Topical Cannabis / CBD – for Skin Care
Herbalists knew centuries ago that cannabis could be used for much more than just a psychoactive substance. Archaeologists find frequent evidence of cannabis in graves dating back several millennia. The earliest written record of topical cannabis as a medicine indicated that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung used it for the pain of rheumatism and gout back in 2727 BC.
In more modern times smokers discovered that in addition to getting a “high” they also found marijuana often reduced pain, promoted healing, increased appetite and improved sleeping. These results led to some doctors prescribing the use of marijuana in some critical illnesses such as cancer. Side effects of smoking marijuana, however, often created more problems than help. Smoking harmed the lungs, proved hard on the heart and often led to addiction. Some of the same problems occurred by ingesting cannabinoids in edibles. The accuracy of the strength of cannabis in edibles was elusive and digestion problems affected many. At that point, medical researchers took a harder look at marijuana and how it works.
The two main properties of marijuana are THC and CBD. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the main ingredient that causes the “high” people get from smoking marijuana. THC results from burning or heating THCA, which is non-mind-altering. Both forms possess an analgesic effect which reduces pain. CBD means cannabinoid and comes from hemp, or the flowers, roots and leaves of the plant. THCA, CBD and THC act on certain neuro-receptors in the brain and body. CB1 affects the central nervous system, while CB2 acts on the immune system. CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties.
In looking for ways to put the medicinal properties of cannabis to use while avoiding the problems, health experts turned to learning all about cannabis topicals.
Topical Cannabis for Pain & Skin Issues
While quality research is lacking, healers and users alike are finding that putting cannabis in topicals provides positive benefits in all sorts of health problems. These problems include skin problems such as psoriasis, superficial cuts and pressure sores. In addition, many claim relief from all kinds of pain, such as that caused by rheumatism, gout, shingles, post-surgery, headaches, migraines, menstrual cramping, sports injuries, sprains and spasms.
Topical cannabis comes in many forms, including salves, creams, balms, gels, oils, liquids and ointments which are applied directly to the skin. Health professionals have found that combining CBD with other plant oils, shea butter and cocoa butter creates a soothing way to relieve pain and skin problems. Because ingredients applied to the skin do not enter directly into the bloodstream, there is no reactive psychoactive result. No cannabis shows up in urine or blood tests. Furthermore, the relief occurs only at the targeted site, not throughout the whole body. As a result of the positive effects of the use of the plant in this form, cannabis topicals have gained a great deal of popularity.
One poll showed 85% of Americans approve of the use of marijuana for medical purposes. At present, 30 states plus the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam allow comprehensive use of cannabis for medical purposes. Another 17 states allow limited use of medicine low in THC and high CBD. State laws governing cultivation, dispensation, use, retail sales and advertisement of cannabis vary widely, but interested parties may find the information pertaining to their state at the website of the National Conference State Legislators.
Popular public use brings up questions of abuse and safety of topical cannabis for children, pregnant women and the very ill. At present, lack of prolonged studies and good research provide no sure answers to these concerns. The fact that cannabis topicals are non-toxic and non-psychoactive suggests that use will prove harmless.
As the business world irons out the legal problems surrounding cannabis and research continues, experts predict the overall medical use of cannabis will skyrocket. Even now entrepreneurs look for new ways to promote and market legal uses, particularly in the area of topicals. One hot new trend found in Colorado is the growth of canna-spas. These businesses feature massages using cannabis-infused oils and creams which prove more relaxing, good for the skin and relieving muscle pain. Some stores now stock massage oils and creams for personal use in enhancing sexual pleasure. Some breeders are experimenting with a THC-V strain of cannabis to relieve stress and anxiety as well as help for panic attacks in those suffering from PTSD. Business experts predict that more and more women will buy cannabis-infused topicals for family use.
There’s no question that cannabis has proved to be of help to many with medical problems. While it may not be the panacea for all the problems cited, medical scientists continue to study how and why it works in the human body. Look for more breakthroughs and more legislative changes in the near future.