A Starter Guide to Topicals

A Starter Guide to Topicals

Cannabis can be used in so many different ways and not all of them require the user to consume it. Topicals are a great way to experience the benefits of cannabis but you’re not looking to feel that high. 

How do Topicals Work?

Topicals work the same way that other forms of cannabis do, by interacting with your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system that plays an important role in regulating certain physiological processes, including mood, appetite, sleep, immune response, and pain perception.

There are endocannabinoid receptors found all over the body, including in the skin. When topicals are applied, they are able to interact with those receptors in your skin and allow you to feel the effects of the cannabinoids. 

The reason why most topicals don’t get you high is that the cannabinoids are only affecting the receptors in the area that you applied the topical to. Your skin keeps the cannabinoids from being absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore keeping the effects local to only that area.

Types of Topicals 

If you feel like you might benefit from using topicals, then you’re in luck! There are a number of different options when it comes to topical products so you’re bound to find something that will get you what you’re looking for.

Cream and Lotion

Creams and lotions are popular cannabis topicals that combine cannabinoids like CBD and THC with traditional skincare ingredients to create something that can be easily applied to the skin.

With these topicals, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin and are often used for targeted relief. People will usually use these to address things like muscle soreness or joint pain.

Balm and Salve

Balms and Salves are similar to creams and lotions in the way that they are applied and the benefits that they have. However, their consistency is thicker, sometimes closer to a wax. 

This consistency means that the product generally sits on top of the skin and forms a barrier for it, allowing the cannabinoids to sit against the skin for longer. This is why, in addition to localized pain relief, balms and salves are often used to treat skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis


For people who are on the go or are looking to cover a larger area, quicker, then sprays might be the better option. 

Sprays usually aren’t as heavy as lotions or salves so they usually dry quicker. Also they would be a good choice for people who aren’t looking to add extra oil or grease to their skin. 

Additionally, they generally contain some kind of alcohol which allows it to absorb into the skin quicker and start giving you that relief as soon as possible.

Bath Products

Cannabis infused baths products are starting to get more popular and are good for more general relief, rather than localized like lotions or sprays. 

You can typically find things like infused bath bombs, soaks, bath salts and more. They’ll also usually contain other beneficial ingredients like essential oils to really give you that calming, relaxing experience.

One thing about bath products is that they can cost just as much as some other topicals but can be used up much faster. They are still a great option to meet specific needs but they might not be the most cost effective.

Transdermal Patches

Transdermal patches are a little bit unique among topicals because users can actually feel psychoactive effects when applied. 

These patches contain an enhancer that allows the cannabinoids to penetrate the skin and actually reach the bloodstream, which will in term make you feel that high. 

They are also designed to release the cannabinoids over a longer period of time, which gives a more extended relief to the user.


Topical oils are a good, versatile option that can be used in a number of different ways. There are massage oils that will help to give that little extra boost to an already therapeutic treatment. 

You can also take that cannabis oil and add it to things that you already use. Is there a lotion or a cream you like? Go ahead and add a couple of drops to make it that much more helpful. Just make sure that you are mindful of the ingredients and dosages when you are mixing things at home.

There are also recipes that you can use to make your own cannabis oil from flower, at home. There are dozens of recipes online that you can use if you’re looking to make your own topicals.


Topicals are a great option for someone looking to experience the benefits of cannabis without needing to also get high. If you’re looking to give topicals a try, then NatureMed is here to get you everything you need.

Check out our topicals menu to see what we have to offer and our specials page to see the ways you can save.