Award Winning. Best Hemp Topical 2020. Indo Expo

This is our 2020 review – one crazy year! When the year began it seemed as though everything was going our way. We were entering our sixth year in business for cannabis massage and everything was looking bright and shiny. We kicked the year off the best way possible by winning Best Hemp Topical at the Indo Expo in Denver, Colorado. After years of making Primal products, it was incredible to receive recognition for our products. We put our heart and soul into every batch.

Then, the pandemic began and this small business like the rest of the country began to wonder if we would make it. No one knew what was coming, and everyone took a hit. It was not just us. Every small business owner we knew had to rethink things or get lost in the shuffle. At the start of covid when we could not offer our seasonal bliss events, I felt lost. We curated this amazing event series then poof, they were put to a stop. I went outside the box and with the help of some incredible healers/friends, and started a YouTube series called the Bliss Broadcast.

The Bliss Broadcast offered wellness tips, cannabis yoga, meditation, and breath work sessions. It allowed us the opportunity to raise money for Feeding America. We donated a total of 4,000 meals to Americans in need.

Sherry and Jordan performing chair massage at the Black Love Mural Festival

We missed trade shows and events so much. Our first chance and only real chance to work with our community all year was a result of the Black Love Mural Festival. An incredible event in the city of Denver. This event gave local black artists the opportunity to create something beautiful from the destruction caused by the riots during the start of the largest civil rights movement in our history. Being covid compliant at these events was a challenge purely for the fact we missed seeing people smile.

Branded, Team Primal masks

So we changed with the times. We ordered all new sanitation supplies. Required staff to be current with new protocols and certification for cleanliness. We ordered masks for everyone and provided each staff member with any items they may need to feel safe and be covid compliant. Eventually we were able to start seeing patients in their homes again. What a relief for everyone.

In order to be compliant in the state of Colorado we must be a mobile business and I think that may be what saved us in the pandemic. Isn’t it ironic when the thing that you were most upset about, becomes your saving grace. Cannabis infused couples massages are one of our most popular services. We love our out of state guests. Being able to welcome them back, even for a brief period of time was amazing.

Autumn Equinox Bliss Event 2020, Infused Floral Foot Soak

By fall, we were all itching to see each other again. We sat down and thought about what we would need to do to bring our Bliss events back. Our audience missed them as much as we did. So after talking it over with our sponsors and healers, put the feelers out and low and behold sold out the event faster than ever before. We put measures in place to ensure everyone had their own consumption devices and that social distancing was maintained for treatments and services.

It was such a success we decided to host our winter solstice event coming up on December 20th. We had to keep the guest list small once again in an effort to be compliant and hope to be able to open them up to more guests again in 2021.

Cannabis Massage 102 taught for the first time October 2020

We are ending the year on a high note, full of possibilities. In October, we launched Cannabis Massage 102. It is a deep dive into all things cannabis massage as well as tons of information about plant medicine and ways to incorporate alternative medicine into daily life.

The table of contents includes:

  • Welcome 
  • Review of Cannabis Massage 101 
  • Endocannabinoid System in Depth 
  • Cannabis & The Skin  
  • Terpene Science 
  • Diseases and Disorders 
  • Plant Medicine 
  • Treatment Protocols 
  • Marketing Tricks & Tips 
  • Herbal Extracts and Tinctures for Health and Wellness 
  • Whipped Body Butter

In addition to various herbs and foods being able to activate the ECS there are a few activities that encourage its activation. There is so much to learn and understand about the Endocannabinoid System and we are so grateful for the platform of teaching to share our knowledge and case studies with the world.

We are looking forward to year seven with high hopes and aspirations. Bring it on 2021 and thank you to anyone that took the time to read what our year has been like. If you are a small business owner too, please know that I empathize with you and encourage you to just keep going.

We waited patiently for word that we can see patients again and we are grateful the day has finally arrived. Team Primal really missed our patients during the COVID pandemic. Even though things aren’t exactly the same, we are coming to you better than ever. Each team member at Primal Therapeutics has been sanitation certified in Infection Prevention Training through Rejuvenate.

