Cannabis Topicals 102: Which CBD:THC ratio is right for you?
by Jeff Eckenrode, director of operations
In Cannabis Topicals 101, we touched briefly on some of the exciting details surrounding the variety of cannabis gels, lotions and oils that we carry at Hashtag.
We covered the key differences between topical gels, oils and lotions, their uses, and their potential benefits for folks looking for relief from muscle, limb, and joint discomfort.
But that was only the beginning!
If you’re one of the 100 million people in the United States that suffer regularly from chronic pain or discomfort, then you might have considered using a cannabis topical before.
If that sounds like you, then you have come to the right place, friend: Topicals 102!
Hashtag is proud to offer an expanded lineup of cannabis topicals, which now include new THC- and CBD-dominant varieties of several of the topical products you may have already come to know and love.
But if you’ve never used a topical before, or haven’t found the right one yet, then why should you consider using a topical that is high in THC? Or high in CBD? Or (here’s a bold suggestion) high in both?
Don’t sweat it, we’ve asked ourselves the very same questions! We know that the wide variety of information available at the counter can be daunting. And without an expert at your side, it can certainly feel like you’re lost in the woods each time you visit your favorite dispensary.
Luckily, our friendly budtenders are here for you. They have done the research to help answer your questions to help you find the topical that’s just right for you.
CBD:THC ratios and why you should care
It might surprise you to learn that many topicals already contain THC (the principal intoxicating property of cannabis) as well as CBD (a non-intoxicating molecule found naturally in cannabis).
And although THC’s effects are almost always non-intoxicating in topical form, THC and CBD can provide relief for people looking to combat discomfort or soreness when applied to the skin.
Several cannabis studies, including a recent study by Dr. Ethan Russo entitled “A Tale of Two Cannabinoids”, found that THC and CBD, when combined, can be more effective in mitigating discomfort than when they are isolated (this combined efficacy is commonly known as “the entourage effect”).
Dr. Russo’s prior research also suggests that terpenes (the aromatic flavor-molecules found naturally in cannabis and other plants) may play an important role in this synergy as well.
Throughout the cannabis world, many products are often described or defined in terms of their THC and CBD content, known casually as a CBD:THC ratio. And finding the ratio that’s right for you may provide the relief that you are looking for to turn the volume down on your discomfort.
But I thought CBD was all I needed ... Why would I want THC in my topical?
Because cannabis researchers have discovered that there are endocannabinoid receptors located all over your body that allow you to absorb both THC and CBD. And these receptors are connected in a network that scientists call the endocannabinoid system (for more information on the endocannabinoid system, click here).
And although THC, on its own, may not be particularly effective at reducing inflammation or discomfort, studies have shown that THC can augment CBD’s ability to mitigate soreness and discomfort throughout the body. And other naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes may augment these effects even further!
So, what’s best for me?
That entirely depends on you! Research into the benefits of high-THC vs. high-CBD topicals is in its infancy. But existing studies indicate that many high-CBD topicals are ideal for cannabis newbies looking for mild to moderate relief. In contrast, high-THC topicals can be particularly effective for managing mild to moderate soreness and discomfort. And the most effective topicals tend to have equal amounts of THC and CBD.
Here are just a few of our staff’s favorite products for injuries, skin irritation and chronic discomfort.
New to cannabis topicals? Try Flow Gel by Fairwinds.
Most people that are new to topicals (and cannabis in general) are concerned with avoiding the intoxicating side effects THC can produce. So if you’re battling with minor to moderate discomfort or skin irritation, check out Flow Gel by Fairwinds.
This gel-based topical is a state-wide best-seller and works great on creaky knees and stiff elbows.
This specially-formulated gel blends natural Terpenes and Essential Oils effortlessly with a 36:1 cannabis concentrate. The result? Deep tissue relief without a head high!
Up all night with an injury? Try Body Care High THC from Bodhi High.
If you’re a regular cannabis user looking for relief from chronic prickling sensations, bruising, or soreness, then Bodhi High’s new Body Care High THC topical may be the perfect pick for you.
Body Care High THC is an effective solution for quelling mild to moderate injury-related discomfort.
Made with calming cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and soothing chamomile, Body Care High THC is a terrific (and discreet) option for active users looking to feel refreshed so they can up and moving again in no time.
Looking to get more “bang” for your buck? Try CPC’s 1:1 Topical Gel.
CPC’s CBD 1:1 topical gel is a staff favorite and is a great buy for folks looking for assistance with chronic or severe discomfort. Made of carbomer 940, grapeseed oil, potassium sorbate & of course cannabis, this gel contains equal amounts of THC and CBD, making it a great choice for folks looking for maximum potency at the finest price!