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Polite's Topical Starter Guide

May 22, 2024 9 min read

A primer on all things cannabis topicals.
Whether you are new to hemp infused topicals or just need a little bit more information, we’ve got you covered. 

By: Polite Education Team

What are Topicals?

Topicals are products applied directly to the skin, designed to deliver localized relief from pain, inflammation, and other ailments. Hemp topicals specifically incorporate extracts from the hemp plant, rich in cannabinoids like CBD, known for their therapeutic properties. 

From soothing balms to revitalizing creams, hemp topicals are emerging as potent allies in our quest for holistic health and vitality. 

Topical cannabinoid products serve as powerful allies in the quest for natural pain relief and inflammation management by tapping into the body's remarkable endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Through the application of cannabinoids like CBD directly to the skin, these products interact with the ECS receptors found throughout the body's peripheral nervous system. By binding to these receptors, cannabinoids modulate pain signals, effectively dampening sensations of discomfort and promoting a sense of relief. Moreover, cannabinoids exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties, helping to quell the body's inflammatory response and reduce swelling and redness associated with various conditions.

These products offer a natural and non-invasive alternative for managing various conditions, promoting wellness without the need for systemic absorption, making them important for targeted relief and holistic health care.

Occasions for Topical Use

People use hemp-infused topical products for many different reasons. Here are some of the top occasions in which people tend to reach for topical relief.

Modern office worker issues. Hemp topicals can be a valuable asset for modern office workers facing common physical discomforts associated with desk-bound jobs. Issues like lower back pain, carpal tunnel, and tight neck and shoulders are prevalent among those spending long hours indoors at a desk. Despite promising pay, the toll of sedentary work can lead to physical challenges over time unless you’re staying on top of it. Thankfully, with cannabis topicals readily available, individuals can swiftly and efficiently alleviate these office-related aches and pains, providing much-needed relief when it’s needed. 

Inflammation flare-up management. Many people use cannabis and hemp topicals to manage their joint pain, general inflammation, and associated issues. In a recent consumer survey, 35% of survey respondents who use CBD topicals indicated that they do so for inflammation management (Statista). Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids such as CBD, hemp topicals work to soothe swelling, redness, and discomfort and can promote a sense of well-being and improved mobility. Whether stemming from conditions like arthritis, muscle strain, or skin irritation, hemp-based topicals can be applied directly to affected areas for localized relief.

Soothing skin irritations. Hemp topicals offer valuable support for individuals seeking relief from various skin irritations. These products leverage the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids to soothe discomfort and promote skin health. Whether dealing with dryness, itching, redness, or more persistent conditions like eczema or psoriasis, hemp-based topicals can provide targeted relief when applied directly to affected areas.

Menses and period discomfort. Those experiencing menses and period related pain, inflammation, or general discomfort are well-served by cannabis topicals. With their soothing properties, topicals offer a natural solution to alleviate menstrual cramps, lower back pain, and overall discomfort associated with this monthly cycle. By directly targeting the affected areas, such as the abdomen or lower back, cannabis/hemp topicals provide localized relief and can help release tension and promote relaxation. 

When you’re on the mend and seeking faster or smoother recovery. Cannabis topicals offer a promising pathway to accelerated or more comfortable recovery. Whether recuperating from physical strain or aiming to enhance overall wellness, these topicals can play a role in promoting a sense of well-being. By combining cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, THC, CBN, and beneficial compounds, topicals provide targeted relief, soothing discomfort and supporting the body's natural healing processes.

Prevention and pre-workout. Cannabis topicals offer a natural approach for injury prevention and enhancing workout routines, both pre and post-exercise. With their anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis-infused topicals can help soothe muscles, alleviate discomfort, and reduce inflammation. Applying topicals before a workout can prime the muscles for optimal performance and flexibility. Post-workout application can aid in the recovery process by promoting muscle relaxation and reducing soreness. Hemp topicals offer athletes and fitness enthusiasts a natural and effective way to support their active lifestyle and stay healthy throughout their fitness endeavors. 

