Terpenes (general)

Cannabis Topicals and Terpenes

Cannabis topicals
Written by Shasta Nelson

Balms, lotions, and salves; they all fall into the category of cannabis topicals. Let’s discuss how terpenes come into play.

Topical application is among the many methods that we use both essential oils and cannabis. Cannabis topicals are often used independently of any essential oils,but there are products out there that combine the two for added benefits. Cannabinoids work better in groups, as do terpenes. Some terpenes, like limonene, even aid in the absorption of other terpenes. So it’s really a “the more the merrier” type of situation. A lot of people have had  great success with these products, whether for therapeutic or medicinal uses. Part of the reason is the skin’s awesome ability to absorb and transfer terpenes into the bloodstream.

cannabis topicals

Your skin is your most valuable protection against the outside world. However, it can also be a way of letting healing elements in. Our skin is lipophilic, which means that it allows oils to be absorbed with relative ease. Terpenes and cannabinoids are also lipophilic. So put them in a carrier oil, as we do with cannabis topicals, and you get a great method of application. Once the cannabis topical has permeated the skin, the terpenes and cannabinoids will be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Popular essential oils added to cannabis topicals include lavender, high in linalool which aids in relaxation. Spearmint, high in limonene and beta- myrcene which makes it anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. And ginger, high in camphene and pinene, both excellent for pain relief. There are many many more essential oils added to topicals, too many for me to list, so it’s best to look up anything you don’t recognize to see what benefits it might have.

If you want to add some topical terpenes to your cannabis smoking experience, try using essential oils topically while you enjoy your next bowl. Put lavender oil in the tub and soak while you smoke your nighttime indica, massage wintergreen infused lotion into any aches and pains before enjoying your high CBD, or try a lemon-sugar scrub with a nice sativa bong rip. Personally, I use turmeric and wintergreen infused cannabis topical on my bad back before my nighttime smoking session to help my muscles relax.

cannabis topicals

The websites aromaweb.com and soothoil.com have some great information as well.


Go ahead and try a few different combos, if all else fails you’ll still smell amazing. Let us know what works and what doesn’t in the comments!

About the author

Shasta Nelson

Author and cannabis connoisseur Shasta Nelson was born and raised in the foothills of Northern California. She’s been involved in the cannabis industry at many levels from managing a delivery service, to studying and reporting on cannabis culture & news at DOPE Magazine. Her favorite strains are Candyland, Roses, and OG Kush and her favorite Terps are Pinene and Linalool.
“Mary Jane she’s my one true love/my very best friend
Never had a better girl/never gon’ leave her again"

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