Our Skin Deep series has gone over the basics of how topicals work, as well as how they can help treat conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Cannabis-infused creams, balms, and salves are extremely useful for specific skin conditions. But, even if you don’t have a skin condition, there are some very good reasons why having canna-cream handy is a must. Here’s why cannabis topicals are first aid essentials.
What do cannabis topicals do?
Once you start using cannabis topicals, you’ll want to use them for everything. Cannabis balms are to the real world what Windex is to Gus Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Topicals have strong pain-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Research has shown that
Research has shown that THC and CBD, two of the most common compounds in cannabis, also have antibacterial properties. All of these characteristics make canna-infused creams the miracle workers of your first aid kit.
A first aid essential
If you have a gaping wound, you might not want douse it with canna-lotion or oil right away. Rather, topicals work extremely well a few stages along in the healing process. Once a wound is on the mend, that’s when you apply your infused lotion or salve. Thus far, most of the evidence for topical success is anecdotal. Yet, this anecdotal evidence is backed up by
Thus far, most of the evidence for topical success is anecdotal. Yet, this anecdotal evidence is backed up by countless studies which have researched the inflammation-fighting and antioxidant properties of the plant.
Inflammation is a healthy immune response. When inflammation lasts too long, however, it can be detrimental. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you want that inflammation to come down quickly so that you can reduce pain and heal. Further, antioxidants help protect our cells from damage. These two properties along make cannabis one potent healing plant. Here are some minor first aid problems cannabis can help:
Here are some minor first aid problems cannabis can help.
Severely dry skin
As we mentioned earlier in this series, THC increases the production of oil in the skin. A topical containing activated THC is a great way to kick-start production of your body’s natural lubricant. Rubbing something like THC-infused coconut oil onto the affected area will moisturize your skin a couple of ways.
The coconut oil provides immediate moisture and relief. The THC activates oil producing glands in the damaged area.
Small cuts, scrapes, and other abrasions
A CBD topical, in particular, is great for small cuts, scrapes, or other minor skin abrasions. Not only does it reduce pain and swelling around the area, but it also has potent antibacterial properties. Before applying a cannabis topical to an open wound, make sure that the additives in the lotion won’t aggravate the cut or scrape.
Opt for coconut oil, hemp oil, and beeswax. Essential oils like mint, lemon balm, or tea tree are also a bonus. Easing inflammation will also help prevent scarring.
Let’s say you’ve been running around outside and you’ve developed some kind of allergic skin reaction to pollen or grasses. This is a perfect time to break out your cannabis lotion. Allergic skin reactions occur when your body begins fighting off an infection that isn’t really there.
Applying cannabis lotion to the affected area will calm down the immune response. This eliminates the itch, inflammation, and redness of the rash.
There’s a reason topical massage has become so popular. Whether you’ve been lifting weights or just overdid it at work, cannabis topicals can provide a significant amount of relief for sore muscles and aching joints. The reason? Inflammation. When you damage a muscle, it quickly becomes inflamed in response. This makes it stiff and tender.
In a muscle that is constantly overused, chronic inflammation can lead to a build-up of scar tissue. This scar tissue is not as flexible as normal muscle tissue and it can cause problems over time. Use cannabis cream like you would use a product like IcyHot. Just make sure to rest up after the injury and give it enough time to heal.
Though a little unscientific, I thought I’d share a personal example for this one. Cannabis topicals are a miracle for mosquito bites. After a short summertime hike, I’ve been known to come back with over 30 mosquito bites. I used to carry tubes of Benadryl cream and small bottles of bug spray in my purse in preparation for a mosquito attack. This all changed when I found cannabis topicals.
No joke, bites that would take a week or so to heal with anti-histamine cream practically disappeared overnight once I started slathering them with cannabis topicals. The itching stopped completely about 15 minutes after application. What were once giant, angry red blisters were nothing more than small white dots the morning after using cannabis cream. If you have some handy, I encourage you to give it a try the next time you’re assaulted by these pesky insects.
Canna-topicals should be a vital part of everyone’s first aid kit. The uses for this plant are immense, and this article is only a small sampling of what the herb can do for your skin. Topicals are easy to make on your own and available in many dispensaries and compassion centers. You can even purchase some hemp-based topicals online if you don’t live in a cannabis-friendly state.
Do you use cannabis topicals as first aid? Share your story with us on social media or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!