DEC 14, 2022 12:00 PM PST

Do Cannabis Topicals Get The User High?

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Now that cannabis has become increasingly legal, there are more products on the market than ever before. A consumer can choose from strains, concentrates, vapes, pills, edibles, drops, and even topicals. But when it comes to topicals, one of the biggest questions a new cannabis customer asks is, “Will I get high from using a weed cream?”

The answer is no. Topicals do not get the user high, since the THC in a topical is absorbed by the skin directly, rather than through the liver or bloodstream.

This is good news for users who are interested in trying topicals, but don’t want the psychoactive effects. For users that are looking to get high, they will want to look for other options.

So, if topicals don’t get the user high, what do they do?

Infused topicals provide relief from muscle and nerve pain, arthritis, inflammation, and skin disorders like eczema. Some users also report relief from headaches and cramps, though these reports are anecdotal since there isn’t enough documented research yet available.

Topicals come in three different types: Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate.

Both full spectrum and broad spectrum are infused with a wide array of cannabinoids and terpenes, though in broad spectrum, THC is excluded. CBD isolates are infused with CBD only.

While all three options are effective, many users prefer full spectrum because of the entourage effect, in which all of the different cannabinoids complement one another to maximize each other’s effects.  

Consumers should always buy topicals from a licensed dispensary, so that they can be assured that the products have been tested, passed quality control, the manufacturers are licensed, and all ingredients are listed.  

For users who are looking to experience the full healing effects of cannabis, rather than wanting to get high, topicals are a great option to consider.

Sources: Leafly, Weedmaps, NIH

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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