Do cannabis topicals get you high?

Do cannabis topicals get you high?

  • Feb 11, 2020
  • Kim Howard

Cannabis, when used topically, will not get you high. All of our products are made for topical use only and when used on the skin are non-psychoactive. There are two reasons for this:  

  1. Skin is an extremely effective barrier. It is built to keep out invading pathogens and toxins and to keep in the things we need, like moisture. Very little is able to get much deeper than the dermal layer, and that includes delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

  2. The THC molecule—the component of cannabis that can produce a ‘high’ in the human brain—is relatively large, and even under the best of circumstances has a difficult time passing through the cellular structures of the skin. (Even THC dermal patches that are highly-concentrated and contain penetration enhancers have been known to deliver the medicinal benefits of THC without the psychoactive effects.) 

 

Then why are there warnings on the boxes? 

Since our product contains cannabis, we are legally required by California law to include a warning. This applies to all products equally – whether they're psychoactive or not. 

GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY ONLY BE POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER UNLESS THE PERSON IS A QUALIFIED PATIENT. THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY BE DELAYED UP TO TWO HOURS. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION. 

Topicals are not meant to be consumed internally, and have no intoxicating effects if used accordingly. Do not eat.  

 

What's the warning for cancer and reproductive harm all about? 

All of our products pass the strict California cannabis testing requirements for safety and contain at most only trace amounts of myrcene, a naturally occurring terpene in cannabis. It's considered carcinogenic when in cannabis smoke. Nonetheless, we are required to post the following:

"This product can expose you to chemicals including myrcene, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive harm. For more information go to: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov." 

Myrcene in large quantities is on the Proposition 65 database for California. Our products have small amounts of the terpene myrcene. We include the warnings out of abundance of caution and compliance reasons. 

It's a bit silly, really, but the regulations apply to topical companies same as for smokable cannabis. 

 

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