We chose Rejuvenate as our new line of disinfectant for their long list of cleaning capabilities including the fact it is EPA registered hospital grade disinfectant and it meets OSHA blood borne pathogen standards. It is also non-irritating to eyes and skin, fragrance-free, reduces our environmental impact, and it is powered by Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® Technology.

Effective against human coronavirus
Kills hepatitis B & C virus, HIV, athlete’s foot and nail fungus, MRSA, and other spa or salon relevant pathogens in as little as 1 minute
Works as a 1-minute virucide / bactericide; 5-minute tuberculocide; 10-minute fungicide
Approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when used in accordance with the directions for use against Poliovirus type 1

Other improvements we have made include changes to our intake form, so we will have you fill one out and update your information with us. You may also notice that we look a bit different upon our arrival. This is because we will be wearing a face mask for our protection and yours, and because it is what the state of Colorado wants us to do. We will also ask you to wear one during your treatment session. Your therapist may also check your temperature upon arrival.

We have updated our standards and regulations as a dedication to you, our patients, we only want the very best for you. If you have been sick or had a fever in the last two weeks then please do not book an appointment until you are well. If you are healthy and have been practicing “safer at home” practices, and your back and neck are hurting you from your make shift office, then call us. We are here for you.

Book now:

When you don’t get a good night’s rest, it can throw your whole day off, as most of us know from personal experience. But a lack of sleep not only makes you grumpy and forgetful, it can also lead to serious mental and physical issues. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, sleep deprivation can increase your brain age by 3-5 years (and your risk of dementia by 33 percent). It can also make you more susceptible to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other major health risks. 

Around 50-70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, per data from the American Sleep Association, and most of them are willing to try almost anything in the quest for more shuteye. Weighted blankets, melatonin supplements, blue light blockers — they’ve all had their moment in the sun (or moon?), but right now the trendiest sleep aid of all might be cannabis.

From speciality vape pens to sleep-promoting CBD gummies, there’s a constantly-growing list of ways that cannabis may help you get your daily dose of Vitamin Zzz. One of the most effective might also be one of the most old-fashioned, though: Cannabis massage. That’s because the combination of cannabis-infused topicals together with classical massage techniques can offer a 2-in-1 remedy for sleeplessness. 

What’s the Connection Between Massage and Sleep?

If you’ve ever felt sleepy after a massage — and who hasn’t? — there’s a scientific explanation for it. Massage releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter in our brains that makes us feel calm. In 2005, researchers from the University of Miami School of Medicine published a review that found massage could significantly boost the body’s levels of serotonin by an average of 28 percent. 

For years, scientists have been intrigued by the role serotonin plays in promoting (or preventing) sleep. Some studies have shown that higher levels of serotonin make it easier to fall asleep, while others have indicated the opposite. However, a 2019 study in the journal Neuron seems to have settled the debate (for now) by showing that “the serotonergic system promotes sleep.” 

Serotonin can also help you sleep in indirect ways. It’s a precursor of melatonin, which is the chemical your brain produces when it’s time to fall asleep. So when you get a massage, you’re not just relieving your body of stress or pain (which are major factors in many sleep disorders), you’re also helping it get ready for bed. 

What’s the Connection Between Cannabis and Sleep?

While scientists are still exploring exactly how cannabis affects sleep, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests it could be helpful for people who struggle to turn off their busy minds at night.

For example, a 2017 review in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports found that two of the most common cannabis compounds — THC and CBD — showed significant potential for treating sleep issues (though it also found that THC could be detrimental to sleep quality over the long haul). 

CBD, on the other hand, has shown the ability to help people sleep better without the risk of long-term side effects. This is because it works differently than conventional sleep aids like Ambien — essentially, CBD keeps you more awake during the day so you’re more tired at night. 

Some cannabis-based pharmaceutical medications have also demonstrated promise for treating sleep issues. A 2007 study in the journal Chemistry & Biodiversity showed that Sativex, an oromucosal medicine, helped “40–50 percent of subjects [attain] good or very good sleep quality.” 

Got Insomnia? Here’s How Cannabis Massage Could Help

So now you know how massage and cannabis both support sleep, but why are they more effective when you mix them together? 

