DIY Cannabis Topicals

Can Marijuana Topicals Get You High? Can Topicals Make You Fail a Drug Test?


Dear Cheri, 

I have been hearing a lot about using cannabis lotions and balms for pain relief and I am interested in trying it for my arthritis. Will using a marijuana topical make me fail a drug test?  Will they make me high? I’m curious about what to expect.



Article Title Card: Will Marijuana Topicals Make Me High or Make Me Fail a Drug Test

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Excellent questions Chuck. The short answers are no, and no, with one important exception. Now on the longer answers!

Topical cannabis preparations like lotions, balms, salves and other products that are rubbed on the skin or added into baths can be quite effective for inflammation and pain relief as they bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the skin, but they won’t make you high.

Generally speaking topicals have far less cannabis in them than what you smoke, vape or eat., but even if they didn’t, you wouldn’t feel high with this application method.

Dr. Amanda Reiman of the Drug Policy Alliance made an excellent comparison between cannabis topicals and rubbing alcohol. Despite its high alcohol content, you are not going to feel drunk by using rubbing alcohol. The same is true to of cannabis topicals and feeling high.

You also don’t have to worry about failing a drug test with topicals, as the cannabis is absorbed through the skin and never enters the bloodstream.

That said there is one type of topical that will both make you high and cause you to fail a drug test.

Transdermal Patches: The Exception to the Cannabis Topicals Rule

cannabis topicals, transdermal patch

If you live in a recreationally or medicinally legal state, you may come across cannabis infused transdermal patches. While extremely effective, these patches do contain ingredients that allow THC to enter the bloodstream. Likewise they can make you feel high and they will cause you to fail a drug test.

However, if drug testing is not an issue, transdermal patches can be a great way to medicate as they are discreet and keep a steady dose in your system at all times. Mary’s Medicinals makes some great transdermal products. They even have a CBD-only product for those who want to avoid the high.

More on Cannabis Topicals:

DIY: Make your own marijuana infused citrus bath salts

Marijuana Massage Oils: An Easy DIY Intro to Marijuana Topicals

Cannabis-infused massage oils are without a doubt the easiest of all marijuana topicals to make and likewise an excellent way to try out topical cannabis for yourself. Besides helping you relax and leaving your skin feeling awesome, they can relieve both all over or localized relief from pain and inflammation.  They can even ease pain in stiffness in the person GIVING the massage as well as the lucky recipient.  Talk about Win/Win!

Making massage oil is simple and easy.  I created a FREE tutorial that will have you whipping up batches of your own Marijuana Massage Oil by tonight!  I also include 5 of my personal favorite Marijuana Massage Oil formulas:

  • Pain Relieving Massage Oil
  • Headache and Tension Tamer Massage Oil
  • Menstrual Cramp Massage Oil
  • Itch and Bug Bite Relief Oil
  • Sleepy Time Massage Oil


    • Cheri Sicard

      Yes. There is a fair amount of controversy about this. Some people swear by other, others say it is toxic. As for me, I prefer to keep things natural. I seem to get great results without it, so unless I have a compelling reason to use it, I would rather pass.

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