What Are CBD Topicals?

Photo Credit: PixaBay

Photo Credit: PixaBay

For patients who want localized relief, CBD topicals may be the most desirable option. CBD topicals include creams, lotions, salves, balms, and oils that are infused with CBD and can be applied to specific areas for targeted symptom relief. Through this vehicle, CBD is absorbed through the skin before interacting with the endocannabinoid system. In rodent models, CBD preparations successfully absorbed through the skin’s tissues and provided effective pain and inflammation relief in a dose-dependent manner. CBD topicals are suggested for pain and inflammation relief, so may be effective for conditions like psoriasis and arthritis. CBD can also be beneficial for skin’s overall health, and its powers as an antioxidant can keep the skin young healthy.

You can determine if topicals may be the most desirable vehicle for you with our app! Through the journaling function, you can monitor and titrate the different aspects of your dosing regimen to figure out what routine provides the best relief. Journaling daily will improve your results.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for CannaBest Medical products.

Cannabis Topicals: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Cannabis topicals refer to cannabis-infused products like lotions, creams, oils, and slaves, that are applied to the skin, and they’re gaining in popularity due to the fact they can target localized areas of the body for instantaneous symptom relief without producing psychoactive effects. With topicals, cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin before reaching the endocannabinoid system, where they interact with cannabinoids receptors, which happen to be abundant in our skin’s epidermal cells, mast cells, and sensory nerves. The effects of topicals generally last one or two hours and can be safely reapplied as much as needed, but patients should be aware of any other ingredients included in the topical so as to avoid any sensitivity or allergic reactions.

The reason topicals produce localized and non-psychoactive effects as opposed to effects that influence the whole body is that the skin is a difficult barrier to penetrate, thereby preventing cannabinoids from entering the blood stream and flowing throughout the body. Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, explains, “THC and CBD work through independent mechanisms in a complementary fashion,” says Dr. Russo. “Both work well on the skin, but are poorly absorbed via this route… The skin is a difficult barrier to broach with medications…There are layers that require a drug to be water-soluble and others that must be lipid (fat) soluble. Cannabinoids are lipophilic (fat-loving) and do not penetrate readily into the bloodstream.”

Topicals are most commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation, and treat the symptoms of various skin conditions, like psoriasis and dermatitis. One study from 2009 published in the journal Experimental Dermatology suggested cannabinoids have immunosuppressive properties that could make it powerful as an anti-inflammatory drug, and that when administered topically, cannabis produces pain relief and antipruritic effects that reduces itching sensations. Americans for Safe Access also references anecdotal reports on the efficacy of topicals for treating superficial wounds, herpes, hemorrhoids, menstrual pains, migraines, and more.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Topical Cannabis Preparations Associated With Reduced Opioid Use

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A series of case reports conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto and published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management has determined whole-plant cannabis extracts, when applied topically to ulcer wounds, is associated with reduced pain and opioid use in patients with leg and ankle ulcers resulting from Pyoderma Gangrenosum (PG). In all of the three patients who participated in the study, extracts containing equal parts THC and CBD effectively reduced pain and opioid utilization. Authors concluded, “This is the first case series to demonstrate the potential of TMC (topical medical cannabis) to provide effective analgesia that was opioid sparing in the setting of PG… TMC has the potential to improve pain management in patients suffering from wounds of all classes.”

A larger study is left to be desired to confirm these findings. This information has been brought to you by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Can Topical Cannabis Heal Wounds?

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

Cannabis can come in a variety of forms and vehicles, including in the topical form which can be used to treat skin wounds and abrasions and heal muscle pain. In a recent study, CBD in combination with terpenes could help treat malignant wounds when applied topically. The case report, which was published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, claims, “Anecdotal accounts of the use of topical extracts from the cannabis plant being used on open wounds date back to antiquity. In modern times, cannabinoid therapies have demonstrated efficacy as analgesic agents in both pharmaceutical and botanical formats.” Other studies have found cannabis topicals may be able to treat acne abrasions, kill harmful bacterias, and relieve muscle pain.

Patients interested in using cannabis topicals should check the ingredients for potentially harmful solvents, and should test the topical on a small area before applying to large portions of the skin or to the affected areas. This information has been provided by Hight Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.


