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Methods of Medicating with Marijuana: Topical Solutions

Methods of Medicating with Marijuana: Topical Solutions

Did you know that marijuana can be used topically (on the skin) to relieve pain from certain conditions? Cannabis oil is used in balms, lotions, and ointments because of its alleged analgesic  (pain relief) anti-inflammatory effects.

According to Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base*, marijuana is lilophilic, which means that it can be dissolved into a fat-soluble substance and readily enter cell membranes. In other words, it can be effective when applied topically.

It is important to note that marijuana will typically have no psychoactive qualities when applied topically. That means that this method of medicating with marijuana may be useful for times when ingesting or smoking marijuana is inappropriate.

How to Make a Marijuana Topical Solution

If your state allows for medical marijuana dispensaries, you may be able to purchase topical solutions at these dispensaries. Otherwise, you may make your own by mixing cannabis oil (using light almond oil or coconut oil is best) with beeswax or aloe vera:

Beeswax Balm: Mix 3 ounces melted beeswax with 8 ounces of cannabis oil. Cool and store in a sealed container in a dark cupboard.

Aloe Vera Lotion: Mix 8 ounces of aloe vera gel with 4 ounces of cannabis oil. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Medical Marijuana Topical Solution Uses

Anecdotal evidence and reported uses for topical marijuana balms and oils include:

  • Arthritis            
  • Dry/chapped skin
  • Eczema
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insect bites
  • Minor burns
  • Muscle soreness
  • Psoriasis
  • Pain
  • Rashes
  • Rheumatism
  • Swelling
  • Sunburns
  • Stiff neck
  • Tendonitis


Find a Marijuana Doctor

Before you make or purchase a marijuana topical solution, you must first ensure you are in compliance with your state’s medical marijuana laws, obtain a recommendation from a qualified physician, and obtain a marijuana card, where applicable. If you are looking for a qualified medical marijuana doctor, can help. Our database is home to hundreds of physicians in every medical marijuana state. Book an appointment today.



This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals.  If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.


*Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).