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Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

August 17, 2022 5 min read

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

Cannabis topicals are safe for usage and can’t make you high. They are legal in nearly all states in the US. Cannabis was legalized because its THC levels are below 0.3%. However, it can be escalated by using them and other medications with similar possible impacts, cross-contamination, and wrong labeling.

Cannabis is one of the most popular plants associated with various health benefits. It has essential properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant suitable for topical use. However, CBD topicals are absorbed into small veins around the skin and get transported to larger blood vessels. Therefore, just like edibles, edibles can cause damage to your general health condition. Cannabis and hemp have numerous elements associated with unique effects. The elements include flavonoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and terpenes. Similar elements are also found in marijuana. However, unlike other elements, THC is associated with psychoactive side effects. THC levels in marijuana are high (over 2.5%), making their products illegal.

Are CBD Topicals Legal?

Cannabis and hemp-based CBD topicals are legal as per the 2018 Farm Bill. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, all CBD products are legal within the USA if their THC levels are below 0.3%. However, the farm bill gave mandates to the Federal governments to determine the legality of hemp within their territories. THC, a dominant element of hemp, cannabis, and marijuana, 12 states restricted their products. Therefore, CBD topicals are only legal in 38 states. Besides, before traveling with CBD topicals in states like Idaho and Texas, among 10 others, confirm whether they have uplifted their regulations with CBD products to avoid violating federal laws.

Are Cannabis Topicals Safe?

CBD topicals are one of the most highly embraced products since they are organic. They include a blend of other organic elements such as MCT oil, arnica, vitamin C and A to improve their effectiveness and quality. CBD is safe and the most effective. GUT (2019) discovered that CBD has antioxidant properties suitable for protecting your skin against harsh UV rays and free radicals that damages cells protecting the skin. Maltke et al.  (2021) reported thatCBD has anti-inflammatory properties alongside THC, which protects your skin against inflammatory diseases.

Like any other drug, CBD can cause a negative impact if applied or taken in higher concentrations. According to Liu Tina (2019), CBD can result in dizziness, anxiety, and diarrhea, especially if taken at high potencies. Therefore, if you are a beginner, use low potency to avoid possible side effects. Also, before applying CBD to the soft parts of your skin, do sampling. Take a considerable amount of CBD topicals, apply it around the elbow or the knee, and give it 24 hours to determine the reaction. The areas will likely have a lower impact because of their hard skin. If these parts are damaged, seek another alternative since your body is likely reacting to cannabis.

Can Cannabis Topicals Get You High?

No. THC, a dominant element of then cannabis, has received different opinions from researchers. According to the 2018 farm Bill, THC in cannabis (0.3%) is insignificant and cannot get you “high.” According toFattore et al.  (2011),THC has psychoactive side effects that can result in dizziness, anxiety, poor memory, and migraine. However, the research outlines that you can only get “high” with cannabis with high potencies or using too much of it. However, too much is relevant for beginners and veterans. You will likely get high with low potencies below 10% if you are a novice.

The potency levels of CBD topicals are very important. Avoid relying on the posted potency levels since they will likely lure you to take too much THC. The Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) has conflicted with various brands for posting wrong potency levels making their customers overdose. Therefore, avoid brands that have not posted their potency and purity levels. If they have availed the potency levels, they should be from an IOS-certified lab or FDA-certified.

What Can Make You Get High?

Although cannabis topicals are safe, various factors can result in you getting high after using CBD topicals. They include;

Medication Side Effects

Cannabis topicals have low THC levels that can make you high. However, if you are to start using any medication besides it, confirm its possible side effects. Avoid medication with potential psychoactive side effects. Such drugs are likely to heighten the intoxicating side effects of cannabis, making get high. Before using CBD alongside any other medication, confirm the possible and negative side effects from the nearest health center.

Secondary Exposure

You can also get high with cannabis topicals from secondary exposure. Secondary exposure is becoming a passive smoker of other drugs such as marijuana and tobacco, especially for the smoke. The psychoactive side effects of low potency levels of THC in cannabis are heightened through the secondary exposure making experience the psychoactive side effects including getting anxious and dizzy. Therefore, avoid being in the same room for long hours with people smoking marijuana or tobacco.


Mislabeling can also be one of the top reasons you get high from cannabis topicals. The issue of mislabeling has become a key concern to the FDA. It sends warnings to companies mislabeling their products, making customers overdose unknowingly. Avoid companies that often receive warnings from the FDA since they are likely to make you use marijuana-based topicals rather than cannabis-based. Consider brands using an IOS-certified lab to access the potency levels of THC.

How To Determine the Best Cannabis Topicals

Since the CBD market has flooded with manufacturers and various topical products, you must know how to determine the best. First, check on other elements used. Consider cannabis topicals blended with organic ingredients to avoid burns and skin irritation from artificial ones. Also, consider topicals from CO2 hemp plant extracts since the extraction method minimizes contamination of the end products and environment. Lastly, check on the manufacturing chemicals since CBD topicals will likely be contaminated with solvents at the extraction and processing stage.


Cannabis topicals are one of the best you can consider for improving your skin’s appearance. They offer more than skin health benefits due to their entourage effect. Combining various chemical compounds such as CBD terpenes and flavonoids provides more therapeutic benefits such as reducing anxiety, stress, and pain. Notably, cannabis topicals are for external use only. They are of three types, full-spectrum,  broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum CBD topicals entail all the elements of the cannabis plant. Broad-spectrum has all the elements of cannabis except THC. Lastly, isolate only provide cannabidiol (CBD) related health benefits. 


Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 5, 60.

GUT, M. (2019). aesthetics.

Liu, T. (2019). What is CBD Oil? Learn the Facts: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects.

Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.