Topicals, Creams, and the “CBD vs THC” Debate

When it comes to cannabis, some of the most popular products, particularly among aging boomers, are creams taken to alleviate symptoms of ailments ranging from eczema and psoriasis to pain stemming from arthritis and muscle aches. 

Most are topical creams infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound which is not psychoactive and is believed to have medicinal properties, particularly for pain relief. Cannabis plants are bred for different purposes. CBD levels are highest in hemp plants, while other cannabis plants are cultivated to produce high levels of THC.

Pharmaceutical companies are currently working on creating cannabinoid specific medicine. This means that they focus on either CBD or THC as the base of their medicine. However, the cannabis community has always been raving about “whole plant medicine” and for good reason, cannabinoids work together to provide a higher degree of medical relief. This process is better known as the “Entourage Effect.” Before we talk about the Entourage Effect in more detail, let’s first take a look at THC and CBD topicals individually. 

Medical Benefits of THC Topicals

There are numerous medical benefits when it comes to THC-infused topicals. For starters, seeing that topicals are ‘area specific’ medication, you can treat a wide range of conditions with it. From pain and inflammation to alleviating itches, scratches or even bug bites.
This is because THC has a lot of medical properties, including:
  • Anti-bacterial agent
  • Anti-viral properties
  • Anti-tumor properties
  • Analgesic
  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-oxidant
As you can see, there are plenty of medicinal benefits to THC. Since THC needs to enter the bloodstream to produce its euphoric effects, applying it topically won’t get you high as it doesn’t reach the bloodstream via topicals. Only trans-dermal topicals will have the ability to get you high.

Medical Benefits of CBD Topicals

CBD is another cannabinoid that has been making its round within the medical community. This is because it also provides a wealth of medical benefits including;
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Neurocontroller
  • Anti-tumor properties
  • Anti-viral/bacterial properties
  • Anti-oxidant

Similar to THC, CBD provides a lot of medical benefits to users. The only major difference between these two, apart from the chemical structure, is that CBD cannot get you high. In fact, CBD is the counter-weight to the euphoric effects of THC.

However, when you put these together they create a powerful combination that provides you with more health benefits.

How THC and CBD Work Together for Your Health

As mentioned, when cannabinoids work together, they produce the entourage effect. To explain this to the user; it’s similar to the ‘manysticks’ example.

When you have one stick and try to break it, it’s very easy.However, take 10 small sticks and clump them together and it becomes nearly impossible to break with your hands.

Similarly, the compounding effects of THC and CBD work together to provide greater medical relief to the user. This is because THC and CBD bind to different cannabinoid receptors and in turn generate higher endocannabinoid activities.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the immune system, regulating the neural activities throughout the body and much more.


This is why when you have a product that contains both CBD and THC, you’re getting more medical benefit (value) for your buck. This doesn’t mean that separately they are any less effective, it simply means that combining them generates a more acute sense of relief.