Summary and opinion by John Fouts.
Topical cannabis (meaning cannabis applied to the body or skin externally) is not a new idea. For many centuries, certain groups have used the herb topically for various reasons. One study done by the US National Library of Medicine found that CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in many areas of the body including nerve fiber bundles, skin, hair follicles, and even in sweat glands. That finding means the same cannabinoids that provide a positive benefit to a user through ingestion can also be received via topical application. Many users do not like feeling ‘stoned’, so this is great news! Topical application of cannabinoids means a product can be applied to a specific site rather than systemically.
It also allows a consumer of a topical product to not feel high because the compounds found in cannabis would not have to pass through the blood brain barrier. Topical cannabis products are used for burns, pain, as anti-inflammatories, for infections, to increase sexual pleasure, to shrink skin abnormalities, even to assist with cancer treatment as an alternative therapy.
My Opinion: Topical uses for cannabis are under-utilized and under-advertised. I foresee market growth in this segment. A lot of opportunity exists for competitors to enter the market in this area. I expect to see the number of companies offering these types of products growing rapidly.
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