By Danielle Guercio
Skincare brands are just beginning to use the power of cannabis to charge their products with the power of the good leaf. In most cases, this is inert hemp seed oil, but that’s still a great emollient, so there’s no snake oil in play, just a bit of cannabis-adjacent positioning rather than truly cannabis-infused formulation. Still, some brands are adding real, full-spectrum hemp oil, some with CBD and others with both CBD and THC, into their serums, creams and oils.
Bath bombs are one of those supplementary products that are rapidly spreading, not among cannabis users but new initiates as well. There’s nothing that seems as innocuous and low-risk to a cannabis newbie as a bath bomb or bath product, and the CBD version was selling in all 50 states. It didn’t even wait for the farm bill to finalize.
Not only do bath bombs contribute to a fun and exciting bathing experience, they also can soften and condition skin, using the surrounding water to absorb moisture into your bod as though you were sitting in a cup of healing tea. Even a basic fizz has some emollient and antioxidant properties, but a cannabis-infused bath bomb can help to treat various ailments while also doing what you expect of a bath and body product.
Just because cannabis is becoming abundant, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be finding more ways than ever to use the whole plant, from root to leaf tip. This is especially true of cannabis-derived ingredients that can help with wellness, pain relief or skin care—they are too precious to waste when so many could use their relief.
Products are being developed that use the same tinctures, concentrates and isolates that we dab, eat and vape with. But those may be more effective and better absorbed with internal use. This is also more frugal, since topical cannabis medicinals can make use of the less intense plant parts like roots and trim, which can be rich in CBD and minor cannabinoids that act as anti-inflammatory agents, leaving the flower for combustion or extraction.
The DIY aspect of cannabis bath crafting involves collecting your plant’s byproducts, processing them into useable items and either hoarding them for the apocalypse or passing them out to develop your fan base or please loved ones. Topicals also make an excellent cannabis gift for people who don’t typically consume, as they can achieve relief without intoxication in many cases.
First, mix all of your wet ingredients (except the essential oils) in a mason jar. If you’re using powdered lecithin, add this to the jar as well so that it can begin to hydrate. Twist the lid on tightly, and shake to mix for at least 30 seconds. Leave the lid on, and let it rest while you assemble the dry ingredients.
In the non-metal bowl, mix all of the powders together with a silicone whisk, making sure that it’s uniform, then add the flowers and trim, saving a little for decorating your finished product. You may want to crush the Epsom salt a bit finer if it’s super chunky so that it can mix with the powders more easily.
Now unscrew the jar, add the essential oils, replace the lid, and shake one final time for 30 seconds. This will help to get a more uniform mixture as the lecithin should have started doing its thing. Remove the lid, and you can begin to drizzle the wet ingredients gently and slowly into the dry, using the whisk to help the powder absorb the liquid as you go.
The goal is not to get fizzy, so go as slowly as possible. Once the liquid is absorbed, work quickly to stuff your molds with gloved hands, pressing the mixture into the corners and edges, especially before topping them off and tamping down with more mixture. The last step of the molding process is to get a little artistic, sprinkling each bath bomb with rose petals and trim leaves before pressing them down gently into the mix.
Drying time is up to you, but you’ll need at least a day for most shapes, and you want to let the bath bombs dry in a low-humidity area. Purposefully, but gently, pop them out when they’re hardened, and you’ll be all ready for the best bath of your life. Store in closed containers to prevent moisture from ruining them. Silica packs from shoes and electronics are great for this—just add one to the jar that you’re storing them in.
Drop one or two of these beauties into your tub the next time it’s self-care time, and you will understand why a little effort pulls a large amount of relief from plant parts that were destined for the compost pile.
Hopefully, using the whole cannabis plant will pick up in the future, and much like the older concepts of preservation and bulk processing of freshly harvested items, it’s an investment in future convenience rather than just a burdensome hobby. If you have a condition that would be helped by a good soak, consider it medicine prep. Avid gift-giver? Use this as a thoughtful present for anyone you know who needs relaxation and relief.