(DENVER) -- 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.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Entries in Lotion (2)
(DENVER) -- Lavender, aloe vera, and now, marijuana?
(CHICAGO) -- Imagine a lotion that can treat irreversible genetic skin diseases like psoriasis or life-threatening skin cancers like melanoma.
Researchers at Northwestern University say they're another step closer to creating a treatment that will naturally slip through the skin and genetically alter cells to treat a particular skin disease.
Using creams and lotions to target a particular problem area is seen as a great advantage among many dermatologists in treating a localized skin problem.
"We like to treat skin diseases with topical creams so that we avoid side effects from treatments taken by mouth or injected," said Dr. Amy Paller, chair of dermatology and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
But the difficulty among researchers has been creating a gene-altering topical agent that can successfully penetrate the skin to specifically treat genetic skin diseases.
"The problem is that our skin is a formidable barrier," Paller said. "Genetic material can't get through the skin through regular means."
Using nanotechnology, the researchers packaged gene-altering structures on top of tiny particles of gold designed to target epidermal growth factor receptor, a genetic marker associated with many types of skin cancers. The structure is designed to sneak through the skin and latch onto targets underneath without eliciting an immune response.
The researchers mixed the structure into the ointment Aquaphor, which is commonly used among many patients who have dry skin or irritation.
The researchers then rubbed the ointment onto the mice and onto human skin tissue and saw that the gene-altering structure in the lotion successfully penetrated the skin and was able to shut down the potentially cancer-causing protein, according to the findings published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The preliminary study is regarded as the first to deliver topical gene therapy effectively with no toxic effects.
But even with no documented side effects found in the study, nanotechnology treatments, especially those that rely on gold particles, can potentially cause problems in the body in the long term, according to Dr. Mark Abdelmalek, chief of the division of laser and dermatologic surgery at Drexel University School of Medicine.
"It's naive to expect that putting something like this in the body would have absolutely no side effects," he said.
Another unknown is whether the approach will work on humans, and what the long term effects may be, he said.
"It is temporarily changing the protein while the structure is in contact with the cells, but it doesn't permanently change the genetic defect," Abdelmalek said. "This is all brand new and exciting, but there's still many things we just don't know."
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio