Empower Oil & Soaking Salts
Sometimes you meet people in the cannabis industry that rock your socks, Trista of Empower Bodycare is one of those people. Trista’s the brains behind Empower Bodycare, a Portland company that creates cannabis infused topical oils, a CBD-only healing hemp oil, and cannabis infused soaking salts. The oils and soaking salts are non-psychoactive and don’t enter the bloodstream, so you won’t get high or test positive for THC. All products are vegan, non-toxic, non-GMO and hypoallergenic. Topicals are a great way for people who want to get pain relief in a safe and effective way. The essential oils and cannabinoids provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects by interacting with our skin’s endocannabinoid system.
Trista was kind enough to meet with me for a drink to talk a bit about her products and to give me a little background into how and why she got her start. When I met up with Trista, I was immediately struck by her open and honest attitude. She was smart, FUNNY, and I felt this sense of comfort that I normally never feel during meetings with new people.
Back in 2003, Trista was caught with 3 small plants, she awaited trial for 11 months for one count felony for manufacturing a controlled substance, one count of intent to distribute, and one count possession of over an ounce. About 8 1/2 minutes later a jury of her peers came back with the verdict of NOT GUILTY and she couldn’t help but think about the time and money wasted on those 8 1/2 minutes…such a shame. Trista couldn’t be relieved for too long, because the next day, there she was on the front page of the local section in the paper with an article about her acquittal. She was pissed! They didn’t interview her at all, and certainly had no qualms about calling her out as a cannabis user, using her name, age, and the neighborhood she lived in.
Following that life-changing experience and fueled by her anger (and admitted righteous indignation), Trista found a new passion in cannabis activism. Not only did she start speaking publicly on the issue, but she lobbied state/federal representatives, worked on a campaign legalizing medical dispensaries in Oregon and joined national protests. She was eventually arrested again, but this time on purpose and in DC when she was at a protest with Americans for Safe Access, Steph Sherer, and some other bad ass local activists from the Bay Area. After a six hour jail stay, the name EMPOWER came to Trista and in 2013 she launched her company.
When asked what EMPOWER stands for…
“Ending Marijuana Prohibition by Organizing Women to Enact Reform”
Trista hopes that she can help EMPOWER women, or people in pain with her products and by speaking with her you can hear the passion and honesty in her voice. She did this as a way to help her mother and it turned out to be something bigger than she had imagined and she works diligently to make sure everything’s done right. When she found out that she was using a vitamin E oil with GMOs, she dumped those batches and started over. You’d think she’d be worried about money lost, but Trista told me that her bottom line isn’t financial, it’s where she can do the most good in an ethical way, “I’m a healer, not an asshole,” she said. “The quality of the ingredients in my products are what set them apart. Finding sustainably-sourced, non-GMO ingredients, buying locally, this is what is important – healing holistically, helping others. I want to make a big impact with a smaller footprint.”
You can find Empower Body Care products on both the Washington and Oregon Medical markets. I asked if it’s hard dealing with both programs. Trista mentioned that while they do have different rules and regulations, Oregon’s market is WAY more regulated, and thus easier to navigate, than Washington’s market. When I asked Trista if she was hoping to sell her products on the recreational side, she had this to say, “Yes. We are in negotiations with a Washington company to license Empower and they should be on the Washington adult-use market in 2016. You shouldn’t need a card to get natural, non-psychoactive topical pain relief.”
Empower Therapeutic Soaking Salts ($10):
SOAK IT WHEN IT HURTS
To cure a cold my mom swears by two things: a bowl of hearty chicken-noodle soup, and soaking in a steamy bath with soaking salts. I’ve gone through phases of liking them, but baths were never my thing. Part of it’s the small tub, but mostly I find it difficult to relax, and doesn’t that defeat the purpose? I’ve mentioned on here how I’m currently dealing with chronic pain in a few areas due to age and arthritis, and to help ease that pain I’ll do just about anything….even soak in a hot bath! Empower’s soaking salts are triple infused with cannabis oil using a secret method and contain pharmaceutical grade Epsom, Dead Sea, and Pink Himalayan salts, grape seed, jojoba and sweet almond oils, mixed tocopherols, and a blend of essential oils that include wintergreen, bergamot and Oregon lavender. You can use Empower’s soaking salts for total body relaxation, injuries, sore muscles, arthritis, dermatitis, neuropathy and they have been reported to help with sleep.
