After stuffing our already-full backpacks for the final time, we double-checked our room and tiny bathroom for straggling clothes and souvenirs. We were in Malaga, Spain, at the tail end of a month-long vacation, and it was time to head home to Denver.
Before leaving the hostel and its free Wi-Fi I asked my wife Melana, “Any idea how many hours we’ll be traveling today?” She didn’t know, but she started counting the day ahead of us out loud. “From Malaga to Dublin is three hours,” she said, “then a three-hour layover. Dublin to New York is seven and a half, and then another three-hour layover. And New York to Denver is… looks like it’ll be 21 hours.”
“Or 24 hours, if you include the bus we’re about to catch to the airport and the waiting,” I added.
My wife then responded with a seriousness typically reserved for much weightier conversations: “We’re going to need a massage when we get home.”
A few days later, when we walked into Nature’s Root — the world’s first hemp-based spa, located in almost-rural Colorado — it was immediately clear that we were about to be on the receiving end of some legit, CBD-infused pampering. And our bodies, still feeling the pain of that brutal 24-hour travel day, were thrilled about it.
Over the past few years, hemp’s use in health and wellness products has been gaining popularity nationwide, with the trend seeing creation of products ranging from restorative creams to soaps to healing salves. And the market is only growing, as more and more consumers discover the healing properties of the plant.
Hemp aficionados in Colorado and elsewhere are already familiar with Nature’s Root, as their hemp-based, non-psychoactive lotions, scrubs and salves have quickly made a name for themselves. It helps that Nature’s Root is a full-service seed-to-sale business, as they grow hemp on their farms, process it, extract what they need and create each of their products from the fruits of their harvest.
But Nature’s Root co-owners Dani Billings and her mother Tracee Box envisioned another step in the seed-to-sale model – thus their new spa located in an unassuming industrial park in the heart of trendy Longmont, an hour outside of central Denver.
“We are considered a seed-to-customer company,” said Box, noting that what they grow is eventually applied to their clients’ skin by Nature’s Root staff. “We manufacture in house from our farms across Colorado. Our CBD concentrate comes to Longmont, and from there we create our body care line, which is 100 percent hemp-based. And our therapeutics line is hemp-based with the added benefit of CBD oil.”
The spa’s services include massages and facials of different types and lengths, as well as waxes and eyelash extensions. As I opted for an hour-long restorative massage ($75) with an emphasis on my embattled back, my wife went the rejuvenating route – an hour-long facial ($70). When we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the CBD product line for an additional $18 each, we nodded yes – it’s why we were here!
Our therapists met us in the waiting area, a fresh and calming space decked out with rugs, clothes and products made of hemp. As we passed the reception counter, made of multi-colored hempcrete and decorated with thousands of hemp seeds under the clean glass tabletop, they asked if we wanted any more organic hemp tea before our treatments.
Of course we did.
Masseuse Becca Mecklenburg’s therapeutic massage style was meditative and deliberate, subtle but strong. She quietly told me when she was using the CBD oil and when she was using the CBD Sore Muscle Hemp Salve – “our top seller,” Box told me a few days later.
The CBD massage oil had a luxurious consistency – not too oily. The sore muscle salve, which was thoughtfully applied and left on my upper back so it could tingle throughout the rest of the massage, provided a fantastic sensation with its arnica-like icy hotness.
Melana’s facial was equally relaxing and nuanced. The pace was smooth and relaxing, the arm-and-feet massages with a mix of CBD massage oil and lotion was rejuvenating and the atmosphere was on point, she told me on our drive back to Denver.
“One of the products she used – a hydrating mask made of honey and goji berries – she put it on my lips, and when she took it off 20 minutes later my lips felt completely different,” Melana said. “The products worked well for catering to the climate. It’s dry and it’s been hot, and the facial was hydrating and felt nourishing.”
The questions that often follow these kinds of experiences are often of the “was it different from a normal massage?” variety. Nature’s Root says that the depth of penetration in muscle is greater and the relief time from pains and aches is extended when CBD-infused products are used for massages. But given the mix of ingredients and oils that are added to the hemp and CBD, it’s impossible to tell what’s what – especially when the therapists themselves are also bringing a lot to the experience.
What I can report back is this: The masterful execution of a 360-degree hemp and CBD spa makes for a tremendous outing. From the moment you enter the expansive and calming lobby at Nature’s Root to your exit – where you’re given the remaining CBD massage oil to take home, a lovely surprise bonus to the upgrade – you feel pampered, both physically and philosophically.
As consumers, we make decisions every day regarding where we spend our money. And now those who rely on body work can make the decision to support a business that believes in hemp.
TELL US, how do you incorporate cannabis into your relaxation routine?
Originally published in Issue 22 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE