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I’m frequently asked to quantify ‘how much’–but there is no one, right answer for this–and just a little bit of data in terms of clinical studies on the application of cannabis for external use. If you have access to cannabis in a legal state where you and your doctor decide that cannabis is right for you, you may experiment with a blend of cannabinoids and cannabis flowers to create a custom blend at home that works for you in cannabis lotion, salve, bath salt, or any other external application. The ideal type of cannabinoid (THC, CBD, THCA, etc.), strain, terpenes, and the ‘correct’ levels of concentration are what you and your doctor find to be most effective for symptom relief and overall wellness.
Technique is what matters, because if you have concluded that cannabis spa is helpful for you, you are going to want to take advantage of everything the cannabis herb has to offer for external use. What I’ve learned is that to get the most out of this herb in spa you focus on the technique of infusing it in such a way that is complementary to the herb itself–instead of resisting innate qualities. I’ve also learned to appreciate the natural fragrance of cannabis and work with–not against that. That fragrance (terpenes) perform an entourage function with cannabinoids–artificial perfume oils and fragrances should NEVER be used in the crafting or manufacturing of cannabis lotion at home or commercially. If you are worried about other people detecting ‘that smell,’ it’s all the more reason to learn to work with–and not against–the natural fragrance (terpenes) of the cannabis flower. Terpenes are quite delicate and their viability can be affected by other chemistry that is present–keep this in mind–they are important and are part of the cannabis entourage.
Another example of a technique problem I frequently encounter is that the standard kitchen recipes for preparations such as bath salts and bath bombs do not correctly disperse and emulsify fats and resins throughout the bathwater–dispersal and emulsification are crucial for taking advantage of the most this herb has to offer in the bath instead of going to waste as ring around the tub. Good techniques that complement the existing properties of cannabis will produce pleasing results for the senses and deliver the most cannabis has to offer.
Technique first, and then apply what you know to the blend of cannabinoids that works for you. Be ready to work with the innate qualities of the herb–as it is–don’t try to force this herb to work with standard spa formulation and recipes which do not support the delicate terpenes and sticky cannabinoid resins that are necessary to make an effective cannabis lotion, salve, or other spa preparation.