The secret lies in your body’s endocannabinoid system. This is a network of receptors found throughout your body that regulates a wide variety of bodily functions, including sleep. When you apply a cannabis topical to your skin, its cannabinoids interact with these receptors to relieve pain, reduce stress, and (yes) promote sleep. 

The best part about cannabis massage? You don’t even have to leave your home to try it. 

How to Give Yourself a Sleep-Promoting Cannabis Massage at Home

Who doesn’t love a good foot rub? They’re easy, enjoyable, and with the addition of cannabis topicals, they’re even more effective at conjuring up those sleepytime vibes: 

  • Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes using CBD bath salts or a similar product. Ideally, try to find one rich in terpenes like linalool, which have been shown to increase relaxation.
  • Remove your feet from the water and dry them thoroughly.
  • Apply a thick, rich cannabis topical like a balm or salve to your feet. This part of the body contains thousands of nerve endings, which is why reflexology is such a versatile healing technique.
  • Focus your efforts on the center of your foot. According to reflexology charts, this area is connected to your solar plexus and diaphragm. Massaging it can create feelings of profound relaxation — and sleepiness.

The Bottom Line on Cannabis Massage for Sleep

As long as you choose a cannabis topical that is lab-tested and free of harmful chemicals, there are few risks associated with cannabis massage (though if you have allergies to certain fragrances, you’ll want to be careful with the terpenes in your topicals). Of course, if you’re receiving a treatment at a massage center, you’ll want to make sure you’re not too blissed-out before getting behind the wheel, but that’s an easily avoidable problem — and if you’re giving yourself a cannabis massage at home, it’s a complete non-issue.

At Primal Therapeutics, my cannabis massage practice in Colorado, we’ve worked with many, many patients who say our treatments have helped them relax and sleep better. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard someone say after a treatment, “Wow, I feel like I’m ready to crawl into bed.”

I can certainly understand where they’re coming from — and if you give cannabis massage a try, you might too.

(Originally published for CannabisMD.)

Anyone could and should make this Fire Cider.

It’s a scary time right now. Grocery stores are running out of paper products and various other items. Luckily fresh fruits and vegetables are available in most stores and the ingredients for this Fire Cider are mostly found in the fresh section. Feel free to scroll down and take a screen shot of the ingredients list and head to a store to get what you need. You can come back later and read why each ingredient is so important.

Fire Cider at its most basic level, is a mixture of onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, and honey. As you will read in the recipe below I have added several additional ingredients to increase the immune building potential. You can customize this creation in many ways. One of the most important things to note is to make sure to put a piece of wax paper between your metal lid and the top of the jar. If you don’t, the vinegar will corrode the metal, create a nasty black substance, and make your Fire Cider go bad (and no one wants that!)

Fire Cider can assist us at the first sign of cold symptoms, and as a decongestant and expectorant when illness has set in. This tonic is not only an ally for the immune system, but it also works to stimulate digestion and promote circulation throughout the body. It can be taken daily for prevention, before meals to assist in digestion, to keep us warm on those bone-chilling days, or in acute situations to fight off illness.

What makes it so amazing

Turmeric – A natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. 

Garlic – Whole garlic contains allicin. The compounds in allicin compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.

Horseradish – Used for relief of upper respiratory tract congestion. The volatile compounds it contains are thought to help dilate the nasal passages which may help to clear the sinuses

Citrus – High amounts of Vitamin C are necessary for prevention and treatment of colds and flu. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system naturally.

Peppers – Fun fact: Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. For this Fire Cider you can use a combination of peppers or you can use spicy peppers. Spicy peppers naturally boost immunity. Fresh red and green chillies are incredible health boosters. They contain lots of vitamin A and C (nutrients which can boost the immune system) and capsaicin which can help clear congestion and phlegm.

Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) –  Various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. The mother – organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance called “mother,” which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.

Rosemary – A rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Laboratory studies have shown rosemary to be rich in antioxidants, which play an important role in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicals.

Thyme –  Natural antiviral properties that stimulate the body’s defenses against colds, flu, bronchitis and sinusitis. 

Ginger – A strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever.

Onion – They contain certain phytochemicals that act as stimulants for vitamin C within the body. Vitamin C boosts your immune system by fighting against toxins that can lead to numerous diseases and chronic illness. Onions are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C.

