Topicals aren't just for arthritis anymore.
Every dispensary has a handful of infused creams for sale that can loosen tense muscles with THC or soothe inflamed joints with CBD. The laborious process that goes into making them places topicals on the pricier side, often between $30 and $60 for a small tin. Using topicals for pain management is by no means a waste of time, but we have severely underestimated the range of benefits they can provide the rest of our bodies—and the products that topicals can replace.
Take lube. Although it always makes things feel more comfortable at first, I've never been a big fan of the stuff. Traditional glycerin formulas, with intimidating ingredients like polyoxyethylene and phenoxyethanol, seem to get sticky fast and leave gross residue that make them more trouble than they're worth.
Then I tried Apothecanna's Sexy Time CBD Intimacy Oil. I basically keep a bottle in my purse at all times now.
I know cannabis-infused formulas have been around for a few years. Maybe you've tried Empower's THC-infused 4play oil, or the THC sexual spray by Foria, which isn't so much a lube as it is a topical to get your junk high. The difference with the Apothecanna oil is that it isn't trying to get your lady or gentleman parts buzzed—it's just trying to be a great lubricant. Turns out, well-sourced CBD is the ingredient mainstream lube has been missing.
As an anti-inflammatory agent, the CBD eliminates any irritation from a funky angle or too much friction. The primary ingredients are just coconut and argan oil. Those are safe for use in sensitive areas, and over time, I've noticed it has softened my skin. Rather than drying out or balling up with lots of contact, the oils glide and are naturally absorbed into the skin. My partner always felt regular lube was counterproductive because it dried up so fast, but he reports this oil feels much better—no secondary application necessary. And though I was concerned the jasmine and neroli oils would smell too feminine to him, he likes that it doesn't look, smell or feel anything like KY. The small, black glass pump bottle looks more like my face serum than intimacy oil, making me fully comfortable for the first time to leave it on my nightstand.
Topicals are a new thing for longtime cannabis enthusiasts and total rookies alike. No one is used to adding a $45 cure-all balm to his or her smoking shopping cart, much less a $52 bottle of lube.
But think of it this way: How much did you spend on the last bottle of luxury face moisturizer you bought? If you are someone who shops for skin care and body products made with high-quality ingredients that improve the overall quality of your skin, that's a worthwhile investment. If a topical company makes its own products onsite, it has to be regulated like any other cannabis processing facility, which is leagues more strict than federal regulation of skin care production. Because so many cannabis companies are still small-time compared to corporate giants like Olay or Jergens, their budget doesn't have room for the fillers and preservatives you find in the bottles of major brands. There are no sulfates or parabens. They have specific shelf lives and expire within a year, because they're actually made with ingredients that are more natural than synthetic.
The biggest obstacle with anything involving cannabis is changing the way people think about what it can do and what mediocre day-to-day products it can improve upon. Far beyond relief from nausea and stress, elements of the cannabis plant have become a path away from prescription drugs, a way to reboot adrenal systems, treat depression, regain mobility—and now, have better sex.