Can THC Be Absorbed Through The Skin?

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As you probably know, there are lots of different CBD ointments out there. CBD ointments can be used for local pain relief, to relieve skin irritation, and the like.

Now, what about THC? People often wonder, can THC be absorbed through the skin? It’s definitely a fair question to ask, but a little more complicated to answer than one might think.

It’s complicated because yes, THC can be absorbed through the skin, technically, but in all reality, that’s where it stops, because it doesn’t actually make its way to the blood stream, and therefore doesn’t get you high.

Sure, it’s disappointing, but it’s the reality. Let’s talk more about CBD and THC being absorbed through the skin right now.


THC & CBD Topicals

Yes, there are plenty of CBD topical ointments out there. These can be applied to sore muscles and sore joints for on spot pain relief, but that’s about as far as it goes.

Yes, topical THC ointments can also be applied to the skin, although they don’t have nearly as many on site benefits as CBD ointments.

What people really wonder is whether or not THC can be applied to the skin, absorbed into the blood stream, and end up causing the same effects as ingesting or smoking pot.

Folks, there is a reason why there are almost no topical THC creams or ointments out there, and we’re about to discuss that in the section below.

THC Being Absorbed  By The Skin, It’s A Yes & No Answer

So, THC can technically be absorbed by the skin, but not really through the skin. You see, your skin, or epidermis as the scientific folks would call it, is your protective barrier.

It’s a shield that your body has to stop various contaminants from making their way into your blood and body. It’s not like it’s armor plating or anything, but it does work to a certain degree, well enough to stop THC from getting into your blood.

The fact of the matter is that both CBD and THC topical creams, ointments, oils, or whatever else, can technically be applied to the skin. They can have some beneficial effects for the immediate area where said THC cream is applied, but that’s as far as it goes.

Your skin is just too thick and does too good of a job at stopping things like THC from going all the way through to your blood. So, in the grand scheme of things, THC being applied to the skin is more or less useless.

Will Putting THC On Your Skin Get You High? – No

What you really need to be aware of here is that putting THC on your skin in any form, whether oil, ointment, or cream, will not get you high.

In order for you to get high, the THC would have to enter your blood stream, and then pass through the blood brain membrane to get to the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain.

Endocannabinoid receptors in the brain are what actually absorb and process the THC to get you high.

Since your skin stops virtually all THC from making its way into your blood stream, it never gets the chance to make it to your brain, and therefore it will not get you high. Sorry to disappoint folks.


So, there you have it folks, while THC will go into the skin, that’s where it stops. Your skin is like a protective barrier, and the THC gets trapped there.

It does not make its way into your blood or into the blood brain membranes, and therefore has no real effects. Sure, it might provide some on spot pain relief, but it won’t make its way to your brain and it will not get you high.


My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.

I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.