Honey – I recommend local and raw. Honey assists with allergies when it comes from a local source so look for something local when you are shopping. You also want the honey to be raw (not processed.) Honey is a strong antioxidant and also has antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system and boost immunity.

Ingredients List

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
  • 1 Jalapeno (other peppers if you so choose)
  • Fresh grated Turmeric (or powder if necessary)
  • Fresh grated Ginger (or powder if necessary)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh Thyme – a few sprigs
  • Fresh Rosemary – a few sprigs
  • Horseradish (Fresh grated or prepared)
  • Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic
  • Honey (Local and Raw)

How To Prepare

  • Begin by using a large glass ball jar that has been cleaned and sterilized
  • Chop and grate all fruits and vegetables mentioned above, layering them into the jar. They do not need to go in any particular order because you will shake everything together at the end.
  • Once the jar is full of the list above cover the contents with the Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother.)
  • Place a piece of parchment paper between the glass and the metal lid of your jar. (SUPER IMPORTANT – READ ABOVE)
  • Shake well.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks. (Your fridge works great.)
  • After two weeks has passed, you can add other plant medicine like echinacea.
  • As time elapses, you may need to add more Apple Cider Vinegar to make sure your plant medicine is always covered by vinegar.
  • Shake the jar in your refrigerator periodically and after four-six weeks it is time to strain your concoction.
  • Add equal amounts of honey to your liquid and then bottle and keep in refrigerator.

Directions for Usage

  • You can use it as a marinade, in smoothies, or you can take it by the tablespoon.
  • If using to prevent sickness take a tablespoon a day (or a few droppers full depending on how you bottle it.)
  • If using because you are actively sick and want a reduction in symptoms you can take up to four tablespoons per day, or every 6 hours.
  • Will last for up to 18 months in the refrigerator.

Wishing you all healthy times ahead. Remember to wash your hands for 30 seconds at a minimum each time you do, try not to touch your face, and do what you can to build your immunity. Sending love and light to everyone reading this.

Recently, I was invited to the first-ever American Spa CBD Summit to speak on a panel about how the popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid is impacting the spa industry. As I sat up there, surrounded by scientists, doctors, nurses, massage therapists, estheticians, and business owners, I couldn’t believe how much things had changed in just a few short years.

Back in 2017, American Spa Magazine had done a short feature on my cannabis massage company, Primal Therapeutics. At that point, cannabis massage was little more than a niche curiosity — but people could sense something big was coming. They were right: a year later, my company was featured in American Spa’s 2018 Trend Report. 

Since then, I’ve been teaching cannabis massage courses to hundreds of interested practitioners and laypeople around the world, and the cannabis topicals I use (and make) are no longer viewed with the same skepticism. 

In the years to come, the spa industry is likely to only get more and more cannabis-friendly. In fact, in 2020 the conference’s organizers are planning to launch another event that spotlights the impact of CBD spa treatments on clients and patients. That’s likely to mean more panels, more workshops, and more sales kiosks devoted to the healing powers of the once-demonized cannabis plant. 

In the meantime, here’s a look at the cannabis-infused trends that are helping to shape the spa industry right now.

There Are a Lot of CBD Spa Products (and Some of Them Don’t Make Sense)

CBD is being put into everything in the spa world from face masks to hair conditioner, and this gives spas the ability to upcharge every single treatment from head to toe. You can see CBD products being used in manicures, pedicures, body scrubs, and more. At Boss Hair Group in Chicago, you can even get a nine-step CBD blowout.

Personally, I think many of the new infused products have significant advantages that conventional products don’t — but at the same time, there are more than a few cannabis topicals that have left me wondering.

One example is face wash. Since you’re rinsing it off almost immediately after you apply it, I’m not sure it has time to sink in and activate your skin’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. That means you might not be getting much more than a placebo effect, if anything. 

CBD Massages Are Becoming Available Across the Country

When I started offering cannabis massage at my Colorado practice several years ago, the modality was so new that I was bombarded by interview requests from curious journalists. Today, CBD massages are common across the country, and not only in states where cannabis is legal

For example, head over to Ohio and you can get a CBD massage at The Spa at Yellow Creek, while East Coasters can check out A Personal Touch Beauty Spa in upstate New York. I spoke with people from both these businesses, and they say that CBD massage has quickly become one of their most popular treatments — not just among clients, but the staff as well. 

