Those of you familiar with the many benefits of cannabis probably already know that our favorite plant is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. It is also an antibacteriaI. In this post, I will be examining cannabis-infused topicals such as creams, lotions and salves, from a first aid standpoint.
Severely Dry Skin
THC activates the oil producing glands in areas damaged by dry skin. THC-induced coconut oil makes an amazing lubricant which will moisturize the area while bringing pain relief. You can purchase topicals from your dispensary or you can make your own, which, of course, will be much cheaper. More importantly, making your own will allow you to control the potency and to add additional ingredients like essential oils.
Small Cuts, Scrapes and Other Abrasions
CBD based topicals work well to reduce swelling and pain in addition to providing antibacterial properties to your minor injuries. Great for treating your kids’ boo-boos! Coconut oil, hemp oil and beeswax make the best topical base. You can also add lemon balm, mint and tea tree essential oils for an extra antibacterial boost. The quicker the reduction in inflammation, the less pronounced the scarring will be.
FYI: If you have a very deep wound, you will want to avoid using cannabis for a few days until it has healed significantly. Anecdotal evidence indicates that your cannabis topical may irritate a deep wound, but will speed up healing later on in the process.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, pollen, grasses and certain plants can illicit an immune response on your skin. A cannabis topical is the perfect antidote to reducing itching, inflammation and redness from a rash which are common symptoms of dermatitis.
When you overwork muscles, your body initiates an inflammatory response due to a build up of lactic acid. Use cannabis topicals as you would something like IcyHot in order to reduce inflammation, ease aching muscles and joints, and reduce the pain. Movement is necessary to repair damaged muscles, but stop doing the activity that caused the strain. This is often due to repetitive motion.
Cannabis topicals definitely soothe the immune response of an itchy insect bite. It has definitely worked for me. I have a wonderful anecdotal story which involved my husband, his lower leg and what we think was a horsefly bite. My husband was walking along a channel near our house. Soon after getting home, he noticed that he had a very large, angry, red bite on his lower leg. With each subsequent day, his leg got more and more swollen, more and more red. By the end of the 3rd day, his entire lower leg and foot had blown up like a balloon and was dark red. It was truly alarming and we seriously thought he might need to go to the ER. We tried every antibacterial, anti-inflammatory topical we had in our medicine cabinet. Guess what worked? A CBD oil topical mixed with chamomile, lavender and frankincense. Within 24 hours, the immune response subsided and his leg returned to normal.
Here is a recipe to make your own cannabis-induced salve to put in your first aid kit.
DIY Cannabis Topical Salve Recipe
- 7-10 grams of ground, decarboxylated cannabis
- 1 ½ cups of coconut oil
- 1/3 cup beeswax
- 1 saucepan (or double boiler)
- 1 jar
- 1 cheesecloth
- A few drops of essential oil (your choice)
Place the coconut oil in a saucepan or a double boiler over low heat and stir continuously for 25-30 minutes. Mix in the cannabis and continue stirring it continuously over low heat for a further 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and pour it through cheesecloth into a heat resistant jar. Set aside.
In the same saucepan or double boiler, place the beeswax and melt it over low heat. Feel free to add your favorite essential oils such as lavender, tea tree or mint. As it is melting, add the cannabis-infused coconut oil. Once thoroughly mixed, remove from heat and transfer to containers.
I would love to hear your experiences if you use cannabis topicals! Leave me a comment below.
Sources: Herb.co, Skin Deep #5: Why Cannabis Topicals Are First Aid Essential, Delilah Butterfield, 6/15/2016
Leafly.com, How To Make Your Own DIY Cannabis Topicals, Lisa Rough