It’s a Sunday afternoon and your grandma brings out her daily medication: a few prescription pills, some vitamins, and a hefty joint.
It’s a weird image. Because chances are your grandma isn’t looking to get high.
But the medical benefits of cannabis could be life-changing for someone experiencing pain from arthritis or any other chronic disease.
So, what’s a grandma to do?
An answer could lie in topicals.
Green Relief is excited about the medicinal potential cannabis salves, creams, and topicals demonstrate – and so is Ashley Short, co-founder of Earth Kisses Sky (EKS).
Short is part of a growing group of cannabis supporters who are looking for the medicinal – not psychoactive – effects of the drug.
“I’m not a smoker, myself,” Short explained. “When you apply a topical, what I find really amazing is, you don’t actually get any psychoactive effects from it. When you’re applying it, you don’t have to feel that high sensation, you’re just getting the therapeutic benefit.”
When you strip away the high and the stigma, you’re left with an effective, undaunting, multi-purpose remedy.
That’s why Short posits salves as the best introduction to cannabis, and a great starting point for those still “aren’t sure.”
“I get anyone from a child who has eczema, psoriasis, to an older woman who is experiencing really crippling pains, joint pain, muscle pain, tension headaches, things like that.”
Green Relief, as a licensed producer, can’t currently make or sell topicals. Like edibles, they still aren’t part of the legal market.
“Some people are very, ‘I need to go to my licensed producer,’” Short said. “And some are very, ‘I don’t want to see a licensed producer.’ I try to encourage people to not just be one-sided, to think what works best for them.”
There’s reason to be optimistic about federal legalization of commercial topicals in the future, but we aren’t there yet.
And though Green Relief can’t sell topicals to their patients, there are no regulations preventing consumers from making their own. Like any cannabis product, however, knowing how to put together a balm or salve can be tricky.
That’s where Short comes in.
“Honestly, there’s not one thing that can fix you. I feel like that’s what people are looking for is that one thing that can heal you, can cure you, and that’s not the case,” Short explained. “The body is very complex and every single body is different, so everyone needs something a little bit different. For myself, I stuck with nutrition and herbs and the nutrition that I followed may not work for somebody else. The herbs that I follow may not work for someone else. Everyone’s body is so different. I feel like working with the individual one-on-one to get to know exactly what’s happening in their bodies is the most important part.”
Short is a holistic nutritionist, clinical herbalist, and one half of EKS: a company specializing in wellness and herbal medicine.
“We’re a very small company in this huge world of cannabis,” Short described. “But we are looking to expand. We want to get bigger and bigger, as much as we can and help a lot more people than we are today.”
“My partner is a registered massage therapist, registered acupuncturist. Together, we’ve created a cannabis botanical line. We have two different kinds. We have pain and inflammation and we have a skin healing and beauty salve. Everything in our product is 100% natural, no chemicals added whatsoever. Each herb that’s added specifically is designed to increase the benefit of the cream itself.”
Together, Short and co-founder, Tijen Yalchin, are on a mission of holistic wellness: ensuring their clients always know what they’re putting into their bodies.
“My partner and I were both making creams and products for ourselves for about 17 years. Everything as far as deodorant and creams, everything that we could possibly make holistically, we would. I’d rather make it myself than purchase it from somewhere else, where I don’t know what’s in it. That was really important to us.”
Not only does Short develop the product, she’s a first-person account of its effectiveness.
In 2011, Short was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and later Lyme disease. And the effect of EKS’s topicals has been “huge.”
“It’s been a long journey,” she described. “At one point, I was in a wheelchair and was prescribed a lot of medications. Because I’m not really an individual who likes to take a medicine root, I like a more holistic lifestyle, I directed myself in a place where I was taking just nutrition, just herbal medicine and decided I’m gonna make my own cream topically. The reason for that was because the areas that were affected mostly for me were my joints as the symptoms mimicked rheumatoid arthritis – a lot of swelling, a lot of extreme pains.”
“With the amount of pain that I feel on a daily basis. It’s something that, once you have a chronic condition, it’s really hard to get rid of it. It’s really important for us to be able to apply something onto the area that’s really effective and allow it to soothe itself so that I can actually go about my day and actually help me with sleeping.”
EKS is leading the industry when it comes to cannabis topicals and we at Green Relief can’t wait to see cannabis balms and salves available nationwide.
Follow Earth Kisses Sky @earthkissessky on Instagram or at www.earthkissessky.com.