Light up your holiday season like never before — with a marijuana massage

Oct 27, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET
Image: Sandra Hinchliffe/SheKnows

Here we are — the holiday season is upon us. Love the holidays, hate the stress — this is the mantra for many of us during this busy time of the year. Spa time and massages are a favorite of many who seek to improve relaxation and sleep this stressful time of year. And since the legalization of cannabis in more states, busy folks with a lot of stress are starting to discover the benefits of this newly legal herb in some very surprising ways.

Enter the marijuana spa experience!

Wait, what?!!? Did I just say marijuana and spa in the same sentence? I sure did. And that's because there is a new way (if you are in a state where cannabis is legal for medicinal or recreational purposes) to explore and enjoy the cannabis herb through lotions, massage oils, bath salts and more. And best of all, topically applied cannabis spa potions are a (mostly) sober, yet relaxing experience, which makes them attractive to many more people. People who may not enjoy the mild intoxication of vaporizing cannabis will enjoy the benefits of this herb by applying it topically with lotions, or even a marijuana massage!

When I authored my new book, The Cannabis Spa at Home: How to Make Marijuana-infused Lotions, Massage Oils, Ointments, Bath Salts, Spa Nosh and More, I opened the book with a "quick start" chapter to get you on the ground and running with a few very luxurious cannabis salves, ointments and massage oils using some of the most basic ingredients, like olive oil, that you have in your kitchen right now. Try this cannabis spa recipe from my book to create a massage oil that will relieve your stress and make the holidays a lot more jolly this time of year:

Cooling herbs healing quick start massage oil

This recipe is for cooling relief of irritated skin and includes chamomile, mint, thyme, marjoram and rosemary. I like to break open bags of chamomile tea and add it to dried mint, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. This soothing and cooling oil was inspired by the “four thieves” formula of the Middle Ages using common European kitchen herbs. I like to use all five, but if you only have two or three, plus the chamomile — which is essential to this recipe — you can still make a great massage oil with whatever herbs you have in your cupboard.

Additionally, the ground cannabis flower can be substituted with several alternate ingredients. Possible substitutions include: 1 to 2 grams or more keif; 1/4 ounce or more cannabis trim, chopped or ground; 1 tablespoon of culinary hemp seed oil for spa-makers in prohibition states.


  • 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
  • 1/8 ounce or more ground cannabis flower, or 1 to 2 grams or more keif, or 1/4 ounce (7 grams) or more cannabis trim, chopped or ground, or substitute 1 tablespoon of culinary hemp seed oil for spa-makers in prohibition states
  • 2 tablespoons chamomile
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 3 cups of water*
  • Optional: a few drops essential oil like lavender or rosemary

*Or no water if you are using an extractor or Magical Butter machine (pre-decarb your cannabis if desired, put everything in the machine and set for 160 degrees F for 2 hours. You'll want to double this recipe to fill the extractor to the minimum level.)


  1. In a pan on the stove, add everything including the water but not the optional essential oils. Simmer on low with the lid to prevent steam from escaping for two hours, adding more water if necessary. Let this cool completely before opening the lid at the end of the process to retain the the essential oils that have been distilled from the herbs.
  2. Strain everything through a cheesecloth and allow the liquid to separate. Set aside the leftover herbal mash. Using a basting syringe, siphon off the massage oil and transfer it to a clean glass bottle. If you'd like to add a couple of drops of essential oil, do that right now and shake the bottle to fully infuse. Your massage oil is now ready to use! Yes, it was that easy!

Note: Now, you have a pile of leftover herbal mash and probably a cup of water from the oil-making process. Freeze or use these leftovers immediately.

Here are some ideas to do too:

  • Use the leftover liquid in a warm bath to chill achy bones in cold weather.
  • Use the leftover herbal mash warmed and placed directly on sore muscles or joints, secured with a warm, moist cloth as a poultice.