Cannabis Terpenes in Topicals: Which Are Best?

Terpenes might be the latest buzzword in the world of cannabis, but there’s nothing new about these tiny — yet important — organic compounds. In fact, they’ve been around for as long as plants have been on earth, though we still have much to learn about them. For the makers of cannabis topicals (like me), terpenes represent one of the most exciting developments in recent memory, and while nobody’s quite sure of what the future may hold for them, it’s certain to be an interesting ride.

In case you’re unfamiliar with terpenes, here’s a quick background. Found in everything from the tiniest blade of grass to the mightiest redwood tree, these naturally-occurring chemicals give plants their aromas and flavors. They also help repel predators and, in some cases, attract pollinators as well. Scientists have identified around 150 different terpenes in cannabis, though most strains tend to have a dominant “terpene profile” of just a few varieties. 

The terpene profile of a cannabis strain will affect how the strain smells and tastes to you, but it could also have a wide range of other effects — though scientists aren’t exactly sure how yet. As a 2019 review in the journal Plant Science put it, “Arguably, the only effect of cannabis terpenes on humans that is unquestionable are the fragrance attributes.” However, some scientists believe that terpenes could have untapped therapeutic properties, and as governments begin to loosen their restrictions on cannabis research, it’s finally becoming possible to get a clearer look at what terpenes have to offer.

Dr. Ethan Russo, one of the world’s most prominent cannabis researchers, suggests that a phenomenon known as “the entourage effect” may be behind terpenes’ medical potential. In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, he theorized that the chemical interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.” 

Other researchers have begun to test this theory in recent years, and they’ve found some promising results. For example, a 2018 paper in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that terpenes could be useful for relieving acute inflammation (i.e. the kind caused when you bang your knee against the coffee table). That same year, a study in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids showed that terpenes could play an integral role in stimulating the placebo effect — which might help explain why medical cannabis users credit the plant with relieving such a wide range of ailments. 

To continue reading this article by our Founder and Senior Medical Expert, Jordan Person please go to CannabisMD.com

Could Cannabis Massage Help With Sports Injuries? Experts Say “Yes”

As a cannabis massage therapist, I deal with patients who have a wide variety of needs. Sports- and exercise-related injuries are some of the most common — my practice, Primal Therapeutics, is based in Colorado, and people here are serious about their physical fitness. And while this is a great thing in my opinion, it also means that I see a lot of patients with pains, sprains, and other sports-related injuries. 

I’ve noticed a common thread among many of my fitness-enthusiast patients — they don’t want to sacrifice their mental clarity for pain relief. In fact, many of them are initially skeptical about cannabis massage, since they’re nervous about the potential intoxicating effects of the topicals we use. However, after seeing thousands of patients, I can tell you that not one of them has ever reported feeling high after a session.

Some patients are harder to convince than others, though. In particular, I remember one man in his mid-fifties — the first time he called, he asked me no fewer than ten questions about what the session would be like and what kind of results he could expect. He’d seen a countless number of physical therapists, massage practitioners, and chiropractors, none of whom had been able to help much with his pain, which came from a hiking injury several months ago. He was hesitant to believe that cannabis massage would be any different. I’m pleased to tell you he was incorrect.

During our first session together, I discovered that the source of his pain was a tight muscle in his groin, which he’d aggravated during a particularly strenuous hike in the mountains. Months had passed since he first started treatment, and still he was unable to move around comfortably. All he wanted was to be able to hike again. 

I explained that, apart from the massage techniques themselves, the cannabis topicals we were using could help relieve his pain by activating the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which would help him return to homeostasis, the body’s natural state of cellular balance. And again, he was skeptical. But after only a few sessions, he was back on the mountain. I think he became a believer after that. 

Click here to continue reading the science behind the theory at CannabisMD.

Ask an Expert: Can Cannabis Topicals Treat Burns?

Your skin is your body’s most important line of defense against the outside world. When its integrity becomes compromised by a burn, proper treatment is essential to prevent permanent skin damage, infections, and other problems. Cannabis is not a magic bullet for treating all these issues, but in certain cases there’s reason to believe it could be useful.

Before we continue, it may be helpful to understand the different types of burns. These can be caused by exposure to heat, radiation, or electricity, along with chemicals, friction, or even (somewhat counterintuitively) extreme cold. Regardless of their cause, they’re commonly grouped into four categories, based on the layer of skin that has been affected:

First-Degree Burns
These are considered mild, and only affect the top layer of skin (known as the epidermis). It’s common for the affected area to be red and painful. 

Second-Degree Burns
Also known as a “partial thickness burn,” this type of burn affects both the epidermis and the layer of skin beneath it, which is known as the dermis. Typical symptoms for second degree burns include blisters and swelling, along with redness and pain.

Third-Degree Burns
These are sometimes called “full thickness burns,” because they penetrate through the dermis into deeper layers of tissue. With third degree burns, the skin becomes charred (often turning either white or black in color), and the affected area may feel numb.

Fourth-Degree Burns
This is the worst-case scenario type of burn. These burns can reach past the epidermis, dermis, and deeper layers of tissue all the way to muscles and bones. Since this tends to cause nerve damage, the patient will often have no feeling in the affected area.

