Natural topical remedies fill the shelves of L.A.'s health food stores and cannabis dispensaries alike. If one doesn’t prefer to smoke it, vape it or eat it, the next best way to consume cannabis is through the body’s largest organ: the skin. Topicals are a hot topic, so here are a few locally made companies with products to soothe and scintillate.
The idea that the plants and process in a cannabis infusion should be clean and pure is popular in the industry, and Awakened Topicals is no different. “We make all of our infusions in-house with only the best sun-grown flowers and herbs free from chemicals and pesticides,” founder Levi Strom says. “We source our extra virgin olive oil that we use as the base oil for all our herbal solar infusions from small, family-owned olive farms in California.” Storm created his company in 2012 after a life-threatening accident that resulted in spinal surgery and required subsequent prescription painkillers, to which he had allergic reactions. A doctor recommended cannabis and, as Strom says, he was “awakened.” His nonpsychoactive balm includes 75mg of a 5:2 THC-to-CBD ratio in the 1-ounce jar, with ingredients including 100 percent extra virgin olive oil; solar infusion of whole-plant cannabis, calendula, myrrh, frankincense and St. John's wort; and essential oils, most of which are certified organic. The balm is recommended for myriad ailments ranging from sore muscles to skin disorders and blemishes.
Formed to ensure that the same relief can be provided in states where THC access is limited, Theramu has the advantage of shipping nationally, as its products contain 100 to 300 mg of CBD with less than 3 percent THC per bottle. "We are deeply committed to providing safe, natural alternatives that improve people’s lives," CEO Gary Lowe says. "All our products are crafted in small batches to ensure the highest quality and consistency to relieve, soothe and calm pain and discomfort almost immediately." Theramu is an all-natural proprietary compound, which allows the special sauce, emu oil, to deliver CBD precisely to the source of pain and inflammation anywhere on the human body. One of its topicals is made with 5 percent menthol for an extra tingle during application, along with its proprietary blend of essential oils. Theramu also has created an elixir for ingesting the medicine the fastest way possible: sublingually. The competition in the world of topicals is fierce, but Lowe’s belief in his product is just as strong. “By utilizing high-CBD cannabis extracts and the only patent-pending delivery system, we are finally realizing the true healing power of cannabis," he says.
De La Beuh
Leanne Friedman created De La Beuh in 2015 after realizing a cannabis bath bomb didn’t exist, and with a family history of skin cancer and sensitive skin, she knew it would be beneficial to many people. “The heat of the water allows the product to penetrate into the skin deeper while soothing muscle aches and pains, and alleviating dry skin,” Friedman explains. Inspired by Lush Cosmetics, she created her colorful bath bombs with all-natural bath products that combine pure THC and CBD oils with aromatherapeutic essential oils to dissolve in a bathtub and give users “a feeling of bliss and comfort.” De La Beuh sells its nonpsychoactive CBD bath bombs on its website, but the THC bombs are available only in dispensaries. The popular CBD Thin Mint Bath Bomb has aromatherapeutic peppermint benefits: It reduces stomach aches and other digestive issues, relieves headaches, has antimicrobial properties, improves mental focus, clears respiratory tract, boosts energy and releases tight muscles. With fans like the Ganja Girls praising its products, the company has added body scrubs, bubbles and salts to its collection.
Massages are already a relaxing experience, and essential oils most definitely add to it, but the addition of cannabis into the experience takes it to another level. Soothing Sue's is a company focused on creating medicated massage oils that are naturally edible, made from organic pressed virgin coconut oil, and applied topically for fast and effective pain relief. You can rub this on your skin, or you can cook it and eat with it, if that's how you roll. Substitute it for the butter or oil in a recipe and feel the digestive effects of cannabis instead of through your skin. The massage oils come in two varieties, Rub Me Right and Bliss, which can be used as lubricants, and the company offers a lotion in a sandalwood-vanilla scent as well. Bliss is lab-tested by Steep Hill to a consistent 15 milligrams therapeutic THC-A per teaspoon — there is no psychoactive effect from the massage oil, as the THC-A has not been heated and transformed into THC. The mission statement is simple and direct, as the products are designed to "melt away physical and mental stress and promote relaxation."
Named after the wily trickster of Norse mythology, Loki Lotion was created by two L.A. moms “with a passion for healing and personalized care.” Focusing on using high-quality medicine and pure ingredients, these moms put a lot of love into their products. “We do things the old-fashioned way,” co-founder Christina Lake says. “All our products are handmade.” With a repertoire of pain salves like Lotion and Motion (80 mg), an oil called Burn (150 mg), a lip balm naturally flavored with essential oils and honey, an Epsom salt medicated soak, and honey-sugar medicated scrub for all-over body cleansing, these products are great antifungals, offering burn relief and general skin health. Loki's special salve, Ananda (150 mg), is made from a single-strain flower run of the very popular Northern Lights, with medicinal essential oils geared specifically toward helping autoimmune disorders. The founders hope to keep dispensaries in Los Angeles stocked with their handmade products, adding more as production increases.
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The woman behind Mrs. Excellence created a cannabis healing salve using high-quality plants and very few other ingredients. The balm comes in a variety of potencies, offering 325 mg THC or 75 mg CBD, with flavors including eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender mint and midnight vanilla. The ingredient lists are short and sweet; for example, lemongrass only has six: medical cannabis, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, lemongrass essential oil and (of course) love. It’s hashtagged all over Instagram by users crediting the balm for helping their skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and burns. A new injury recently brought up in many cannabis circles is dab wounds, either from touching a hot nail or dripping burning extract onto skin — an injury that Mrs. Excellence’s balm claims to soothe instantly. Creator Marni recommends the balm for sunburns and cracked skin from dry winter climates, as well as the joint pain associated with weather changes. In her punny words, and those who use her product, “It’s the balm.”
Although all of these companies use cannabis in their infusions, the ancillary ingredients vary to assist many different ailments. Trial and error is the best way to determine your favorite brand and flavor, and sometimes the addition of THC is just what the doctor ordered.