cbd oil massage: all your questions answered
cbd and massages have both been known to bring about states of relaxation. people have been reaping the benefits of massage therapy for millennia, and while cbd may be a few thousand years behind, we are finally able to incorporate cbd into our daily lives. in our opinion, it’s better late than never, and massage is one area that is starting to integrate cbd into its realm. is it actually legit, though, or is it just another case where trends are being taken advantage of? is there anything truly gained by combining the two in a cbd oil massage?
a cbd oil massage can be beneficial, and may be helpful in further alleviating many of the symptoms that massage is already effective in reducing, such as chronic pain, stress, and soreness. cbd’s potential to reduce swelling and exhibit calming responses in the body may further enhance a massage.
the type of cbd product in use and type of massage can also affect the overall experience of a cbd massage, as well as its effectiveness. some oils or lotions may be more potent than others, or may be better to use for reasons besides potency. likewise, different massage techniques exist for many reasons, and could potentially change cbd’s role within the massage.
what is a cbd massage?
a cbd massage is simply a massage in which some cbd oil product is used within a massage therapy procedure. this cbd product is usually an oil-based topical product, ideally organic and formulated with other ingredients that are good for your body as well as your skin.
it’s easy to see why topical cbd products could make for a great massage oil or lotion. cbd is safe and nontoxic, whether ingested or applied topically, and its effects are nonpsychoactive, meaning you will not experience any “high” that is associated with smoking cannabis with a high thc content. if you drive to a massage therapist to partake, the cbd you enjoy will do nothing to impair your ability to drive home afterwards.
even resorts such as the ritz carlton in los angeles are on board, offering two separate cbd massage treatments as of 2018! but if you don’t want to fork over $245 for a 50-minute massage or $120 for a cbd pedicure, there are still plenty of ways you can experience a cbd massage. (for the record, you won’t find us at the ritz, either: prices aside, there is no mention of the product they are using for us to research its quality and efficacy, and that’s a major red flag).
many people enjoy massages as an extracurricular means of relaxation, but there are a lot of specific therapeutic applications for massage therapy too. it turns out that pressure from one human’s hands onto another’s body can be an effective treatment to help with anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, and insomnia. it can also help people with chronic diseases, including potential life-threatening illnesses like cancer.
we all have pressure points throughout our bodies, and proper application of pressure to different areas of the body can deactivate the fight-or-flight response inside every one of us. when this happens, our parasympathetic nervous system takes over, promoting rest (and digestion). it can also shut off the brain’s ability to create fearful thoughts, which is great when we have no need for our minds to be running amok.
chronic pain, muscle soreness, and soft tissue injuries also commonly employ massage therapy among their treatment regimens. the benefits of massages include reduced tension, increased circulation, joint mobility and flexibility, and stimulation of the lymphatic system, which can result in removal of toxins from our bodies. it can also reduce stress hormones and sharpen mental alertness, and can be good for skin tone as well.
the type of massage also matters in order to maximize the incorporation of cbd. a swedish massage is one where your whole body is worked on, and is designed to relieve tension and attain a relaxed state. other whole-body massages include deep tissue and shiatsu massages, which utilize different pressure levels and techniques. more location-specific forms such as reflexology or sports massages also exist, and the way cbd is used in conjunction with these different methods can also vary in its own right.
how does cbd work in massages?
every one of us has an endocannabinoid system (ecs), which has receptors all over our bodies, from head to toe. when used topically, cbd locally stimulates those receptors where the product has been applied, causing an increased production of our own endocannabinoids for that area. the ecs plays an active role in regulating many of our other bodily functions and systems, and cbd can help activate it in order to work towards restoring homeostasis in our bodies.
in order to maximize the effect of a cbd massage, there are a few things you should pay attention to. first is the base of the cbd product being used. always make sure your cbd topical rub or lotion is primarily oil-based. jojoba oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil are all excellent ingredients, as they are nourishing to your skin and can be readily and deeply absorbed due to their complexions.
even if a topical is oil based, you also want to make sure it is all-natural. seeing a water-based topical product should be a dead giveaway that it is not all-natural. cbd is fat soluble, and unlike oils, water is not a fat. thus, a water-based cbd topical would then need to have some type of binding agent and stabilizer. if such a product even comes with an ingredient list, that list is likely to have chemicals that are far from natural (and probably hard to pronounce). your skin is the largest organ of your body; and that’s not the kind of crap you want to put on it.
secondly, use the most potent cbd product you can find. of all the ways to consume cbd, your skin is among the least absorbent. if you think about it, this inherently makes sense, given it is exposed to our environment, and thus serves as a barrier to protect our vital organs from all the threats that exist in the world. a lot of topical products do not contain anywhere near enough cbd to actually be effective (link to advertorial), and may only be utilizing trace amounts of cbd in order to slap a higher price tag on a given product.
in a situation where a low-potency product is being used on a specific area of your body such as your knee or wrist, the massage aspect may still provide benefit. the same also goes for a whole body massage on a larger scale: while the massage itself may be of value, a low-potency product might not actually end up giving your body much, if any usable cbd.
