Upon entering the production headquarters for Om Edibles the soothing smell of lavender envelops my entire being. The whole room is dominated by this comforting scent, which provides a welcoming twist from the pungent herbaceous aromas of grow rooms and vaults staked with cannabis flowers where I usually find myself on assignment. Two ladies inside the production room are pouring out large plastic bins of Epsom salts for bath soaks. If I didn’t already know I was in the headquarters of an award-winning California-based cannabis edibles and topicals company, I might think I was in the home of a more traditional natural products business. The vibe is warm and welcoming and the mood only gets brighter when Maya Elisabeth, the creator and owner of Om Edibles, arrives and offers afternoon cups of raw cacao infused with CBD.
“I will always and forever combine cannabis with superfoods,” Maya says as she scoops out heaping amounts of her award-winning infused cacao into a bath of warm water. “You only get out what you put in and that starts with the farmer.”
When Maya announced her partnership with Whoopi Goldberg in the cannabis company that bears both of their names, Whoopi & Maya, mainstream media loved to pick up on the news that such a successful celebrity was now promoting cannabis products, particularly products that catered to women. But as the media blitz around that partnership has begun to quell, Maya still remains devoted to the company that she began a decade ago. Om Edibles won its first Cannabis Cup in 2011 with a peanut butter puffed rice truffle and has since expanded from its growing edibles line to offer bath products.
“Now I’m really into the bath stuff,” Maya says of her bath soaks. “You’re getting full-body exposure to the cannabinoids.”
Cannabis topicals work by responding to cannabinoid receptors which are present throughout the human body, including in the skin. By partaking in a cannabis-infused bath soak the traditional healing elements of hydro and aromatherapy combine with the wellness affects of cannabis to provide relief. Topicals, Maya says, can provide the perfect introduction for those who are “seeking relief from cannabis without the high,” and work well for those looking to treat anxiety, depression, chronic pain or skin conditions.
The bath soaks come in an assortment of types designed to utilize the benefits of the other aromatic natural ingredients such as lavender for calming and citrus for an uplifting boost.
“Unplug, have a moment of self-care,” Maya says of the act of taking a bath, noting that pressure and heat from the water forces the parasympathetic nervous system to relax while the Epsom salt draws the lactic acid out of muscles and provides the body with a magnesium boost.
While the stresses around running a cannabis company in the face of shifting state regulations must be immense, Maya has built a place for herself surrounded by positive reinforcement. She has an almost-entirely female staff and has filled her headquarters with Buddhist statues and paintings depicting inspirational female figures. In her office there is a large painting of a ganja goddess standing a settee made of purple kush in a field of cannabis colas. In the painting, the world is woman’s chalice.
“I love the way the ladies have an attention to detail,” she says adding that because many of Om’s topical and edible products are designed towards aiding menstrual discomfort, it makes sense for women to be producing the “moon cycle medicine.”
Maya grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and worked on a farm cultivating award-winning cannabis flowers before focusing entirely on topicals and edibles. With Om she seeks to spread the positive vibrations that she approaches others with starting with an unusual work benefit: she offers her employees unpaid “moon days” off for particularly rough days of their cycle.
“If not us then who?” she says as she gleefully pulls products off the shelf and delivers her staff warm cups of CBD-infused cacao.
Maya’s positivity seems infectious and genuine. Om production head Emily Milo said the whole staff works hard, but has a super-friendly family vibe.
“We get to play with the coolest things,” Milo says while darting from room to room stamping packages and getting the bath soaks ready for sale. “I’m super lucky.”
For Maya, cannabis is a plant that with whom she communicates, and when she speaks of its benefits she attributes the gender of the prized flowers to the feminine divine.
“The more we discover the more we realize she’s so useful for everything,” she says. “It’s all desirable side effects. It’s amazing. I think about what cannabis would say and she would say ‘I’m going to give you this and this and this…’”
TELL US, have you tried cannabis topicals?