Are you dreaming of a world where the relief you’ve been seeking for your muscle aches, skin irritations, or general discomfort lies in your own hands—literally? Cannabis topicals like balms, salves, and lotions may help relieve pain and anxiety, have a quick onset time, and produce very few intoxicating effects. Read on to discover eight reasons to try cannabis topicals to benefit your skin.

A picture of a hand in a jar of cannabis salve.

Article Features

  • Why cannabis works
  • The eight main benefits
  • Want to make it easy? Skip the hard work and have my high-quality cannabis topicals delivered directly to your doorstep. Now shipping across the US!
A picture of Emily Kyles CBD product line.

Why You Will Love This Guide

You’ve probably already heard of them, CBD creams, lotions and salves can be found at any local pharmacy or health store.

Not limited to just CBD, cannabis topicals are defined as any type of cannabis product that is then applied directly to the skin in the place of discomfort.

Popular products include ointments, balms, salves, face creams, lotions, perfumes, bath bombs, and yes, even personal arousal products.

Thankfully, many of my Well With Cannabis Community members have already discovered the incredible pain-relieving benefits from making and using cannabis topicals.

Are you ready to experiment to see if you could get the same relief from aches, pains, and more?

Read on to learn more about the science-backed benefits of cannabis topicals, discover how you can make your own at home, and find where to purchase incredible products to try.

How Topicals Benefit The Skin

Historically, ancient Chinese medicine used cannabis topicals to treat skin ulcers, fungal infections, wounds, and more1.

Applying cannabis to the skin has been said to provide localized pain relief along with many anti-inflammatory benefits.

When cannabinoids are applied directly to the skin, they interact with the CB2 receptors that are a part of our endocannabinoid system.

Delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, THCA, and THCV exert anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically1.

Anti-bacterial activity is found in CBD, CBG, and their acid forms CBDA and CBGA2.

Cannabis topicals have been scientifically proven to help treat a variety of skin conditions including:

  • Acne
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Pruritus
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin cancer

Anecdotally, members of my community report they have experienced topical relief from:

  • Arthritis
  • Skin conditions like eczema
  • Fungal infections
  • Other skin ailments like cuts and scrapes
  • Bug bites

TopicalsYou Won’t Get High

One benefit of using cannabis topicals is that it is a great option for first time users.

This is because when you apply THC directly to your skin, it does not produce the intoxicating effects that are seen with inhalation or edibles.

Unless used as a transdermal patch – but more on that later.

Cannabinoids, like CBD or THC, when applied directly to the skin, penetrate the epidermis only and are not absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Because THC does not enter the bloodstream, it can not produce an intoxicating effect or high sensation.

Additionally, it has been suggested that topically applied THC will not show up in the bloodstream or urine when tested.

Depending on your desired experience, this no-high application method can be a great alternative, especially for new consumers.

Topicals Work Quickly

One reason people love cannabis topicals is that they work quite quickly.

When applied to the skin, it will typically take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to experience the onset of effects.

The average duration of these effects can last anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the person. 

Because topicals are not absorbed directly into the bloodstream, they can be reapplied as often as needed throughout the day.

An Option for Children

Topical applications may be a viable option for children given the fact that they are not directly absorbed into the bloodstream.

The lack of intoxicating effects ensures no unwanted outcomes while still delivering important cannabis medicine as needed.

Of course, this should be discussed with your trusted family members and healthcare providers. 

Cannabis Salve

Potential Benefits of Topicals

As reported in Dermatology Online Journal, using cannabis directly on the skin may result in the following positive results:

  1. Pain relief
  2. Help for anxiety and depression
  3. Alleviate cancer-related symptoms
  4. Reduce symptoms associated with neurological disorders
  5. Reduce signs of skin aging
  6. Alleviate psoriasis
  7. Help with acne
  8. Moisturize the skin

Lets review each one of these in-depth below.

#1 – Pain Relief

People have long reported that CBD provides pain relief, and scientific studies are beginning to support the theory. 

As stated by Harvard Health, “CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain”.

They also mention several specific studies that show the beneficial use of CBD oil for arthritis pain.

Additional studies show CBD may help reduce chronic pain and inflammation when applied topically and ingested.

# 2 – Anxiety and Depression

Cannabis oil applied topically or otherwise, is often used to manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The cannabinoid CBD, cannabidiol, has the most evidence to support its antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. 

