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An Introductory Guide to Using Cannabis Creams

Innovations in cannabis consumption have brought many new products to consumers. Now, more and more folks understand that you don’t need to get high to enjoy the benefits of cannabis. Medical marijuana paved the road for different people to get the benefits of marijuana in different forms.

Cannabis-infused topical products, for example, provide an easy, accessible, efficient, and safe way to benefit from its therapeutic properties. Cannabis topicals like marijuana-infused creams, lotions, balms, ointments, patches, etc. provide localized relief by being absorbed through the skin.

Medical cannabis creams in Colorado, for instance, are commonly used for pain relief, tension, inflammation, and muscle soreness--making them a popular topical treatment for many ailments.

But what exactly are cannabis topicals, specifically medical cannabis creams? What are they used for? Who would benefit from using them?

What Exactly Is a Medical Cannabis Cream?

Medical cannabis creams are made by adding a high-quality cannabis concentrate at a specific ratio (i.e. % THC, CBD, etc.) to almost any traditional cream or balm base including other therapeutic pain relief essential oil herbs like arnica, lemongrass, peppermint and even menthol for a cooling effect.

Most cannabis creams are differentiated by whether or not they contain the activated (THC - CBD) or inactivated (THCa - CBDa) form of cannabinoids. This is a critical piece of information the consumer must know in terms of understanding how the cream is going to interact in the body.

Most people don’t know or fully understand this fact, but the cannabis plant produces cannabinoids that aren’t ready for the body to absorb and use.

How CBD Works in Pain Relief

The truth is science and legislation have not caught up with cannabis yet. Fortunately, there is research being done to test the efficacy of cannabis creams for pain relief. Theoretically speaking, there are many ways cannabidiol (CBD) can help regulate body pains, as it works by increasing the body’s natural endocannabinoids and decreasing the body’s inflammatory response, which desensitizes pain receptors. However, it’s still unclear if the same process occurs when CBD is absorbed topically compared to orally.

The endocannabinoid system is a biological system made up of endocannabinoids. These are natural signals in the body that help maintain homeostasis. They detect and regulate pain, hunger, mood, and even memory. They are also active in post-workout exercise high. CBD works by increasing the body’s natural endocannabinoid (pain-relieving) levels and blocking metabolism as it moves around the body.

Another way CBD helps is by limiting the body’s release of pro-inflammatory signals. When doing strength training, you create micro-tears in your muscles. These micro-tears are the reason why you feel sore after working out. As soon as your immune system detects these tears, your body will release inflammatory mediators to repair the damaged muscle and promote growth. CBD helps in managing pain without thwarting the healing process.

Lastly, your body has a receptor called TrpV1, which detects and regulates temperature. When activated, these receptors put on the heat and help soothe the pain receptors. CBD works by making the pain receptors hyperactive for a specific period of time. This will cause the receptors to feel hot and simultaneously desensitizes and down-regulates the pain receptors.

How Cannabis-Infused Creams Work

Cannabis-infused creams, lotions, oils, ointments, salves, sprays, and other topical and transdermal forms provide relief by binding with the cannabinoid receptors of the body. These receptors are present throughout the body and are activated by the body’s natural endocannabinoids, or by cannabis compounds (CBD, THC, etc.).

Since they’re applied topically, CBD creams with active THC will not be able to induce that intense “high” feeling you feel when you smoke or ingest pure cannabis. Most medical cannabis creams don’t reach the bloodstream and only provide localized relief. They’re very different from transdermal patches, as CBD and THC content from patches can go straight to the bloodstream and cause intoxicating effects.

How Cannabis-Infused Creams Are Used

Medical cannabis creams and other CBD-infused topicals are commonly used for localized pain relief, muscle tension, soreness, and inflammation. Anecdotal evidence, however, is starting to show a wider range of potential benefits, such as dermatitis, itching, psoriasis, cramping, and headaches.

A THC-infused rub with menthol and peppermint, for example, is a great way to wind down after a long hike or a brutal workout. Some people opt for a warming balm with pain-killing properties of CBD to soothe intense localized pain. Obviously, different inflammatory symptoms may require different chemical profiles of cannabis.

For inflammation caused by arthritic pain, for example, cannabis creams with THCA and CBD may be needed, as they come with anti-inflammatory properties. Active THC is not for inflammation, but when mixed with the acid form of CBD, the two works great in relieving the condition.

More Conditions for Medical Marijuana Creams

Medical marijuana creams provide targeted pain relief. This means that it can be applied directly to the area where you experience pain.

Subsequently, you don’t specifically need to use the cream to target a particular pain. You can use it for general aches and pains, or if you simply wish to relax. Cannabis topicals like creams will soothe aches and pains in your body you may not realize are painful, such as your shoulders, temples, joints, lower back, bottoms, neck, back of your feet, etc. Cannabinoids can provide relief in these sensitive areas of your body.

Medical marijuana is fairly new, and evidence of its effects for a variety of treatments is largely anecdotal. However, more and more people are learning about their ailments and are now realizing how medical marijuana can help.

Some of the ailments and conditions treated include:

  • Dry skin and various conditions like rashes, swellings, and even eczema, and psoriasis
  • Bites and stings
  • Sunburn
  • Swelling after injury (sprained ankle, etc.)
  • Headaches, migraines
  • General muscular soreness
  • Tendonitis
  • Stiffness of joints (stiff neck)

Where to Get Pure Cannabis and Cannabis Creams

Medical marijuana topicals such as creams are widely available nowadays, both in stores and online. Medical cannabis creams are widely considered as generic painkillers and anti-inflammatory topical products. They’re super versatile and virtually risk-free. This is why many people are less worried about using them and other marijuana topicals.

At Naturaleaf, you can find a wide range of medical marijuana products to suit your ailments or various medical conditions. If you are new to using these products, start with this guide on how to choose the right strain for you. As the leading medical dispensary for marijuana products in Colorado Springs, we prioritize patient care and this is how we can deliver the best products. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email us at