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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Seeking Salvation: Topical answers prayers from those with muscle pain

By Leslie Kelly EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

A bug bite was the inspiration for Verdelux founder’s Chris Lin’s quest to create Salvation, a soothing salve that brings big relief. The aptly-named topical containing equal parts THC and CBD has been a game changer for me, relaxing tight muscles and putting a whole lot more pep in my step.

The product came five years after Lin’s Bellingham-based company launched its award-winning lineup of edibles back in 2014. My husband’s a big fan of those tasty treats, and while I’m not an edibles consumer, I’m constantly on the lookout for creams, rubs and salves that promise to make life more comfortable.

I’ve tried a medicine cabinet’s worth of products that ultimately fall short on the promised relief. Icy Hot left me cold. Ben Gay enveloped me in a cloud of eucalyptus that announced my infirmity before I hobbled into the room. Aspercreme? Just didn’t cut it when I broke my shoulder, busted my foot, slipped and fell on the sidewalk. (Yes, I’m certifiably clumsy.)

I’m not sure exactly what nagging twinge was bugging me when my dear spouse brought me an especially welcome gift in the form of a jar of Salvation. Mind you, I didn’t even bother to open it for a while. By this time in my advancing years – turning 62 in September – I’ve become deeply skeptical.

Still, when the offer of a shoulder rub after a day at the keyboard came along with the proviso to crack open the jar and give Salvation a try, I finally softened. Now, I wonder: Why’d I wait so long?

Lin said he had spent time searching for relief, too. His source of pain were bug bites and when he tried over-the-counter treatments such as cortisone cream, it did little to calm the extreme reaction he suffered. So, he started to experiment.

“I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, but I did a lot of research and tried about 1,000 versions before finding something that really worked,” said Lin. He invited friends to try his experiments, eventually settling on a combination of essential oils such as frankincense and myrrh in a base of organic coconut and olive oils.

“I wanted it to be effective without the cannabis first, something that was family-friendly,” Lin said.

He tried the non-cannabis version on his daughter’s eczema and after a week, it completely cleared up. “It hasn’t been an issue since,” he said.

Since becoming a Salvation convert, I’ve started applying a dab on my creaky knees before going out on hikes and it’s made a huge difference. Feeling warmed up before walking out the door means I’m likely to last longer on the trail. On a recent trip to the North Cascades National Park, I logged 10 miles in one day! Granted, I was huffing and puffing up the 1,500-foot vertical gain to Pyramid Lake, but I made it.

One of the best, most surprising uses I’ve come up with so far has to do with the aftermath of a rather energetic flossing session when my overworked gums started to throb. I rubbed a bit on my chin, just below my lower lip. The pain melted away. And I sawed lots of logs when my head hit the pillow, a bonus.

It might sound far-fetched and I’m not preaching the use of Salvation for anybody else. Just saying it works for me and I’m eternally grateful.

Also, looking forward to trying a new product that Lin has in development, a version of Salvation that’s made from locally-sourced ingredients like cedar and spruce. How very PNW.

In the meantime, I’m going to dip into another product in the Verdelux lineup, another topical called Mercy. This lotion has a whopping 200 mg of THC and another 200 mg of CBD in a 2-oz. tube. It took first prize for topicals in the 2019 High Times Cannabis Cup. That might explain why it’s been a challenge to find it.

I’m not mad, though. I’m stocked up on Salvation for now, a product that comes at a price that might cause some sticker shock. Yet, even at $45, it’s worth it, especially if I can make a jar last a couple of months. Amen!

Leslie Kelly is a longtime food and wine writer who started her career at The Spokesman-Review in the 1990s. She and her husband are traveling the country in a cantankerous motor home, chronicling their adventures on Going Mobile.
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