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Marijuana topicals are having their day, particularly in Colorado where cannabis-themed spas are offering therapeutic massage and alternative treatments that use salves, balms and oils infused with cannabis. Generally, these topicals begin with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil that is cooked down similar to butter when baking edibles.

In some cases the cannabis infusion is the main therapeutic ingredient. Most of the time, however, the topicals are blended with other essential oils that also have anti-inflammatory properties like lavender, frankincense or lemon grass.

It’s probably no surprise that herbalists and holistic healers are embracing cannabis’ analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. They have often been at the forefront of encouraging patients to take control of their own healing, often seeing their role more as counselors or facilitators than doctors in their client’s journey toward wellness.

It’s an area with many options for alternative health entrepreneurs. Enthusiasts of cannabis balm claim it has been effective for a number of joint and muscle-related ailments including arthritis, eczema and psoriasis. The cannabis spa movement is also a rapidly growing niche and will need practitioners who can educate their clients as well as treat them with special oils and infusions.

Judith Schreuder brought together her medical training with her love for herbs and created Dutch Farms Organics. A registered nurse, she worked with cancer and other terminally ill patients. In some cases, traditional medicine just didn’t work. So Judith began experimenting with tinctures and potions. When she began hearing about the medical properties of marijuana, it just seemed like a natural ingredient to add to the blend.

“I’ve always taken all my medicine from nature,” says Judith. “From the time I was young I’ve made lotions and potions for my children, my grandchildren and myself.”

At first she gave away her healing salves. Then through word of mouth she began selling them. From there she expanded to a number of California dispensaries and eventually the line Dutch Farms Organics was born.

Many people who are not interested in smoking marijuana and who feel they are not in enough pain to take it orally are enthusiastic about giving cannabis lotions a chance. Cannabis lotions are not psychoactive and should not result in a positive drug test.

Cannabis topicals are a natural evolution in the self-care health movement. As many people become disillusioned with modern medicine and its disconnect between symptoms and the root cause of a problem, treating muscle pain with cannabis oils or balms might be a good option.

And savvy business people will no doubt find some unique opportunities in this area.

Photo Credit: sunshinecity

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