- Topical pain relief products do not enter the bloodstream, which prevents THC from stimulating a cerebral effect.
- The use of a THC transdermal patch can relieve pain for consumers through the bloodstream, but without the psychoactive effect.
The use of cannabis in topical pain relievers is seeing a lot of success lately. Everyone from women in stilettos at the Golden Globes to professional athletes healing after competitions is finding a way to integrate transdermal products. However, one of the largest demographics for pain-related issues – senior citizens – are also getting involved with this trend, treating their sore joints with these remedies as well.
Arthritis is a condition that millions of people face every year, though it is typically remedied with steroids and opiates. While these medications may have substantial effects on arthritis, there’s also a significant risk of addiction and increased tolerance. Cannabis, as a result, has become a potential alternative with the use of creams, lotions, salves, and more.
These cannabis remedies activate CB2 receptors on the skin, which means that the substance doesn’t have to actually enter the bloodstream to take effect. As a result, the THC doesn’t give the user a cerebral effect, and the product offers localized relief as well. Transdermal patches, however, make it possible for cannabinoids to reach the bloodstream, but the slow release of this substance makes the cerebral effect nearly impossible to occur.
Research is still limited on how effective these topical remedies are, but the results are promising. A study in the European Journal of Pain determined that CBD offered relief, using rats with arthritic joints to test. A later study in 2017 evaluated rates with osteoarthritis, finding that CBD was effective in preventing pain and nerve damage.
So far, research is indicating that the use of CBD topical product is helping with inflammation and itchiness. However, if the patients are not getting the desired relief with a CBD-only product, it may become necessary to try a combination of THC and CBD, or just THC alone, in the topical remedy they select.
The average senior citizen, according to reports from Cannabis Now, takes about five prescription medications on a daily basis. However, the potential interaction between these variation drugs have led many senior citizens to opt for the natural approach that cannabis provides. While there’s a social stigma around smoking or even eating cannabis products right now, this demographic often is unintimidated by the use of topical CBD balms and lotions.
The biggest challenge of the cannabis industry is the delivery of accurate information to the public. NanoSphere Health Sciences, a cannabis company, decided to take a different approach.
According to marketing director Crystal Colwell,
“A lot of times, the way that a senior gets our product is because a niece or nephew, granddaughter, son or daughter has gone in, bought them the product and then told them that they need to use it, versus them actually going into the dispensary and purchasing the product themselves.”
In Colorado, NanoSphere has already partnered with multiple dispensaries, providing round-trip bus rides to residents in senior communities to educate them on cannabis. Colwell expressed that they’ve gotten plenty of positive feedback already.
“We had one woman who had such severe arthritis in her hands that she was unable to open her hands all the way. One of her most favorite things to do is to write letters and handwritten notes. She started using NanoSerum on her hands and she was using it once a day for a month and after the first month she was able to open her hand and hold a pen or a pencil in her hand again. Within a two-month time span, she was actually able to write handwritten notes again.”
Before all of the misinformation about marijuana goes away, the process will likely take some time. However, using topicals as a first step into the cannabis industry is much less intimidating than going straight to smoking and consuming these products.