Can Marijuana Save Your Skin—And Your Sex Life? Inside the New Topical Cannabis Phenomenon
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As state laws allowing the use of marijuana—medical or otherwise—continue to relax like the crowd at a Phish show, places like Colorado, Washington, and California are turning out products unlike anything the world has seen before. Vape pens that double as design objects? They exist, even if you can’t buy them outside Oregon. Pot-infused granola bites from a James Beard Award–winning pastry chef? They’re coming, Chicago. Yet perhaps the most promising use for the plant is in a form that doesn’t even get you high. Cannabis is turning up in a host of new skin balms, lotions, oils, and bath salts, promising body benefits ranging from pain relief to better orgasms.
These potent products take the pot connection a step beyond those made with hemp seed oil, the moisturizer found in body-care brands like the recently launched Marley Natural line. That legal substance softens skin, but it doesn’t contain measurable amounts of cannabinoids, the naturally occurring compounds found in the flowers and leaves of the plant.
THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s signature buzz, is the best known of these. CBD, another cannabinoid also found in both marijuana and industrial hemp plants grown for fiber, is non-psychoactive and a proven aid for pain, nausea, and anxiety (plus, if isolated and extracted from industrial hemp, it’s legal). But according to Ah Warner, founder of Washington–based body-care line Cannabis Basics and an activist for the industry, there are hundreds more of such compounds, each with unique healing properties. “They’re anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, cell-regenerative, and anti–cell proliferative for bad cells,” she says.
And when applied topically, cannabinoids can bring localized benefits without detectable brain buzz. Think of them as a natural high for your bum knee, or that pesky patch of irritated skin. This Vogue editor swears by Apothecanna’s minty, cooling Extra Strength Relieving Body Crème, a gift from a friend in L.A., for lower-back stiffness.
Most cannabinoid skin-care products on the market are designed to soothe achy spots or surface issues such as eczema. But those applications are just the tip of the iceberg: Oraximax, a forthcoming oral-care line, will tap into the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabinoid CBG. Kannactivand Cannabis Beauty Defined, two skin-care lines from the same parent company, contain hemp-derived CBD as part of their formulas for clearing acne and combating signs of aging, respectively.
Last but not least, there are even cannabis topicals for the bedroom. Leading the charge is Foria, which claims its THC-heavy Pleasure oilfor women, when applied externally and internally, increases blood flow and nerve sensation—amplifying sexual pleasure and intensifying orgasms. (Less titillating, though equally ingenious, are its CBD-rich Relief suppositories, designed to ease cramping and pelvic pain.)
Dr. Jennifer Berman, M.D., a prominent sexual-health advocate and clinician in Los Angeles, prescribes both Foria products to patients regularly—and is, in fact, such a fan of the line that she recently discussed it on Conan. “Perimenopausal, menopausal, and post-menopausal women who have noticed a decline in response have had great success with it,” she says of the oil. “Younger patients who have difficulty achieving orgasm have had enhanced response with it as well.”
All of which immediately sparks the question: How, and where, to get it? Some companies, like Oregon-based Empower Bodycare and Colorado-based Apothecanna, ship CBD-only versions of their products nationwide. But as Empower Bodycare founder Trista Okel points out, marijuana extracts that include THC “work better—this is because of the ‘entourage effect,’ in which the combination of cannabinoids are greater than the sum of their parts,” she explains.
In states where marijuana is legal, like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, anyone of age can buy the products from cannabis dispensaries, though some marijuana-derived brands, like Cannabis Basics, sell only in the states where they’re made. Medical cardholders can access dispensaries in states like California and Illinois. Some companies, such as Foria for patients in California, allow online orders from certain medical-marijuana states once you’ve submitted the appropriate paperwork.
For the curious, the products offer an excuse to visit Portland or Seattle or Aspen this spring. “They’re effective, and they’re nonthreatening,” Warner says. “There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t have access to them.” In any case, the anecdotal evidence appears highly promising.
Can you put cbd oil on your skin for pain
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Nathaniel Spock – Jan 30 2021
Transdermal vs. Topical: What are the key differences for CBD?
