There are many topical preparations available, and about half the patients I see who have used them describe great benefit. The other half have not found that to be true. There is simply no set of clinical studies to point at for medical guidance on this issue. But cannabis is remarkably non-toxic, and I recommend trying several topicals, including some preparations made with the whole plant, with the understanding that topical cannabis does not give a measurable systemic level, so effects are purely local.
My experience w/ topicals mirrors pretty much Dr. Elkind’s experience. Here are some links to also try making your own cannabis-infused coconut oil, & also for making a topical salve from said infused oil. The recipe for the salve. You can also increase the strength of your infused oil/salve by increasing the amount of plant material you use; in my experience, people making their own salve seem to experience more of an effect but this could just be my imagination Also, try pre-heating the area of skin to which you will apply the topical. Good luck!