Cannabis — marijuana, dope, hashish, weed, grass, etc.– is one of the most controversial substances on Earth, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Smoked, ingested, and applied topically, for millennia the flowering plant has been used as an anti-inflammatory, an analgesic, an anesthetic, an anti-emetic, and a mood enhancer, among other things. And the ailments cannabis has been used to treat include gout, glaucoma, parasites, earache, rheumatism, leprosy, and, perhaps amusingly, “absentmindedness” — some, no doubt, with higher degrees of success than others.
The mythological Chinese Emperor Fuxi (or Fu Hsi) is credited with making the earliest reference to the herb as a popular medicine around 2900 BCE, while the earliest reference to the same in Greek and Latin literature dates to Herodotus’ description of the ancient Scythians’ hemp vapor baths in the fifth century BCE.
To say that there have never been detractors would be a lie. Though weed was apparently used medicinally across the Arab world in Roman times, the Arab physician Ibn Wahshiyya is said to have considered hashish a “lethal poison.” Still, Barney Warf, a University of Kansas geography professor and author of High Points: An Historical Geography of Cannabis reportedly states that “The idea that this is an evil drug is a very recent construction.”
These days, while some may be shocked and dismayed at the world going reefer mad for the devil’s weed, cannabis is enjoying a loosening of laws and a cultural mainstreaming. It’s been legalized for both recreational and medicinal use in several states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, with more pending. In Canada it’s legal to possess medicinal cannabis, while the federal government plans to have an established plan for legalization by July 2018, and we see varying degrees of tolerance in a locations from Amsterdam (of course) to Peru to South Africa.
With all its purported healing powers, it’s only natural that the spa, wellness, and skincare industries would be integrating cannabis into products and treatments.
Note there are two main chemical ingredients we talk about when we talk about cannabis: THC and CBD. THC has psychoactive properties, while CBD is non psychoactive. Both are attracting attention for their potential healing properties but it’s the non-psychoactive CBD that people are getting really excited about as it shows promise as a medicine for many ailments — without the buzz. Among the most exciting of these developments is as a treatment for epilepsy. CBD is also gaining popularity as a skincare ingredient.
To be clear, hemp in beauty products is nothing new;The Body Shop, Dr. Bronner’s, and Hempz have been doing it for years. Nor is getting stoned and getting a massage. But as these products become better understood and more widely available, their usage profile is rising (sky high).
See Lord Jones, a Los Angeles based company selling topicals and edibles containing either CBD, THC – or both – in lovely, regal cigar-box style packaging, one example of the welcome contemporary departure from the moldy tie dye aesthetics that have plagued the pot industry for so long. (See also Beboe, which sells vaporizers and pastilles in equally pleasing packaging.)
Lord Jones recently partnered with L.A celebrity fitness hub Equinox to produce a series of events, integrating cannabis infused topicals into classes. And Lord Jones CEO Cindy Capobianco tells me they’re currently working on a program with The Spa at Equinox to incorporate a Pure CBD Topical into the massage practice.
Over in Longmont Colorado, Nature’s Root claims to be the first hemp-based spa in the world. The company’s own body care products include a therapeutic, organically grown, industrial hemp oil extract line of massage oils, lotions and sore muscle salves.
And in Denver, LoDo Massage Studio has become famous for offering a “Mile High Massage” using Apothecanna’s Pain Crème, which is infused with THC and CBD (and Arnica, Peppermint and Juniper).
Lord Jones’ Capobianco believes the cannabis industry will continue to grow, and the plant will gain more traction as a bona-fide healing agent.
“This is just the beginning as far as we are concerned,” she says. “We run a non profit collective in California and have hundreds of patients who utilize our topicals for a variety of reasons ranging from skin conditions to muscle and joint pain to headache. We have patients who have leg and foot cramps, arthritis sufferers, and last but not least endometriosis and menstrual cramp sufferers.”
She continues, “Cannabis has so many dimensions. It is natural medicine. It is an anti-depressant and mood stabilizer. It is a coveted intoxicant. It is a health and wellness miracle and a sacrament to be shared among friends. Expect high-end offerings to come in all of these forms.”
Lord Jones 1:1 Pain and Wellness Formula Body Lotion
Each 100ml/3.4oz bottle contains 20mg of CBD and 20mg THC
“Soothing, rich luxurious lotion designed to be penetrating and readily absorbed. Lord Jones signature fragrance, fresh with notes of sage, mint and green citrus. Formulated with Frescolat, a natural agent that creates a cooling sensation upon contact . Non-psychoactive when used as directed.”
Nature’s Root Vital Hemp Oil Capsules
25 or 50 mg capsules
“Our capsules contain a high grade CO2 industrial hemp oil extract, delivering a whole plant extraction, providing the power of a broad spectrum of cannabinoids. A pure, true product, we ensure that each capsule contains less than 0.3% THC, so you can rest assured they are completely non-psychoactive.”
Apothecanna’s Extra Strength Relieving Creme
“Double strength moisturizing body cream with anti-inflammatory plant extracts. Cooling and invigorating, perfect for use on sore muscles, swollen joints and distressed skin. Use with full body massage or apply directly where it hurts.”