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How Virginia’s Medical Marijuana Topicals Are Made

Updated: May 24, 2022

Virginia Processing— Regulated and Safe!

All medical marijuana products in Virginia are produced by processors who have been pre-approved by the state to produce medical marijuana. These processors are carefully regulated and the Virginia Board of Pharmacy has defined very specific and narrow rules under which these processors can do their work. This means that Virginians with medical marijuana cards can rest assured that they are getting access to a quality product created under the best and most secure conditions.

The Topical Process

Every manufacturing process at a Virginia processing plant starts with carefully curated plants that have been selected for their therapeutic properties. Once these plants are ready to be harvested, they can be used to create the oils that will go into medical marijuana topicals.

Most topicals sold in Virginia are balms or lotions, meaning that they are created either by combining cannabis oils with waxes or cannabis oils with cream solutions.

Harvesting the Trichomes

It takes three months for a processor to get buds growing on their plants. These buds are the most important parts of the plants because they contain the 'crystals' or trichomes that, in turn, contain the oil sacks in which over 200 cannabinoids and terpenes reside. These trichomes contain the same cannabinoid profile as the plant from which they are harvested, bringing just the right levels of THC or CBD and giving the bud its own special, therapeutic quality.


Once the buds are harvested and ready, it’s time to pull out the oil from the oil sacks in the trichomes. Getting the cannabinoids out of the plants involves a process known as extraction.

There are three methods a processor can use to extract cannabis oil from a plant. These are:

  • Ethanol Extraction- A method that involves soaking a plant in alcohol.

  • CO2 Extraction – A method that utilizes carbon dioxide at extremely cold temperatures to isolate cannabinoids which can then be extracted as oils.

  • Oil Extraction - A method that involves heating the plan in a carrier oil to pull out the wanted cannabinoids.

Oil extraction is most commonly used by those wishing to make their own products at home. Virginia processors often use more complex processes, such as CO2 extraction to get the purest dilution possible.

Creating the Wax Base

A processor making a topical also needs to create the wax base that provide the product with the consistency it needs to rub on to the skin easily. These waxes typically contain a range of different waxes, including beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter. These waxes not only give the product a good consistency but also have additional therapeutic benefits for the skin.

Putting it All Together

As a final step, the waxes and oils or creams and oils are combined to create the final product. In Virginia, these products are always quality tested throughout the production process and spot tested after completion.

We hope this has given you some insight into topicals in Virginia. Whether you are treating a sports injury or chronic pain, you can be confident that your medical marijuana products in Virginia are of the highest order!

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card and Enjoy Topicals Today!

Medical marijuana is a safe and legal option for Virginians looking to address a variety of symptoms with topicals. Your first step is consulting with a doctor who can give you the recommendation you need to access this natural product.

Schedule an appointment with an online VA medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe and legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more for your loved one or patient!

Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness

safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on

education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by

providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!

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