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What’s the Deal with Topical Cannabis?

Over the last several years, as cannabis grows in social acceptance and becomes legalized across the country, innovators have been hard at work creating new delicious ways to consume our favorite plant. Now, besides the classic choice of smoking marijuana, there’s an endless variety of edibles to choose from, with more created every day—along with beverages, concentrates, and capsules.

But there’s another variation of cannabis circulating and growing in popularity: an increasing number of topical options. Customers always ask about our topical cannabis options at our recreational and medicinal marijuana dispensary, Greeley Gallery. How do they work? And, of course, will they get you high?

What is Topical Cannabis?

A topical is a concoction designed to be applied directly to the skin. Lotion, soaps, balms, oils, and bath salts are all examples of topical products. When these products are infused with cannabinoids, you get topical cannabis.

This is not to be confused with transdermal patches, which have a very different effect than topical products. Like those used to quit smoking or birth control, transdermal cannabis patches stick to the skin for a prolonged period. Cannabis-infused transdermal patches are a great discreet option, but they work differently than the topical products mentioned in this article.

How Do Topical Cannabis Products Work?

You may or may not know that skin is our body’s largest organ, and as such, it’s also the most absorbent. A similar example of this healing modality is baths with Epsom salts helping to heal bruises and sprains. The heat from the tub dissolves Epsom salt, releasing sulfate and magnesium, which are absorbed through the skin. However, a bath isn’t required for other products such as balms and lotions, which can offer relief to specific, localized areas versus the entire body.

Transdermal patches allow the THC or medication to be absorbed beyond skin deep and into your bloodstream. Once there, it’s released to the rest of your system and makes its way through your body.

Alternatively, topical products, such as the Bud Rub Stick which Greeley Galley sells, don’t reach your bloodstream. Instead, the cannabis stays within the fat cells of the application site without affecting the rest of your body.

What is Topical Cannabis Used For?

There are a variety of ailments topical cannabis products are excellent for. Seeing as cannabis-infused products are applied directly to the skin, it makes sense they benefit skin conditions. It turns out, skin is a very effective delivery system in achieving relief for conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

However, the uses for topical cannabis go beyond skin deep. Our north Portland cannabis dispensary, Greeley Gallery, offers unique salves that relieve sore muscles for even serious athletes. More specifically, Medicine Farm Botanical’s Dragon Blend Salve is known to ease tired feet, muscle tensions, bruising, even nerve and joint pain even after the most strenuous activities—all with natural ingredients to boot!

Will Topical Cannabis Get You High?

The short answer is no. Since topical products don’t penetrate beyond the fatty layer of tissue, they never reach your bloodstream, which is the body’s highway delivery system. Instead, the THC or CBD infused with your lotion, bath salt, or balm stays right where you put it and provides relief within minutes that lasts for at least a couple of hours.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re an athlete or just looking for some skin or muscle relief, Greeley Galley’s got you covered. In addition to glassware, top-of-the-line marijuana flower, and edibles, we also provide quality cannabis-infused topical options.

There are plenty of excellent uses for cannabis that don’t involve getting high. The psychoactive effects aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We welcome cannabis consumers of all types at our marijuana dispensary. Make sure to stop at Greeley Gallery located near Arbor Lodge Park in North Portland. We’d love to see you.

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