It’s one thing to have a massage with coastal lavender oils (thanks, Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay) or apricot kernels (thanks, Rosewood Sand Hill) or orange-cedar and sage scented oils (thanks, Four Seasons Silicon Valley) — but what about a massage swathed in the essence of counterculture — CBD oil?
That’s what the five-star hotel St. Regis San Francisco is offering, with a new “Love and Haight” treatment at its Remède Spa. The name is a play on the Haight Ashbury neighborhood near Golden Gate Park famed for the Summer of Love, hippies, marijuana and counterculture movement of the 1960s. The treatment is administered in a spot that’s as far removed from the nuts-and-granola scene as can be: a 6,000-square-foot, sixth floor facility with an indoor infinity saltwater pool and views of San Francisco.
The hot oil massage features hemp oil with cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive substance found in cannabis and hemp that has anti-inflammatory properties. Balms and oils with CBD — from Om Edible’s Lion Balm to Whoopi & Maya’s Rub to the H. Hemp Co.’s Magic Soothing Balm — have increasingly been recommended for topical application to ease the symptoms of arthritis, menstrual cramps and other aches and pains. (Your mileage may vary. Federal pot prohibition makes human trials of cannabis extra-costly and time-consuming.)
The human body contains an electrochemical signaling system in the nerves called the endocannabinoid system, and produces its own endocannabinoids to activate it, but they can also be triggered by plant-based cannabinoids, including the CBD in hemp.
At the St. Regis spa, hemp oil is substituted for traditional essential oils. Because it’s hemp oil, and not made from cannabis, it contains no THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance in cannabis that leads to euphoria. (Cannabidiol was first discovered in hemp oil in 1940, according to a National Academy of Sciences review.)
Separate men’s and women’s lounges serve up complimentary chocolate truffles and Champagne, and guests can indulge in cedar wood saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms and whirlpools, for an extra boost.
That’s enough to make a guest positively giddy, even without the euphoria of a marijuana high.