Cannabis topicals are changing the game in the world of weed, with something for everyone that will improve their life! Cannabis topicals are products like lotions, balms, and oils that are infused with cannabis extracts and applied to the hair, skin, or nails. Not only can topicals help with various conditions such as dermatitis, arthritis or menstrual cramps, but topicals also provide a smoke-free alternative to receiving the many benefits of cannabis. 

In following, we provide a small guide to what exactly cannabis topicals are, their history, how they work, and their many benefits. 

The History of Cannabis Topicals 

Weed balms aren’t anything new, though the current craze for them can seem that way. Humans have a long history using cannabis topicals, which can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt, where the Ebers papyrus (an Egyptian medical text of herbal knowledge) reveals they were used for anti-inflammatory purposes. 

Ancient Chinese medicine acknowledged the cannabis plant’s antibacterial benefits and regularly used it to treat various wounds. In fact, the Chinese term for “anesthesia” (mázui) literally translates to “cannabis intoxication.”

Queen Victoria of England was known to have used cannabis tinctures and oils to relieve menstrual cramps. 

Today, cannabis topicals are available at just about every dispensary and are celebrated for their ability to treat pain, inflammation, mood disorders, and much more. 

How do Cannabis Topicals Work?

Cannabis topicals work because they contain cannabinoids, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). When the cannabis topicals are applied to the skin, the skin absorbs the cannabis extracts, which are then carried into the bloodstream. From there, the cannabinoids bind to a network of cannabinoid receptors in the immune system called CB2, which are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system. 

With the cannabinoids dispersed to the endocannabinoid system, the stimulation of collagen cells are triggered, which aid in the reduction of inflammation, pain, aging, and bacteria growth. 

Why Won’t Cannabis Topicals Get Me High?

Cannabis topicals don’t get you high because when applied topically, the effects are generally only felt locally wherever the product was applied. The effects will vary in length of time and intensity based on a wide range of factors, like the user’s weight, health, hunger and thirst levels, metabolism, inflammation levels, and so forth. 

Because there is no regulatory body that tests for exact potency of topicals, some cannabis topicals are stronger than others. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s label to determine the proper dosage. It’s also always smart to try a small “patch test” before heavily applying a cannabis topical. 


For most users, the top benefit of using cannabis topicals is that they receive localized treatment without the psychoactive effects of weed. In other words, you get all the benefits of weed without the high. While cannabis topicals have been used by humans for eons, extensive research on their medical benefits has really only just begun. Some of the current most sought-after reasons why cannabis topicals are used are the following:

Anti-Inflammatory – A study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2009 demonstrated that cannabis topicals applied to the skin help to control the immune system by reducing the body’s inflammatory response.  

Antiseptic – Cannabis topicals disrupt the growth of microbes that can lead to infection. Like antibacterial agents, antiseptics eliminate and slow the growth of microorganisms, including viruses. 

Anti-Aging – Cannabis contains many antioxidants. For this reason, cannabis-infused creams can help your skin detoxify from harmful elements, which then reduces the signs of aging.

Anti-Cancer – While further research is needed, The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management produced a study in 2017 that demonstrated cannabis topicals relieve pain and symptoms of malignant tumors. The antioxidant effects of cannabis also make it anti-cancer. 

Skin-Clearing – Users with acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, or extremely dry skin all report that cannabis topicals provide a promising treatment of symptoms. This is largely to do with cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Pain Relief – Headaches, arthritic pain, menstrual cramps, physical injury, and muscle soreness have all been known to significantly reduce with the application of cannabis topicals. Cannabis topicals are a hopeful replacement to regulate pain instead of harmful prescription medications like opioids. 

The Long and Short of Cannabis Topicals

To experience the best results with cannabis topicals, follow the label’s instructions and stay consistent with usage. Some people find immediate relief, while for others it can take a few weeks to see improvements. Remember that trial and error might be needed to discover exactly what kind of cannabis product is ideal for your situation. 

Stay curious, and speak with your local dispensary budtender about the various cannabis topicals they have available. Peers Cannabis has a large selection of different cannabis products for purchase. Talk with one of our representatives today!