When the prescribed or over-the-counter options aren’t getting the job done. In contrast to traditional healthcare, where we typically need a doctor’s prescription to grant us access to potent and effective medicines, cannabis topicals offer a different paradigm. Hemp topicals are widely accessible and boast a high safety profile, even surpassing that of common over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen. With no need for a prescription, hemp topicals offer a natural, convenient, and accessible solution for addressing your and your family's wellness needs. 

Alleviating a prior injury. Whether it's a strained muscle, sore joints, or chronic pain, the soothing properties of hemp topicals offer us a comforting solution for managing symptoms and reclaiming a sense of well-being after years of dealing with a stubborn prior injury. For those of us with a prior sports injury or particular physical ailment that holds us back, topicals present a wonderful way to support our bodies and lessen pain while we move and exercise for better health.If only Achilles had had access to hemp topicals! 

Helping your muscles and body relax. Hemp topicals offer a soothing option for those who need to release tense muscles and find relaxation after a strenuous day. Whether its from physical exertion, stress, or everyday wear and tear, muscles can become tight and fatigued, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility. Hemp topicals can be applied directly to targeted areas, delivering natural relief through the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cannabinoids like CBD. Next time you have a tough day that’s left you worn out, you might try melting the stress away with topically applied cannabinoids and/or herbs.

Family-friendly needs. Hemp topicals cater to the diverse needs of your entire family, offering versatile support for various situations. Just as you reach for VapoRub when someone in the family is sick, hemp topicals like Polite are there for skin and pain-related needs. These products have become a staple in many family medicine cabinets for good reason. Our topicals are family-friendly, non-intoxicating, and made from all-natural ingredients, ensuring they're suitable for everyone from children to grandparents. Parents and caretakers can confidently rely on these products for their loved ones, knowing they provide gentle yet effective relief. Expand the potential of your family’s wellness toolbox and prepare yourself for future bumps, bruises, and other physical discomforts. 


Polite’s Topical Formulations

Our products offer nature’s synergy, combining key cannabinoids as well as terpenes and medicinal properties of functional herbs. This is the highest quality and highest efficacy cannabinoid product you can find on the market today. 

Our ingredient list is completely natural. Polite topicals feature a blend of natural emollients that include beeswax, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, cocoa butter, hemp extract, and functional herbs such as menthol and arnica, among others.

Both of our formulas feature an herb that has been used for skin soothing for thousands of years:arnica. Arnica has been well respected for centuries for its skin healing and pain relieving properties. 

When using our topical products, you will experience a subtle herbal scent that invokes the power of the included herbs, but rest assured, you won't smell like cannabis smoke. Our formulations were carefully crafted to harness the therapeutic benefits of herbs and cannabinoids without the scent commonly associated with cannabis. Instead, you will enjoy a delicate fragrance that seamlessly blends into your daily routine, allowing you to experience the healing properties of our products discreetly and comfortably.

What you can expect from Polite Topicals:

Onset: 5-10 minutes

Duration: 4-6 hours

Here at Polite, we offer two topical products: Cooling Recovery & Warming Relief

About Warming Relief

Polite's Warming Relief topical was developed to help soothe aches and inflammation flare-ups and provide an outside-in compliment to our ingestible and formulations. Similar to how we formulate our tinctures and capsules, we combine the phytotherapeutic power of cannabinoids with synergistic herbs to target discomfort in a localized way.

This mess-free solid salve stick is infused with CBD, CBG, CBN, a powerful tag-team of menthol and camphor, plus the warming and relaxing essential oils of clove and lavender. As a finishing touch, arnica oil contributes well documented benefits of anti-inflammatory and analgesic action. 

Warming Relief features a mild and pleasant smell with notes of spice (think: mild pumpkin spice). 

About Cooling Recovery

Our Cooling Recovery topical was formulated as a workout and sports companion, giving any sore muscles and joints some much needed TLC so you can stay moving. We also like to keep it handy at our desks for neck and back relief from those long hours hunched over a computer.

We use the same foundation of full spectrum CBD, CBG, and CBN that you will find in our Warming Relief topical, but combine the analgesic power of menthol with the anti-inflammatory and restorative benefits of sweet orange, eucalyptus, and arnica oils. This results in a soothing, cooling effect that doesn't leave behind an overpowering odor as you go about your day.

