Republished with permission from Hempster an Evio Community Partner
Many of us benefit greatly from using a cannabis-based topical, but unfortunately, we can’t legally buy it (for now). These topicals are great for soothing painful cramps, relieve localized pain or soreness, and to reduce inflammation.
Currently, Health Canada does not permit the sale of cannabis creams. Some producers sell a pre-made cream that can be mixed with their oils for legal home use. This is a great workaround for many, but the creams sold by these LPs aren’t any different than your typical cream.
Here’s a simple guide to making a cannabis cream at home, with some background on what they are and how they work.
WHAT ARE TOPICALS?
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions and balms that are applied to the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Topicals are perfect for those who want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the high usually associated with it.
There are many other transdermal applications being used with great success for many patients. Across dispensaries and in the US, patients are using transdermal patches for long-lasting relief, with specialized balms popping up all the time.
HOW DO CANNABIS TOPICALS WORK?
WILL IT GET ME HIGH?
In most cases, even if a topical contains active THC, it still won’t induce the “high” you’d get from otherwise ingesting cannabis. This is because the cannabinoids can’t breach the bloodstream through the skin. However, some transdermal patches being used may deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream and, if there is THC, would have the associated psychoactive effects.
ARE ALL TOPICALS CREATED EQUAL?
Topicals can be made using cannabis oil from many different plants or be strain-specific. Strain-specific topicals attempt to utilize the terpenes and other compounds from a specific strain for targeted treatment and results. That being said, with the scientific advances in cannabis extractions producers can now reintroduce certain terpenes and other therapeutic compounds into the oil itself.
It’s not just cannabinoids that producers introduce into topicals. Products are coming to market with other select ingredients and essential oils for additional relief, like aloe vera, cayenne and vitamin E.
WHAT SYMPTOMS DO TOPICALS TREAT?
There is a limited amount of scientific evidence regarding the proven benefits of cannabis topicals. Anecdotally, topicals are useful for localized pain relief, soreness, inflammation and more. With that, many studies are popping up regarding the wide-ranging benefits including certain skin allergies, psoriasis, dermatitis, headaches, arthritis, cramping, mild skin irritations and more. Many people are also using topicals in the form of lubricants for enhanced sexual pleasure.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CANNABIS TOPICALS:
Our version of the topical is a smoother, non-greasy alternative that can be used at any temperature. You may find other guides for a more firm results, which works just as well, but we find this to be more practical.
Note that you can simply mix any cannabis oil with your favourite cream to make a simpler cannabis infused cream. This guide makes a cannabis salve or ointment useful for targeted therapy.
- In a double boiler (or a pan set on top of a pot with simmering water), melt 1 cup of cannabis coconut oil.
- Add 1/4 cup of organic olive oil to the infused coconut oil. The olive oil helps create a smoother finished product and improve absorption.
- Add 1/3 cup of beeswax. Mix in or whisk the beeswax until it is melted. The beeswax makes the topical non-greasy and has a lot of added benefits. It protects the skin, can improve healing, and has some slight anti-inflammatory properties.
- Optional – add essential oils. Feel free to add a splash of tea tree oil, eucalyptus, clove, or any other essential oil.
- Once melted and mixed, pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Once cooled, whisk together and pour into a jar or container. Mix the product one last time, seal it, and let cool.
You now have your own homemade cannabis topical!