Best Practices for Using Cannabis Topicals

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Cannabis topicals consist of lotions, creams, moisturizers, balms, salves, liniments, or ointments, and offer a method for administering cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a way that doesn’t require smoking or produce psychoactive effects. Topicals are desirable because they offer localized relief that targets the areas that produce aches and pains. To effectively use topicals, it’s important to understand where source of the pain is, as opposed to where the pain is manifesting. For example, a headache may not be produced by the head, but rather by tension in the neck or other parts of the body. It is also important to clean the area before application so that your skin absorbs the beneficial cannabinoids without unwanted bacterias. It is then recommended to apply the topical generously and vigorously and actually massage it into the skin. Then, you can expect to feel subtle relief that may not necessarily cure your aches and pains, but that will make them feel more bearable.

This information has been provided by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Researchers Link Cannabis Topicals to Healing Wounds

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Cannabis topicals are already known to reduce pain, inflammation, and skin infections, but now researchers have linked the vehicle to reducing the spread of aggressive injuries and wounds. Scientists recently published a report in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management that revealed cannabis topicals effectively addressed destructive, disease-related wounds. They specifically noted its use by a 44-year-old Canadian patients who treated wounds from oral cancer with cannabis topicals. After attempting different forms of treatment, a hole formed in the patients cheek. After being prescribed cannabis oil and applying it topically onto the wound four times a day for one month, the patient noticed the wound in his cheek not only stopped growing, but actually decreased in size. He noted pain relief lasted for a duration of two hours after applying the oil.

Those who want to limit the psychoactive effects that can coincide with cannabis treatment may prefer the use of cannabis topicals. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the skin, hair, and sweat glands, so the medicine can be applied to specific target areas without cerebral stimulation. This makes the method highly suitable for the elderly, children, and others who may be sensitive to the effects of cannabis. This information has been partially provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

If you are interested in experimenting with cannabis topicals, remember to document your routine on a daily basis in the journaling section of our app so that you can discover the dosing regimen that works best for your symptoms. 

Cannabis Topicals: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Many medical marijuana patients look to cannabis topicals like ointments, creams, and lotions, for symptom relief without any psychoactive side effects. When applied to affected areas of the body, topicals can provide localized pain relief from sore muscles, itchiness from skin conditions like eczema, or joint pain from arthritis. Unlike other methods of ingestion, topicals can target specific areas of the body without affecting others. With topicals, cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin before interacting with the endocannabinoid system. According to Dr. Ethan Russo, MD., both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the skin and involved with regulating pain, itching, and inflammation caused by many dermatological conditions. The skin acts as a difficult barrier, so THC is prevented from entering the bloodstream and therefore does not produce the psychoactive effect so commonly associated with marijuana. In fact, one study published in the journal Forensic Science International found THC is not evident in blood or urine tests after consistent use of THC-based topicals.

One study from the University of Bonn's Department of Dermatology and Allergy looked at the uses of topical THC for allergic inflammation, and found cannabinoids should indeed be utilized for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Another study from 2009 and published in the journal Experimental Dermatology suggested cannabinoids had "immunosuppressive properties and could be considered as potential anti-inflammatory drugs," and that topically administrated cannabis has antiprurity (anti-itching) properties for pain relief. Authors concluded, "On the basis of the current knowledge, therapeutic possibilities of cannabinoid usage in skin diseases seem to be unquestionable... Possibly, in the future, cannabinoids will be widely applied to treat pruritus, inflammatory skin diseases and even skin cancers.”

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Studies Suggest Cannabis May Treat Herpes

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Once infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), the virus lasts for life. Herpes is a prevalent virus, and according to the CDC, one in six Americans between 14 and 49 are infected with the virus. While outbreaks may be rare or infrequent, they consist of painful blisters and sores on the mouth and lips (HSV 1) or in the genital area (HSV 2) that can only be treated with ointments and creams when outbreaks occur.

Now, studies are showing topicals including cannabinoids might be the a valuable treatment option for patients with herpes. In 1980, a study published in the Journal of General Virology found THC stopped both herpes viruses from replicating and spreading. Later, in 1991, a study found THC suppressed viability of herpes by 80%, making it less infective and slowing its replication. Lastly, in 2004, in attempting to better understand how cannabis fights herpes, scientists found THC targets viral/cellular mechanisms, so that it works at the cellular level to combat herpes. Various cannabis oils and infused topicals can be applied to the skin to act transdermally and act at the cellular level. While THC specifically helps prevent the spread of herpes, topicals that also contain CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation.

