Cannabis is one of the most studied plants in the past two decades. Research has shown that the cells that make up most of the outermost layer of the skin (keratinocytes) contain a significant amount of cannabinoid receptors sites (CB1 and CB2) that function much like a lock.1 The keys, made from either the body’s own endocannabinoids (such as anadamide), from plant-based cannabinoids (such as cannabis or certain spice plants), fit the locks perfectly. Once unlocked, the cell can realize a host of critical functions such as homeostasis (balance and stability), protection from invading microbes and the healing of inflammation (due to allergies, injury, sunburn, dehydration, toxins, bacteria, fungi, or viruses). One study reported that the non-psychoactive cannabinoids CBN and CBD were able to penetrate the skin (primarily CB2 receptors) at rates ten times that of THC thus delivering potent anti-inflammatory and immune modulating action to the skin without affecting the mind. Based on this evidence topical CBD application can provide a potent therapeutic synergy relevant to localized inflammation and pain management. One of the easiest ways to utilize CBD is through topical application. Topicals are applied to the skin and are not absorbed into the bloodstream, so they do not produce the typical “high” associated with smoking or ingesting Cannabis products. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found both CB1 and CB2 receptors are located in many areas of human skin, including hair follicles, sweat glands and nerve fiber bundles. This finding implies that the chemical compounds found in Hemp can directly affect these receptors without requiring a passage through the blood/brain barrier, thus keeping the user from feeling “stoned”.
CBD salve, lotion, and oil have been reported to help reduce pain almost immediately, and there are numerous reports of topical cannabinoids working wonders for muscular pain, arthritic joints, tender joints, muscle spasms, phantom limb pain, peripheral neuropathy and inflammatory skin conditions, and there have not been any reported adverse effects associated with its use, topically. The health benefits of CBD oil create a uniquely healing experience and the anti-inflammatory properties, extreme muscle relaxation and pain relief, provide space for the body to fully surrender and welcome the therapist’s touch.
Reasons To Use CBD In Massage
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agents of CBD reduces inflammation within muscles and joints, allowing the massage therapist to work more effectively. While inflammation is an essential response by the body’s immune system to injury, bacteria and viruses, at times the inflammatory response is called upon unnecessarily. When called upon appropriately, the inflammatory response effectively removes the infectious or damaging stimuli so that the body can initiate the healing process. However, when called upon unnecessarily, in the case of autoimmune diseases, the immune system reacts as if tissues are infected or abnormal when in actuality they are normal. As a result, the body causes damage to its own tissues. Acute inflammation that comes and goes as necessary to deal with injuries and diseases represents a well-balanced and effective immune system. With chronic inflammation, however, the immune system is essentially “out-of-wack” as it won’t shut off the inflammatory response. Examples of diseases that are associated with inflammation include rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease that causes joint destruction, deformity and loss of function, psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as red patches on the skin, Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases where the digestive tract becomes inflamed, atherosclerosis, the inflammation of arterial walls that can limit or block blood flow and cause heart attacks and stroke, and some cancers. CBD has been proven to reduce inflammation and is thought to play a role in the treatment of arthritis symptoms. According to researchers at the Imperial College London, CBD can reduce inflammation in mice by 50% at the right dosage and can even fight against type 1 diabetes.
- Increased Muscle Relaxationwithout the High
The muscles and joints react quickly to a massage, add in the CBD oils, lotions, and salve, and your entire body and senses relax and release. By using a CBD oil, salve, or lotion, you get the relaxing effects throughout your body, without any psychoactive effects. In addition to stimulating the skin surface, the CBD oils will relax muscles and ease any tension or pain that you are feeling. It will revitalize, rejuvenate, and replenish your body.
- Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
Two of the most common ailments people experience today are stress and anxiety. When a person receives a CBD massages, the anxiolytic properties of CBD may serve to reduce pain, relaxing the client and their muscles. The
- Eliminating Chronic and Acute Pain
There are a few different ways CBD could help regulate pain – by increasing your natural endocannabinoids, decreasing your inflammatory response, and desensitizing your pain receptors. According to reports released by the Maryland Medical Center, they found that deep tissue massages can be more effective for relieving chronic pain than most conventional medicines. The reason that CBD massage is such an effective method for dealing with any chronic pain is because it decreases the inflammation, increases blood flow throughout the affected areas, and soothes that tension in muscles associated with the chronic pain. CBD massage is also beneficial for helping to reduce blood pressure, provides stress relief, and rehabilitates muscles. During the massage, the CBD oil acts like a natural aid to relax muscles and create the space for healing.
- Improves Skin Health
Applying CBD topically can actually improve the health of your skin, resulting in improved elasticity, reduced acne and more youthful-looking skin. Also, many users have reported increased blood flow through the skin, as well as faster healing of small cuts, scrapes and bruising. A 2007 study completed by an international research group detailed how “enhanced activation of the endocannabinoid system” helps regulate immune responses in the skin, meaning topicals may be useful in treatment of skin allergies as well. Topical applications of cannabinoids also benefit the skin thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immunity-modulating properties. Burns, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and skin infections can all be relieved with the analgesic and antibacterial properties exhibited by cannabinoids when used in topicals.
- Post Workout Recovery
For athletes, CBD also has the reputation for accelerating the recovery and healing process of injured connective tissue. The damage to the human body from athletics and exercise comes in various forms, from the oxidation of cells to the subtle tearing of the muscles. The antioxidant properties of cannabinoids can help prevent this oxidation and their analgesic and anti-inflammatory characteristics can assist with the soreness and pain of overexertion. CBD has the ability to limit the release of some pro inflammatory signals, thereby helping with pain without thwarting the healing entirely Once your immune cells detect damage, they release inflammatory mediators in order to repair the tissue. Additional options for athletes to fight their physical pain exist with massages using CBD infused products or a soak in a CBD infused bath.