When I first heard about L.A.'s new cannabis-infused mani/pedi service I was equally excited and skeptical. Flashbacks of my mom finding my stash of pot hidden within my stereo speaker when I was a teen quickly came to mind — then came the questions. Will I get high? Do I want to get high? Am I allowed to get high? But more importantly, are the pain- and stress-relieving benefits people talk about actually real or was this just another trendy add-on?
The service launched this winter, just ahead of California's 2018 recreational legalization, at Bellacures, a mini chain of six nail spas in Southern California. It's in partnership with Kush Queen, a line of CBD-infused bath bombs, body scrubs, soaks, and chocolates, all of which are included in the service. (The brand also sells pre-rolls, but don't expect a joint with this service.) The manicure rings in at $50 and the pedicure is $55.
Like I mentioned, the whole thing piqued my interest because it's marketed as something to relieve stress and pain — not because it gets you stoned. I suffer from painful autoimmune flare-ups, which means I get symptoms of the flu whenever my body reacts to something it feels is dangerous. Super fun. I've heard about CBD (a cannabis compound that people say helps relax you and relieve pain without getting you blazed like products with THC do), so I decided to give it a try. Find out how it all went down, ahead.
“Are you excited?” my manicurist asked when I arrived after work one night. I felt a little nervous but replied with vigor: “Yes, I am!” (Maybe I was more excited than I realized?) I picked a color and she escorted me back to my chair. What followed was a luxurious, spa-level mani/pedi: soak, exfoliation, massage, polish application — you get the gist. But this felt more decadent and fun.
The service started with the plopping and fizzing of a lavender bath bomb that was pre-loaded with CBD oil. I was immediately captivated by the relaxing scent and decided to add gels onto my service because my nails get super dry and chip often — an all too annoying side effect of most autoimmune illnesses. I will say, this was one of the best gel manicures I’ve gotten in L.A.: The precisely-applied ruby color is still glowing and perfectly glossy well over a week later.
During the service, I felt far more relaxed than usual — not in any one particular area (like my feet or hands) but just in general. This may have been a placebo, but nevertheless, it was very enjoyable and soothing. When I finished, I was given a little CBD-laced chocolate to enjoy later and was sent on my way. (CBD doesn't get you high, the experts say, but I avoided taking it before driving home because I hadn't tried it before and some warn that it can make you tired.)
The Big Question
Now, the question you’ve been waiting for: Did I get high? Though I felt more relaxed than usual, I didn’t feel high during or immediately after the service. And as far as that little chocolate? It wasn’t until about 10 PM that I decided to pop it in my mouth. I felt evidently more relaxed after, like I took a single inhale from a joint, drank three sips of delicious red wine, or just ate seven chocolate bars. It was just enough to relax me for the rest of the evening so I could forget about any aches and pains and general work/life stress. My only piece of advice? Take the chocolate during the service (and maybe grab an Uber home) in order to get the full effect.
Now that I’ve had a safe and satisfying brush with CBD, I plan to use it as a fun and relaxing alternative to OTC pain relievers and my go-to nail appointment. In fact, I would go back in heartbeat, even just for the chocolate.
Bellacures Canna Cure Manicure ($50) and Pedicure ($55), available at multiple locations.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.
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