Rubs on, Relieves Pain: Cannabis topicals are popular in Colorado

By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Tumbleweed Dispensary

Gone are the days of Icy Hot being the only pain-relieving topical on the market. In Summit County, cannabis topicals are popular items at Tumbleweed Dispensary, thanks to their healing, non-psychoactive effects.

Cannabis topicals include a wide variety of products like lotions, oils, salves and body balms. These products are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of inflammation, pain, stiffness/soreness, rashes or joint pain, said Greg Conley, regional manager of Eagle and Summit Counties for Tumbleweed Dispensary, which has seven locations from Frisco to De Beque.

These cannabis-infused products bind to a network of receptors, called CB2 receptors, which are found throughout the body and “are activated either by the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids or by cannabis compounds known as phytocannabinoids,” according to Leafly, an online cannabis information resource.

Curington said the topicals bind to this network of CB2 receptors, which is the peripheral receptor for cannabinoids (see factbox).

CB2 receptors appear to be promising targets for drug development, both for chronic pain and other indications, according to a study published in Molecular Pharmacology.

Early research and user-based evidence shows that cannabis topicals are successful in treating aches, pains, soreness, stiffness, arthritis, inflammation and skin issues. The ability to affect localized pain and inflammation in the body, but without the psychoactive effects of THC, is what has so many Colorado customers excited about topicals. And given the current opioid crisis in America, Colorado’s marijuana industry is excited about providing these safe, natural products as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Some of the cannabis topical products available at Tumbleweed:

  • Nordic Goddess: Nordic Goddess’ Infused Body Balm combines a unique mix of plant extracts and herbs to create a rejuvenating experience for your skin. Rich moisturizing ingredients including shea butter, tropical coconut oil, and cocoa butter complement cannabis-extracted CBD to provide anti-inflammatory and pain reliving benefits in a  lavish cream. With 301mg CBD, 224mg THC, and 78.6mg CBN, this balm contains over 600mg of total cannabinoids.
  • Wranglers Relief: A salve that’s marketed to men but great for anyone. It contains THC and smells spicy like cinnamon. 221.4mg THC, 230.14mg CBD, 5.13mg CBD
  • Dixie Bath Soak: Perfect after a long workout or a long day, Dixie Bath Soak is infused with pure-extracted THC to relieve muscle soreness and tension. And it’s formulated with rosemary, lavender and cedar wood to help you find deep relaxation.

What are cannabinoids?

Of the more than 480 natural components found in the cannabis sativa plant, 66 have been classified as cannabinoids. These chemicals are unique to the plant and interact with receptors in the central nervous system. Two of the most popular cannabinoids within the plant are THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) and CBD (cannabidiols). THC produces psychoactive effects, while CBD doesn’t produce a “stoned” feeling at all and instead produces many healing and therapeutic effects.

*Source: The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington