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Thursday December 26, 2019

By Andrew Ward

2 multi colored bath bombs siting on a stone ledge Health/Science

Topicals represent a booming part of the cannabis industry. The cannabis-infused bath treatments have been a wonder for scores of people seeking a fast-acting, centralized treatment for body pains without getting high. 2019 data from BDS Analytics found that topicals make up 24% of items purchased at US dispensaries. In its report, BDS Analytics listed topicals as an array of products from creams and lotions to patches. One product the report did not mention specifically was bath bombs.

Like cannabis, bath bombs are a relatively recent entrant to the consumer market. Since its development in the late 80s, the hard-packed products of essential oils and fragrances have gained a following across several demographics. It only made sense that cannabis would become part of product lines in time.

THC Infused Bath Bombs

Bath bombs already were regarded for their ability to ease a multitude of body pains and help people relax. With the inclusion of cannabis, this prospect only grew. Like a regular bath bomb, cannabis-infused products can help consumers reduce stress and tension, with what is assumed to be a higher degree of comfort thanks to the CBD and/or THC in play.

The jury is still out on whether or not cannabis-infused bath bombs provide any additional relief than a conventional bath bomb. That said, many swear by these boutique cannabis products, believing that they give the comfort and relief they desire.

For some, a bath bomb may be what they need for what ails them. However, a lack of information about cannabis products and fear of drug tests may have some holding off from dropping one in their next bath. Below, we'll clarify why any worries about cannabis bath bombs and drug tests shouldn't be a concern to you.

How Cannabis Topicals Work

Before we dive in any further, let's discuss the basics. As mentioned above, topicals define a range of products. In general, a topical is comprised of oils and/or extracts that go onto the skin. With cannabis topicals, a consumer won't feel the psychoactive effects that they would when consuming THC. They also won't feel the internal physical effects associated with THC, CBD and other compounds in the plant's profile.

Topical consumers don't feel these effects because topical products don't reach the body's bloodstream. Such items cannot penetrate the several layers of cells that surround our blood. Each layer provides protection via its robust cell structure and thick layers that a topical just can't get through.

Bath Bombs
Be sure to understand the difference between topicals and transdermals. photo credit

That said, some topical products can reach your bloodstream. While some may call them topicals they would be incorrect. Instead, these products are transdermal options. Transdermal applications are typically used to provide effects to deeper layers of the body's tissue. Often, transdermal gels and patches contain chemical enhancers to achieve deeper penetration and reach the blood. Though they can get into your bloodstream, transdermals are still unlikely to get a person overly high unless its dosage is rather potent.

Another point to keep in mind is that gels and patches can be topicals, where the treatment doesn't reach as deep as a transdermal would. While creams and ointments make up much of the topical market, gel topicals do exist.

Topical Cannabis Products and Drug Tests

In 2014, Amanda Reiman, Ph.D. answered this question rather succinctly. "In theory," the doctor wrote, "the same reason you can't get high from rubbing them on your skin related is to why using topicals will not cause you to test positive in a drug test.”

In addition to topicals being unable to penetrate the skin, Dr. Reiman added that the THC levels in everyday topical products are typically much lower than that of flower, edibles or concentrates. That said, transdermals are a different story. Even if they don't get you high, they can reach your bloodstream and cause you to test positive potentially.

Be Mindful of Your Product Choices

If you are concerned about being drug tested, abstaining is always the best choice. While it may be the case, those seeking relief can still use cannabis products for specific physical ailments. If you suffer from body pains or physical discomfort in particular areas, then a topical may still be worth consideration.

If you're worried about a drug test, do not consume transdermal options. photo credit

With a cannabis-infused topical, your treatment should not reach the bloodstream. Therefore, keeping you clear from testing positive during any upcoming test. To ensure this outcome, thoroughly check your products before purchasing and make sure you do not purchase transdermal options. As mentioned above, transdermal products can trigger a positive result on a THC drug test. Because of this, only seek out products clearly labeled as topicals. Check the company's lab results to verify its THC dosage and concentration levels. And don't hesitate to speak with a budtender or company representative depending on where you are purchasing your products.

Have you used cannabis topicals or transdermals before? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Burst (license)


Andrew Ward Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, "Cannabis Jobs," was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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