The Different Types of Cannabis Topicals

Unlike ingesting edibles or smoking flower, cannabis topicals are a diverse product category that harnesses the therapeutic effects of the plant for ultimate relief.
Infused with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, topicals can come in a wide variety of lotions, balms, creams, and even transdermal patches – all formulated to address specific points of pain or inflammation without having to orally consume the product.

Cannabis-Infused Cream or Lotion:

This form of topical is designed to be applied to the skin and localizes pain, inflammation, or muscle soreness in that specific area.

Cannabis Transdermal Patch:

Similar to the formula of cannabis creams or lotions, only more extended relief. Transdermal patches contain a measured ratio of cannabinoids that gradually release into the bloodstream through the skin over an extended period. This sustained release is extremely beneficial for those who suffer from daily chronic pain.

Cannabis-Infused Balms and Salves:

This type of cannabis topical is particularly beneficial for those seeking relief from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids in these balms soothe irritated skin and inflammation while promoting overall skin health.

In addition to infused salves, balms, roll-ons, and topical creams for your skin – cannabis topicals can extend as far as lubricants or massage oils for a more heightened, enhanced sensual experience

Step into our Haverhill dispensary and you’ll find a large assortment of cannabis topicals for all areas of elevated health and wellness. Brands like Treeworks of Massachusetts and Happy Valley offer extended relief and alleviation to everyday pains. 

Our Lowell dispensary has customer favorites like the CBD transdermal gel from Sanctuary Medicinals gives instant, every day relief to soreness. 

Yet, no matter what dispensary location is near you, you’re sure to find the best cannabis topical for the soothing relief you’re looking for! 

How Do Topicals Work?

Cannabis topicals provide localized relief with a cannabinoid-based formula absorbed through the skin. The cannabinoids in topicals interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, part of the body's regulatory system, and produce a variety of therapeutic effects.

This interaction of the cannabinoids binds with CB2 receptors and triggers an accelerated growth of collagen cells to combat inflammation and return the body and skin to a balanced state.

It’s important to note that because of how cannabis topicals are applied, the THC does not bind to CB1 when absorbed, which means no psychoactive high effects are produced.

To Use Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis topicals are notably one of the only infused products that cannot be consumed as an ingestible or smokeable. Instead, with their absorption through the skin, topicals can provide localized pain relief, with anti-inflammatory properties that rejuvenate and heal the skin.

When it comes to applying cannabis topicals, all products will have their own dosage and prescribed directions. Be sure to carefully read the topical package instructions to get a better understanding of the cannabinoid content of the product and its expected effects.

  • Before applying the product, determine what specific area on your skin or body you are feeling pain or discomfort. This will help determine where to apply the cannabis topical.
  • Apply the cannabis topical generously to the skin. The applied area doesn’t necessarily have to be soaked in the topical, but a second or third coat is often recommended.
  • Be sure to wash your hands when you are done applying the topical! Especially products infused with potent THC, avoid the risk of getting the topical’s residue elsewhere on the skin, or worse, in your eyes!

What Do Cannabis Topicals Contain?

While CBD and THC stand as the most commonly known and researched cannabinoids discovered today, these are the fundamental compounds you’ll find in most cannabis topicals. Cannabis terpenes or other botanical ingredients may also be incorporated in cannabis topical formulas for advanced soothing relief.

Aside from these natural plant ingredients, it’s important to note other carrier oils or ingredients that may be included in topicals – including coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil, each chosen for its unique properties.

Coconut oil is known for its quick absorption and moisturizing capabilities, while olive oil offers additional antioxidant benefits. These carrier oils not only enhance the efficacy of the cannabinoids but also contribute to the topical’s rejuvenating moisturization and overall texture.


These are aromatic compounds found in most plants in general. When it comes to cannabis flower, terpenes play a significant role in contributing to the overall taste and aroma of different strains. Not only does it provide a unique aromatic flavor profile to flower, but terpenes contribute to the effects you experience when smoking a specific strain.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

These aromatic compounds provide a unique aromatic flavor profile to cannabis products, but terpenes contribute to aromatherapeutic effects when applied topically for relief.

CBD (Cannabidiol):

As a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD still has become widely popular in today’s recreational dispensary shelves for its numerous wellness benefits. The way CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system relieves inflammation in the skin.

How To Choose Quality Cannabis Topicals

One glance around our Massachusetts recreational dispensary and you’ll find an unlimited supply of the best cannabis topicals formulated for a variety of therapeutic relief and relaxation.

When it comes to choosing the best cannabis topicals, it’s crucial to consider the desired experience.

  • What is the desired relief or effect you’re looking for?
  • Approximately how long are you looking for relief? (Something instant, or extended-release?)
  • Where is the point on your skin or body that you’ll apply this topical?

Determining this information will help you find the right type of cannabis topical for your needs. Perhaps you’re looking for a more ratioed balance of THC:CBD, or something with extra strength and high THC for stubborn aches.

Visit either our Haverhill or Lowell locations, our friendly dispensary team is here to help guide you through the process of shopping through our cannabis topical options.

Buy Cannabis Topicals at Our Dispensaries in Haverhill and Lowell

You can shop Full Harvest Moonz's wide selection of cannabis topicals online or directly at our Haverhill and Lowell dispensary locations.


Choose your location