Cannabis spa treatments aren't new — cannabis has been used for thousands of years for external use in the traditional health practices of Eastern cultures. In locations where cannabis has renewed legal status today, cannabis spa potions such as lotions, salves, poultices, scrubs, and baths are being rediscovered as a healthy alternative for managing pain, soothing irritated skin, and enhancing the spa experience.
Cannabis bath salts are soothing, anti-inflammatory, non-drying, and luscious on the skin. And if you're seeking pain relief from a number of conditions like arthritis, chronic headaches, cramps, or nerve pain, these baths will leave you refreshed and feeling great.
Here's a great foot soak for everyone who has spent one or more days on their feet. I include my special essential oil formula here for hot, tired, and painful feet, but you can add your own essential oils to make the perfect custom foot bath for you. I like this bath in a bubbly foot spa or just a basin; either way, it’s an awesome foot soak that will have you walking on clouds.
The Ultimate Foot Spa
Makes one foot bath
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, scraped from the leaf
- 3 drops ginger essential oil
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops lemon essential oil
- ¼ cup coarse Himalayan pink salt, ancient salt, or sea salt
- 1 portion Cannabis Soak Base (recipe below)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1–2 quarts cold, warm, or hot water (Your foot bath can be any temperature that you like, including cool, but 1 cup of boiling water must be added first to aid the mixture in dissolving fully in the water.)
- Add the gel from the aloe vera leaf and essential oils to the salt and thoroughly combine.
- Add the salt to 1 portion of the bath base.
- Prepare your foot spa or basin with any temperature of water you prefer. Add the foot soak mixture to the water.
- Soak for any length of time! This recipe works well in jet foot spas as well as basin soakers.
The Basic Cannabis Bath Base
- ½ teaspoon sunflower lecithin
- 3–7 grams or more full-extract cannabis oil (“Simpson Oil”)
- ½–1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil, or a little more if necessary
- 60 whole, de-seeded Sapindus Mukorossi berries (soapberry, aritha) split in half
- citrus peels from 1 citrus fruit
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers OR a few fresh sprigs of fresh lavender flowers
- 1 quart water
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, scraped from the leaf
- Melt the sunflower lecithin in the oil. Prepare the full-extract cannabis oil by melting it in the olive or sunflower oil and lecithin on low heat. Cover and set aside.
- Rinse the dried soapberries in warm water once, quickly. Add the soapberries, citrus peels, and lavender to a bowl.
- Bring the water to a boil and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Allow this to sit on the counter overnight or 6–8 hours to fully extract the saponins and other essential ingredients from the herbs.
- After this extraction, put the soapberry mixture on the stove and cook on a low simmer while frequently mashing down and stirring until it becomes very pulpy and reduces to about ⅔ as much liquid or less. This will take about 30 minutes.
- Add the aloe vera gel that has been scraped from the leaf and the cannabis oil to the mixture on the stove, mash, and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat, until the oil emulsifies into the thick liquid. Remove and allow this to cool to a warm-to-the-touch temperature.
- Using a strainer or cloth bag, extract as much juice as possible from the mixture in a bowl. This is your first and strongest bath base mixture.
- You should have about 1 to 2 cups of thick liquid. As with the raw cannabis bath base, the leftover pulp can be used again in soaks, poultices, and even in another extraction for a full bath.
That bowl of leftover maceration from making cannabis bath base is now ready to be used to make the Cannabis Soak Base. After you extract most of the liquid from the plant material for your bath base portions, you’ll want to do one more extraction to release all of the plant saponins, fragrances, and nutrients along with the remaining cannabinoids.
Cannabis Soak Base
This extraction makes 3 portions.
- Add all leftover plant material, including any tea material, to a pot with 1 quart of boiling water.
- Agitate and allow this to cool for 2–3 hours. Strain.
- Split into 3 portions.
- Refrigerate if not used immediately and use within 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
Recipes reprinted with permission from The Cannabis Spa At Home: How to Make Marijuana-Infused Lotions, Massage Oils, Ointments, Bath Salts, Spa Nosh, and More by Sandra Hinchliffe (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015).
Sandra Hinchliffe is a home herbalist, autoimmune disease survivor, and legal medical cannabis patient in the state of California. She uses her background as a home herbalist and medical cannabis patient to create a repertoire of spa and wellness recipes designed to be both beneficial and delightful. She is also a niche cannabis writer, photographer, and stylist, as well as the publisher of Hempista.com, the first cannabis-centric blog to feature beauty, fashion, wellness, and lifestyle topics. She resides in Fremont, California.
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