Get ready to r-e-l-a-x.

By Maggie Seaver
October 14, 2019

Is there anything more indulgent than a warm bath? Whether you hit the tub to wash up, unwind mentally, ease stiff muscles, or promote a good night’s sleep, you know all about the healing power of a good soak. But if you thought taking a bath couldn’t get any more relaxing, think again. A CBD bath might just be the ultimate way to soothe your mind, body, and soul. 

Even if you’ve been skeptical about trying CBD in any form, a soak of aromatic, CBD-infused bath salts could be the perfect way to experience CBD’s effects without ingesting it, and while doing something you already enjoy (lounging in the tub).

"Anyone can benefit from a CBD bath,” says Cindy Capobianco, cofounder and chief brand officer of the CBD brand Lord Jones. “If you've had a long day, an intense workout, or strenuous travel, it can provide the ultimate restorative reset and promote a calm sense of well-being." And don't worry, taking a CBD bath won't get you high.

Wait—What Is CBD?

For a quick refresher: "Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana that can have potential health benefits," explains Matthew Mintz, MD, FACP, a board-certified internist practicing in Bethesda, Md. "Unlike marijuana—which is federally illegal and only medically legal in certain states—hemp is legal everywhere and has virtually no THC (which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, a different cannabinoid that can make you high).” 

CBD can help support the body’s naturally occuring endocannabinoid system and promote endocannabinoid production. “Hemp-based CBD optimizes the function of a system you may not even know you have called the endocannabinoid system, which modulates the fight or flight response, impacting how we respond to stress, how much cortisol (the stress hormone) we produce, and how quickly we recover,” says Aimée Gould Shunney, ND, an advisor to PlusCBD Oil.

CBD Bath Benefits 

So what does this calming, homeostasis-promoting, cannabis-derived plant substance have to do with bath time? 

The heat improves CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits.

Among other benefits, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. “CBD is best used for inflammation, which is really at the root of any problem you have with your skin, whether it’s eczema or pain,” says Claudia Mata, the founder of Vertly, which infuses CBD into its natural, mineral- and botanical-rich bath salts. Dissolving a CBD-infused product, like bath salts or a bath bomb, into hot water and soaking in it helps expedite the process of CBD absorption into the skin and bloodstream through the pores. 

“Heat causes vasodilation of the blood vessels, enhancing absorption of CBD (as well as anything else in your bath),” Shunney explains. “It also helps relax your muscles and open your airways, making it easier to breathe. These heat effects are all synergistic with the relaxing, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD.”

CBD could make that relaxing bath even more relaxing.

“Taking a bath is already so therapeutic,” says Mata. “Baths deliver so many minerals, promote healing, and are great for soreness after a workout.”

Take all of those familiar benefits of a good old-fashioned bath—CBD will subtly enhance them. “Hot water, relaxation, CBD, essential oils—who wouldn’t benefit from that combo?” Shunney says. “The biggest benefits [of a CBD bath] would be to relax and decompress, to ease musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, and to soothe angry skin conditions.” 

CBD gets absorbed more efficiently through skin.

Compared to taking a few drops of CBD tincture orally (say, under your tongue), letting it absorb topically tends to have quicker, more direct results.

“As with any nutrient or ingredient applied to the skin, absorption into the bloodstream will be faster than with oral ingestion,” Shunney says. And while a topical CBD balm, oil, or cream might be ideal for those hoping to calm localized inflammation, Shunney says adding CBD to a bath will expose your entire body to it, resulting in more systemic effects.

It’s beneficial in so many different ways.

“The reason CBD is miraculous is not because of what it does (it’s not a cure-all), but because it is such a malleable ingredient. It’s a compound that works on so many different systems of your body,” says Mata. “It touches on anxiety, mood, sleep disorders—all these different variants of your life.” Add that to your already-calming bath experience and you'll be as relaxed as ever.

It's a natural, plant-derived ingredient that works in conjunction with other soothing bath products.

Don't think of a CBD bath as dunking yourself into a tub of chemicals. CBD works naturally and subtly and in tandem with your chosen bath product's various therapeutic ingredients. "Everything we do is about blending CBD and herbs," Mata says. For instance, Vertly CBD-Infused Bath Salts includes a pore-opening and detoxifying sulfur, which allows all the product's other minerals (like Dead Sea salt and magnesium) and herbal extracts (including marjoram, yarrow, rosemary, and CBD) to enter pores quicker and deeper.

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Bath Salts balance broad spectrum, hemp-derived CBD with "pink Himalayan salt, arnica, magnesium-rich Epsom salts, calendula petals, and a unique blend of terpenes and essential oils that support deep body relaxation," Capobianco says.

What to Look for in a CBD Bath Salt

Experts agree: Anytime you’re shopping for CBD bath products, buy from a reputable brand. “Since CBD is not regulated by the FDA, make sure you get any CBD products from a reputable company that follows good standard growing procedures and whose products are verified by a third-party independent lab,” Dr. Mintz says. 

Shunney recommends going with organic products that feature ingredients and processes like:

  • Essential oils (rather than synthetic fragrance) 
  • Non-chemical CO2 extraction processes to remove pesticides, metals, and solvents
  • High-quality, full-spectrum hemp oil
  • Pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts
  • Hemp-derived CBD (which will, by definition, contain less than 0.3 percent THC) 
  • Certification by US Hemp Authority

Are CBD Bath Products Safe for Everyone?

As with any new product, people with sensitive skin should test their CBD bath product before submerging completely. Before exposing your whole body to it, Shunney suggests diluting a small amount of product and applying to a small area of skin with a washcloth.

As for how much to use and how long to soak, that might be up to you and the product you're using. "Our recommended serving size is one heaping scoop," says Capobianco. "Each heaping scoop of Lord Jones High CBD Formula Bath Salts contains approximately 20 milligrams of CBD." And Mata says, if you have the luxury of time, a good 15 to 20 minutes in the tub is ideal.

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