Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, seems to be the new "it" ingredient for self-care products of all kinds. It's touted for its abilities to reduce anxiety, relieve muscle pain, cure insomnia, and even nourish dry hair. So it's no surprise that more and more people are incorporating it into their bath time rituals, too. In fact, CBD bath products are rapidly becoming a staple in bathrooms across the board.
Life Elements founder and president Martha Van Inwegen, points out that CBD-infused baths can lead to "total body relaxation, pain relief, muscle recovery, skin nourishment, and a really good night’s sleep." Dr. NavNirat Nibber ND., a medical advisor and brand education manager for Advanced Orthomolecular Research in Canada, adds that there's science to back this up.
"Epsom salt baths have long been used as a way to absorb magnesium through the skin to help relax and ease tired and sore muscles," she explains.* "Similarly, researchers seem to be exploring the immediate and localized benefits that come from transdermal absorption (absorption through the skin) with CBD. [Since] transdermal absorption is thought to be more localized, anti-inflammatory benefits associated with CBD will likely be felt at the site of absorption through the skin."
In other words, sinking into a CBD bath can simultaneously help relieve pain, tension, and stress, resulting in an ultra-relaxing soak. And after 13 years in the business, Van Inwegen, whose company makes widely-praised CBD bath bombs, has seen it first hand. "Our customers have used [our bath bombs] to help get through the body-wracking pain of chemo treatments," she says. "Retired military vets have used them to calm their bodies so they can get a good night’s sleep. Professional athletes use them as an integral part of the recovery regime. The elderly are using CBD bath bombs to help with arthritis, busy moms are using it to relax at the end of the day, couples use them to enjoy a romantic bath together, and yogis use them to give them more flexibility ... the uses are endless!"
Yes, CBD spa goodies can seriously elevate your self-care routine. Ahead, Van Inwegen weighs in on how to pick CBD products that will make your time in the tub more rejuvenating than ever.
Beware Of "Greenwashing"
Greenwashing, says Van Inwegen, refers to misleading marketing ploys regarding "natural" or "green" ingredients. "CBD clearly has some amazing benefits, but many of the companies coming into the market are just using CBD as the hook," she explains, further clarifying that the compound is not a "cure-all." "CBD alone is great, but the 'entourage effect' goes way beyond the full spectrum components of the hemp plant. It includes blending other beneficial ingredients to maximize the desired effect for the user."
Know The Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolates
"There are multiple CBDs that can be extracted from the hemp plant, so we liken full spectrum to juicing: When you juice a whole fruit or vegetable, you're getting the benefits of the entire fruit, skin and all," Van Inwegen says. "An isolate is simply taking one CBD and removing all the others, so you're not getting the benefits of the plant. Manufactures use it because it's less expensive and easier to work with."
In short, if you want the good stuff, be sure to seek products with full spectrum CBD, not CBD isolates.
Look For All-Natural Ingredients
"There are too many brands that have jumped onto the [CBD] bandwagon just to cash in," Van Inwegen warns. "Most CBD bath bombs on the market use CBD isolates, have synthetic ingredients that can cause yeast or UTI infections, and add colorants that have no value other than leaving a nasty ring around your tub. [Life Elements] focuses on simple, clean ingredients, natural essential oils, and organically grown, full-spectrum, water-soluble CBD for greater bioavailability."
Create A Ritual That Suits You
One of the best parts about creating your own bath time regimen is that you can customize it to your needs. Van Inwegen suggests using a CBD sugar scrub to exfoliate and moisturize. Other additions to consider? Lather up with some infused shampoo; apply face oil, body lotion, and lip balm once you're out of the tub; then, massage a CBD salve on sore muscles. If a peaceful snooze is what you're after, try a sleep-boosting tincture after your bath and before bed.
*Note: Canada practitioners are not able to recommend CBD supplementation, as it has not been regulated by health Canada. As such, this is not a recommendation, but speaking more to the research and the physiology of transdermal absorption.
**Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding CBD are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.