Far beyond a traditional topical and so different from an edible, cannabis baths are in a category by themselves. Immersible cannabis therapy delivers a powerful mind/body effect that brings countless benefits with little to no psychoactivity.
Anyone who has used topical cannabis knows that this medicine is capable of exerting its effects directly on the body without first being processed through the system. The reason for this is that the skin is absolutely packed with cannabinoid receptors. CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in epidermal keratinocytes (90% of all skin cells), nerve fiber bundles, mast cells, macrophages, and the epithelial cells of hair follicles, sebocytes and sweat glands. In addition to this, recent research has revealed that multiple members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family can act as cannabinoid receptors, and the skin is full of those as well. These TRP channels are involved in numerous processes including temperature and itch perception, the initiation of pain, the maintenance of skin homeostasis, the regulation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, immune response, and the modulation of inflammation, among other things.
The skin is far more than just a passive barrier to protect us against environmental challenges; it orchestrates numerous biological processes, including synthesis and release of growth factors, hormones, and even vitamins, and its sensory input provides us with a huge amount of information about the world around us (and the world within us). Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, there is incredible therapeutic potential in all forms of topical cannabis. By giving us direct access to the wealth of receptors located from head to toe, the healing properties of immersible cannabis go much more than just ‘skin deep.’
Immersible cannabis is one of the most powerful ways to experience this miraculous plant. A warm bath all by itself already has many psychological and physiological benefits, everything from improving sleep to reducing pain to feeling less lonely. Having every part of your body touched at the same time with warm or hot water forces the parasympathetic nervous system to relax, helping to ease anxiety and nervous energy. Adding cannabis (along with other soothing and medicinal substances like those you’ll find in Papa & Barkley’s Bath Soak and OM Edibles line of infused epsom salts) creates an intense but very pleasant experience that touches body, mind, and soul, as well as a few other hard-to-reach places. Both topical and immersible cannabis can relieve pain and soreness, muscle spasms, hemorrhoids, menstrual discomfort, headaches, insomnia, and dermatological imbalances such as eczema and psoriasis, to name just a few. A soak helps eliminate free radicals (remember, the US Government has a patent on Cannabinoids as Antioxidants) and can reduce wrinkles and fine lines or help recover from overexposure to sun and elements. Cannabis is also antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, and antimicrobial, so it can help with acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, and a host of other conditions.
Bathing, as with all topical cannabis, offers an extremely fast onset of relief, since it is being applied directly to the site of the receptors; the main difference between topical and immersible is that with immersion, there will be some absorption through mucous membranes and the colon, so it can enter the bloodstream as well. With the low concentration of a bath soak this shouldn’t cause any kind of impairment, this is just something to keep in mind.
A canna-bath is perfect just before bedtime, perhaps with a low dose of edible, sublingual, or inhaled cannabis to enhance the experience, but it can also be used as a kind of anxiety-preventative prior to attending any sort of stressful event. Regular soaks will benefit people who are suffering from a chronic condition, or who are training hard for a fitness goal, or who are just generally stressed out over current events — so basically, anyone at all. Taking the time for self-care is an important part of overall physical, mental, and emotional health, and bathing in cannabis really maximises the benefits.