Finish reading this article by our Founder and CEO on

Meet Sherry, Licensed Massage Therapist for Primal Therapeutics. Sherry just celebrated her one year anniversary with us. She has an extensive background in Massage Therapy with over 16 years of experience and she is bilingual.

Sherry es bilingüe. Si desea hacer una cita y solo habla español, envíenos un correo electrónico y Sherry se pondrá en contacto con usted. Si tienes un evento por venir como una fiesta de cumpleaños, despedida de soltera o aniversario, déjanos hacer que tu fiesta sea más especial con un masaje de cannabis.

She is proficient in many massage techniques including: Swedish, Prenatal, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Hot Stone, Medical/Structural, Neuromuscular, Clinical Assessment, Energy Techniques, Musculoskeletal, and of course Cannabis Massage.

Envíe cualquier solicitud en español a nuestro correo electrónico y haremos que Sherry se comunique con usted de inmediato.

We are grateful for you Sherry and all the hard work you provide to Team Primal. We are so lucky to have you on our team. We can’t wait to see what this new year will bring for you.

All dog owners are partial to their four-legged friends, and I’m no exception. I’m pretty sure I own two of the cutest dogs on the planet, and they both bring me more joy than I can express in words. I would do anything for my pups, especially when they’re suffering — which explains why I found myself in the kitchen one day, whipping up a homemade CBD oil tincture for dogs.

This medicine was intended for Jude, my beautiful little Maltese who will turn 15 next January. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old, and he radiates pure love. But he’s had a hard life: when he was 6 years old, he began to lose his sight. Veterinarians diagnosed him with a progressive retinal condition. Within a year he’d lost the majority of his sight.

I didn’t want Jude to be alone as the world disappeared before his eyes, and I felt that getting another dog could help us both through the journey. Enter Indi, a “mountain mutt” who I adopted when he was 3 months old — he’s 8 years old now, in case you’re curious. Indi is a mix of shih tzu, datsun, terrier, and poodle (we think). As you might imagine, he’s a sweet but extremely anxious little dog.

It took them a while to bond, but before long they were inseparable. They both had their health issues — Jude was developing arthritis as he got older, Indi sometimes seemed scared of his own shadow — but nothing out of the ordinary. If you’d asked me back then if I thought I’d ever be giving them cannabis medicine I made myself from scratch, I probably would have laughed.

That was about to change, though.

In 2015, Jude’s left eye became abnormally red and swollen. He began seeing a canine eye specialist in Denver, who prescribed special drops for several months in an effort to reduce the pressure in Jude’s eye. According to the specialist, my dog was suffering from a condition similar to glaucoma.

I’d spent nearly two decades as a nurse before founding my cannabis topicals business, Primal Healing, so I knew that many people used cannabis to deal with painful glaucoma symptoms (most states with medical cannabis programs include it as a qualifying condition). I filed that knowledge away for future reference.

One day, we visited the specialist and heard the news we’d been dreading. Jude’s eye needed to be removed. To help him recover from the operation, he was given just a few days’ worth of pain relievers. At that moment, I made the decision to use my own knowledge of cannabis plant medicine to create a high-CBD, low-THC tincture to ease Jude’s pain.

When we went in for Jude’s follow-up appointment after the removal of his eye, I told the surgeon about my tincture. It seemed to be helping him greatly, I said. He didn’t seem to be in pain or distress. I expected the surgeon to be pleased with Jude’s smooth recovery.

Instead, he became furious and threatened to throw me out of his office. There was no science-based information on dosing for canines, he said (and he was right about this). He claimed I was causing more harm than good to my dog.

But I could see with my own eyes that this wasn’t the case. Even my Jude’s arthritis symptoms seemed to be responding well to the CBD. When I gave some to Indi, it appeared to ease his anxiety, too. And so I made the very personal decision to continue treating my dogs with CBD.

