Essential oils are a key component to many of our Simple Apothecary products, including of course our relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve with Synergistic Essential Oils. With so many CBD companies and products out there, many may wonder what makes relEASE 250 stand out though. Over a number of posts, I’m going to spell out those reasons. I firmly believe that the more people understand our product, the answer of what makes us stand out as exceptional becomes obvious.
One of the first things I had to do when developing this salve is come up with a recipe. If you’ve ever tried to develop a recipe you know how tricky and complicated this can be! From the size of the batch, to the desired consistency to the expected final result, developing any kind of recipe takes time, patience and an expected rate of failure. Determining the essential oil blend for this salve was no exception.
As you may or may not know, I originally developed this product as a delta-9 THC salve. You know, that big bad federally-illegal cannabinoid that makes you high! Turns out THC is also outstanding for pain relief and inflammation. I had been making a basic topical balm for years, as outlined in my blog post on how to make a Healing Cannabis Salve. It works for a lot of things, including cuts, scrapes, aches and pains. But it always had its limitations, including needing days of steady use before getting real results on muscle and join pain.
Enter essential oils into my life…
Around 2015 I started exploring essential oils beyond aromatherapy. I officially entered the world of making my own body care products and essential oils are a common ingredient. I began using them for everything from cleaning to shampoo to facial oils. A friend of mine had some oils from a major essential oil multi-level marketing company, including a rub for pain and inflammation that he used regularly. I tried it, but didn’t find a major difference was made on my pain. Jokingly I said, “I’ll bet it would work even better with my salve!”
Every once in a while you have one of those moments in your life that are truly defining in one way or another. A moment that changes the course of your life, or at least the direction you’re going in. This was one of those moments. As soon as I layered that essential oil blend over my basic THC salve, my life changed. My pain was gone. Not just eased or lessened, but GONE.
I started a research and development quest almost immediately, compiling a large list of essential oils that are ideal for pain and inflammation. It turns out there are a LOT. One of the tricks with essential oils is to know which ones work well together to get the desired results. Some combinations are just nice, but don’t have any real exceptional qualities. When you find the right combination however, there is a magic that happens called synergy. Suddenly the blend creates a more powerful effect than any individual oil could have done.
Think of synergy like baking. Sugar on its own, while sweet, is kind of a boring flavor. Once you mix it with flour, eggs, butter and some leavening ingredients though, you have a delicious cake that is far superior to any of its individual ingredients. That is synergy and the same effect happens with essential oils.
After a LOT of trial and error, I found a combination of oils that worked amazingly well together. So when I began focusing on creating a federally-legal CBD salve, the decision to continue to include essential oils was a no-brainer. I combined essential oils with CBD and relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve with Synergistic Essential Oils was born. I firmly believe that either the CBD or the essential oil blend would be decent on their own, but when combined they create a fantastic synergistic effect.
So which oils do WE use?
First off, we source our essential oils from two companies, Plant Therapy and Mountain Rose Herbs. I picked these companies because of their business ethics and their commitment to education. I have been extremely happy doing business with both companies because they have a sense of accountability to the planet and their customers.
While the exact combination of oils used in relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve is a proprietary secret, I will explain some of the oils used and why I chose them.
Plantain is one of the most versatile healing herbs known to man. Even more so than aloe vera believe it or not! It is a plentiful “weed” all over the United States, growing wild and free in almost every climate we have. Plantain (not to be confused with the starchy banana like fruit) can be used topically for everything from bee and wasp stings to bruising to inflammation. It is one of my favorite herbs overall and one I’ve used in poultices many times and for a variety of reasons.
Ginger is a powerful herb because of its heating properties as well as its anti-inflammatory effect. A quick cup of ginger tea is a sure-fire way to ease stomach issues and is the very reason why you’re encouraged to drink ginger ale while sick. Ginger also has a heating effect on the skin which can help bring blood to the area. Blood flow is required for healing and to combat inflammation, which makes the addition of hemp oil infused with ginger a no-brainer.
Habanero oil may seem extreme, but not when you think about the capsaicin present. Capsaicin is what gives hot peppers their spiciness. While there are a number of peppers that can be used in this situation (cayenne is VERY popular), habaneros are what I had on hand when I developed this blend. I had grown them in my garden and dried the fresh pepper pods. Their spicy effect stimulates blood flow to the effected areas on the body. It also gives the salve its heating qualities when rubbed on the skin.