on top of this, the cbd massage oil may only be used as a means of hydrating your skin and reducing friction. in these cases, a little bit of oil can go a long ways, resulting in another possible way you could receive little to no cbd in a massage. in this case, use of a low-potency cbd product would mean an even smaller amount of cbd is being dispersed across your entire body. in short, it is important to use the most potent product you can in order to allow your body to get as much cbd as possible out of your massage.
what are the benefits of a cbd massage?
when areas of our body experience tension, stress, or pain (whether mentally or physically), an imbalance of some sort is likely causing it and/or resulting from it. because the ecs is responsible for homeostatic processes within our bodies, it can help regulate areas of our body that have become deficient or overexcited.
cb1 receptors in our brain and central nervous system are involved in pain sensation, sleep, mood, motor functions, and many other processes. cb2 receptors, on the other hand, play a vital role in our immune functions and in fighting inflammation. both of these receptors could be activated through a cbd oil massage, further boosting the effectiveness of massage therapy for pain and inflammation.
there are also tremendous potential skin benefits to a cbd massage. hemp seed oil (which also comes from cannabis) is present in many all-natural cbd topicals, and it is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. there are often other oils and fats present in topical products that are great for your skin: ingredients such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and kokum butter are all incredibly gentle, hydrating, and nourishing, and make for great ingredients in your skincare products, whether they contain cbd or not.
colloidal oatmeal and manuka oil (which is 100% vegan, unlike manuka honey) are other examples of cbd therapy cream ingredients that are soothing and provide healing properties. they can also do wonders on wounds and blemishes, and could be useful in treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis while further promoting a massage’s inherent state of relaxation.
another option is a cbd body butter, which utilizes gentle and soothing ingredients such as lavender, blue chamomile, ashwagandha, and vanilla bean in addition to the aforementioned oils to provide nourishment and hydration. these ingredients provide antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and irritation while calming the skin externally as a massage works on your deeper layers.
or, say you’re experiencing tightness or soreness in your joints or muscles. a cbd muscle rub with cooling and painkilling elements of camphor, wintergreen, spearmint, and menthol could be the perfect option for a massage oil. anti-inflammatory properties are also present via clove and turmeric, while maintaining all of the same hydrating and nourishing properties from the base oils.
you may see some lotions, creams, butters, etc that are marketed specifically as cbd massage oils. if you come across these, treat them with the same scrutiny as you would any other cbd product. make sure they are made with high quality, all-natural and organic ingredients, and that the end product is potent. at the end of the day, any oil-based cbd topical product can work great for a massage. it is not necessary to find one that says it is specifically for massages.
long story short, massages stimulate healing in the body and allow it to relax, further promoting conditions for the body to heal on its own. cbd is a safe way to potentially increase the efficacy of massage therapy, and can be even more beneficial if loaded with other good things for your skin.
comparing cbd massages vs. regular massages
if you want to compare a cbd massage to that of a regular one, the best way to do it would be to make all other elements of your massages the same. that would mean having each massage in the same place, by the same therapist, using the same technique, for the same amount of time, etc. even if you do all of that, there will still be some variability because our bodies are always changing, meaning there may be slight differences from day to day. (ever woke up with a stiff neck that isn’t normally bothersome?)
regardless of whether you can conduct such a controlled experiment to perfectly compare the two types of massages, it’s entirely possible for perceived results to be subjective and varied no matter what. some people could report increased enjoyment of a cbd oil massage due to the effects of the massage itself, not necessarily from the cbd. a placebo effect could also play a role.
conversely, others may not experience a perceived difference between regular massages and those where cbd was involved, and that could be due to reasons such as low-potency cbd products just as much as it could be due to an inability to distinguish between the effects of the massage from the effects of the cbd oil. it’s also entirely possible for cbd to be working effectively without a person noticing its effects. (this is also true when taking cbd drops or edibles.)
before, during, and after a cbd massage
due to the skin’s low absorption rate of cbd, it is even more important than normal to always shower before receiving a cbd oil massage. by doing so, you ensure that your skin is clean and free of anything that might further prevent cbd from being absorbed. otherwise, there isn’t really much else you’re going to want to do differently from a normal massage, which would include drinking enough water and doing whatever else makes you as comfortable as possible. who knows, maybe take some cbd?
regarding the “during” part, we want to reiterate the importance of knowing what exact cbd product is going to be used on your body. cbd is not fda approved, which ultimately means you are fully responsible for verifying any cbd product you consume. you’re actually going to want to know this ahead of time so that you can look up a list of ingredients in order to confirm its potency and verify that the product has been third party lab tested. anything less could result in you paying extra for a cbd massage just because of the name, and we don’t want to see you taken advantage of!
after receiving a cbd massage, make sure you do not shower! you should already be clean from beforehand, and lots of oils and good things are on your skin after a massage. showering will remove everything still on there before your skin has a chance to absorb it! sure, you will have already received some benefit, but there’s still so much nourishment left to take advantage of.
one more thing: it is also possible to experience the benefits of cbd massage on a smaller scale by massaging your own self. you may not be able to give yourself a total body massage, but there are plenty of areas you can massage some of your favorite cbd topical product into and experience that benefit. you could also do the same to a loved one or a friend that you want to pamper for a quick minute with a nice neck rub. after all, we know mother nature has your back. it’s even nicer when your friends do, too.