Cannabis has been a regular part of wellness routines for centuries, but since the benefits of CBD went viral, manufacturers are popping out new and useful products as fast as consumers can buy them. However, common knowledge surrounding cannabis is a bit fuzzy, and there’s confusion about how different cannabinoids react with the body and the skin. A lot of this confusion surrounds a particular, yet popular, hemp product: cannabis topicals.
Many consumers have heard booming reports of people using cannabis topicals to stop inflammation and pain, as well as combat common skincare concerns. Still, some are skeptical about trying these hemp lotions for themselves for fear of getting high, mostly due to lack of understanding of how cannabis and CBD work. Even more, those who face regular drug tests for employment may think that all cannabis products are out of reach.
Can cannabis topicals make you fail a drug test? What about hemp? Is there any safe way to use cannabis or hemp without failing a drug test? Luckily, there is, and many people all over the country are using cannabis topicals for quick and effective relief, despite any work or legal restrictions.
What are Topicals and How Do They Work?
In the cannabis market, “topicals” is the blanket term assigned to all products meant to be used on the skin, as opposed to oral products or products meant to be smoked or vaporized. Because of the diverse range of potential uses, cannabis products exist in a variety of formulas, which makes them accessible and useful for anyone who needs them. Topical products include lotions, balms, muscle rubs, deodorants, and more. These products can be used for a variety of things, based on the intended use of varying formulas and personal preference.
Topicals are a popular choice for managing inflammation. Studies show that the topical application of CBD may be useful for managing all types of inflammatory conditions. One study looks at the use of topical CBD for arthritis in mice and found that regular topical applications reduced joint swelling, as well as limb posture score (which was used to determine spontaneous pain).
Further, cannabis topicals are frequently chosen for managing pain, especially joint pain and muscle soreness. This includes chronic conditions that cause joint pain, too. Studies show that cannabidiol may be useful for managing pain that is otherwise difficult to treat. One study looked at the transdermal application of a synthetic version of cannabidiol on arthritic knee pain and confirmed that cannabidiol resulted in lower pain levels than the placebo. Further, cannabidiol may help regulate sebum production, which may make it useful for many common skin concerns.
Cannabis topicals may be effective because of the way they interact with the endocannabinoid system in the skin. This system is responsible for a number of regulatory and immune responses, which is why cannabidiol topicals have also been linked to the improvement of symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. The Endocannabinoid system also contains receptors that send and receive signals of pain. Because there are thousands of these endocannabinoid receptors placed throughout the skin, applying cannabis topically is a way to immediately interact with the endocannabinoid system.
For many conditions, topicals are the most direct application method. Some products may have a formula designed for an intended purpose, where others may be unspecified, leaving consumers to use the power of cannabinoids wherever they see fit. The type of product you choose, whether it be a thick salve or smooth, creamy lotion, depends both on how you need to use it and your personal preference.
Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?
Although the evidence for using cannabis topicals to combat inflammation and pain causing conditions is often undisputed, many people avoid using cannabis topicals for fear of the psychoactive effects related to THC. While many people enjoy these effects, they aren't for everyone, and anyone who dislikes the effects on cognition should probably avoid most high-THC strains of cannabis. However, cannabis topicals offer an option for users to reap the benefits of cannabis without any effects on cognition. Most topical products rely on the power of CBD, which has no psychoactive effect. However, research has shown that even THC lacks the ability to get you high when used topically.
First, THC produces these psychoactive effects by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This means that THC much first be absorbed and metabolized, then it must pass through the blood-brain barrier to bind with these receptors. When cannabis is applied topically, it cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier.
Further, it’s important to note that THC must be decarboxylated before it produces the psychoactive effects related to smoking marijuana or using cannabis edibles. This process requires heat, which is why the THC can be “activated” while smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis. Some reports warn that even though cannabis topicals cannot pass through your skin to get you high, accidentally ingesting topicals may produce these psychoactive effects. Usually, that’s not true, as the THC (if any) in most topicals is not decarboxylated. Even so, the amounts found in most topical products (which are often focused on the healing power of CBD) is too low to produce any psychoactive effects at all.
Will Topicals Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Although the fact that cannabis topicals cannot produce any psychoactive effects is comforting for many people, others are still worried about the possibility of topicals causing a failed drug test. These concerns make sense since even small amounts of THC in the bloodstream can show up on certain drug tests. However, as we mentioned earlier, cannabis topicals pass through the skin to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. They do not, however, make it through the blood-brain barrier. This means that topicals don’t transfer through your blood, therefore they won’t make it to your urine, either. Even topicals with THC will not have the ability to cause a failed drug test.
One study showed that THC was undetectable in the urine and blood samples taken from volunteers who used cannabis topicals regularly. These volunteers applied two different kinds of cannabis salve every 3-4 hours for 72 hours before the samples were taken. This is reassuring evidence that using cannabis topically won’t have any psychoactive effects, and they definitely won’t affect any drug tests that you have to take in the future.
CBD Topicals Contain Only Trace Amounts of THC
Though using THC topically is typically considered safe and has been linked to a variety of skin benefits, many people are still uncomfortable with THC and prefer to reap the benefits of other cannabinoids. Luckily, cannabis topicals come in many formulations, and hemp topicals are just as popular and even more accessible than some others. These hemp topicals are made from industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC.
Hemp topicals, which usually rely mostly on powerful CBD molecules, have a great number of potential uses. In fact, CBD has been linked to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving effects, too. CBD products offer a great option for anyone looking to avoid THC, and high-quality CBD products won’t cause you to fail a drug test or produce any effects on cognition.
Tips for Trying Hemp Topicals for Yourself
If you’re going to try out hemp topicals, use these tips to help you easily and effectively design a CBD skincare routine that fits your needs:
Different products have diffferent formulations and consistencies that may make them better suited for some applications than others. For instance, a conditions that causes dry skin may be better suited for a CBD lotion. Our CBD muscle rub features a convenient “twist up” container that lets you directly apply to joints and trouble areas. The healing balm is thicker and better for small, direct application, and comes in a handy tin that makes it super portable.
When using CBD products for the first time, try a spot test first. Apply CBD to a very small area of skin (like a square inch of your forearm) and wait 6-8 hours for a reactions. Although CBD side efefcts are rare, this test is a great precaution to take if you are unsure how you or your skin will react to cannabidiol. If you notice no adverse reactions at all, apply your new CBD product to the affected area as needed and wait to see the relief!
Most topical CBD products can be applied as needed and should take effect pretty quickly after application, usually within half an hour. Some products may even give near immediate results. Be sure that you purchase quality CBD products with valid third-party testing to ensure safety and potency and discontinue use if you experience severe reactions to any CBD product.
If you are elated at the news that hemp topicals won’t cause you to fail a drug test at work, you may be ready to try hemp topicals for yourself. Luckily, you can buy hemp topicals online to access a wide variety of products that may work for you. When you buy CBD online through Sacred Biology, you'll find a wide variety of CBD skin care products that are discreet and effective. CBD skin care products are the easiest CBD products to use on the go, whether at work or play, and they carry the same cannabis-derived benefits of other methods. Shop for hemp lotions, balms, deodorants, muscle rubs, and more for quick, all-natural topical relief.