Wintergreen essential oil was one of the first essential oils I decided on using for this blend. Believe it or not, wintergreen’s active ingredient is methyl salicylate, which is very similar in composition to aspirin. As such, it is excellent for topical use on pain and inflammation. It also contributes to the lovely fresh minty and herbal smell of relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve. I wanted to be sure to talk about this essential oil for another reason- wintergreen can occasionally interfere with blood thinning medications. It is important for you to consult with your doctor if you use a blood thinner to make sure this salve is safe for you to use.
Essential oils are absolutely amazing when used correctly. There is something to be said for the very old practice of aromatherapy as working with aromatic oils has been in place for some 3,500 years. There are some considerations to keep in mind though.
These are POWERFUL plant extracts. It can sometimes take tons of plant material to produce one ounce of oil. For example, the common lavender needs 6 pounds of plant matter to make one ounce (30 ml) of essential oil. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the oil, the more material is needed to make it. Rose essential oil is notoriously expensive and needs 242,000 rose petals to make just 5 ml of oil. Because these are concentrations of the plant material, there are a few considerations to keep in mind while working with them.
- Essential oils can have a negative impact on the earth. As they become more popular, the need for plant materials can outweigh what the earth can produce. While flowers such as lavender are commonly grown on a farm, materials such as sandalwood are harder to source commercially. The world’s sandalwood supply is falling short and endangered now. Be mindful of this when indulging an essential oil “addiction”. Don’t buy them just to amass a large collection- be aware of what you’re purchasing and be selective in your purchases.
- Many essential oils are NOT good for your pets. I would even go so far as to say that MOST are not good for your pets, especially cats. This is something to be aware of when diffusing them or leaving oil bottles or products that include essential oils out. This absolutely includes Simple Apothecary products- I made them for people only. relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve should *NEVER* be used on your pets. There are plenty of pet worthy alternatives.
- Many essential oils are NOT safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Use caution! Consult with an aromatherapist for more information on this. Some plants have traditionally been used over thousands of years to induce things like abortion or to dry up milk. BE MINDFUL.
- Many essential oils are NOT safe for children under 6. Just because an essential oil is sourced from a plant, does NOT mean it is safe for young children. Essential oils are therapeutic, but so are pharmaceuticals. You wouldn’t let your child have free access to the medicine cabinet, right? Same goes for essential oils, especially camphor ones like peppermint and wintergreen.
- We STRONGLY recommend AGAINST ingesting essential oils. That’s why our Simple Tooth Powder has a warning that it’s not for use in children who have yet to learn to spit while brushing their teeth. **TRUTH BOMB** There are a number of popular MLM essential oil companies that like to encourage their customers to ingest their oils. They claim it’s because their oils are the ONLY safe ones to do so, while slapping misleading labels on their marketing such as “therapeutic” and “certified pure tested”. Guess what? There is no such thing as “certified therapeutic essential oils”. The industry is not regulated by the FDA so essential oil companies can pretty much say what they want with impunity. Those are all marketing gimmicks, nothing more. It is VERY easy to reach a toxic level while ingesting oils so it should ONLY be done under the careful guidance of a trained herbalist, and not on the word of the MLM independent consultant from your child’s school.
Essential oils and salve
Now that you’re more aware of the properties of essential oils, I encourage you to do your own research. Many people feel it’s a bunch of hokey, but they also feel that way about CBD, THC and cannabis or hemp as a whole. For me, the proof has ALWAYS been in the pudding. I wouldn’t be making this product if it didn’t work for not just me, but countless others. Adding hemp-derived CBD to essential oils became a life-changing moment not just because of my business, but because the combination just worked for my discomfort and pain.
So will it work for you? I can’t say. Not just for legal reasons, but because what works on pain is somewhat subjective. What works on one person may not work on another. This is the very reason there isn’t just one product on the shelf under “pain relief”. However, I invite you to try relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve with Synergistic Essential Oils. Let us know if it works and let us know if it DOESN’T work. I’d like to know either way.
Let me know in the comments what you think about essential oils, CBD or the combination thereof. I’d like to know what your experiences have been!