Topical Medical Marijuana

Understanding Topical Medical Marijuana: Different Forms and How They Work

Medically Reviewed by: Andrew Bucciarelli, BS, PharmD, RPh
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Are you curious about topical medical marijuana, but aren’t sure where to begin?

Topicals have changed how patients are using their medical marijuana, but there are some questions surrounding the types of topicals.  Do they reach the bloodstream?  Do you feel any effects from the THC?  We are here to help answer some of these questions and educate you about medical marijuana topicals.

What Are Topicals?

When you check the Solevo Wellness menu, you will notice the “TOPICALS” section listed at the top of the page.  Our topicals are separated into two sections, lotions and transdermals.  In the lotion section you will find options such as marijuana-infused lotions, salves, balms, and creams that are applied to the skin for localized relief of pain and muscle soreness.  Transdermal topicals, such as lotions, salves, and patches, are slightly different.  Transdermal applications are absorbed through the skin and then slowly into the body. While all topical and transdermal compounds are applied to the skin, only the transdermal formulations are designed to penetrate through the skin layer and exert their effects on deeper or more distant tissues.

Patients using the topicals have reported relief from pain, muscle soreness, tension, and inflammation.  It is believed that topical forms of medical marijuana can be helpful in treating not only conditions like psoriasis and eczema, but also headaches and migraines. However, like most forms of medical marijuana, one may work better for someone than another.  Some of the topicals contain higher THC, others include higher CBD, and some offer menthol or peppermint for a cooling effect. 

What Makes Transdermal Topicals Unique?

Some patients choose to use transdermal options when other topicals are just not giving them the relief they desire. Other patients choose transdermal options because they do not have to inhale or ingest the marijuana to experience its effects. Transdermals work best when they are applied to an area of the body that has a lot of veins, such as the wrists or tops of the feet. This allows the cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream and offer a long-lasting effect. Because the transdermal options can reach your bloodstream, they can give the same effect that you feel if you inhaled or ingested medical marijuana. This gives it the potential to be a great option for conditions like pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and offers less unwanted effects like throat irritation from vaporization. It is important to remember that a THC transdermal can be mind altering, so be careful.

Did we spike your curiosity about topical forms of medical marijuana? Great news! At Solevo there are several options for topical forms. Ilera, Terrapin and Cresco are Pennsylvania growers that make topical forms and we have them all! Come in and talk to your favorite PCC about which you should try first or you can Online Reserve at our Squirrel Hill, Zelienople,or Washington locations.

*Menu subject to availability.