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  • Writer's pictureMindi Willis

Topical Treatments - What are they and how do they work?

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and it happens to be covered in cannabinoid receptors! Cutaneous cannabinoid signalling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration. The presence of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the skin is what allows the healing properties of the cannabis plant to be delivered locally for symptomatic relief, but without any of the intoxicating side effects one may experience from other methods of delivery.

Because the components of the cannabis plant are fat-soluble, topicals generally only penetrate a few layers of skin, absorb into the dermis and interact with the local receptors at that site. As the activated cannabinoids do not breach the blood barrier, nor permeate the body enough for significant systemic absorption, this makes them a great choice for many people.

Topical treatments can offer targeted, localised relief from:

  • aches and pains

  • inflammation

  • muscle spasms

  • arthritis

  • athletic recovery

  • muscle tension or stiffness

  • nerve pain

  • headaches and migraines

  • skin conditions – eczema, psoriasis etc.

  • menstrual cramps

How to use topical treatments

Body Oils

Massage a small amount into the affected area, as required throughout the day. To enhance absorption, you can warm the area first (unless inflammation is present), or apply them after a warm shower or bath when your pores are open.


Adding a capful of Topical Oil to a warm bath offers a self-care experience alongside full-body therapeutic effects. Combine with essential oils such as chamomile or lavender to enhance the relaxation experience, or Epsom Salts for muscles and detoxification.

Foot/Hand Bath

In a bowl of warm water, add 2 capfuls of your chosen Topical Oil. Soak. Combine with essential oils such as Peppermint and Eucalyptus to enhance the effectiveness.​


Pour 1- 2 teaspoons of Castor Oil onto a dressing pad, or organic cotton cloth, then add enough Topical Oil to saturate the dressing. Apply to the affected area, cover with plastic wrap (to protect clothing), and if necessary bandage onto the area. Leave in place for at least 1 hour, or overnight if necessary. Great for relieving pain and inflammation, or on wounds such as cuts. This can be an effective way to draw out a splinter.

Creams, Balms and Salves

Apply a light layer and gently massage into the affected area 2-3 times per day. Our formulas have a green tinge due to the whole-plant herbal extracts. This should disappear as the cream is absorbed into the skin, however, if you do have any concerns about using it on your face during the day, be sure to apply it before bed to deeply absorb the skin-loving benefits while you sleep.

How long do topicals take to work?

Topicals have an onset time of between 10 - 30 minutes, and you should be able to feel the effects for 2-3 hours afterwards. Consistent use may also have a cumulative effect.

So, how do you know which treatment is right for you?

We offer a range of different topical products, so there’s something for everyone, regardless of whether you’re using an infused product to help with pain management, skin care, or self-care.

UBUNTU Foundation Plus Bone Oil

This whole-plant extract-infused massage oil is useful for a wide range of health conditions. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it especially effective at treating several types of chronic pain, including joint pain, muscle pain, and neuropathic pain. Massage is also known to help soothe away tension and anxiety. Combine our Foundation Bone Oil with essential oils such as chamomile or lavender to enhance the relaxation experience, add a capful to a warm bath, or massage into the affected area for pain relief as required throughout the day.

UBUNTU Nourishing Skin Oil Our Nourishing Skin Oil is a blend of our original Foundation Bone Oil with extra cannabinoids added that specifically target the endocannabinoid receptors on your skin for greater nourishment. The nanoparticles in this nurturing body oil help the active ingredients of the plant to penetrate deeper into the layers of skin, to more efficiently deliver its benefits.

CANNA-NUTRIENTS Pain & Inflammation Body Oil This 100% natural body oil assists with reducing pain and cooling an inflamed body. Massage is also known to bring a sense of relief and calm which can promote better sleep patterns. Infused with added botanicals of comfrey, white willow bark, meadowsweet, lemon myrtle, passionflower, catnip, chrysanthemum, and coriander seeds.

CANNA-NUTRIENTS Skin & Circulation Body Oil

This 100% natural body oil assists with skin rejuvenation and lymphatic support. Great for skin conditions and as part of a breast care routine. Massage with this oil helps to create an uplifting mood. Infused with lemongrass, hibiscus, calendula, ginger, cleavers, bilberry & horsetail.

UBUNTU Skin Food

Our general-purpose cream. A blend of MCT Oil, whole plant herbal extracts, organic zinc oxide, cocoa butter, and essential oils. Great for everyday use. Moisturising, and skin toning.

UBUNTU Calm Ya Farm Balm

Hemp & comfrey balm for pain relief. Apply sparingly when needed to affected areas (broken bones, sprains, arthritis, and skin issues). With beeswax, coconut oil & essential oils.

UBUNTU Fines Cream 

This concentrated formula contains a higher ratio of cannabinoids for targeted healing. The nanoparticles help the active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin and deliver their healing properties more efficiently to the affected area. Relieves pain and may assist in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, sun spots, skin cancers, and other skin conditions.

Our topical treatments are now available for everyone to purchase via our online store, so consultations are no longer required to access their benefits. If, however, you would like some guidance about the best options for your specific needs, jump online to book an appointment with one of our Endocannabinoid Specialists. We'd love to help you find relief from your symptoms so you can start living your life to the fullest, however that looks to you...


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Narayanan, Varsha & Gandhi, Rajesh & Suryavanshi, Ashok & Nadkarni, Biren & Rungta, Varun. (2022). Topical cannabinoids for the management of musculoskeletal pain: Understanding and review. 83-88.

Río CD, Millán E, García V, Appendino G, DeMesa J, Muñoz E. The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018 Nov;157:122-133. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.08.022. Epub 2018 Aug 20. PMID: 30138623.

Tóth KF, Ádám D, Bíró T, Oláh A. Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the "C(ut)annabinoid" System. Molecules. 2019 Mar 6;24(5):918. doi: 10.3390/molecules24050918. PMID: 30845666; PMCID: PMC6429381.

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