(Photo via Weed Memes)
Before becoming a writer, I worked as a therapist for adolescent High School students suffering from mental health diagnoses, exhibiting symptoms that were due to a range of bio-psychosocial stressors. As you'd expect, the issue of marijuana use was a frequent source of parent-child strife; and in some cases, between students and parole officers. While juggling the competing points of view between parents, school staff, the legal system, and underage students, I can pinpoint the moment when I recognized the de-stigmatization of marijuana as an important social aim.
This particular day, I met with a student for an emergency session following a traumatic and violent upheaval at home the night before. While young in age, this kid was dealing with difficulties in life that went way beyond what you'd assume at first glance, and whose prematurely adult responsibilities in life both saddened me and earned my genuine respect. After a difficult conversation, the topic turned to marijuana, at which point the student looked up at me and stated emphatically, "It's medicine."
A shift took place in that moment because — all debates aside — the student was speaking from the soul. You can tell when a person is expressing his/her personal truth because their conviction reverberates throughout their entire energy; the words resonating with unblocked affirmation that shows in the eyes. In that moment, I knew without a doubt that it was medicine for this student, and that was enough for me to respect the importance of its medicinal properties for others, as well.
CBD: THE BENEFITS.
Now, it's legal both recreationally and medicinally — so who cares, right? Wrong. Turns out, the health-promoting properties of Cannabidiol, or CBD, are way too significant to overlook, social stigma or not. As Vogue points out, "CBD is non-psychoactive and a proven aid for pain, nausea, and anxiety." No one should think twice before giving this scientifically-backed remedy for both physical and emotional ailments a try.
(Photo via Instagram)
It might surprise you to learn that its miraculous healing powers all stem from its ability to treat inflammation. The term "anti-inflammatory" is a key word in the world of health & wellness because bodily inflammation is linked to serious physical and emotional health concerns in a statistically significant way. Author and physician, Dr. Andrew Weil, explains the results of a scientific study linking chronic inflammation with depression in his 2017 annual edition of Self-Healing: "Overall, clinically depressed people showed 30 percent more brain inflammation than their mood-stable peers." In the treatment of depression, he tellingly advises anti-inflammatory lifestyle habits that include diet, exercise, and supplements.
For Sunday Scaries Gummies For Anxiety With CBD ($34 for 20).
CBD is one such compound that is widely — and aptly — considered to be a stand-out treatment for anxiety. I can personally vouch that the ingredient is effective taken orally as an oil, pill, or gummy. Plus, it's non-psychoactive, which means you're getting major benefits sans buzz, making it ideal for daytime use.
Aside from settling our nerves, the potential for CBD as an all-natural means of improving our health is promising. My Naturopathic doctor shared the causal connection between inflammation and chronic illnesses, like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, IBS, and rheumatoid arthritis. CIHR delineates the connection between prolonged bodily inflammation — similar to the process triggered by an allergen — and its role in the development of pervasive causes of death including cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
Vertly Lip Butter ($22)
CBD IN BEAUTY.
The beauty industry is another domain in which cannabis holds the key to unlocking CBD's potent benefits. Vogue describes, "Cannabis is turning up in a host of new skin balms, lotions, oils, and bath salts, promising body benefits ranging from pain relief to better orgasms." Plus, when applied topically, the benefits are, "[A]nti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, cell-regenerative, and anti-cell proliferative for bad cells." In other words, it's incredible for your body's largest organ: the skin.
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer confirms that our most troubling skincare woes, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, are indeed inflammatory conditions — making the inflammation-fighter a popular choice in emerging skincare lines. Brands like Bath Asana, Kannactiv, and Cannabis Beauty Defined use forms of CBD to treat problems as varied as breakouts to the signs of aging.
(Photo via instagram)
the case for Greener + cleaner Beauty.
The plant-derived remedy has been understandably well-received within the green beauty movement, which seeks to remove the toxic substances from our cosmetics. Their argument is that adequate restrictions don't exist to ensure that our products are truly safe for use. Among the most frequently cited toxins are parabens, phthalates, sulphates, and petrochemicals, which can be carcinogenic (i.e. cancer-causing), endocrine disrupting (i.e. causing hormonal imbalances), and irritating (i.e. triggering inflammation).
Exposure to toxic ingredients has been linked with health problems as varied as fertility issues to the development of cancer, wreaking havoc on the human biome. As Goop reveals, the presence of petrochemicals risk exposure 1,4-dioxane, which can cause kidney, brain, and respiratory system toxicity. Making matters worse, the Environmental Wellness Group (EWG) found that 22% of our personal care products currently surpass the established "safe" level of the substance. (To see a list of EWG's "dirty dozen" of 12 hormone-disrupting chemicals — and how to avoid them — check out this article.)
