Your skin is rich with cannabinoid receptors. They help regulate such vital bodily processes as growing fresh skin cells, feeling (and dulling) pain, taming blemishes and inflammation, supporting glossy hair, and maintaining homeostasis—the balanced state otherwise known as “health.” A huge study published in Chemical Neuroscience put it this way: “The skin possesses a robust capacity to synthesize and respond to cannabinoids.” And, the study also notes, that “response” can come from endogenous cannabinoids—those produced by your body—or exogenous ones: those applied topically.
Sounds like an invitation to a great spa day, doesn’t it?
Sandra Hinchliffe is all over it. Only, she wants you to experience that spa in the comfort of your own home, using products you believe in because you made them yourself. “Cannabis use in spas goes back to the Middle Ages,” she points out. “There were medical texts that cited it as a topical preparation even back then.”
Related: 12 Health Benefits of CBD
Hinchliffe has had personal reasons to update her knowledge of cannabis cures. She has suffered a baffling array of autoimmune symptoms and allergies, and they resulted in pain-management needs. Most doctors urged her to gulp handfuls of prescription meds and wished her good luck. She found the meds dangerous and ineffective, which led her into the 5,000-year-old world of healing cannabis. Herbal remedies turned her life around, and it became her mission to help others as well.
She became an expert in making cannabis infusions. And that experience led her to write w and her most recent title CBD Everyday, which has an entire chapter on DIY spa treatments. Her encyclopedic array of balms, bath bombs, and infusions reads like a menu you’d really like to order from: Whipped Chocolate Body Butter and Deep Relief Massage Honey, with Gooey Brownie Pie (with 3 tablespoons of CBD-infused coconut oil).
Those are just three among dozens of home spa and food recipes. But she realizes that not everybody is keen to stand over a bubbling pot of cannabis infusions. So she has offered guidelines for people shopping for the products that will populate your home spa.
- Buy grown-in-the-USA hemp, whether it is whole extract or isolate. Use products can be traced back to where the hemp or cannabis was grown. Both are powerful soil remediators, meaning they can absorb significant amounts of heavy metals and other toxins.
- Don’t purchase products claiming to be CBD extracted from any other plant other than hemp or cannabis. There is no evidence that any such sources exist in any legitimate botany or scientific journal. Only hemp or cannabis produce the precursor molecule of CBDa which is then decarboxylated (i.e., made biologically available to your skin and body) into CBD via the application of both heat and time.
- Expect verification by third-party labs. Lab results should include not only CBD and THC content, but also prove the absence of heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial life.
- Look for fresh products. Dispensaries that carry a full range of spa products, instead of just a salve here and there, are your best bet for inventory that turns over quickly. Otherwise, they may spend too long on the shelf, subject to heat, dust, and light, which can reduce effectiveness.
- Know what’s in it. The cannabis industry isn't consistent with allergen disclosure. If you have sensitivities, contact manufacturers. “If you do not feel confident these products are safe for you," says Hinchliffe, "you may want to make your own spa goodies at home.”
Here are a few spa-tacular products to try while you’re building up the nerve to try Hinchliffe’s recipes.
Anti-Aging CBD Hemp Oil Day & Night Serum
2 oz., $110, https://shop.medicalmarijuanainc.com
Day-long defense against the stuff life on planet earth throws at you.
OY-L Body Butter
3.2oz., $25, Oy-l.com
With hemp seed oil and butter.
Phyt’s Repairing Mask
1.4 oz., $51, phyts-usa.com
Facial repair and protection from hemp and argan oils, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Mercury Retrograde Bath Bomb
250 mg CBD, $26, lifeelements.com
No matter how good the soak feels, don’t drink the bathwater.
Vertly CBD Infused Lip Balm
3.5 oz, $22, vertlybalm.com
Twenty-five milligrams of inflammation-taming CBD in every pot.