CBD Pet Products, and Studies About Them, Are Getting More Common

Today, I still make my dogs’ tinctures from scratch, but there are a lot more options available when it comes to CBD pet products. If you do a quick Google search for “cbd for pets,” you’ll be bombarded with hundreds if not thousands of choices. Some of these are better than those — single serving-packets of CBD pet food, in particular, seem like more of a marketing gimmick than useful medicine. And while I disagree with the blanket statement “CBD pet products don’t work,”  it’s undeniable that many of them are not worth the money.

But you can still find effective treats, tinctures, powders, and capsules if you look hard enough. My dogs love two in particular: Suzies’ CBD Treats (organic biscuits made with full spectrum CBD) and LaLa’s Hemp Treats from Flora Farmer, which are peanut butter-flavored crackers that look tasty enough for humans. When I notice my dogs dealing with elevated levels of pain or anxiety, I’ll often supplement their daily tincture with one of those treats.

While the research behind these products is still scant, that’s starting to change. For example, a 2018 study from researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Cornell University found that CBD oil could significant decrease pain and increase mobility in dogs with osteoarthritis. Most encouragingly, there were no notable side effects from the CBD.

A number of larger, more extensive studies are currently in the works (Dr. Stephanie McGrath at Colorado State University is doing some particularly interesting work, the results of which should be announced in the near future). Like many dog owners, I’m curious to know what researchers will discover about CBD and dogs. For now, all I know is that my almost-15 year old Maltese is playing like a puppy again.

The Challenges of Finding a CBD-Friendly Vet

I’m also hoping that the advances in canine CBD research will make it easier to talk about the cannabinoid openly with my vet. Reading the research is wonderful, but sometimes I want to hear advice from a human voice. For years, I’ve been searching for a vet who I could ask honest questions about CBD, with minimal success.

That recently changed, though, when I met Dr. Zac Pilossoph at the International Esthetics Cosmetics and Spa Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He’s one of a growing number of vets who are opening up to the possibility of using plant medicine to help our pets — in fact, he’s created an advisory platform to help CBD-curious pet owners figure out if it’s right for their pets.

Like any responsible medical professional, Dr. Pilossoph is cautious about being swept away by the trendiness of CBD pet products. As he says, “The other ingredients that are going into animal CBD products are not all safe for dogs. Terpenes are being added to some products and that may not be what is best for all breeds.”

Dr. Pilossoph is also cautious about dosing, because right now nobody knows for certain just how much the “ideal dose” for a specific condition might be. The best advice he can give is, “Go with the low and slow approach with anything that you might choose to do for your animal. Document the dose you give, how long it takes to have an effect, and when you need to redose. That goes for humans or animals.”

In the near future, I hope that more vets will take his approach. CBD isn’t a miracle cure, but it’s also not something to be dismissed out of hand. While the research is still in its early stages, and much of the advice out there about using CBD for your pet is anecdotal, there’s still a lot of potential here.

In my own experience, I can tell you that for the last several years, my dogs have been the healthiest they’ve ever been.

-Originally published on CannabisMD.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it’s also one of the hardest-working. Every day it protects you from dangers large and small, and it faces an enormous amount of stress from UV rays, bacteria, viruses, pollution, and literally thousands of man-made chemicals. Yet the skin is also remarkably supple and resilient, and it can heal itself from incredible traumas. There are many ways you can help keep your skin healthy and strong, and one of the most effective — and surprising — could be cannabis.

Specifically, it could be cannabis’ phytocannabinoids, which are chemical compounds like CBD and THC. These are remarkably similar to a group of chemicals produced inside the human body called endocannabinoids. Both types of compounds — which we can refer to collectively as ‘cannabinoids’ for simplicity’s sake — help regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or cellular balance, in the skin (along with many other functions).

The ECS accomplishes this by activating — or deactivating — cells in your body’s integumentary system, or IS. This is your body’s first line of defense, composed of all the layers of the skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands. Nearly all the cells of the IS have receptors that respond to cannabinoids, including those in epidermal keratinocytes, melanocytes, mast cells, fibroblasts, sebocytes, sweat gland cells, as well as certain cell populations of hair follicles. The abilities of these cells to communicate disorder or disease (and potentially counteract such issues) is promising for many inflammatory skin conditions, as well as hair loss.

