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Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

December 17, 2022 4 min read

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

Cannabis topicals cannot get an individual high since they do not enter the bloodstream. This blog discusses the meaning of cannabis topicals, how they work, benefits and whether cannabis topicals can get you high.

The cannabis plant contains over one hundred and forty chemical compounds and phytochemicals such as flavonoids, cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol(CBN) and tetrahydro cannabidiol(THC). The most prevalent comical compounds are CBD and THC. CBD contains anecdotaleffects, whereas THC has psychoactive effects. THC is linked to the high effects individuals experience when smoking marijuana. CBD is known for its calming and soothing benefits. These two compounds are infused in various topical products such as creams, lotions, balms and salves. Cannabis topicals are applied to the skin to help tackle conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, dry skin, ageing skin and pain. However, can they get you high?

UnderstandingCannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals are products applied directly to the skin. They are available in variousformulations, including sprays, balms, lotions and serums. Their two major active ingredients are CBD and THC, extracted from the cannabis plant. Although CBD is psychoactiveand boosts an individual's mood, it is non-psychotropic; it does not cause a high effect. THC offers psychotropic and mind-altering effects. In the UK, any cannabis topical should not contain more than 0.2 per cent of THC.

The Working of Cannabis Topicals

The cannabis plant contains multiple chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. They include; THC, CBD, CBG and CBN. The body constitutes a signalling system known as the endocannabinoidsystem. It comprises enzymes, cannabinoidreceptors and endocannabinoids. these cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoidsystem, binding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, unlike other administration methods, when used externally, the cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors at the cellular level. The body produces its receptors, known as endocannabinoids. They include anandamide. CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system while the CB2 receptors are in the immune system.

Upon inhalation, tetrahydrocannabinolenters the bloodstream, breaks the barrier between the blood and the brain, and reaches the brain. When it is in the brain, it binds with the CB1 receptors, which carry its effects throughout the central nervous system.

When using cannabis topicals, the compounds do not enter the bloodstream. They are only absorbed in the outer skin's layer.  they reach the deeper skin layer known as the dermis. However, most chemical compoundscannotget to the dermis since they are chemically absorbable. a solvent is required for them to reach the dermis.The skin prevent harmful environmental stressors from reaching the bloodstream. Hence, cannabinoids such as THC  are blocked from the body. these are made possible by the stratum Basale, one of the epidermis layers. It prevents fluids and chemicals from reaching the body. the epidermis has CB2 receptors. Upon application, cannabistopicalsinteract with this receptor, reducing pain and inflammation by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain neurons.

Cannabis topicals are excellent for individuals who want relief without any side effects. However, they do not provide full-body relief since they can't reach the entire body.

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

CBD topicals cannot get users high although it has THC.  This is because the skin has a thick layer, and it is not as effective  forabsorbing chemical compounds in the bloodstream. As a result, the compounds do not affect the brain.

Benefits of Cannabis Topicals

Relieves Pain and Inflammation

CBD and THC contain pain-relieving qualities to minimise various pain condition symptoms’. Argueta et al. (2020) noted that cannabinoidsinteract with the ECS, exerting their anti-inflammatory effects on the targeted area. CBD triggers the production of anandamide, one of the endocannabinoid receptors messengers. A higher level of anandamide results in less pain and inflammation. CBD also binds to the CB1 receptors, blocking pain signal’s from reading the brain neurons.

Reduces Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition caused when new cells travel to the skin's surface faster. This results in dry and cracking skin. the inflammatory properties of CBD help improve psoriasis symptoms. Atalay et al. (2021) commented that CBD also reduces plaque accumulation and prevents the production of keratinocytes, the major cause of psoriasis.

Alleviates Ageing Skin Appearance

The major causes of ageing skin are collagen loss and oxidative stress. Skin pigmentation, loose skin and wrinkles characterise ageing skin. Gegotek et al. (2021) stated that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoidsreceptor, protecting the skin against numerous environmental stressors like sun and pollution. This results in the minimisation of ageing signs. CBD also tackles ageing by minimising collagen loss and improving skin cell turnover.

CBD is also a powerful antioxidant agent. When applied to the skin, it repairs the damaged skin cells leading to healthier skin.


Cannabis topicals include productssuch as lotion, salves, balms and creams. They are made from ingredients such as CBD and THC. These are the two most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Although cannabidiol is psychoactive, it does not offer any psychotropic or mid-altering effects like its counterpart, THC.However, if you are looking for a way to get high, cannabis topicals are not considerable because they do not absorb past the epidermis. a product must reach the bloodstream, which travels to the central nervous system to exert its effects to experience the high effect,.Cannabis topicals are utilised for localised relief. They tackle various skin conditions such as acne, eczema and dermatitis. efore using any cannabis topical, it is vital to talk to a dermatologist since they outline any possible side effects for you. they help you find the right dosage your body tolerates.


Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A balanced approach for cannabidiol use in chronic pain. Frontiers in pharmacology11, 561.

Atalay, S., Gęgotek, A., Wroński, A., Domigues, P., &Skrzydlewska, E. (2021). Therapeutic application of cannabidiol on UVA and UVB irradiated rat skin. A proteomic study. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis192, 113656.

Gęgotek, A., Atalay, S., Rogowska-Wrzesińska, A., &Skrzydlewska, E. (2021). The effect of cannabidiol on UV-induced changes in intracellular signaling of 3D-cultured skin keratinocytes. International journal of molecular sciences22(3), 1501.