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Waiter, There’s THC in my CBD Cream: What’s the Best Ratio of CBD/THC for Cannabis Topicals?

Cannabis topicals are a great way to relieve pain and anxiety without feeling the psychoactive effects of THC. There’s been a lot of talk about what the best ratio is for CBD/THC in cannabis topicals, but no one has come up with an answer that seems to work for everyone. In this blog post, we will discuss different ratios that have been tried and tested by others so you can find out which ratio works best for your needs!

The Growing Popularity of CBD Topicals for Pain Relief

Over the last few years, CBD topicals have been increasing in popularity as a way to relieve pain without psychoactive effects. While these products are made from the same plant, they work differently than edibles when consumed orally.

Cannabis topicals can be used on your skin or muscles and contain active cannabinoids that react directly with your system rather than going through the digestive process in order for you to feel their benefits. This makes them an excellent alternative relief product for those suffering from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

cannabis topical

The Burning Question: Can Taking THC Topically Get You High?

Some topical CBD cream contains THC – the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects one gets from smoking marijuana. Many claim that topicals with both compounds work better than those with CBD alone.

So the question many people have when it comes to a CBD topical with THC is, “Can you get high from a CBD topical with THC?” And the answer is . . . maybe.

As is often the case with questions concerning the effects of cannabis, there isn’t enough dtat to confirm or refute whether THC may leak into the circulation after topical application. As a result, most topical users must operate with only personal experience, which may differ from person to person and from topical to topical. Based on user experience, it appears that a person may begin to feel psychoactive effects if three factors are met:

  • High THC content. Topical THC products in higher dosages are more prone to allow for increased permeation of THC through the skin and into the circulation. There is simply not enough THC in most CBD products to make you feel high, even though some contain tiny amounts of THC.
  • Long exposure. When your skin is exposed to THC for a longer period of time, the cannabinoid will have more time to reach your bloodstream. Bath bombs and soaks with THC allow your skin to stay in touch with THC for longer, but lotions and creams dry too quickly.
  • Your physiology. THC tolerance varies; if you are sensitive to low doses of THC, topicals may produce a response in you, whereas someone with a greater tolerance may not.

Evidence Shows that Taking a CBD Topical Can Be Helpful

THC or not, there is evidence showing that CBD topicals are beneficial. One study found that when applied daily to subjects’ skin, CBD reduced inflammations and hyperkeratosis by a significant amount over the course of four weeks.

CBD also has shown promise in its pain-relieving abilities for people with psoriasis who apply it directly onto their skin rather than taking it orally. Other studies have concluded that topical CBD can reduce acne, arthritis pain, headaches, cramps, inflammation from swelling after injuries or surgery (like stitches), muscle soreness after exercising, menstrual pains, backaches caused by an injury called herniated disc, and more!

woman applying cream

The Benefits of Combining CBD and THC

Whether using cannabis recreationally or medicinally, many swear by the “full-spectrum” approach. They believe, essentially, that the full benefits of both CBD and THC cannot be experienced unless both cannabinoids are present.

Is there science behind this belief? Again, research into all things cannabis is limited, but early studies indicate that the synergy between CBD and THC is indeed beneficial, because cannabinoids work better in conjunction with each other than they do on their own.

One study looked at how effective whole-plant extracts are compared to isolated compounds, finding that when isolated cannabis components were used against an extract containing both CBN (a nonpsychoactive compound) and THC, the results showed improved anti-inflammatory effects overusing either cannabinoid by itself. The same was found for another study looking into whether or not terpenes could improve upon CBD’s effect – it turns out that yes, they can! And while one might think this has everything to do with strain of cannabis (i.e., sativa vs indica), research shows us that there isn’t much relation between the strain and the effectiveness.

The Last Toke: Experiment with CBD Creams with Different Amounts of THC Until You Find What Works Best for You!

cannabis topical

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to include THC in your CBD topical is up to you. If you’re interested, start out with a low dosage and see how it goes. If no psychoactive effects are felt after an hour or two, consider increasing the amount of THC used until desired results are achieved.

If you don’t mind getting high, then the experimentation becomes even easier. Perhaps begin with a higher amount of THC, and the daily back until you reach the perfect ratio for you! Our budtenders at Diego Pellicer, would be happy to help you through this process.

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