The final two categories of burns are extremely serious, and treating them is beyond the scope of cannabis in any form. They require urgent, professional medical attention (more on that later). For first- and second-degree burns, cannabis — particularly topicals — may have more to offer, though the existing research is limited.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Burn Care and Research, found that cannabis use was increasingly common among patients with burns (who tended to be younger and less likely to have medical insurance), though it didn’t specify if — or how — those patients were using cannabis to treat their injuries. In 2018, a different paper in the same journal found that, “[Marijuana] use appears to be protective in acute burn admissions, despite classic teaching that illicit drug use leads to poorer outcomes.”

To continue reading click here for the full article on CannabisMD.

100 People You Should Know

Our founder was recently named in the 100 People You Should Know in the Hemp Connoisseur magazine. They chose 20 categories and five people in each category. Jordan was chosen for Wellness. Her fellow wellness category individuals include a very dear friend and colleague of hers, Rachael Carlevale of Ganjasana, plant medicine yoga. Jordan and Rachel work on retreats and education furthering opportunities often and she feels honored to join her friend on this list..

Below is the content as seen on Facebook.

JORDAN PERSON –
WELLNESS
Jordan Person came to Colorado in 2010 as a medical marijuana refugee. Utilizing cannabis and other holistic therapies saved her life. She saw the health benefits of cannabis first hand on her own journey back to health and wanted to help educate the masses on what she learned. She found a way to combine her years in the medical field with her years spent working with medical marijuana, and Cannabis Infused Massage Therapy was created. All the topicals that Primal Therapeutics uses are made in-house. Person took classes in herbalism and created the recipe with her patients in mind using all organic ingredients in her creations. In 2017, Jordan began teaching Cannabis Massage 101 and Topicals Making 101 in an effort to provide anyone interested with the knowledge they would need to perform this trending modality. Therapists around the world are taking this course. Person is an advocate and an activist for the plant, proudly serving as executive director of Denver NORML.

Read the full digital magazine at joomag.com or look for the print version at Barnes & Noble nationwide.

Buy the topicals designed for our patients

When Primal Therapeutics first started we tried every topical we could get out hands on. There were only a few that were worthy of our patients. We needed topicals that would be good for a variety of skin disorders and types of pain as well as be viscous enough to apply to the entire body. As the years went by our desire for a better product increased. We are excited to announce you can now buy the products designed for our patients! Visit our SHOP here.

The more time we spent working with our patients learning about different disorders that we would be helping with the more we craved research about other herbs that can be used as plant medicine in our topicals.  After several courses in herbalism we began to formulate our products. Using friends, family and regular clients as our test subjects we experimented until we received enough positive feedback that we had found the recipe we were looking for.

We currently have four topical products available. Our salve is called Primal Salve-Vation because it will become your salvation.  It provides relief to countless conditions.  Our herbal body oil is excellent for dry skin especially after a bath it glides over large surface areas. Primal Soak & Scrub can be used in two ways: as a scrub to your face, feet or anywhere that needs extra TLC or add a couple tablespoons to your bath for total relaxation. Last but not least we have Velvet Balm’s. They work like lotion bars, simply hold it in your hand and rub over the skin and feel your body melt and become soft like velvet.

Topicals are an incredible way to learn more about the power of plant medicine. If you have any questions about our products or would like to place a custom order please email us at: primaltherapeutics@gmail.com.

Knowledge Is Power

JordanPerson-18Over the past year I have worked on patients from all over the globe including visitors from just about every state in the United States, as well as Australia, Guam, Canada, and all over the UK just to name a few. Each patient seemingly shares the same common interests: cannabis and wellness.  People that don’t usually receive massage therapy now want to receive it and want to discover the healing properties of cannabis for themselves. The fear factor normally met by patients wanting to experience something new for some reason fades away when cannabis is involved.  Patients inquisitive nature takes over their fears and they become more open to the possibility of a pain free and narcotic free life with the use of cannabis infused topical treatments.

For many, their first massage ever is a cannabis infused one and the first question is always the same, “will I get high?” My answer is always the same, “no, that is not the point of this type of bodywork, I started this company with the goal of educating people that it’s not always about getting high.”  If the products did cause a psychoactive response, I could not make it through a normal work day, I would be far too intoxicated to perform bodywork.  This answer generally leads to their next question, “do I need to worry about failing a drug test?” To date, no one has failed a drug test from the use of topical transmission of cannabis. The infused products are staying in the dermal level and are not entering the bloodstream.  This opens cannabis infused massage therapy to patients that can not use any other form of cannabis but still desire its therapeutic health benefits.

Patients of all kinds have contacted me in hopes that they will have some type of relief. I have treated numerous ages and conditions from MS in a 42 year old and Neuropathy in a 90 year old to Cancer in a 4 year old and PTSD in many ages. The benefits for each patient are seen repeatedly with each new diagnosis I get to work with.  Each patient notes a deeper sense of relaxation then typically felt after a massage. A reduction of pain, swelling and inflammation is noticed on chronic areas of discomfort as well as cutting healing time in half on numerous types of acute injuries. Increased blood flow to constricted and congested areas of discomfort allow for deeper bodywork to take place without needing to excessively perform deep tissue massage. The products work while I am working preventing hand and wrist pain as well as joint swelling. The benefits are many and the side effects are non-existent unlike most topical pain relief treatments found at your local pharmacy.

I look forward to the coming year and the continued advances of the growing field of cannabis infused massage therapy. Knowledge is power and the more science that comes out to support the theories behind these new techniques the better.  Primal Therapeutics hopes you will join our pursuit in continuing to spread the word that we no longer have to live in an over medicated society. We can go back to plant medicine and living holistically, using cannabis infused massage therapy as treatment instead of pharmaceuticals and chemical laden products.