Article | Category: Spa Operations

Word is getting around about the many benefits of cannabis and is particularly catching the attention of people who are into natural health and wellness.

Yes, the plant is famous for its mood-altering effects, but it is also used in a less trippy fashion for fuel, clothing, food, medicine, and yes, skincare.

The stigma of cannabis appears to be diminishing by the day as people are starting to understand the benefits and healing properties that it brings. People want it in their skincare and anti-aging creams, face masks and lip balm not because of the hype, but because of the results.

Before we get into why cannabis is trending in spas, it’s important to understand the functions and effects of the plant’s main, well-known components.

Cannabis, CBD, THC and Hemp: What’s the Difference?

With all the controversy surrounding the plant, it’s hard to figure out what is fact and what is fiction. We’ll break it down for you.

Cannabis sativa is a plant family that includes several varieties including hemp and marijuana (which is actually just a slang term). Cannabis is made up of two key components, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), each comprised of very different compounds. Put bluntly, THC gives you a buzz, whereas CBD doesn’t. CBD is non-psychoactive and is used for analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety purposes. Marijuana grown for medicinal and recreational use contains high levels of THC. Hemp grown for industrial use, on the other hand, has a miniscule percentage of psychoactive compounds, and, after the seeds are processed, that level is reduced to zero.

Healing Properties of CBD

CBD has been described as an “anti-inflammatory powerhouse” as it is accredited with calming and soothing sensitive skin, helping to treat acne, eczema and rosacea, while maintaining the skin’s lipid balance.

“We are just starting to see some good clinical trials on the efficacy of hemp oil (orally) for conditions such as pain and anxiety,” notes Dr. Brent Bauer, internist with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and ISPA medical advisor.


Additionally, research from Ream of Caring (a cannabinoid research nonprofit) has shown that CBD has a plethora of physiological benefits. It will generally act to promote homeostasis in the body, situationally reducing inflammation, decreasing blood pressure and even killing cancer cells through various apoptotic and antiangiogenic mechanisms. Several studies have revealed upward of 50 mechanisms of action, which means that CBD is a multi-target therapy that can do many things.

A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine claimed there was definitive evidence that CBD can be an effective treatment for chronic pain.

Example Cannabis Products and Treatments

CBD-infused spa products are gaining in popularity for reasons mentioned above, plus the topical benefits CBD oil can have on the skin.

Several ISPA members have CBDinfused products, all of which claim to reduce inflammation and soothe skin.

Meirav Devash, a reporter for Allure, traveled to the epicenter of the cannabis spa scene, Denver Colorado, to experience the buzzing beauty ingredient for herself. In her report, she noted that she had two massages using oil with CBD and that they were the best treatments of her life.

This is because when applied topically with the cannabis-infused massage (usually in the form of oil or lotion) CBD’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties are released, making the experience substantially more relaxing. CBD oil also works in the favor of practitioners because they are able to work muscles more effectively and on a deeper level, without the pain that results from giving a deep-tissue treatment without CBD oil.

After a successful foray into sales of CBD products earlier this year, TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon in Evergreen, Colorado, announced the launch of its own private label line of therapeutic-grade CBD salves, soaking salts, sprays, tinctures, lip balms, bath bombs and bottled water.

“CBD deep rub has become the top selling product in our spa,” says TallGrass owner Gail Sharp. “As the word gets out and CBD products become more and more well-known, people are finding out how powerful they are.”

Author: Ashley Alt