The day I decided to use my Empower Therapeutic Soaking Salts I had a party to attend and felt like I was coming down with something. My head was pounding and I felt like these soaking salts were my only option. To use the soaking salts I followed the instructions on the package and filled the tub 1/3 of the way and then added 4 oz (1 package) of the soaking salts to the water and filled it to my desired level. I took a small bong hit to get my head in the right place and found the perfect Pandora station before finally dipping my toes in. The Empower Soaking Salts are dryer than other soaking salts I’ve used in the past, so my tub wasn’t too slippery, but you should still enter with care.
As soon as I was comfortable I closed my eyes and did some relaxing breathing exercises. Inhaling the soft, but delicious aroma the salts gave off put me in a tranquil state, I felt like I was in my own secluded meadow smelling wafts of fresh lavender. Any pain I had in my head and body was slowly drifting away, much like when you make a wish blowing seeds of a dandelion. I soaked for about a half an hour, though the recommended time is between 20-40 minutes. As I was drying myself, my skin felt soft and was in need of that rehydration, my headache was gone, and the pain in my hip that’s always there was gone for the rest of the night. The best part was the long nap I took afterward, I felt like a chihuahua enjoying long slumber in a basket of peeps. I was really impressed with how well the blend of cannabis oil and essential oils that were used worked at alleviating my ailments. I’ve never used essential oils to help heal and was surprised to see that Wintergreen is used as an analgesic that can help treat arthritis, gout, or other joint and bone pain. Bergamot is an essential oil that can be used as an anti-depressant/stimulant and as an analgesic is great for headaches, muscle aches, and sprains. Lavender, the most popular of the three is often used as a way to induce sleep with it’s calming effects, it’s useful if you’re fighting insomnia, headaches or migraines, depression, anxiety, or other kinds of emotional stress. I highly recommend these Empower Soaking Salts to anyone reading this! You get mental clarity, strain/pain relief and all you have to do is get your shvitz on to achieve it.
Empower Topical Oils (Black Label $28-$32/White Label $24-$26):
PUT IT WHERE IT HURTS
The main reason I got my medical card was to get relief from the chronic pain in my hip, toe and back without the use of pain pills. Flower and edibles are great at assisting with that, but lately I’ve been looking to topicals and salves to help get relief. I’ve been using Empower Oil for about 2 months and feel like it’s helped me. First, you can literally take these anywhere! I took them with me on a trip to LA and boy did they come in handy! They’re compact enough for you to stick them in your pocket or makeup bag when you need relief on the go. I never leave my house without my Empower Oil! One of the things I don’t like about using some of the topical oils and salves is the greasy feeling left on your hands after application, with Empower’s easy roll-on application you don’t get that!
Empower Oil is good at helping with different kinds of pain many may experience and they don’t get you high! Empower Oil also help with skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, cold sores, and blisters. A lot of that is because of the jojoba oil, as it’s the most like the oils our skin produces, it absorbs faster and better. Empower Oils really do work on burns and blisters, I burned my thumb and used Empower Oil for about a day and a half and the burn was gone and didn’t even blister!
Trista mentioned that she’s gotten some good responses from arthritis and gout sufferers, music to my ears! Once in a blue moon my husband gets painful gout attacks and it’s nice to have a second option to the strong pain pills he’s prescribed. I suffer from osteo-arthritis in my right toe and felt that Empower Oil helped ease the aching that always ensues after a long run. I made sure that I rubbed the oil deeply into the affected area to reach it’s full effect. I haven’t tried it for things like headaches, but on the testimonials page some have said it’s helped. Empower can be used to get relief from: sore muscles, bruising, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, cramps, neuropathy, and more! If you’ve tried these or other cannabis topicals and found that they don’t work for you, keep in mind that sometimes you need to try them more than once before they begin to work.
Black Label: triple infused cannabis oil, grapeseed, jojoba and sweet almond oils, mixed tocopherols, and essential oils: wintergreen, bergamot, and Oregon Lavender and a proprietary blend of essential oils.
White Label: CBDA: Cannabidiolic acid, hemp oil, grape seed, jojoba and almond oil, mixed tocopherols, essentials oils: wintergreen, bergamot, and Oregon lavender.