This information has been brought to you by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

New Medical Marijuana Patch Fights Pain

Photo Credit: RegBarc/Wikimedia

Photo Credit: RegBarc/Wikimedia

For medical marijuana patients, one of the key elements in determining the most effective dosing regimen includes choosing an appropriate vehicle for administration. Many patients are familiar with the more common methods of administration, like the use of inhalation or oils, but another lesser-known vehicle may be as effective and more appropriate when it comes to targeting specific symptoms. Transdermal CBD patches offer patients pain relief that can last up to 12 hours without producing psychoactive effects. Dr. Leslie Mendoza says the product is flexible, allowing new ways for patients to absorb the medicinal cannabinoids of cannabis. The product also provides relief without altering the patient in a way that could affect his or her whole day. Additionally, patients can determine the placement of their patches in order to target specific symptomatic areas. 

This method of application may not be for everyone, but if you're a patient looking for new ways to find relief, it's worth experimenting with. In order to do so, we recommend documenting your use of topicals on a daily basis in the journal section of our app. You can refer back to this regimen and make necessary alterations that will guide you towards finding optimal relief. If you don't know where to begin, you can check out our physician-approved guidelines based on an aggregate of positive feedback regarding this vehicle gathered in our database from anonymous journaling information. If you have questions on your new dosing regimen, you can easily send this information to your physician so that he or she can better analyze how you are targeting your symptoms and can offer more informed recommendations.

This information has been provided in part by CBS Chicago and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

 

An In Depth Look at the Medicinal Value of Cannabinol (CBN)

Cannabinol (CBN) results from the break down of THC after its long exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is mildly psychoactive, but not like its predecessor THC. CBN's anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential therapeutic agent for multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, allergic asthma, and Crohn's disease. By stimulating appetite, it can help treat cachexia, anorexia, and help those suffering from cancer or HIV/AIDS. CBN is also antibacterial, and when applied topically, it is effective in combatting MRSA. The topical application of CBN lowers ocular tension so it can reduce the risk and progression of glaucoma.

Out of all other cannabinoids, CBN is the most sedative, making it the most powerful cannabinoid for those who suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders. CBN releases calcitonin and gene-related peptides from sensory nerves without impacting the CB1 or CB2 receptors. This means that it can reduce sensitivity to pain on its own, but that it can also work alongside CBD for enhanced pain relief. Research has shown CBN prolongs seizure latency in mice, making it a potential treatment for epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Lastly, CBN is an agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors, so it is among the cannabinoids that stimulate bone growth, promote bone health, and help patients with bone diseases like osteoporosis.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Treating Psoriasis with Topical Cannabis

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

The use of topical cannabis can provide relief for medical marijuana patients who suffer from skin conditions, joint issues, and muscle problems. Topicals come in the form of creams, oils, lotions, sprays, balms, or ointments, deliver cannabinoid relief through absorption in the epidermis, and can provide isolated cannabinoid relief or the benefits of whole plant cannabis without producing a psychoactive effect. In fact, even topicals infused with THC will not provide a psychoactive effect when absorbed through the skin.

Topicals for the treatment of skin conditions is welcomed news for those who suffer from psoriasis, a condition in which skin cells develop rapidly on the surface of the epidermis resulting in thick discolored plaques. Psoriasis is caused by problems with the immune system and produces inflammation, which is how cannabis can effectively treat the condition through interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Most information surrounding cannabis as a treatment for psoriasis is anecdotal, but one 2007 study found cannabinoids prevented dead skin cell buildup and other symptoms of psoriasis. Researchers stated, "Our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis."

While this information is positive, further clinical research is left to be desired. This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Things You Should Know About Transdermal Cannabis Patches

Photo Credit: Cheminded (showing Mary's Medicinal Patches)

Photo Credit: Cheminded (showing Mary's Medicinal Patches)

In today's world, the medical marijuana patient has access to a various tools or vehicles for taking his or her medication. Some of the methods of intake are classic, like smoking or consuming edibles, but other methods are new and only recently gaining in popularity. One such method is the application of cannabis topicals. This can be applied as a lotion or gel, or it can also adhere to your skin with the use of transdermal patches. 

Transdermal patches slowly deliver cannabinoids to the skin, allowing therapeutic relief to last up to 12 hours. Patients know their exact dose because the patches are pre-measured to contain a specific amount of mg and precise amounts of cannabinoid variations. Patches provide relief for a many conditions, like epilepsy, cancer, or ALS, and some are even designed with specific safety profiles for children or the elderly. As opposed to extracting only the cannabinoids out of marijuana as some oils and extracts do, patches keep both cannabinoids and terpenes because both compounds have unique therapeutic benefits. Patches allow cannabinoids to directly enter the bloodstream so that patients receive a dose similar to that of pharmaceutical medications. 

