The sights and smells and taste of the holidays are upon us! And of course, in the festive season, it is better to give than to receive, right? 😉

We are now able to gift cannabis in the adult use market in Canada. This opens up so many possibilities for a variety of different cannabis gifts this year. However, you cannot gift from your own allotment as a medical cannabis patients. If you want to gift, you have to obtain the patient’s own legally sourced cannabis to work with, or purchase the cannabis from an adult use market.

We are told that cannabis infused topicals won’t be available to purchase for another year or so. That is just one reason why they make the perfect gifts this holiday season. What better way to say I love you than making a salve to help reduce someone’s discomfort and therefore increase their ability to enjoy the holidays?

Perhaps, as a medical patient, you are a little further ahead in your knowledge around topicals. Here is a lovely gift idea to help share that knowledge. Consider making a cannabis oil/ essential oil infused topical to use directly on the skin for various treatments.

Here is a simple way to do that:

  1.  Combine ½ cup raw shea (or cocoa) butter with ½ cup (solid at room temperature) coconut oil in a double boiler. On low heat, warm   the oils until they are soft enough to be stirred together.
  2.  Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to heat safe bowl.
  3.  Add 1-2 mls (droppers) of your favorite cannabis oil. While THC and CBD would both be effective and both have receptors in the skin,  I prefer a balanced 1:1 strain like MedReleaf’s Midnight, Emerald’s THC:CBD 12, or  Emblem’s 12:20 oil. Check with your available licensed producer(s) for your choice of oil.
  4.  I like to add 5-10 drops of essential oil(s) depending on what the topical will be used to treat. For some examples see below.
  5.  Use a mixer to combine all ingredients.
  6.  Transfer ingredients to  small glass jar(s) with airtight lid(s).
  7.  Create an attractive label, naming all ingredients and noting the date. Consider calling it something unique and individual, so they will know that it was customized and made specifically  for them (ex. My Mom’s Headache Salve or Uncle Eric’s Back Cream). Tape over the label with a wide piece of tape to protect.
  8.  Store at room temperature to remain softer consistency. Use within a year.

Some examples of essential oils to add to topical salves can be found below. These are suggestions you can use as a starting point to your own research and exploration. It’s handy to note personal observations in your cannabis journal.

  • Joint and muscle pain – frankincense, fennel, clove
  • Burns, cuts, bruises – bergamot, rose, thyme
  • Cough and cold – eucalyptus, pine, tea tree
  • Digestion and gas abdominal massage – basil, peppermint, and lavender
  • Eczema and dermatitis – carrot seed, myrrh
  • Headache – eucalyptus, lavender, black pepper

Choosing essential oils to add to your healing topicals is not unlike choosing cannabis strains. Best to choose with your nose! Your nose knows what is good for you. Sniff testers before you buy.

Without too much fuss, you can now make helpful and appreciated cannabis gifts! Or, if all of this seems too overwhelming, consider putting The Starter Kit under the tree this year!

Best of the holidays to you from Natural Health Services!


— Kait Shane, Community Outreach Educator Natural Health Services. Follow Natural Health Services on Twitter @NatHealthserve.

For further insight into all things cannabis, don’t forget to check out The Cannabis Show (new episodes every Wednesday) and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Cannabis Show is also available as an audio podcast, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Overcast.

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