More and more professionals are endorsing the use of cannabis oils to improve skin conditions and allay the pain caused by other ailments. There are oils and ointments based on marijuana's cannabinoids, which some masseuses and physical therapists are beginning to use due to their excellent results.
In recent years, dozens of studies have been conducted on the therapeutic use of cannabis. The advances in this area have spurred doctors and patients worldwide to opt for new medicines as alternatives to traditional, often ineffective ones. Now topical products are also appearing (especially oils, but also creams, soaps and all types of ointments) that are applied to the skin with small massages to certain ailments.
In the United States, thanks to the on-going legalisation process, these types of lotions are starting to be used at beauty salons for relaxation treatments and massages. Many physical therapists and masseuses have borne witness to the positive effects that cannabis has on muscles and bones, and it seems that both they and their clients are pleased with the results.
Some professionals turn to generic products and trusted brands, but also allow their clients to make suggestions or bring their favourite oils to their facilities. After all, they know that no prescription is needed, and there are no side effects to them, as they act like any other natural plant.
Many are thrilled when they learn that these products can be used on any part of the body to calm discomfort, and on anyone, regardless of age. However, in the US, they are subject to the same legislation as cannabis-containing foods. This is why the first complaints are being voiced regarding the matter; some argue that the regulations should not pertain to them, as these topical products lack any psychoactive effects.
Some even argue that they ought to form part of basic medicine kits all over the world. This should come as no surprise, as they are more potent and have greater effects than other options regularly sold at pharmacies, and those who stand to benefit the most are those who suffer from chronic pain. La Mota spoke to Dr. García de Palau, at the Kalapa Clinic, the first in Spain specialised in treatments using CBD. García de Palau advises the members of Dosemociones on these questions, an association that supports patients who want to learn about the plant's properties.
García de Palau says that, although he had never considered them very valuable, he has realised that cannabis-based topical products work better on certain pathologies than traditional ones, which is why many physical therapists and masseuses are using them in Spain.
According to the doctor, if there is something that characterises the cannabinoids found in grass it is that they are not soluble in water, but they are in fats and organic dissolvents. This is precisely why, when applied, they can be absorbed far better than any other substance. In addition, the skin features an abundance of endocannabinoid system receptors, so “we know that they will interact with them” effectively, improving the patient's health.
Cannabidiol is among the cannabinoids most commonly used for these types of products, as it tempers the effects of THC and means that the topical medicine has no psychoactive effects. Among its features is its analgesic power, which is why it is often used on sprains and injuries that cause chronic pain. It suffices to apply and rub the products on the affected area for 30 to 60 seconds.
García de Palau states that these oils can be used “with very positive results” when an individual suffers from arthritis, arthrosis and other rheumatic conditions. In fact, most marijuana-based topical products are used by these kinds of patients, who can employ them as complements to orally-administered medication.
In these cases, at García de Palau's clinic, products by brands like MyCBD are recommended, but there are numerous possibilities on the market. Another example is Dixie Elixirs, a lotion that helps to reduce muscular fatigue after exercise, but that also works on joint conditions. Another well-known case is Apothecanna, which offers all types of cannabis creams for every situation: extreme and common pain, to relax or to stimulate certain areas, and for everyday use.
To legally acquire them one must turn to the Internet (if they contain CBD) or to cannabis clubs (if they contain THC) since, at least in Spain, no product containing cannabinoids is sold at pharmacies (except Sativex).
Meanwhile, marijuana-based oils are used for illnesses or injuries affecting the outermost layer of the skin, like psoriasis, characterised by flaking and swelling. This is due to the fact that cannabinoids are also notable for their anti-inflammatory effects. “Patients with psoriasis have many problems finding an effective treatment,” explains García de Palau, and cannabinoids are indicated for local treatment, yielding “very acceptable results.”
Cannabidiol is also effective against irritation and itching. When the skin presents conditions causing these sensations, the patient often scratches, which can lead to infections of the affected part and aggravations of the problem. It must be used quickly, if necessary.
However, these products should not be used to treat all cutaneous problems. It is necessary to avoid wounds with any bleeding, pimples, chickenpox or shingles, and the areas where the oil is applied must be dry. It can be used on superficial burns, but is not advisable on more severe ones. “This is not due to the cannabinoids, as they also have bactericidal and antibiotic properties.” The risk could come, rather, from the other elements with which the balsam has been prepared.
It seems that the world of physical therapy, massage and medicine is also opening up to marijuana. There will always be, of course, some who are reluctant to accept new changes in an area as delicate as health. In spite of this, those who trust in marijuana's therapeutic applications and all its benefits for health believe that it is a question of education and raising awareness. Nobody can deny it for too long when something produces good results.