Read more about transdermal patches on Health MJ. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Osteoarthritis is an ailment affecting over 20 million people in the United States and is a degenerative disease caused by the breakdown of protective cartilage within joints. The condition results in stiffness and chronic pain, which limits mobility. Because cannabis acts as a pain killer and an anti-inflammatory, it is thought to be a powerful player in combatting the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. The cannabinoid CBD is hailed as an effective treatment option because it offers relief against pain and inflammation without providing psychoactive effects. That being said, topicals are especially beneficial as a method of intake because they can provide the relief of whole plant cannabis (containing both THC and CBD) without causing a psychoactive experience as well.

There are countless stories providing anecdotal evidence supporting the use of cannabis for treating arthritis, and these claims are supported by physicians and researchers alike. Dr. Jason McDougall, who teaches pharmacology and anesthesia and is chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Arthritis Society, says, "There's been a lot of experimental evidence to show that cannabis can be effective in treating the pains of arthritis, as well as the inflammation and helping with fatigue." There are also multiple studies revealing cannabis' ability to target CB2 receptors and to interact with the endocannabinoid system, making cannabis effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

While cannabis most certainly has the potential to relieve arthritis inflammation and pain, there is still a vast need for additional clinical research. This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Suggests CBD Topicals Benefit Multiple Sclerosis

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

The use of medical marijuana topicals, such as ointments or balms, is not limited to only skin deep therapy. While many may use the medication to treat skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, there is new research to suggest CBD-rich topical treatments can also help treat target the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, allowing patients who use the therapy to regain motor skills.

One Italian study conducted in October of 2015 involved mice who had been stricken with autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is a disease very similar to MS. In the study, researches looked at whether topical creams containing one percent CBD administered at the time of "symptomatic diseases onset" would affect the progression of the disease. They also looked to see if CBD creams could recover paralysis of the legs. The study revealed that the use of this CBD cream improved motor skills by reversing back leg paralysis, reducing spinal cord damage, and decreasing inflammation. While these results are positive, it is important to remember that researches suggest CBD topicals are only part of the therapeutic solution for treating MS.

This information has been brought to you by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Topical CBD Treatment May Reduce Central Nervous System Inflammation

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

A recent controlled study published in Daru: Journal of Faculty and Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences this year found topical treatments containing 1% purified CBD topical cream can reduce damage from brain inflammation. While the study was conducted on animals, it remains relevant to humans who suffer autoimmune diseases leading to demyelination, which occurs when the fatty covering around neurons are damaged. Such diseases include multiple sclerosis. 

The study used both healthy mice and mice given experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as models for humans who suffer from MS. The mice then received either 1% purified CBD cream, inactive cream, or no cream and were observed daily for 28 days. The mice that received the CBD cream experienced reduced damage caused by EAE; they experienced a reversal in back leg paralysis (or their loss of muscle function), there were reduced indications of spinal cord damage like demyelination or white blood cell count, they released less lymphocytes in their spleen cells, and their inflammatory signals reduced.

This study further supports the use of CBD in the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, while revealing the efficacy of topical treatment as a vehicle for administration. This information is brought to you by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Find the study abstract here.

How to Use Cannabis: Different Methods of Consumption

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Today, patients have access to more vehicles of cannabis consumption than ever before. This is extremely helpful, as patients want to find a way to consume their medication in a way that will not exacerbate their symptom-dependent discomfort. 

The most common form of cannabis consumption is smoking, in which a flame is applied to cannabis. A far healthier method of inhaling cannabis comes in the form of vaporization, in which heated air is applied to cannabis prior to inhalation. Vaporization offers patients a safe and accurate alternative to smoking so they can inhale their medication but avoid the carcinogens and toxins that release when plant matter combusts by flame. Patients suffering from lung or esophagus cancer, bronchitis, or asthma gain relief from vaporizing cannabis because the THC and CBD delivered directly to their lungs combat inflammation and act as bronchodilators. Another well-known form of cannabis consumption is the edible, which varies widely in form but always involves cannabis-infused foods or liquids. Edibles are great for patients who want enhanced potency and long-lasting relief, but the slow onset of relief and unpredictable efficacy force patients to wait for relief and make it difficult to understand proper dosing amounts. 

A relatively new vehicle comes in the form of cannabis topicals, which include creams, balms, and salves infused with specific ratios of cannabinoids that are then applied to the skin. Some medical professionals claim a ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC within a topical offers effective relief for various ailments, specifically ones involving inflammation like arthritis and Crohn's disease. Tinctures, or tonics, use alcohol as a solvent to separate the resin glands (full of cannabinoids and terpenes) from the rest of the plant. The alcohol absorbs the resin, and then is cooked off until a low-alcohol liquid dense in cannabinoids remains. Concentrates, or extracts, also extract potent amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes with or without the use solvents. Due to their high percentage of cannabinoids and terpenes, concentrates offer patients quick and efficient access to relief. 

We remind you to journal your preferred method for consumption so that we can help inform other users of the overall best method for specific symptom relief. This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana 101: Methods of Consumption

Beginning the use of medical marijuana therapy can be confusing and all around overwhelming. Where traditional pharmaceuticals often come in the form of a pre-measured pill with a select composition of ingredients and a specific regimen, medical marijuana patients have to choose their strain and material, determine the amount per dose, create a dosing regimen, and select a method of consumption. All of these factors can be daunting, but thankfully Marijuana Investor News has taken the time to at least break down the methods of consumption to help make your vehicle selection easier. 

The traditional method most widely associated with marijuana is smoking. This method involves using a pipe, water bong, or a joint/blunt to smoke the dried flower or leaves of the marijuana plant. The effects of smoking are often felt instantly, and can last between an hour and a half and four hours depending on strain potency. Smoking marijuana is considered safe, but smoke inhalation of any kind can have negative effects on the lungs, which makes smoking one of the less healthy options for marijuana consumption.

Another popular method involves eating cannabis infused food products. Generally, cannabinoid extracts are infused in butters and oils that then used to create edible products. The most popular and widely available edibles are baked products. This method of consumption is not instant, however, and the effects can take half an hour to two hours before they kick in at all. Because the effect is gradual, patients should use caution when consuming edibles and remember to avoid overconsumption. 

A method of consumption similar to smoking and gaining in popularity is vaporization. While both smoking and vaporizing involve inhalation, vaporization involves inhaling water vapor, which is less harmful on the lungs and nearly eliminates carcinogens from the equation. Vaporizers heat dried marijuana or marijuana oils at low temperatures, allowing active cannabinoids like THC and CBD to convert into vapor. The effects of vaporization are similar to the effects of smoking.

One method that is not widely known is the application of infused topical solutions (like sprays, creams, lotions, oils, or balms). Topicals are non-psychoactive, so patients seeking therapeutic effect without the high often apply marijuana-infused topicals to treat joint inflammation, muscle pain and headaches, and more.

The last method Marijuana Investor News discusses is the tincture, which is a mixture plant extract in an alcohol solution. Tinctures are generally dosed as a few droplets and placed under the tongue or in a beverage. Tinctures are generally very potent and may take a while to take effect. 

Want to know more? Visit Marijuana Investor News for the lowdown on each vehicle for marijuana consumption. 

Cannabis Topicals: Getting Under Your Skin

When people think about medicating with cannabis, they think about the most common methods of inhalation or ingestion, but there are a wide range of methods available. Many don't realize that cannabis is lipophilic and can be absorbed through the skin, so they don't realize how effective cannabis topicals are as a path to quick relief and a way to target localized areas. 

Whaxy discusses the ailments that would benefit from the use of topicals, "from generalized conditions such as inflammation, tension, and soreness to specific ailments like eczema, dermatitis, puritis (itching), and psoriasis." However, the most significant use for topicals is in the treatment of arthritis, the number one cause of disability in the U.S. If the topical contains the right combination of cannabinoids, it can relieve arthritic symptoms by acting as an anti-inflammatory in specifically targeted areas.

Topicals are also an effective treatment option for those who want to treat their conditions without feeling a euphoric high. Topicals interact with the CB2 receptors in the skin which do not allow THC to permeate the bloodstream and flow to the brain. Because of this, topicals are well-suited for children and those who would like to avoid the high or negative side effects sometimes associated with marijuana.

Whaxy suggests topicals could be useful in household items like patches, salves, and lotions that could treat everyday annoyances like bug bites, muscle aches, or headaches. You can read Whaxy's full analysis here