Medically Reviewed By:Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents
Delta 8 Topicals – How Effective Are They?
Delta 8 THC is more than a cannabinoid with psychoactive properties. Due to modern research on delta 8 and anecdotal reports, delta 8’s pain relief properties have become one of the well-known benefits of this cannabinoid.
Finding relief for chronic pain with ingestible pharmaceutical drugs such as strong painkillers daily can be quite troublesome so sometimes natural remedies become the best options.
Delta 8 topicals have become quite popular among people who suffer from chronic pain, especially those who prefer not to ingest THC. But are topicals as effective as delta 8 gummies or other forms of delta 8 THC?
What Are Delta 8 Topicals?
Topicals are delta 8 THC products made from the hemp plant that activate the cannabinoid receptors on your skin to produce effects. They come in the form of lotions, gels, salves, and oils and contain natural compounds known to have pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Some examples are Cannabinoids, Arnica, Wild Marjoram, Aloe Vera, and cooling agents like menthol to soothe pain and swelling.
Delta 8 THC Topicals are applied topically on the skin to target a specific area of the body that has been affected by pain or inflammation. Delta 8 topicals are known to bring relief to:
How Do Delta 8 Topicals Work?
Delta 8 THC works by binding with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system to produce effects.
The cannabinoid receptors of the ECS that cannabinoids like delta 8 THC bind to can be located throughout the human body including the skin.
When you apply delta 8 THC-infused topicals directly on your skin, it binds with the cannabinoid receptors on the skin thereby blocking the pain signals in your brain, bringing you effective relief from pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Delta 8 Topicals Effects
Delta 8 THC has psychoactive effects when ingested orally, smoked, or inhaled. These forms of consuming delta 8 allow the compound into your bloodstream before taking effect but that is not the same for topicals.
Since delta 8 topicals are applied directly on your skin, they bind directly to the cannabinoid receptors on your skin and produce effects on a localized area of the body unlike other forms of consumption.
Additionally, topicals avoid passing through your digestive system, so you get all the delta 8 THC content directly absorbed into your skin without losing any of it in the process of digestion for better effects.
Do Delta 8 Topicals Get You High?
Since delta 8 topicals are applied to the skin, it is unlikely for the THC content to breach the skin layers and enter your bloodstream to cause psychoactive effects. Delta 8 topicals only penetrate the skin for localized relief from pain or inflammation of specific areas.
Therefore, delta 8 topicals can be a great alternative for users who want the therapeutic benefits of delta 8 THC without the high it produces. However, since topicals only target a localized area of the skin, it is unlikely that you will get the other delta 8 benefits like full body relaxation or calmness.
Can I Use Delta 8 THC Topicals For Headaches?
Morden research is still studying and learning more about the transdermal delivery of the therapeutic benefits of the delta 8 THC and so far it's been found that applying cannabinoids directly on the skin does give some benefits.
So it is possible to get relief from headaches by massaging delta 8 THC on your temples although it might not be as effective as other forms of consumption, especially when it comes to fighting headaches or migraines.
Caution: Avoid getting the topicals into your eyes. Cooling agents like menthol and peppermint present in the topical can sting your eyes. If you need to touch your eyes after applying the topical, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water first so you don't sting your eyes.
Will Delta 8 THC Topicals Show Up On A Drug Test?
It is quite unlikely that a urine or blood test administered on a person using delta 8 THC topicals will detect THC metabolites.
As we stated earlier, THC applied on the skin can’t breach all the skin layers to enter the user's bloodstream and if it's not in your blood then standard drug tests will not detect THC content.
A study conducted on 3 adults confirmed that THC can’t be detected through a urine or blood test when applied on the skin no matter the frequency in which it was applied.
It is, however advisable to exercise caution when it comes to using THC topicals especially if your job or livelihood is on the line.
Potential Side Effects of Delta 8 Topicals
While delta 8 topicals offer a promising solution for pain relief and inflammation, it's important to be aware of potential side effects that may occur. Though side effects are generally rare and mild, they can still occur depending on the individual's sensitivity and usage. Here are some potential side effects associated with delta 8 topicals:
Some individuals may experience mild skin irritation or allergic reactions to the ingredients present in delta 8 topicals. This can manifest as redness, itching, or a rash at the application site. It's advisable to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before applying the topical product to a larger area to check for any adverse reactions.
Dryness or Excessive Moisture:
Delta 8 topicals may have varying effects on skin moisture levels. In some cases, individuals may experience dryness at the application site, while others may notice increased moisture or a greasy feeling. Adjusting the amount and frequency of application can help mitigate these effects.
Odor and Residue:
Certain delta 8 topicals may have a distinct odor due to the presence of natural compounds or essential oils. Additionally, some topicals may leave a residue on the skin, which can be noticeable and potentially inconvenient for some users.
Lack of Desired Effects:
While delta 8 topicals can be effective for many individuals, it's important to acknowledge that they may not work equally well for everyone. Factors such as individual body chemistry, severity of pain or inflammation, and the specific condition being targeted can influence the effectiveness of the topical application.
Interaction with Medications:
As with any THC product, it's crucial to consider potential interactions with medications. Delta 8 topicals may have the potential to interact with certain medications, especially those metabolized by the liver. It's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating delta 8 topicals into your routine, especially if you are currently taking medications.
It's important to note that these side effects are not common and most individuals tolerate delta 8 topicals well. However, if you experience any severe or persistent adverse reactions, it's recommended to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.
Delta 8 THC Topicals - Wrap Up
One can use delta 8 THC in different forms and topicals is one of them. Topicals are delta 8 products that are applied externally to harness the inflammation and pain relief benefits of the delta 8 THC compound.
The delta 8 THC compound in topicals works by binding with the cannabinoid receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system on the skin to produce effects. Since delta 8 can’t breach the skin layers to enter your bloodstream, it is quite unlikely to show up on a drug test.
Although delta 8 has many potential benefits, keep in mind that the compound works differently for every user.
If you would like a more effective way of using delta 8 THC from the hemp plant for headaches and migraines, read our article on delta 8 THC for migraines.
Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.