There is no shortage of THC oil-based creams, balms, and other topicals on the market. Does that mean we can actually absorb THC oil through the skin or is it all an elaborate scheme by the CBD industry to trick you?
Thankfully we can take off our tinfoil hats and put down the pitchforks because there is no conspiracy going on. THC oil when applied to the skin is absorbed through the upper layer of our skin called the epidermis. There, the THC compounds bind to the receptors in our skin to supply your body with the helpful effects of THC.
That’s the short version of it anyway. If you’re looking to understand how skin absorption and the bioavailability of THC work, so you can get the most out of your health supplements, continue reading.
How Much THC Can You Absorb at Once?
You might think that there’s no way that all of the THC oil (or any other topical) that you apply to your skin, makes it into your body. And you’d be right. When applied topically, THC molecules use the hair follicles on our skin to get deeper into the skin.
This means that the amount of THC absorbed by the skin is limited. But this is a good thing and manufacturers take the bioavailability (the amount of THC that enters the body) into account when creating these products. Additionally, different ingredients in the THC oil may increase or decrease the absorption. Therefore, for the best results, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Can CBD Oil be Absorbed into the Skin?
CBD oil and other CBD-based topicals also work similarly in that they breach the upper layer of the skin to reach the skin receptors. Once there, CBD interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors to once again provide localized relief.
In other words, yes, CBD oil does get absorbed by the skin and it will offer relief to the area of application.
Can Delta 8 be Absorbed Through the Skin?
Delta-8-based topicals and oils also fall in the same category as CBD and THC and can be absorbed through the skin. That said, one of the more popular uses of Delta-8 is recreation and enjoying the euphoric feeling it produces – but generally, Delta-8 topicals will not get you high.
Check Out: Delta 8 THC Cream
Can THC or CBD Oil-based Topicals Make You High through the Skin?
This is a slightly complicated question but in the vast, vast majority of cases, THC oil does not reach the bloodstream. Instead, it crosses the upper layer of skin called the epidermis to reach the skin receptors. These receptors are responsible for giving us the sense of touch and in this case, help provides localized effects of THC. This means that the effects of THC such as pain relief and anti-inflammatory respond to just the area where the topical was applied.
Since the cannabinoids don’t actually reach the bloodstream or your brain, you do not feel the mind-altering, psychoactive effects of CBD, such as the feeling of high.
That said, there are topical products that are transdermal, meaning they can go across all layers of skin to directly enter the bloodstream. Transdermal topicals are in their infancy and not easily available. In addition to this, bioavailability and skin absorption of THC and CBD are still under research and reasonable caution should be exercised when using topicals of any kind.
Do Topicals and Oils Show Up in Drug Tests?
There have been numerous studies on the topical application of CBD and THC and whether or not cannabinoids can be detected in the bloodstream and thus in a drug test.
Most of the studies have found that CBD/THC topicals do not show up in drug tests. A recent study tested individuals with different salves in different parts of the body for 3 days and found no traces of cannabinoids in blood or urine.