There is not yet enough clinical evidence to support the use of topical cannabis to treat anxiety or depression, but that doesn’t mean many people don’t use cannabis for this exact reason.

Cancer-related side effects, including nausea, pain, and vomiting, are many times being treated with cannabis.

Managing cancer-related symptoms is one of the main qualifying conditions for receiving a medical marijuana card

One study found that cannabis oral sprays containing both CBD and THC are “generally well tolerated, with no evidence of a loss of effect for relieving cancer-related pain with long-term use”.

#4 – Neurological Disorders 

Oral sprays containing CBD, like the prescription medication Sativex, have been used to reduce muscle spasticity and reduce epilepsy seizures in children.

As published in Brain Sciences, hey may also prevent neurological degeneration in people with Alzheimer’s, as CBD is a powerful neuroprotectant.

Many caretakers who care for loved ones with advanced neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or dementia use cannabis topicals to bring pain relief and a sense of calm to their loved ones without introducing any potential intoxicating effects.

#5 – Improve Aging Skin

It is believed that hemp seed oil may play a key role in ensuring your skin stays healthy, hydrated, and good-looking.

While hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids.

However, producers claim that using hemp seed oil-infused products may still reduce the visible signs of aging due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

#6 – Alleviate Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic illness that causes the appearance of patches of abnormal skin, forming of scales, and red spots.

While more scientific research is needed, as I shared in my article for CRx Magazine, preliminary evidence suggests that cannabis may be a novel treatment for psoriasis.

Both hemp seed oil and CBD oil contain anti-inflammatory features, which may be attributed to the soothing effect often seen by those living with psoriasis. 

#7 – A Solution for Acne

Could hemp seed oil or CBD oil be the next big trend in acne solutions?

As published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, It is believed that cannabis has the ability to inhibit oil production, a major underlying factor in the cause of acne.

Additionally, it is known that hemp seed and CBD oil have anti-inflammatory properties.

These properties may help to reduce the unwanted effects often seen on acne-prone skin.

#8 – Moisturize The Skin

When applied topically, CBD oil helps to hydrate and moisturize the skin.

Cannabis-infused oil has the perfect balance of nutrients to help prevent or stop the peeling of the skin, rough patches, and cracks. 

Shop For Topicals

You will get the most benefits from a full-spectrum topical product because all of the cannabinoids work together synergistically to provide the body with what it needs.

Full-spectrum means that a wide range of cannabinoids are included, including THC.

All of my cannabis topical products are full-spectrum and come with rave customer reviews!

Shop Now

Make Cannabis Topicals At Home 

There are many benefits of making your own cannabis topicals at home including cost savings and control over your ingredients and final products.

Below are my favorite cannabis topical recipes that you can try at home:

Recipes to Try


Cannabis topicals have tremendous potential health benefits.

They are currently being used to help people manage pain, inflammation, anxiety, skin conditions, and more.

One of the major draws to cannabis topicals is that they do not produce any intoxicating effects when applied, even THC.

This no-high is perfect for new cannabis users or people who do not want to get high.

If you are looking for more in-depth information on cannabis topicals and how to use them to improve your specific conditions, I invite you to learn more in my Edibles Made Easy Online Course.

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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  1. Hi Moira. In general, THC provides better pain relief than CBD, but CBD absorbs better than THC into the skin, so combining both works best. Also, limonene and linalool can help the THC/CBD cross the skin barrier more easily, making the topicals more effective.

  2. I recently made a high strength mct oil the mixed some with 100mls of hemp seed oil. The mct oil was decarbed and infused but the hemp seed oil wasn’t. I just mixed the two after. Do you think it will make the oil less effective? Should I use my double boiler and put the entire mixer back in for a few hour to infuse the hemp seed oil too? Thanks

  3. Thank you so much for reaching out with your question, Eoghan 😊 Because you’ve already decarbed and infused the MCT oil, mixing it with hemp seed oil afterwards shouldn’t significantly impact its effectiveness. The MCT oil carries the active components, and blending it with hemp seed oil essentially dilutes the concentration but doesn’t negate the benefits. Hemp seed oil itself is rich in nutrients and can complement the MCT oil well, even if it hasn’t been infused or decarbed. However, if you’re looking to maximize the potential benefits from both oils, infusing the hemp seed oil too could be an interesting experiment. If you do decide to infuse both together, I’d love to hear how it turns out or if you notice any difference in the effectiveness!