The Cannabis market is flooded with various products such as topicals that might contain CBD, CBG, or even Delta 8 THC. However, because many of these products might also contain other psychoactive compounds, it is normal to think they can get you ‘high.’ This article talks about cannabis topicals, how they work and if they can make you feel high.

The cannabis plant has over one hundred compounds (cannabinoids) that make up the plant; however, THC and CBD products are the most famous. With every research conducted by medical experts, Cannabis has consistently proven itself as a wonder plant with many properties useful to help those with various medical conditions. Topicals are products applied to the skin for the various benefits that CBD might offer your skin. However, because topicals are made from the cannabis plant, can they make you high? Let’s discuss more topicals in this article.


The cannabis plant is widely known for making the user feel ‘high’; however, modern research has suggested that the plant might offer various medicinal benefits. One of the cannabinoids, known as CBD, has been under intensive research for having therapeutic properties that can ease pain and inflammation throughout the body. As the surge in demand for medical cannabis products has risen, many companies have developed various consumable CBD products. Therefore, you can easily find CBD edibles, tinctures, and topicals in the market today. Although they are made of the same compound, the difference in the form of application can alter the effects of these compounds.

When CBD is smoked or vaped, it flows into the lungs through the many blood vessels available. Once in the bloodstream, CBD interacts with the brain to dispense its therapeutic benefits. Our body has natural receptors that control different aspects of our body. Different hormones and chemicals in the body also affect the functionality of the endocannabinoid receptors. However, when topical cannabis products are applied to the skin, the cannabinoids are not absorbed into the bloodstream because they are not consumed orally or sublingually. Furthermore, the cannabinoids in the products are normally just absorbed into the epidermis; most don’t reach deeper into the dermis to get into the bloodstream. Some products, however, can reach deeper to be absorbed into the bloodstream, although they are very rare.


The cannabis plant has been in the spotlight for having several properties; one of the most common effects of Cannabis is its ability to make you feel high. Gulluni et al. (2018) suggested that avid cannabis users experience a heightened relaxing sensation while using Cannabis. Additionally, some cannabis users reported increased anxiety levels and reduced concentration.

Cannabis does this because THC is found in high percentages in the marijuana plant. THC binds with the body receptor cells to give you the ‘high’ feeling.’ According to Meccariello (2020), THC precisely interacts with the endocannabinoid system and binds with CB1 receptor cells in the brain to transmit impulses that reduce muscle pains and inflammation. Although THC is the main compound responsible for making you feel high, other compounds in the cannabis plant might affect how your body reacts to Cannabis.


There are three types of cannabis compounds; CBD isolate, which exists in the purest form of Cannabis and doesn’t have any other compound. Another type of CBD compound is the broad-spectrum CBD product, which has every cannabinoid and chemical compound found in hemp except THC.

However, full-spectrum CBD is a cannabis product with all the compounds of the cannabis plant. Full Spectrum cannabis products are normally made up of fatty acids, vitamins, and herbs that might enhance the therapeutic benefits of other cannabinoids such as CBD. It is thought that these products usually work harmoniously in a process called the entourage effect.

You can find topical products in the form of lotions and creams, to name just a few; this means that the user has a wide inventory to choose from when they try out cannabis products. However, because these products might contain THC or other compounds, you must check whether the product you purchase contains heavy metals or other toxic substances. Because topicals are applied on the skin, and most products don’t travel far deep into the skin, you might not detect THC by doing a simple drug test. This is because most topicals usually act on the target area they are applied to.


CBD products are popular for their ability to alleviate various diseases and conditions. Furthermore, CBD enthusiasts love CBD topicals because of their several benefits compared to other inorganic skin care products. According to Rub (2022), they can be applied in a specific area for localized relief and muscle relaxation. Further research suggests that CBD topicals can reduce muscle tension and skin inflammation; CBD can alleviate skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis.

Khaleghi (2020) suggested that CBD topicals help relieve arthritis, normally caused by inflammation. This could be attributed to CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.


Several companies have ventured into the cannabis market; thus, different products might be designed to have varying effects. Therefore, some topical cannabis products are more effective in alleviating skin conditions such as acne and protecting the skin from oxidative stress.

When purchasing cannabis topicals, read the customer reviews because they will give you more insight into the brand’s reputation and the product quality. Furthermore, purchase topical cannabis products extracted from US-grown hemp because the hemp plants are majorly grown organically. In addition, check the extraction method, preferably CO2 extraction, since it produces high-quality CBD oil.


The cannabis plant has continuously been used for various recreational and medicinal purposes. However, recent research on Cannabis has raised the possibility of cannabis products being used more frequently for their health benefits. Topicals, which are products you can apply on the skin, such as lotions, creams, and balms, are one of the most used cannabis products. These products are extracted from the cannabis plant, and because they might contain many compounds, it’s normal that some users might think it can get them high. More research is still going on about Cannabis; however, because cannabis topicals are applied on the skin, and most of the products are not absorbed into the bloodstream, it’s safe to say cannabis topicals can’t make you high.


Gulluni, N., Re, T., Loiacono, I., Lanzo, G., Gori, L., Macchi, C., … & Firenzuoli, F. (2018). Cannabis essential oil: A preliminary study for the evaluation of the brain effects. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 2018.

Khaleghi, M. (2020). New arthritis foundation guidelines on CBD use could be first of many more to come. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 26, 8-11.

Meccariello, R. (2020). Endocannabinoid system in health and disease: Current situation and future perspectives. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(10), 3549.

Rub, X. C. Best CBD Creams to Buy (2022) Top-Rated CBD Salves Balms That Work.

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Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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