Y ou’ve probably seen topical skin care products online and in retail locations for decades, but are they the best delivery method for cannabis?
Significant misunderstanding exists among consumers and even some medical professionals regarding topical and transdermal products. Often, they are thought to be one in the same, yet the “depth” of their effects on the body are quite different.
Transdermal Uses Skin Penetration Enhancers: Transdermal products leverage skin penetration enhancers to push CBD, terpenes and other compounds past the epidermis (first layer of skin) and into the dermis (second layer of skin), which includes blood vessels.
CBD Reaching the Bloodstream is Vital For Therapeutic Effect:
Cannabinoids and terpenes entering the bloodstream is vital in reaching the therapeutic level of CBD or THC. While topicals can be ideal for site specific surface level pain symptoms, it does not help with aches, pains, and symptoms deeper within the body.
A Higher % of CBD Absorbs Into the Bloodstream Using Transdermal Formulations: Penetration enhancers found in transdermal formulations can increase the bioavailability of a cannabinoid/full spectrum extract from 1-5% as found in topical products to 40% or greater.
Transdermal products leverage skin penetration enhancers to push CBD, terpenes and other compounds past the epidermis (first layer of skin) and into the dermis (second layer of skin), which includes blood vessels. This allows the CBD to more readily absorbed into the body (bioavailability) since it reaches the bloodstream. Topical products do not leverage skin penetration enhancers, and thus the majority of CBD remains in the epidermis with little to none making it to the bloodstream. Studies show transdermal products can enhance bioavailability of CBD to 20-40% or greater, whereas topical has bioavailability of 1-5%.
CBD REACHING THE BLOODSTREAM IS CRITICAL FOR THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
Topical formulations don’t penetrate beyond the skin. For some products such as sunscreen, which protects the skin from harmful UV rays, this is ideal and by design. However, for many medical patients and consumers looking to get the most out of their cannabis product, this isn’t the desired effect.
Cannabis topical products only enter the skin and do not spread to deeper tissues and into the bloodstream. Cannabinoids and terpenes entering the bloodstream is vital in reaching the therapeutic level of CBD or THC. While topicals can be ideal for site specific surface level pain symptoms, it does not help with aches, pains, and symptoms deeper within the body.
HUMAN SKIN REGIONS
Transdermal formulations have been around for twenty plus years, generally found in patch, gel or lotion form. Human skin is comprised of three main regions; epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissues. Several appendages are associated with the skin, including hair follicles and eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. The outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, provides the main barrier for skin permeation.
CHEMICAL PENETRATION ENHANCERS
Transdermal formulations leverage CPE’s (chemical penetration enhancers), which are inactive ingredients that diffuse and partition the skin and reversibly interact with the stratum corneum components (skin cellular arrangement). Penetration enhancers found in transdermal formulations can increase the bioavailability of a cannabinoid/full spectrum extract from 1-5% as found in topical products to 40% or greater. Transdermal delivery can offer significant advantages over oral administration due to minimal first-pass metabolism, avoidance of the gastrointestinal environment, and the ability to provide prolonged effect.
Medications intended to provide clinical effects at deeper tissue sites require a transdermal vehicle. These vehicles (gels, patches, lotions, etc.) often include chemical penetration enhancers to increase transdermal penetration and achieve the desired result. Consumers need to be aware that most cannabis creams, gels, ointments and patches are merely topical formulations with limited, if any, drug penetration to the tissues and circulatory system below the skin. Depending on your needs, understanding the differences between transdermal and topical products will allow for selection of the best option for your needs.
GET MORE OUT OF YOUR CBD WITH TRANSDERMAL PRODUCTS
If you need more out of your CBD cream, ditch the topical and go for the deeper penetrating transdermal relief. Unfortunately, there are not many transdermal cannabis product options currently available on the market. Be sure to check out Potter’s Transdermal CBD Relief Lotion. While many hemp companies are quick to produce products in demand by consumers, Potter takes a slower approach. By deeply researching delivery technologies, formulations, benefits and risks prior to releasing new products, we ensure consumer safety and maximum effectiveness across all of our products.