The smell of Cooling Recovery is mild, minty, and features calming notes of eucalyptus. This minty smell is not overpowering like Bengay or Icy Hot. With Cooling Recovery on board, you can smell good and feel good, too!

How to Use

Polite topicals are very easy to use. Due to our roll-on packaging, you can simply roll the product onto your skin - you don’t even have to get your hands or fingers greasy. We know from direct customer feedback that this sets Polite apart and helps remove barriers between symptoms and relief.

Instructions: Add topical product to the area of concern. Allow it to absorb into the skin. Check in regularly and assess how you feel.How do you feel after 30 minutes? 90 minutes? 3 hours? Once you have gone through this process a couple of times, you will know what to expect from the product and you will know your body’s response in return. 

Caution: When applying topicals, always take precautions to avoid getting the product in your eyes. Many topicals feature spicy and activating ingredients that support skin healing but are not appropriate for ocular contact. Polite’s topical products, for example, include menthol and arnica, and neither of these ingredients would feel good if they got into the eyes. Avoid the eyes during use and wash your hands as needed. 

In general, we do not advise applying hemp topicals to open wounds unless you are under the guidance of a health professional. Additionally, it should be noted that as with any other topical product, there is the possibility of allergic reaction based on individual body’s. For example, Polite’s products feature coconut and so they should not be utilized by anyone who is allergic to coconut. 

As with many other cannabis administration methods, consistency of use is required for the product to work. Try the product 5 times in sequence before determining the product is not effective for you. 

Still have questions about how to use topicals? No problem, we’re happy to help, especially if you’re new to the topical scene!

  • Have additional questions? We’d love to hear from you directly and help you get on the right path. Connect with Polite

Versatility, Ease of Use, and Discretion

Some of the most compelling aspects of hemp-infused topicals include their versatility, accessibility, and discretion. 

With their non-intoxicating nature, topicals offer a safe and accessible way to experience the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects typically associated with consumption. The versatility of cannabis-infused topicals extends to their ease of use and integration into daily routines. Whether you're an athlete seeking post-workout recovery, a busy professional looking to unwind after a long day, or simply someone in need of a little self-care, these products seamlessly fit into any lifestyle.

Polite topicals are also very easy to use. Due to our roll-on packaging, you can simply roll the product onto your skin - you don’t even have to get your hands or fingers greasy.

Finally, hemp infused topicals offer a high degree of discretion. These products do not smell strongly of cannabis and therefore can be used in most every setting without you having to announce your medical cannabis approach to wellness. Polite topicals and hemp infused topicals in general are well-suited to the office, car trips, long days, camping, workouts, and more. Whatever it is you’re up to, if you need a moment of relief and relaxation, topicals may provide a viable solution. 

Relief and improved wellness might be as simple as carrying your Polite topical with you in your purse, gym back, or overnight backpack. 

Pairing Topicals with Other Methods

To enhance your cannabinoid wellness experience and maximize health outcomes, you may decide to stack cannabinoid wellness product types and treatment methods. Many people achieve great health outcomes combining different administration methods and will pair topical products alongside their ingested cannabis products (inhalation, edibles, oils, and more). 

When it comes to cannabis therapies, we typically focus on healing the body from the inside out. This approach comes into play with other allosteric and nutritional health and wellness approaches, as well. But with topical use, this idea is turned on its head. In this scenario, topicals enter the body through the outside and then create localized internal relief at the site of application.

However, there can be a synergistic effect when we put these two methodologies together. 

Just like consuming two (or more) cannabinoids together can produce a synergistic effect, so too can combining your favorite cannabis administration methods for a combo approach. Relief from both inside and outside… What's not to love?

We recommend incorporating both external and internal approaches into your regimen, especially if you are recovering from an injury or addressing a specific condition that has been ongoing. For quality cannabinoid ingestibles, check out Polite’s Oil Drops and Softgels

By applying cannabis topically and ingesting it at the same time, you can pair localized relief with systemic relief. With this strategy, you can offer yourself the best chance to heal by accessing all the synergistic healing that cannabis has to offer. 


Additional Resources

  • To learn more about the real-life benefits many people are experiencing using hemp topicals, listen to this Instagram live conversation between Polite’s Founder, Sue Tan and Clinical Cannabinoid Expert, Jessica Streufert.

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