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What’s It Like Taking a Bath With a CBD Bath Bomb?

Life Elements Mercury in Retrograde CBD bath bomb

Here at The Mary Sue, we’re sometimes sent samples and products to review, and one caught my eye—a special CBD oil-infused bath bomb created to wink at the astrological ups and downs of Mercury in Retrograde. The bath bomb comes courtesy of Life Elements, an outfit that specializes in natural skincare as well as CBD products aimed at alleviating pain and stress.

What’s CBD? As Medical News Today explains, “CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD. CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.”

That page also has a big caveat: “People take or apply cannabidiol to treat a variety of symptoms, but its use is controversial. There is some confusion about what it is and how it affects the human body. Cannabidiol (CBD) may have some health benefits, and it may also pose risks. Products containing the compound are now legal in many American states where marijuana is not.”

In the course of the year, it seems as though CBD oil is absolutely everywhere. It’s gone from limited availability (in New York City) at specialty smoke shops and health food stores to being an add-on option to my latte at the coffee shop near The Mary Sue office, found in brownies at the local grocery store, and advertised as part of new “calming” bottled drinks at bodegas. It’s not psychoactive, but as a mostly unregulated industry, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. You can smoke it, swallow the oil, chew gummies, spread it on as creams, shampoos, and all sorts of tinctures—and now, thanks to Life Elements, I was about to soak in it.

The special limited-edition Mercury in Retrograde bath bomb (currently sold out—next available during Retrograde in March) is the maximum strength of CBD (250mg) that Life Elements offers. Their other bath bombs come in 50, 100, and 200mg strength. Based on the testimonials from the company’s website, users praise the pain-relieving and sleep-inducing elements of the bombs, as well as their pleasant smell and skin-soothing qualities.

I know many people who have made CBD products a part of their daily regimen, primarily for anxiety, while others swear by its anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve also seen it argued that since there’s no psychoactive element, some people report not really feeling anything as a result of using CBD, and thus question if it’s a panacea or a new kind of snake oil.

CBD partisans point out that that the lack of a radical “effect” for an unafflicted person taking CBD is rather the point: if you don’t have a pressing condition like anxiety or chronic pain, you won’t necessarily feel anything from CBD. What afflicted users often report feeling is a lessening of those symptoms: decreased anxiety, decreased pain, increased mobility, better sleep. Glowing testimonials about CBD products fill up almost every page where they are offered. I have a lot of curiosity about CBD, hence my keenness to give this a go.

So how was my Life Elements bath bomb? I was excited to try it, and saved it for a night when I was in need of maximum relaxation. It’s a pretty thing, with flowers embedded in the cream-colored bomb (each strength has a different type of flower). Dropped into a hot bath, it fizzed delightfully for a while, and smelled very pleasant. The little bits of floating flower in the bath was also aesthetically pleasing. I soaked for about 40 minutes to make sure I was getting the full benefits (recommended time is 25-30 minutes).

I don’t have chronic pain, but I do have pretty gnarly muscle aches that come from being hunched over a computer all day, as well as bad ache-y wrists from typing nonstop. I felt quite soothed post-bath, and my wrists have behaved themselves better this week than they generally do. My skin was also super-soft and though it normally tends toward dry, felt well-nourished, and I did have a nice sleep thereafter. How much of this can be attributed to the bath bomb and how much to the power of suggestion or the powers of a hot bath it’s hard to say.

It’s impossible for me to testify as to some of more over-the-moon reviews these bath bombs receive from people who have used them to alleviate more serious conditions, or to recommend that you purchase one in order to achieve results like the testimonials. However, it was a lovely enough bath that if the Retrograde bath bombs, at $26, were more affordable, I would have stocked up. In non-Retrograde types, the 50mg is $14, 100mg is $16.50 and 200mg is $20. There’s also a “Men’s Edition” at 200mg and $20 that has the apparently more “manly” scents of pine and cedar involved, because even smells are gendered! Honestly, I tease; if some dudes need to buy a “man’s” bath bomb in order to indulge themselves and take a relaxing soak, go to, go to.

Considering that LUSH bath bombs run from $4-$10, and I regularly drop the same for scented Epsom salts for pain relief, these could make a nice present for someone in your life who’s interested in CBD or for yourself. I once got a regular bath bomb as a Secret Santa present and loved it, and getting one of these would have made me very happy. If you’ve got the cash, this makes a pretty nifty holiday present or stocking stuffer.

All CBD elements aside, I can say without hesitation that Life Elements’ bath bomb smells great and is good for your skin, and without harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrance, it’s a nice choice for people who are sensitive to those ingredients. According to the website, the only ingredients present are: Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Goat Milk, Colloidal Oatmeal, Honey, Maltodextrin, Grapeseed oil, Olive Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp Seed) Oil, Goldenseal, Arnica, Balsam Copaiba, Eucalyptus, Calendula Flower Extract, Neem, Ylang Ylang, Hemp Cannabidiol (CBD), and Witch Hazel.

I’m curious if Mary Suevians have experimented with CBD oil and related products. Talk to me about your experiences in the comments—the topic continues to fascinate me.

(images: Life Elements)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.