Weedwashing: Why Cannabis in Self Care is Trending
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
We are no longer talking about little brown bottles of handmade hemp tonics at your local health food store, or rough nomadic clothing from incense-infested shops.
Today, cannabis awareness is at a new high, with the awareness of its health benefits causing states across the country to legalize its use medically and in some cases even decriminalizing its use. You can now find medicinal products like infused honey, extracts, and capsules to more recreational benefits like infused chocolate, cooking oils and even skincare. I think it is safe to say that this little green plant can be credited for more than a quick buzz, it is here for the long haul people.
Myre Mesko, founder of the Botanical Rush cannabis skincare line (and previously MyChelle Dermaceuticals) notes that, “Industrial hemp has been used in protein powders, nutritional oils and clothing for many years.” "But now", she continues, “the abundance of research into hemp’s benefits, consumer education and better methods of extraction” have taken cannabis to another level—and inspired healers and herbalists like herself to develop entire collections and/or products around it.
Partner in the Cannuka line, Stephen Letourneau, is equally enthusiastic. “Cannabis is everywhere in skincare, as it has a myriad of benefits for the body,” he says. “It’s a genius of a plant; its forms and benefits can vary, depending on what you are looking for.”
For many though, there is still hesitation or fear around this often understood super plant.
So let's break down what cannabis is, and what it isn't...
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. They tend to have a drug-like effect on the nervous system, resulting in side effects like pain relief, mood adjustment, overall calm and well-being, and more. Cannabinoids also contain the well known substance THC, which is responsible for the notorious "high" associated with marijuana traditionally. Because of research showing that medical benefits can be had by administering cannabis extracts void of THC which would also provide relief without the "high" side effects.
Are They Legal?
While Federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana in all forms, some States have passed laws allowing use with a prescription from a licensed doctor for approved medical conditions. Dispensaries have opened in many of these select states for this reason, and have in turn brought a massive economy boost to their communities. The demand for safe, legal, drug alternatives is on the rise, and retailers are taking note--as is our government.
How Do They Work?
More than 20 years of research has revealed that human brain and nerve cells have two types of cannabinoid receptors, or special molecules that grab cannabinoids. When a cannabinoid meets a receptor, it can cause an effect to occur within the cell-- think how a locked door will not open until a specific key (cannabinoid) is inserted and turned within the lock (receptor).
The cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that handle cognition, memory, psychomotor skills, reward recognition, and pain perception. When certain cannabinoids, such as THC, meet the receptors, the individual may feel a “high” effect. However, other cannabinoids, such as CBD Cannabidiol, interact with the receptors to reduce feelings of pain or anxiety.
These facts regarding how the human body contains these receptors suggests that cannabinoids can and do play a natural role within our immune systems.
What Are The Benefits?
Research has been underway for years regarding the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids. Studies have shows cannabinoids and their sister extracts like CBD to be helpful for a wide gamut of ailments such as:
appetite control/weight loss
and has even been shown to inhibit cancerous cell growth and aid in allowing chemo to be more effective without harming the healthy cells during the process.
How Can I Use Them Safely?
You will want to opt for the CBD strands and other cannabinoids that have had the THC removed to avoid the psychoactive side effects. Be sure that you are getting the pure extract, preferably full spectrum, and not a blend with other ingredients. As previously mentioned, retailers are catching on to the trend and high demand, and are manufacturing products that carry 5% or less of the beneficial cannabinoid, but are still boasting the ingredient in their marketing efforts. Educate yourself and shop wisely.
Hope that helps lovelies! Stay tuned this month as I dive into the skin benefits of cannabis by highlighting some of my favorite skincare and personal care items that use this beneficial plant extract.
Be Healthy. Live Beautifully.