When the ECS (and, by extension, the IS) is working correctly, your skin will show it. Just as it becomes discolored or swollen when injured, when it’s healthy there are telltale signs you will see. For example, healthy skin is smooth, with no breaks in the surface. It will also be warm (not hot or red) and neither dry and flaky nor moist and wrinkled. In short, it will be balanced — healthy skin is a mirror of a healthy body.

What Your Skin Needs to Be Healthy (and How Cannabis Can Help)

Keeping the skin healthy isn’t just about protecting it from physical injury or the sun’s damaging UV light. It also pertains to things like diet and stress management. Things like drinking plenty of water or eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are all important to maintaining healthy tissue — and so is taking the time to relax. 

To finish reading the article by our founder and expert, Jordan Person – please see

Terpenes might be the latest buzzword in the world of cannabis, but there’s nothing new about these tiny — yet important — organic compounds. In fact, they’ve been around for as long as plants have been on earth, though we still have much to learn about them. For the makers of cannabis topicals (like me), terpenes represent one of the most exciting developments in recent memory, and while nobody’s quite sure of what the future may hold for them, it’s certain to be an interesting ride.

In case you’re unfamiliar with terpenes, here’s a quick background. Found in everything from the tiniest blade of grass to the mightiest redwood tree, these naturally-occurring chemicals give plants their aromas and flavors. They also help repel predators and, in some cases, attract pollinators as well. Scientists have identified around 150 different terpenes in cannabis, though most strains tend to have a dominant “terpene profile” of just a few varieties. 

The terpene profile of a cannabis strain will affect how the strain smells and tastes to you, but it could also have a wide range of other effects — though scientists aren’t exactly sure how yet. As a 2019 review in the journal Plant Science put it, “Arguably, the only effect of cannabis terpenes on humans that is unquestionable are the fragrance attributes.” However, some scientists believe that terpenes could have untapped therapeutic properties, and as governments begin to loosen their restrictions on cannabis research, it’s finally becoming possible to get a clearer look at what terpenes have to offer.

Dr. Ethan Russo, one of the world’s most prominent cannabis researchers, suggests that a phenomenon known as “the entourage effect” may be behind terpenes’ medical potential. In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, he theorized that the chemical interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.” 

Other researchers have begun to test this theory in recent years, and they’ve found some promising results. For example, a 2018 paper in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that terpenes could be useful for relieving acute inflammation (i.e. the kind caused when you bang your knee against the coffee table). That same year, a study in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids showed that terpenes could play an integral role in stimulating the placebo effect — which might help explain why medical cannabis users credit the plant with relieving such a wide range of ailments. 

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As a cannabis massage therapist, I deal with patients who have a wide variety of needs. Sports- and exercise-related injuries are some of the most common — my practice, Primal Therapeutics, is based in Colorado, and people here are serious about their physical fitness. And while this is a great thing in my opinion, it also means that I see a lot of patients with pains, sprains, and other sports-related injuries. 

I’ve noticed a common thread among many of my fitness-enthusiast patients — they don’t want to sacrifice their mental clarity for pain relief. In fact, many of them are initially skeptical about cannabis massage, since they’re nervous about the potential intoxicating effects of the topicals we use. However, after seeing thousands of patients, I can tell you that not one of them has ever reported feeling high after a session.

Some patients are harder to convince than others, though. In particular, I remember one man in his mid-fifties — the first time he called, he asked me no fewer than ten questions about what the session would be like and what kind of results he could expect. He’d seen a countless number of physical therapists, massage practitioners, and chiropractors, none of whom had been able to help much with his pain, which came from a hiking injury several months ago. He was hesitant to believe that cannabis massage would be any different. I’m pleased to tell you he was incorrect.

During our first session together, I discovered that the source of his pain was a tight muscle in his groin, which he’d aggravated during a particularly strenuous hike in the mountains. Months had passed since he first started treatment, and still he was unable to move around comfortably. All he wanted was to be able to hike again. 

I explained that, apart from the massage techniques themselves, the cannabis topicals we were using could help relieve his pain by activating the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which would help him return to homeostasis, the body’s natural state of cellular balance. And again, he was skeptical. But after only a few sessions, he was back on the mountain. I think he became a believer after that. 

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