Topical creams derived from the marijuana plant are quickly emerging as an effective and accepted medical treatment. Topicals are fast acting, cause no systemic side effects, are easy to use, and are very effective in treating localized pain or discomfort. However, there are differences between THC and CBD topicals that consumers should be aware of in order to make the most of this amazing treatment option.
How do Topicals Work?
Topical creams are placed onto the skin where discomfort is felt. Cannabinoid receptors on the skin absorb the cream and allow its effects take place. The cream will not be absorbed into the bloodstream, and will not produce any kind of psychoactive effect. Instead, its effects will be concentrated in only the areas where it is applied. The effects usually take 20-30 minutes to set in, and typically last between 2-3 hours.
Is There a Difference Between THC and CBD Topicals?
THC topicals have been reported to have more success in treating neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain originates from the nervous system and can occur as a result of a wide array of conditions, such as diabetes and alcoholism. This effectiveness is unsurprising considering the amount of research confirming that THC is a great treatment option for neuropathic disorders ranging from simple ones like carpal tunnel syndrome, to complex ones like diabetic neuropathy.
CBD topicals are a great option for minor soft tissue injuries like bruises, sprains, burns and blisters. This is because CBD has been shown to increase circulation, encourage regenerative cellular activity, and mitigate pain. Additionally, CBD salves are known to produce anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and even analgesic effects.
CBD topicals have also proven successful in the treatment of skin conditions. Patients suffering from conditions such as eczema, acne, dermatitis and psoriasis have found some degree of relief from CBD salves. Moreover, they are capable of providing quick relief from burns and itchiness that can drive people crazy.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has been very successfully used in the treatment of arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis. A recent study found that CB2 (CBD) receptors are found in abnormally high levels in the joint tissue of arthritis patients. CBD fights inflammation by activating these receptors which in turn reduce localized swelling and pain.
Topicals Containing Both THC and CBD Produce The Best Results
Topicals are most effective when they contain both THC and CBD. This is because of the overlap in conditions that both of these cannabinoids treat. Research has shown a combination of both THC and CBD to be ideal for the treatment of pain and inflammation. This makes topicals an especially attractive treatment option for conditions that result in muscular or joint pain. However, if you are dealing with deep, chronic pain, it is possible that your condition will be best treated with a systemic approach (smoking or edibles), rather than topicals. No matter what kind of pain or inflammation your condition is causing you, rest assured that you can find some kind of relief through marijuana products.