Daughter of the Herb
I am a daughter of the herb. I was raised in the garden, under the vast sea of stars that is present when one is hundreds of miles from your nearest neighbor. Growing up in Mendocino county was a unique and special experience that compares to no where else on this planet.
As a child, I watched my mother and the other women in the community create a variety of skincare and wellness remedies by infusing elements of the cannabis plant in home remedies. These included salves, tinctures, and much more. Early on, cannabis farmers understood the immense healing properties of the plant - along with the need to dispose of extra materials left over from harvesting the flowers in order to reduce the legal repercussions should a “bust” occur. To help with disposal, many women began to infuse the left over “trim” into oils and butters which could then be blended into a variety of recipes for skincare, edibles, and the like.
Each family had their own unique creations that used their unique cannabis strains, and they combined their product with other healing herbs (lavender, rosemary, etc.) that were grown alongside the cannabis plants as deterrents for pests. As a child, I saw first hand the healing capability of these recipes when used to treat a variety of health conditions, including cancer. I witnessed two neighbors who were able to heal themselves from cancer - not once but twice - by juicing the leaves, taking internally, and applying topically to areas damaged by skin cancer. This further solidified my belief in the healing benefits of the plant, and my desire to explore its remedies both topically and internally.
When my own mother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2011, we used a combination of CBD and THC infused creations to aid in her treatment. These included tinctures to help with nausea, salves to help with skin sores, and high CBD/THC oils to relieve her pain. The plant’s medicine is what gave her the greatest quality of life in her last days. Without it, she would have not been able to eat, sleep, or manage the pain without the use of the heavily-prescribed opioids. In the end, my Mother lost her battle with cancer, but her knowledge of plant medicine and her vast experience as a healer and herbalist was imparted upon me.
Fast forward to present day- the end of prohibition, thus the freedom for scientist to explore the cannabis plant and its essences. We are finally seeing the plant get the positive credit it deserves. It’s no wonder the public is a “buzz” with this ingredient, and thus we are seeing a flood of beauty products infused with potent extracts derived from the flowers, leaves, and stalk of the cannabis plant.
How does it work for the skin? These products work by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, the system responsible for the intricate network that regulates pain, appetite, immune function, mood, and more. Cannabinoids receptors have been found in the skin, hair, and the cells lining the oil and sweat glands. So when applied to the skin, CBD and THC bind to those receptors to reduce inflammation, which is the root cause of many of the most common skincare concerns like acne, rosacea, and eczema. So by treating the root of the problem, along with targeted products and a balanced lifestyle, you heal the skin. I have been teaching this message in my skincare practice for over a decade. I offer comprehensive skin consultations with each client and decide how and when introducing CBD is beneficial.
With so many “green beauty” products on the market right now, it can be hard for even the more experienced consumer to distinguish what really works and what is just sparkly packaging containing sub-par cannabis derived ingredients. So, I want to explain the different types of CBD (Cannabinoid), extracts and how it relates to skincare and wellness.
Isolate vs. full spectrum oil
Cannabinol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating molecule found in the cannabis plant - and many other plants I might add. Most of what you are seeing on the open market are using hemp-derived CBD because it has less than. .03% THC, and anything over .03% THC requires the product to be sold through licensed dispensaries and can not be sold online or crossing state lines.
As the name suggests CBD isolate means the compound has been isolated down to just the CBD molecule and is the most “pure” form of CBD on the market, usually containing 99 or more pure CBD. This form typically comes in a white powder that can easily be mixed into a variety of products at high doses. This makes isolates a great choice when treating conditions that require a larger therapeutic dose of CBD such as depression, anxiety and diabetes. The tasteless isolate also makes it more desirable in products such as edibles, gummies and for those that do not want to “taste” their CBD.
Full spectrum CBD oil:
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different phytochemicals, including terpenes and other compounds. Full spectrum or “whole plant” CBD oil is minimally processed, thus leaving most of the cannabinoids and terpenes in tact, just the way nature intended. Just like fruits and vegetables, the less processed, the more health benefits. Additionally, early studies show that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to influence each other. This synergistic effect is called the “entourage effect,” and studies suggest that when the plant elements work together, the healing power is superior to those of an isolate. This is why I suggest to clients just starting to use CBD products to reach for ones containing a “full spectrum” source. For those seeking pain management, I suggest opting for a products which contain both CBD and THC, as these two elements work together to create incredible healing and pain relieving potential that we have only just begun to understand.
In closing, we find ourselves on a new frontier of cannabis products where International corporations are all grabbing for a piece of the market and producing products with the focus on wealth NOT health. So, whether you choose to smoke it, drink it, or use on your skin, please make sure you purchase from small family farm collectives, and the product you are using has been tested by a third party laboratory to ensure quality and consistency.
About the Author: Danielle Frey, Owner / Operator of Bloom Skincare & Makeup, Mendocino, California
I am a skincare specialist and makeup artist with a unique approach to skin health that blends scientific and holistic knowledge and techniques. My philosophy stems from my roots. I grew up in rural Mendocino county, and was raised in the garden under the stars. I grew and learned alongside the very herbs that my Mother used to make a variety of skincare and wellness recipes for her practice as an herbalist and acupressure therapist. I learned first hand the power of botanicals and their applications to the body to obtain optimal wellness.
My career path began in San Diego, CA in where I studied at the renowned skincare academy, Palomar Institute of Esthetics. From there I went on to work with the well known botanical based cosmetic brand, Aveda. While working for Aveda, I went through their extensive holistic skincare and aromatherapy courses and was given the opportunity to treat a wide range of clients and skin types. Additionally, I have grown my practice by taking courses in a variety of advanced techniques, including facial acupressure, facial reflexology, oncology esthetics, cosmetic chemistry, and cosmetic herbalism.
My approach to the skin is one of creating balance though effective treatments; simple home care routines; herbal infusions; and over-all mind, body, and spirit wellness. I work with each client to design a series of treatments and products that will heal the symptoms presenting themselves on the skin, and give clients a better understanding of the skin functions and what ingredients best support it. In addition to skincare, I address various internal aspects in order to treat the “root” of the symptoms by connecting my clients with a network of wellness professionals. This unique approach to skin therapy has proven to provide my clients with long lasting skin health and leaves them feeling empowered and beautiful - from the inside out.