As something fairly new that’s sweeping the nation, the idea of using CBD can be daunting or even a bit scary – including using CBD for massage.

At your last lunch with a colleague, they had mentioned that their massage therapist started adding CBD oil into their session and how they feel even better. If you were afraid to ask questions at the time, we can help you out by explaining how CBD works in the body, the benefits, and how you can utilize it in your next massage session.


The Endocannabinoid System

The role of the endocannabinoid system (newly discovered in 1992) is to maintain homeostasis in the body. This system is why THC and CBD in cannabis have an effect on us.

Receptors in the system control how we react to pain and stress. In basic terms, we have a positive reaction to CBD and a negative one to THC, both of which are cannabinoids. CBD creates a sense of calmness and peacefulness while THC tends to cause paranoia and overstimulation.


Benefits of CBD for Massage

To be clear, CBD is NOT a cure-all like you may have seen in some advertisements. However, it can help with:

  • Sleep and feelings of restfulness
  • Calmness and balance
  • Reducing soreness and internal swelling
  • Reducing seizures and muscle spasms
  • Protecting the nervous system


CBD has also shown to help reduce our reaction to painful stimuli. So it makes sense that we would add it into massage sessions for injuries or sore muscles.

Users also may feel their muscles loosen and relax after the application. That makes it an added benefit for massage therapy.


How We Use CBD for Massage

All CBD applications are topical in a massage setting, meaning that it’s applied to the skin and not ingested. Besides combining it with oil, lotion, cream, or gel, your therapist may also mix it with another ingredient for added effectiveness.


Emu oil

Emu oil is known to relieve minor aches and pains and decrease healing time for wounds. Its most important factor: it’s an anti-inflammatory. This makes it helpful in treating conditions such as arthritis.

Skin easily absorbs it as well, making it an ideal partner for CBD in massage oil.



Arnica is an herb grown in colder climates whose flower is used in medicinal practices. It’s taken for sore throats and mouths, pain after surgery, insect bites, and painful veins and muscles.

Make sure your massage therapist knows beforehand if you’re pregnant or have ragweed allergies so they don’t combine arnica with the CBD for your session.



Also known as “Indian frankincense,” research shows Boswellia may be helpful in treating various forms of arthritis, asthma, and IBD. It can also be effective as an anti-inflammatory, which means it can be extremely beneficial to combine with CBD during a massage therapy session.



Applied topically, menthol can be used to relieve itching and inflammation as well as headaches. It comes in the form of cream or ointment, allowing it to mix well with massage oil and CBD.


All of these ingredients help the CBD oil to be absorbed into muscles, joints, and bloodstream for increased effectiveness. But regardless of whether or not your therapist chooses to combine elements for a more effective session, they’ll still have to combine the CBD with oil, lotion, cream, or gel. And their choice of form will depend on the focus of the session.



Oils are used for added glide during massage therapy, allowing your therapist to use longer stroke techniques to cover larger areas. The body also absorbs oil slower than lotion or cream, so you’ll need less of it during your session.



Lotions provide the most absorption of these options, making it a prime choice for CBD use in a massage session. They’re also most often used for deep tissue work. 



Creams are right in between oils and lotions. They’re mostly used for working on sore or injured muscles. And if you don’t like the feel of oil on your skin, this is a great alternative you ask your therapist for before your massage. Just give them an advanced heads up in case they need to resupply for you.



Your therapist will use massage gels if you’re suffering from tight muscles. It’s best for targeting specific zones rather than the full body.


If you’d like more information on CBD, here is a link to a free “CBD 101” book. You can also read more on my Facebook page and my Facebook profile.

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