Cannabis topical products are a great introduction for people entering into the world of cannabis. Marijuana topicals provide a powerful dose of medication without the need to ingest cannabis directly and without the psychoactive side effects. Even with high levels of pain-fighting THC, topicals applied to the body do not enter the blood stream. The cannabinoids when absorbed into the epidermis bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin providing localized pain relief.
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Cannabis topicals may be the key accessing a wider audience, especially one that may be skeptical about its potential benefits. I find that when someone I know is unsure about using medical marijuana, cannabis topicals are a great place to start. Common stigmas against cannabis tend to dissolve out of peoples’ minds when they find such positive and unique relief from cannabis infused topical products without any of the negative side effects that are unfairly attached to marijuana.
Cannabis infused topicals are also a great alternative to other pain relief options, which often come with negative side effects. Many products also unnecessarily target the whole body, compared to topicals, which target pain on a localized basis. Topicals allow you to apply cannabis medication directly to the source of discomfort, be that from chronic pain, swelling, headaches, or cramping. Topical products are great at providing relief to people with conditions like arthritis or chronic back pain.
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Topical products are easy to create on your own depending on your personal preferences and needs. You can create a topical with a cannabis strain based on the level of cannabinoids most appropriate to targeting your personal condition. CBD heavy strains, for example, are a great choice if you need to reduce inflammation. High THC strains, on the other hand, are a great choice for targeting chronic or acute pain. The first step in curating a personalized topical medication is to start with cannabis infused coconut oil. Cannabis infused coconut oil alone can be used as a topical, but you can also create s more customized cannabis salve through the addition of other skin loving ingredients like like olive oil and shea butter.
Here is a simple recipe for creating a customized cannabis topical salve.
1 cup cannabis infused coconut oil (medicate the coconut oil deepening on your own cannabinoid needs and desired strength – here is our recipe for cannabis infused coconut oil)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup beeswax, shea butter, or cocoa butter
Optional: essential oil of your choice (lavender is a great choice for calming effects, while tea tree and mint are both great for a more invigorating salve)
Melt all ingredients over a double boiler except for essential oil
Remove from heat and mix in essential oil
Cool mixture until partially solidified
Whip mixture with a hand or stand mixer until a smooth, whipped texture is achieved
Place in desired container and cool completely
Your salve can be customized to any strength that you need. Feel free to exchange the oils and butters in the recipe for products that work best for you. If you would like the salve to be vegan, make sure you avoid the beeswax and choose to use shea butter or cocoa butter instead.
If you are new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s 100% online, private and efficient.