Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, patches, and oils which are absorbed through the skin for relief from localized, pain, soreness, and inflammation. Topicals work by binding to a network of CB2 receptors which are found throughout the body and are activated either by the body's naturally occurring endocannabinoids or by cannabis compounds known as phytocannabinoids i.e. THC, CBD, etc.
While CBD is already known for being non-psychoactive, topicals are also a popular choice amongst MMJ patients because, even if THC is present, the cannabinoids, in most non-transdermal products, do not breach the bloodstream thus allowing the user to experience relief without the risk of impairment.
Topicals are most popularly chosen for localized pain relief but anecdotal evidence is beginning to show a wider spectrum of potential benefits from psoriasis and itching to headaches and cramping. In addition to the range of cannabinoids, manufacturers may also include ingredients such as essential oils, coconut oil, terpenes, etc. for additional relief.