A Doctor's Guide to Cannabis Topicals

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When Dr. Andrew Kerklaan first became interested in CBD, he had been practicing as a chiropractor, focusing on pain management for 20 years. His patients began asking questions about how cannabinoids could potentially impact their health, which prompted him to find out more about this non-psychoactive cannabis compound.

“As a health professional, I wasn't equipped to answer those questions, but I was intrigued by it,” Dr. Kerklaan, who is based in Montreal, Canada, says. He delved into his research, studying cannabinoids, and attending relevant conferences. “It became very clear, very quickly that there was a huge potential for health benefits from CBD, with its anti-inflammatory components and the whole myriad of potential effects,” he said.

After realizing that there weren’t many brands or products that he could recommend to his patients, Dr. Kerklaan decided to take matters into his own hands. He worked with biochemists on an ideal CBD formula that would end up being an extension of his practice, allowing him to help patients beyond the walls of his clinic. The result was a line of full-spectrum CBD topicals targeting pain, skin problems, PMS, and sleep issues. “We get pictures of skin conditions that cleared up after taking our products,”Dr. Kerklaan says. “It gets us up every morning, working hard to make sure that we can help as many people as we can.”

Two of the most popular categories in the Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics line are the ones that focus on pain and skin. Let's go ahead and learn about the different products in the Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics line, shall we? Plus, how to incorporate them into your own wellness and beauty routine.

Natural CBD Skin Cream

One of the best features of this skin cream is that it’s a multi-use product. “We see people it on cracked, sore hands and fingers when weather is dry, and we know it's being used as daily face moisturizer,” Dr. Kerklaan says. “So, it's a great for everyday application, and then because of the CBD potential, we also get into dealing with more specific situations or concerns, like eczema, psoriasis, chronic dermatitis, or any kind of skin irritation.” Dr. Kerklaan says the skin cream has also worked well for both acne and after-sun care.

Natural CBD Pain Cream

Dr. Kerklaan created the CBD Pain Cream to treat everyday common issues leading up to moderately painful situations. He says it can help with pain and soreness associated with everything from exercise, to sports injuries, to chronic lower back pain, arthritis, and repetitive strain situations. “The way I designed the pain products was to incorporate what we call a counter-irritant. It’s either heating you up or cooling you down and distracting you from pain,” Dr. Kerklaan explains. “You get the cooling sensation from the eucalyptus peppermint in the product, and then you get this fantastic anti-inflammatory effect from the CBD, which reduces pain and triggers a release of muscle tension.”

Natural CBD PMS Cream

Dr. Kerklaan says he gives his wife, Jennifer, credit for the PMS Cream. He says that since the cooling effect produced by the pain products might not be what you want when you’re premenstrual or during your period, the PMS product has a different base formulation. You can apply it to your lower back or lower abdomen and it can help soothe pain associated with cramps.

“I'll say this is one of the therapeutic benefits I wouldn't have predicted, but we have people writing in with the abdominal discomforts and cramping getting good relief from it,” he says. “I'm fascinated from a physiological clinical perspective that a topical can have an effect on deeper issues, and it's an interesting scenario where you don't have to get the cannabinoid, deep into, three inches into your body, for it to have an impact on something.”

Natural CBD Pain Spray

Dr. Kerklaan says that when it came to developing the products in the pain category, he realized that just one type of product doesn't necessarily suit everybody's situation. Which is when he came up with a quick-drying spray to relieve pain. “It's a really convenient formula that you can just spray on hard-to-reach places,” touting the convenience of the product. “And you can use it on an airplane; you can use it at work.”

Natural CBD Pain Stick

Again, Dr. Kerklaan realized that a standard pain cream might not work for every situation. With the pain stick, you can use it for sports-related application, where you really want to dig into a knotted muscle. “It's a product that you can really work and massage into your muscles and it'll absorb into your skin quickly,” he says.

Natural CBD Sleep Cream

Sleep is one of the main issues CBD has a potential to treat, from the anti-stress perspective, since CBD can help you relax and chill out. And if you can’t sleep from pain associated with inflammation, CBD can help there. Dr. Kerklaan says the CBD Sleep Cream is designed as a sleep timer. “You can use it as a sleep ritual at the end of the night. Apply it on your shoulders and your jaw and your temples. It’s just a good way to help you relax some tension,” he says, adding that the natural sleep aid melatonin is also an ingredient. “Melatonin is absorbed through the skin, helping to influence your sleep pattern,” he explains.

You can shop Dr. Kerklaan products on Miss Grass.

Marie Lodi is an LA-based writer and editor covering beauty, fashion, cannabis, and pop culture. She runs a food blog about period cravings called The Bloodfeast and co-hosts the costume design podcast Fishnet Flix.