Can you use cannabis for skin? The short answer is yes! This article discusses the research-backed facts in detail about skincare.
Cannabis – The Major Component
The Cannabis L. genus is found wild in many tropical and temperate areas of the world, who is widely known by its species: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cannabis primarily produces cannabinoids called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) in the leaves and buds of the female plant.
Cannabis indica (C. indica) strains provide a more relaxing and calming experience, making them the great choice for nighttime use. This species is mostly associated with sleep.
Cannabis sativa (C. Sativa) strains provide stimulating and energizing effects which makes them the best species to use during the day. Boosting energy, sativas promote a feeling of well-being that puts consumers at ease while there is an increase in focus and energy.
Statistics Canada released the results of the National Cannabis Survey last August 15, 2019, and out of the Canadian population of 37.59 million, over ¾ were recorded using cannabis. Despite edibles being such popularity nowadays, out of the 37.59 million, only 22% prefer consuming edibles and in relation to gender, females were also reported highly consumed other products other than dried cannabis which include topicals.
Canada legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana in 2018 paved the way for patients to use cannabis’ medicinal properties for relief. The cannabis’ medical properties include: potently reduce inflammation or swelling (anti-inflammatory), regulate or normalize the immune system (immunomodulatory), and acts to relieve pain (analgesic).
As of 2019, there are 619,041 Canadians registered as medical marijuana clients and year 2020 is expecting to have a population of 715,000.
What are topicals?
Topicals are one of the main groups of cannabis products, which are dried cannabis, edibles, tinctures, and other unspecified. This category of cannabis products and treatments are expanding even into making patches.
Topicals are cannabis-infused products that can be used and applied directly onto the consumer’s skin such as lotions, ointments, balms, creams, lubrications, bath salts, and other products.
These topicals are usually made up of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), along with essential oils and other organic materials.
It’s contents get absorbed and travel its way into the body, which has receptors for the cannabis compounds. As it gets absorbed in the skin and through muscle tissues and nerves, the compounds, specifically THC, binds with those CB1 receptors activating a system that brings relief to the affected areas. As these compounds get into the bloodstream, the compounds interact with the CB2 receptors and effects get distributed all over the body slowly. These topicals offer fast and localized relief to where you’ve used it.
There are topical products that are CBD-based or THC-based and based on reports, there are no intoxicating side effects but given the fact that THC brings euphoria, THC-based topicals are expected to have mild euphoric effects.
Topicals: Good or Bad?
Topicals are widely used for medicinal purposes and are the most recommended type of administration for some conditions.
Cannabis is known for years to be an aphrodisiac, especially in women but in both male and female genitalia, it contains many blood vessels that will take up the cannabinoids easily and immediately. Using topicals in the bedroom brings comfort and pleaser to consumers. THC-based topicals can cause euphoric effects when you get busy.
Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation are joined hand in hand, in a way that by treating the inflammation it then relieves the pain, which can be acute, chronic, or neuropathic pain. Bath salt topicals and cannabis massages are also recommended if the consumer is experiencing full-body pain. Patients diagnosed with arthritis and have been prescribed with medicinal cannabis, topicals are widely used to help relieve the experience.
Wounds also come with pain and inflammation, as we all know, but besides both conditions, cannabis also has antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance properties which in the case of wounds are very helpful.
Dermal diseases like severe itching, bug bites, dermatitis, psoriasis, and others can be effectively treated by using topicals, taking advantage of cannabis’ potent antibiotic/antimicrobial properties. CBD-based topicals can also effectively regulate the production of facial oil.
Migraines and Headaches
For these, topicals are applied to the consumer’s temples.
Topicals are sold in products like lotions, balms, and creams. These cannabis-infused products can be used for beautification purposes because cannabis’ also has powerful antioxidant properties which can help to prevent the skin from aging. To be used as part of the beauty regimen, CBD-based topicals are recommended to be used because research shows that CBD displays more antioxidant properties than vitamins E or C.
There is not enough substantial research
There are many kinds of research that claim the medicinal effects of cannabis. However, these researches were done using animal models, meaning, cannabis has been tested on animals. Human bodies have a whole different structure and have unique needs and there should be more researches done to prove claims and supported by data on the effects of cannabis on the human body.
The side effects
Using topicals can come with side effects for some people. It is very important to note that the consumers should be informed of the possible side effects it brings, such as dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure.
It interferes with other drugs
This can only happen when you use cannabis topicals in huge amounts and very frequently because the CBD in cannabis has the ability to destroy the human body’s enzyme called cytochrome P450 which metabolizes drugs. This effect can alter your medications’ effects thus it is advised to use topicals in responsible means.
Topicals offering mild effects of high experience, it is a great choice for consumers who are looking to obtain cannabis’ medicinal properties but without the strong and full intoxicating side effects.
If you are considering to use topicals as an option for relief, seek advice from your doctor before starting to use it because, despite the cannabis’ medical significance, there are still potential risks involved in using it.