By Neelay Patil:
Lavender, aloe vera, and now, marijuana?
The makers of a new line of lotions promise to light up your skin care routine with a special ingredient: cannabis.
The Denver-based company Appothecanna is taking advantage of Amendment 64, the newly-enacted law that legalizes recreational marijuana use in Colorado. Some varieties of the company's creams, lip balm and body sprays contain cannabis flower oil, which had been illegal due to its high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC - pot's psychoactive ingredient.
"THC is what people resonate with, and that's what most consumers are looking for when they are buying a product like this," Apothecanna owner James Kennedy told ABC News.
THC-containing industrial products, such as soaps and lotions, are exempted from drug controls as long as the THC does not enter the body, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. And Kennedy claims the pot-infused products, which he refers to as the medicated line, are safe and effective without the side effects of smoking weed.
"Everything is for the skin," he said. "It's not meant to be inebriating in any way. It's added in there to enhance the properties of the other ingredients."
Apothecanna claims the topical products have the potential to relieve pain, but medical experts have not reached a consensus when it comes to cannabis-based skin care products.
"Without definitive data demonstrating efficacy of botanical ingredients such as cannabis, more research must be done to evaluate their utility for skin conditions," said Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.
The pot-enhanced products carry a disclaimer that they're "not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. "
Apothecanna produces a separate line of products containing cannabis seed oil, which, unlike the flower oil, is low in THC but high in skin-soothers.
"The seeds of the cannabis plant are rich in nutrients and essential fatty acids," said dermatologist Zeichner. "The oils can help hydrate the skin and improve skin barrier function."
Kennedy said the cannabis seed oil creams do not produce a "high" or show up on a drug test, but claims the "calming creme" can reduce stress and soothe muscles, while the "stimulating" version can firm the skin and energize the mind.
But Colorado residents eager to work more weed into their skin care regimen will have to wait: the cannabis flower oil-based products are only available to medical marijuana patients until retail marijuana stores are allowed to open in January 2014.
Apothecanna plans to promote its products at the Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. A 2-ounce bottle of the extra-strength medicated crème is currently priced at $18.