, many of which are readily available at your local, state-licensed dispensary.

Creams & Lotions: Cannabis creams and lotions are versatile and available in everything from beauty products to body butters. Usually water-based, marijuana creams are thinner than other topicals for faster absorption. 

Ointments: Marijuana ointments contain more oil than creams and lotions, which means they’re thicker and take longer to be absorbed by the skin. 

Balms: Marijuana balms contain base ingredients like waxes or fatty oils, making these products extremely thick. They create a barrier for the skin rather than being absorbed immediately, which is why they’re often used on lips.
Lubricants: Marijuana lubricants are similar to conventional lubricants in that they are designed to be applied before sex. They are applied to the genitals, which has a thin barrier to the bloodstream. This means it’s possible a small amount of THC can enter the bloodstream.

Find Cannabis Topicals

For marijuana enthusiasts who love the science of cannabinoids, topicals can be a fun and unique way to experience the plant we all love. If you’re interested in trying a cannabis topical, visit your local dispensary. While every dispensary carries a different assortment of products, you will likely find a variety of topicals that you can try. 

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations. This article is not intended to represent that topicals should be  used to treat specific health conditions or cure ailments. Further, Pharmacann Inc. and Verilife make no efficacy claims with respect to topical cannabis.

This website contains cannabis information and is restricted to individuals 21 years of age or older. Please confirm your age:

  • IL
  • MD
  • MA
  • NY
  • OH
  • PA
For the best experience, please select a state.

By entering the website, you accept our use of cookies and agree to our Privacy Policy & Terms of Use