Why CBD massages are so therapeutic
August 11, 2019
With the vast increase of knowledge being spread about the hemp extract CBD, many are utilizing this incredible cannabinoid’s abilities within massage topical oils and salves. As a cannabinoid medicine researcher, it's fascinating to see how these products work so well on myself as well as on my fiancé for numerous issues. Any masseuse that gains the knowledge of these products likely would quickly deploy them into action knowing how intense these anti-inflammatory abilities are. There are research studies that have proven that the plant’s extract is much more powerful than any other compound on the market to fight both muscle fatigue and inflammation - two issues that are always present in those in need of a massage. Let's examine why most people go out looking for a massage and why CBD is vital for a maximized outcome.
In our busy world there's more stress involved in the average day than most can handle. Anxiety alone causes muscles to clench or cramp, then they become inflamed and quickly nerves are impinged. So while many go out for a massage to relax their muscles, the reason for the search for a muscle rub is mostly due to pain. Back and neck injuries are very common and often discomfort from them is due to inflamed muscles, tendons, and other tissue around the disturbed area. There are many causes for pain, and massage therapists are trained to help clients with pain caused by a range of conditions; including sports or other injury, arthritis, cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, and the list goes on. A massage helps to stimulate blood circulation around your muscles, which increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This leads to increased flexibility, and for that reason many athletes will get them regularly.
Shirley Chi, MD, a California-based dermatologist, offers her own theory as to why CBD works so well in massages…"European studies showed that topical CBD decreased inflammation and pain, while avoiding the negative side effects associated with taking it orally, such as stomach upset or lowered absorption." These negative side effects she speaks of are in relation to pharmaceutical medications that can interact with CBD, which would require an inquisition between the client and massage therapist about a rather private topic - what medication they take. Other than doling out CBD to clients without knowing or having the ability to know their medical history, she went on to say…"I’m all for a CBD massage for sore muscles." It's exciting as doctors gain the knowledge that many patients have been trying to share with them for years about CBD. And at the same time, patients are gaining knowledge from doctors and others that have researched the pros and cons of using CBD - especially at large doses. For the most part it's all good, but a small percentage of the population needs to exercise caution concerning ingestion. Topical use for sore muscles and pain has already been a part of the CBD marketplace - but it's growing so quickly that some patients, including myself, are utilizing them on a daily basis. Now we see good reason for all massage therapists to follow suit.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine research indicates that a Swedish massage may help boost your immunity by increasing the type of cells that fight off viruses. A massage won’t stop a sickness once it has started, but it may play a role in increasing your immune system’s ability to prevent the sickness before it starts. A study from 2014 entitled, "TRP Channel Cannabinoid Receptors in Skin Sensation, Homeostasis, and Inflammation", touches on this topic well and ties in the necessity of cannabinoid medicine in massage for multitudes of health and wellness issues. The study states that "in the skin, cannabinoid lipids, whether of endogenous or exogenous origin, are capable of regulating numerous sensory, homeostatic, and inflammatory events", and goes on to peak everyone's interest in how CBD can play a vital role in our own health regime simply by gaining massages with it. The study states that "Cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory effects in skin, through both their actions on keratinocyte cytokine production and their modulation of immune cells" - scientific words that mean that cannabinoids applied topically will absorb into the skin and actually cause the endocannabinoid system to respond. This, in theory, means that not only would a CBD rub down potentially distance a consumer from skin cancers but also would help our internal organs. But there's more to this excitement as the research indicates that "Cannabinoids also exert modulatory effects on the development, maintenance, and function of hair follicles and sebaceous glands." This doesn't mean you'll grow hair because you've had a CBD massage but definitely could mean, for a woman, the next shave after a leg rub would be much more pleasant.
"I've been using CBD massage oils for over a year now" says Monica Blair of California, a masseuse…"I was a medic at Little Creek (a naval base in Virginia) when I was young when a friend of mine shared with me how hemp oils would make massages better, and I had to learn more." When I asked her if she ever used THC in massage creams or oils she responded, "THC is against the law but hemp grows all over there. You can get hemp oil easy. When I figured out that I could mix CBD oil into the hemp oils I was already using for massages, my clients were really pleased with the outcome; everyone wanted more. After that the thought to mix in essential oils to make it all smell better came to mind so I did that and everyone talks about it. I go home and smell good all night because I get so much of it on me." I asked her what brands she used, "I don't use a brand, I buy hemp oil and then get CBD and put it in there but I've noticed that some of the products that have been given to me to sample seem easier to work with. What I make is more of a liquid, it has its drawbacks compared to the items I'm seeing in the marketplace." I asked her how her clients do when she uses other massage oil instead of the CBD…"I don't so they don't! If we're going to use a natural hemp oil there's no reason not to make it stronger with the CBD. I haven't had a client yet that's asked me not to use it. I tell people it comes from the Hemp plant which is where rope comes from and where paper came from; people like that thought."
Many have spoken of using CBD for massages but it seems that the writings of it aren't as intense as they could be. When coupling research together and analyzing it quickly the findings are much more than what one would think. Inflammation and pain reduction would be the primary pattern of thought, but instead we've reviewed research that shows us that topically applied CBD does much more than relax the muscles under our skin. It treats our skin nicely as it absorbs into our body. There's not going to be copious amounts of it in our blood, or even much of an amount at all - but without a doubt the science says our skin absorbs most of what we touch and this means it will absorb what's massaged into us. Now let's all go out and get a CBD massage!
Mike Robinson: Founder, Global Cannabinoid Research Center