It smells like your favorite cannabis-infused caramel. And when you rub it onto your skin it feels warm and soothing. Empower Oil is a topical that is good for what ails you. No, it won’t get you high, but it will make your aching joints and muscles feel a heck of a lot better.

Trista Okel had made cannaoil—cannabis-infused olive oil—capsules for years to relieve pain and anxiety, as well as to help fellow medical marijuana patients. She hadn’t really thought about dabbling in topical oils until a camping trip a few years ago.

“I was camping with a friend and she twisted her foot on log,” she recalls. “We didn’t have any ice or ibuprofen to bring down the swelling and were miles away from any medical help. However, I did have a bunch of cannaoil capsules.”

Trista broke up a bunch of the capsules and applied the oil to her friend’s foot every few hours. Not only did it help with the pain, but also within a week her foot was heeled. There was hardly any noticeable bruising.

She knew she was on to something so Trista started tinkering with the formula to help her mother with her advanced arthritis. It worked, but there was one problem: the oil smelled pretty bad. She also didn’t want her mother, who worked for a state agency that, ironically enough, was dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse programs, to reek of weed.

Over the course of eight years (this was not her full-time gig), Trista did her research and learned aromatherapy. She mixed in essential oils to make it both smell better and improve the oil’s effect. “I wanted to help my mom with her arthritis,” she says. “I really had no intention of selling it.”

But sell she did, and it’s a good thing, too. Since Trista launched Empower Oil in May 2013, the feedback she’s gotten from patients has been overwhelming. “For the longest time I was really surprised when people told me it worked,” she admits. “I get feedback every day and every time I’m taken aback. These are people who have used the typical over-the-counter remedies for years with little success. I shed tears of joy very often.”

As one satisfied patient gushed: “Thanks for being our family’s replacement to an entire medicine cabinet: Aleve/Tylenol/Lidoderm Patch/Metacam/Icy Hot/pharmaceuticals that we don’t use anymore.”

Empower oil comes in two sizes in a very nifty and convenient roll-on, and Trista has recently launched Empower Therapeutic Soaking Salts, both of which are available at MMJ dispensaries in Washington State and Oregon. Eventually she would like to have a full collection of products in a variety of scents, including a skin-care line.

“Helping give people relief is the most important thing for me,” notes Trista. “Like my tagline says: ‘Put it where it hurts.’ ”

Have you tried cannabis-infused topicals? Tells us what works for you in the comments below.

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