In recent years, cannabis has gained popularity for its therapeutic properties. As a result, many high-end spas across the country are beginning to capitalize on the plant’s benefits by offering cannabis treatments to their visitors. But what are these treatments really like?
Since hemp was legalized by the passage of the Farm Bill in late 2018, hemp-derived CBD that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC is much easier to come by. Hence, spas offering cannabis-infused treatments tend to use products containing CBD, which is shown to have anti-inflammatory, pain reducing, and anti-anxiety properties, instead of THC-rich products that are more tightly controlled under federal law.
Many spas, like the Spa Solange in Napa Valley, CA or the Chillhouse in New York, now allow you to add CBD to facials, massages, or body scrub treatments for an additional charge, while others have crafted entire treatments around the cannabinoid.
The Spa at The St Julien Hotel in Boulder, CO, for instance, offers the “Ultimate Colorado Bliss CBD Experience” during which visitors are wrapped, exfoliated, and massaged with CBD-infused lotions and oils and even offered CBD tea as refreshment — all for about $295.
Similarly, The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Los Angeles offers a CBD healing massage that not only uses hemp-based oils, but begins with a drop of CBD tincture on the tongue. They also offer CBD facials, and most notably, a CBD pedicure. The pedicure includes a CBD-infused bath bomb soak and a gentle exfoliation of the legs and feet with CBD oil.
CBD spa services tend to be a little (or a lot) pricier than the non-infused alternatives — for example, the Ritz-Carlton’s CBD pedicure will run at least $120 compared to $80 for the classic version, while adding the oil to other treatments comes at an additional cost of $40. It’s a hefty surcharge for services that are essentially identical to traditional ones, aside from the products used (which are sometimes dubiously effective, as one CBD skin care executive recently admitted), but so far many people seem willing to pay it.
One of the main draws of CBD spa treatments are their benefits for the skin. Research suggests that CBD topicals could help treat conditions like dry skin, eczema, and acne, which has made them popular among celebrities like Kimora Lee Simmons. The model and fashion designer owns a luxury spa in Los Angeles called Pellequr, where many treatments feature a proprietary CBD salve or tincture.
“The CBD adds a custom blend of nutrients to your skin through vitamins A, D, and E but I love it for its anti-inflammatory properties,” Simmons told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s an extension of the spa experience and it definitely levels up your self-reward game.”
Depending on the potency of the CBD products used and the treatment chosen, CBD will likely make your skin feel tingly. Aside from what they can do for your skin, the most common benefits you can expect from these products are notable pain reduction, stress and tension release, and relaxation beyond what you would typically get from a treatment without CBD.
Keep in mind, though, not all CBD products are created equal. Certain spas, like Pellequr, utilize broad spectrum CBD — meaning their CBD contains a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes and 0 percent of THC — though full spectrum or “whole plant” CBD is also common. Full spectrum oils are not radically different from broad spectrum oils, with one exception: they contain trace amounts of THC, as well as other cannabinoids that work synergistically with CBD. This can create what’s known as the entourage effect, which is said to increase therapeutic benefits. Different potencies of CBD can affect results as well.
In general, when seeking a CBD spa treatment, never feel bashful about asking for more details on the products used. Many spas, like Pellequer, will offer information on cannabis and CBD for you to read — sometimes while sipping a CBD-infused tea or coffee — before your treatment.