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Cannabis, CBD and Hemp in Wellness

by Mary Beth Janssen
Women testing CBD, hemp and cannabis wellness products.

Last year was a banner year for hemp and CBD beauty and wellness launches, retail partnerships, and big-money acquisition in the CBD space. The Brightfield Group, a cannabis industry data firm, had forecast that hemp and CBD-based product growth was on track to reach $23.7 billion by 2023.

So, what’s trending? We’ll focus on the hemp version here, given its legal status (with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill) and availability nationwide. 

CBD is everywhere

CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.

But even though it’s everywhere, a lot of people still don’t understand it. CBD or cannabidiol—the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis—continues to be a superpower molecule and major disruptor in the wellness and beauty worlds. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid is known for its ability to help everything from pain and inflammation, to anxiety and depression, to insomnia and neurological issues and so much more.

This hemp cannabinoid has been showing up in every form possible, from bath salts to energy drinks to ice cream to dog treats. It comes in sublingual tinctures/drops, ingestibles like soft gel capsules and edible foods, topicals such as pain-relieving lotions and transdermal patches.

CBD-infused experiences

CBD “experiences” include massage, facials, yoga classes, athletic events, tea ceremonies, baby showers, bridal showers and CBD weddings (with Martha Stewart teaching us how to cater with CBD-infused food and drink). Her line of hemp/CBD products for people and pets will release at the end of 2020. Cannabis is used to treat those in palliative care and hospice.

There are CBD educational wellness sessions, a rise in CBD concierge services, dosing specialists and CBD tastings and happy hours. Event marketers for creating brand experiences have been doing quite well in the CBD space with special event and festival pop-ups.

The National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” survey polling American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) chefs listed cannabis and CBD-infused food and drink as the number one and two top trends this past year. And ACF has just launched a special certificate for cooking with cannabis—both marijuana and hemp.

CBD-infused massage and facials

Infusing massage, facials and even hair/scalp care treatments with hemp/ CBD are definitely a thing. Cannabis topicals (in lotions, creams, salves, balms, ointments, oils) activate CB2 receptors in the skin. This activation has been shown to help with localized inflammation, pain, spasms and various skin diseases and conditions without intoxicating effects. Try a daily Ayurvedic abhyanga or self-massage. You can add hemp/CBD product into the mix, by purchasing massage oil or creating your own, by adding hemp/ CBD product into your regular body lotion or oil.

wellness activity with cbd and hemp product

CBD-infused yoga

Yoga and hemp/CBD were made for each other, and yoga practice today is seeing a surge in the use of this sacred plant. Hemp/CBD greatly accentuates the calming and balancing effects of yoga. Consider adding CBD tincture taken sublingually and/or apply a topical to any areas of stiffness (muscle aches, tight joints, etc.) before beginning your practice. Take the desired serving of CBD at the onset of class, set your yoga intention, then enjoy a relaxation pose like savasana for 10 to 15 minutes as the CBD begins to work its magic, before proceeding into your entire asana practice.

Sexual wellness with hemp/CBD

Researchers have found endocannabinoid receptors in the sexual reproductive organs. They’re also present in the brain (remember, great sex begins in the brain). Hemp/CBD’s amazing benefits range from reducing inhibitions to boosting libido to improving sexual performance and fulfillment to assuaging sexual, menstrual and menopausal discomfort and so much more.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) moves front and center

ECS refers to the Cannabinoid System inside the body, and is perhaps one of science’s most exciting recent discoveries. It is one of the 12 major systems in our body and is considered the “switch master” that helps regulate all our other systems.

The body makes its own cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), which are similar to plant-based cannabinoids. Our cannabinoid receptors–CB1 and CB2–are found on cells throughout our body. They’re most abundant in the brain, central and peripheral nervous systems, the immune system and the skin. When you ingest hemp extract with CBD, you activate your cannabinoid receptors, strengthening your ECS system. To maintain endocannabinoid tone is to assist in maintaining whole- body homeostasis.

Education is of the utmost importance. Wise marketers of hemp extract with CBD understand the importance of the ECS and will make the ECS a prime focus in their education, promos, events and on-line presence. And, if a company is not teaching you about the ECS—walk away.

Microtargeting hemp and CBD

Companies are now targeting specific needs, with CBD dental care for gum/periodontal health (try Primal Life Organics), CBD cream for sore feet (try Stiletto Strength), CBD relief for menstrual cramps, CBD bitters to enhance/stimulate digestion (try Cordial Organics Ginger CBD Bitters and Lavender CBD hydrosol spray), CBD simple syrups for adding to cocktails, mocktails, coffee and tea. There are now CBD probiotics (Garden of Life). It’s even being touted for lung health via nebulizer treatments, and put into pillows and mattresses.

To promote sexual wellness, CBD has been added to lubricants, as well as vaginal and rectal suppositories (try CBD Living, Foria, Endoca). You can also ingest CBD edibles—chocolates, cookies, gummies—or take CBD tincture/drops to reduce anxiety, boost sensation and promote more fulfilling sex. Use CBD massage lotion or oil during foreplay (try Awaken, by Foria Wellness). As researchers further examine CBD’s sexual effects, this list will no doubt grow.

MARY BETH JANSSEN is a certified health educator for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and author of seven books, including The Book Of Self Care: Remedies For Healing Mind, Body, And Soul. Send questions to marybeth@organicspamagazine.com, marybethjanssen.com.

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