The difference between 'green' and 'clean' beauty is also an important distinction to make. While the green beauty movement emphasizes natural, plant-derived ingredients over the use of chemicals, clean beauty makes use of synthetic ingredients minus the health-disruptors noted above. As both movements make the effort to move away from beauty that harms towards beauty that heals, the two niche markets have embraced CBD with open arms, exploring all that the compound has to offer.
Bath Asana: Beauty As Clean As It Comes.
Bath Asana stands out for its efforts at closing the gap between the beauty and wellness worlds. The luxury skincare line is based out of Aspen, CO, creating organic, hand-crafted formulations that nourish your skin to optimal health. Owner Maria Gonzales espouses a holistic philosophy that takes the overall health of our skin into consideration.
"[Our] natural and organic ingredients support a healthy skin matrix," Maria explains. "From Marula Oil to Baobab." Another key ingredient in the line is CO2-distilled CBD, rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, relaying benefits directly to the skin. "CBD is non-psychoactive, and has renowned anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities, [which serves] topical skin application very well."
Bath Asana's product line is best characterized by a certain synergy present within its products — a phenomenon holistic-minded folks have long observed at work in nature. By combining the purest ingredients — pure extracts and oils derived from plants, seeds, and flowers — their products harness the interlocking powers of nature's greatest skin-enhancers, providing a depth of healing that Maria assures reaches the molecular level.
Bath Asana Nourishing Cannabidiol & Marula Body Oil ($120)
Body oils have been trending because of their high-concentrations of potent skin-enhancers, like a high-powered multi-vitamin for the skin. Different oils are known for excelling at various purposes, while the healing, anti-inflammatory blend in Bath Asana Nourishing Cannabidiol & Marula Body Oil ($120) hydrates, soothes, and tones, while improving skin elasticity.
As Maria puts it, "[The body oil] glides on like warm silk; Essential for healthy, glowing skin that feels deliciously smooth." Made using totally clean ingredients — without fillers, silicones, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes or fragrances, or any animal-derived products — they're also all gluten- and cruelty-free.
The first thing I noticed after using the oil was that my elbows were smoother than ever before — quite possibly more so than in my entire life. Having just returned home after a week spent traveling, my dry skin was thoroughly quenched and made smooth. I also tested out the oil's anti-inflammatory effects, applying a drop of the oil directly to a spot of eczema on my scalp before bed. Sure enough, the very next morning, my scalp was totally soothed, with no remaining traces of irritation. Similarly, when I applied the gentle, skin-soothing blend to irritations (an allergic reaction of some kind), I woke up with dramatically reduced redness and irritation. (I can safely call this product a game-changer.)
Of the many reasons that I feel drawn to clean, green, and CBD-fortified beauty products, it all comes down to my belief that we, as consumers, hold the power to help shape the future of the beauty industry. Similar to the way Olivia Wilde makes businesses greener with her startup Conscious Commerce, even staunch resistance to regulations won't stand up to the basic economic principles of supply and demand.
What I mean is, even when overt advocacy is thwarted by "inside the box" thinkers, what's #trending will still dictate the direction of the market. No matter how many toxic products remain on the shelves, and no matter how adamantly the enforcement of ethical standards in beauty is opposed, putting your money behind the products and companies you believe in is a powerful way to take a stand. Over time, even once-derided causes can grow into formidable constituencies.
Within a culture of extremes, it is remarkably easy to detach from both sides of the argument and to only tune into those issues that speak to you. I was 10 when I first told my parents I wanted to start eating all-organic food; by 14, I had stopped eating meat. Then, my parents weren't exactly thrilled. But twenty years later, my dad now buys all-organic and my mom is a committed pescatarian.
Believe me, I wasn't spending any time trying to convince them. Rather, the causes I believed in grew in prominence over time. As they did, the social dialogue changed, and suppliers responded to the growing demand for organic and cruelty-free products .
Raising awareness of eco-conscious beauty lines like Bath Asana, and helping to re-frame the public perception of once-controversial ingredients like CBD, can both play major roles in shaping our cultural discussion of ethics in beauty. Then again, sampling shopping for those products whose principles you can get behind is the most fun way to get in on the discussion. Feel free to spread the word!
Check out some more of Bath Asana's clean, green, and amazing skincare line below!
1. Bath Asana Sample Kit ($30).
2. Bath Asana Deeply Hydrating Facial Serum ($100).
3. Bath Asana Nourishing CBD Body Oil ($120).
4. Bath Asana The Incomparable Body Scrub ($50).
5. Bath Asana Restorative Bath Salts ($40).
6. Bath Asana Sensual Bath Salts ($40).
7. Bath Asana Gift From The Gods Restorative Body Treatment ($200).
Have you tried any CBD products? Tell me about them below. (Seriously!)
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