Modern cannabis consumption method enables almost everyone to benefit from therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis and hemp plant. Gone are the days where the only way to “get high” was with a joint or a bong. Nowadays, cannabis is available in easy-to-consume methods including edibles, tinctures, and topicals.
Topicals Provide Localized Relief
Cannabis-infused topicals include lotions, salves, balms, creams, and oils used to treat affected areas of the skin. Some studies and tons of anecdotal evidence suggest that cannabis topicals can reduce pain, inflammation, aches, and soreness. Although cannabis topicals have multiple therapeutic applications, getting high isn’t one of them.
THC Lotion Doesn’t Get You High
Many first or long-time cannabis consumers will use cannabis topicals like THC lotions to reap the medical benefits without the psychoactive experience. Cannabis topicals can contain THC, CBD, THCA, and other cannabinoids, or a mix of many cannabinoids and terpenes (for aroma). The inability to induce mind-altering effects has made cannabis topicals an ideal treatment option for not only pain, but also skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
THC Lotions Don’t Reach The Bloodstream
In order to understand why THC lotion doesn’t get users high, users must know about the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is comprised of a network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body that help to maintain homeostasis. Receptors are responsible for regulating everything from mood, memory, pain sensitivity, and more.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD mimic naturally-produced endocannabinoids. For example, THC mimics anandamide and binds to the body’s two cannabinoids receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in the central and peripheral nervous system. When applied to the skin, the cannabinoids don’t reach the bloodstream.
What Does THC Lotion Feel Like?
When applied liberally, THC lotion can take up to 30 minutes to work. Users have reported feeling a tingling sensation that can last 3 hours or more. While users won’t get stoned, they may feel localized relief without the psychoactivity.
THC and CBD Lotion
Apart from containing endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, the skin contains TRPV-1 pain receptors which are activated by physical or chemical stimuli. The skin also contains enzymes FAAH and MAGL responsible for the synthesis and metabolism of cannabinoids. FAAH, for example, removes excess anandamide.
CBD slows down the breakdown of THC (which mimics anandamide) making it more bioavailable to the body. For many, choosing a THC topical with some CBD can improve the benefits associated with cannabis topical use.
What About Failing A Drug Test?
For the same reason that THC lotion doesn’t get users high, it won’t make them fail a drug screening test. THC from cannabis-infused topicals never makes it to the bloodstream or the digestive system. Common drug screening methods on blood, urine, hair, or saliva won’t detect topical cannabis use.
While it would be convenient to slather on some THC lotion to feel a buzz, it simply doesn’t work that way. THC lotions are reserved for users looking for localized and natural pain and inflammatory relief. Even users who go through multiple containers of THC lotion won’t risk feeling “high” or failing a drug test. At most, THC lotion users will feel incredibly relaxed and at peace.