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The benefits of massage range from promoting circulation and relieving pain to reducing stress and anxiety, boosting immunity, and aiding sleep. But if you’ve ever had a great massage, we probably don’t have to tell you any of that.
So, what, you ask, could possibly make a massage even better? CBD.
On its own, CBD is has shown promising early evidence that it helps ease pain and relax the emotional responses to pain. And now that CBD is absolutely everywhere — from coffee to face creams to bike shorts (seriously!) — CBD-enhanced massage is definitely a thing.
So far, most of the evidence about CBD’s added benefits for massage is anecdotal, but fans report feeling more relaxation along with less pain and inflammation.
Because CBD is not intoxicating — meaning it won’t get you high and might just add a little more oomph to your deep relaxation — CBD-enhanced massage could turn out to be a match made in heaven.
- CBD (cannabidiol). One of over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. This one is nonpsychoactive (i.e. it won’t get you high) and is being studied for its possible role in reducing pain, soothing anxiety, and promoting restful sleep.
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The main psychoactive component of cannabis that, in the right quantities, will get you high. THC doesn’t easily enter the bloodstream through the skin, however, so it’s unlikely that a massage oil — even if it contains a small amount of THC — will have any psychoactive effect.
- Hempseed oil. Or called hemp oil, it’s made from cannabis seeds rich in nutrients like Omega-3s, but usually contains little to no CBD or THC.
- Full-spectrum CBD. A CBD extract that features a wide array of plant compounds, including small amounts of THC and other stuff like terpenes and flavonoids. Some cannabis scientists believe that CBD works better in full-spectrum form — but if it’s hemp-derived CBD, it’ll still contain less than .3 percent THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD. CBD extract with a wide array of plant compounds, minus the THC.
- CBD isolate. An “a la carte” product that’s stripped of THC and all other non-CBD plant compounds.
There’s a dizzying array of CBD products out there and wading through them all can be tricky. Here, we’ve chosen products that meet high standards and are:
- made with clean, quality (organic, whenever possible) ingredients and U.S. grown hemp
- made from full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD
- backed by results from a third-party lab that checks for CBD and THC content as well as purity from contaminants like pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, or molds
$ = under $30
$$ = $31–$50
$$$ = over $51
Best overall: The Healing Rose Lavender Massage and Body Oil
Healing Rose makes a variety of CBD/herbal blended products and follows strict testing and purity standards.
The Lavender Massage and Body Oil features a clean ingredient list that includes a variety of certified-organic carrier oils and high-quality CBD. Bottom line: It’s an affordable, high-quality choice.
Best on a budget: Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil
If you’re searching for an affordable CBD massage oil with simple, clean ingredients, look no further than this option by Lazarus Naturals. Made from Oregon-grown, full-spectrum hemp, this oil features 50 milligrams of CBD per tablespoon and is blended with jojoba, coconut, and almond oils.
Bonus points for Lazarus Natural’s dedication to making wellness accessible. They offer a 60 percent discount to veterans, people with low incomes, and folks with disabilities.
Best on the go: Papa & Barkley Releaf Body Oil
Papa & Barkley is a solid brand with a feel-good origin story. The company was born after founder Adam Grossman helped his father regain quality of life with the use of homemade cannabis topicals.
Fast forward a few years, Papa & Barkley makes a variety of cannabis-based products, including the perennially-popular Releaf Body Oil. Blended with eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and lavender essential oils, this roll-on product is made with Colorado-grown plants. It’s a little bit spendy, but chock-full of CBD.
Best small-batch: Moon Mother Hemp Company Massage Oil
Made from locally-sourced, organic ingredients, this lavender-infused CBD massage oil is also Leaping Bunny certified (aka it’s cruelty-free). It smells incredible for a double-dose of relaxation. The only less-than-chill caveat? In keeping with the craft vibe, this oil will cost you a couple extra bucks.
Best for sore muscles: Peak Extracts Rescue Rub Hawaiian Hemp/CBDa Formula
Okay, this handmade product is actually more of a muscle rub than a massage oil, but it’s well worth it for your most sore and inflamed areas (like, say, your neck and shoulders?).
CBDa is the raw form of CBD getting a lot of attention for its theoretical ability to soothe pain and inflammation — possibly better than CBD itself! A lot of research is being done to verify if it’s legit, but until then, this a great product to consider for at-home experimentation.
Rescue Rub, made in Portland from Hawaiian-grown hemp, is blended with 12 herbs also meant to promote healing and reduce inflammation. More reason to add it to your massage routine for those particularly sore and stubborn spots.
Best smelling: White Fox Nectars Illuminating Massage Oil
This massage oil combines high-quality CBD and craft herbs for a synergistic take on deep relaxation and pain relief.
Muscle-soothing arnica and other plant-based ingredients complement the fragrances of sandalwood and peppermint oils. White Fox uses organic ingredients whenever possible and sources their full-spectrum CBD from Oregon farms.
Best CBD concentration: Bloom Farms CBD Balm Stick
Bloom Farms, a classic California brand, makes the most concentrated product on our list at a whopping 600 milligrams of CBD per container.
In this balm stick, full-spectrum CBD combines with herbs that promote circulation and tension relief — a nice addition to a pre- or post-workout massage.
Bloom Farms also follows a pay-it-forward model. For every product purchased, the company donates a healthy meal to a family in need.
Best for CBD newbies: Sagely Naturals Drift & Dream Body Oil
If a pre-bedtime massage is in your future, this massage oil — formulated specifically with tension-taming essential oils like geranium, clary sage, and, of course, lavender — might be the perfect segue to a night of rejuvenating sleep.
Sagely Naturals makes a clean and affordable CBD massage oil. It doesn’t pack much of a CBD punch, which makes it ideal for first-timers looking to ease into the CBD experience.
Best for sensitive skin: Make & Mary Turmeric Ginger CBD Oil Roll-On
This roll-on brings the tiniest amount of THC to work alongside the CBD — which could boost its power thanks to what’s known as the entourage effect (a theory that says cannabinoids like CBD work a little better when paired with at least some THC).
Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, Make & Mary’s roll-on oil is slippery enough to fuel your at-home massage groove — but won’t leave a lot of oily residue on your skin.
You can definitely smell the spicy-earthy notes from the ginger and turmeric in this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formula that’s meant to ease aching muscles.
Added bonus: you can also use this product on your face as an on-the-go moisturizer.
Most CBD massage fans find that they feel the chill within about 30 minutes of application. Start with a tablespoon or 2 of CBD massage oil to see how it affects you and build up from there.
- CBD massage oils won’t get you high and may contribute to deeper relaxation.
- Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. However, in order to protect public health, they can take action against CBD companies that make unfounded health claims.
- Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way they regulate drugs or dietary supplements, companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. That means it’s especially important to do your own research and find a quality product.
- While it’s unlikely for topical CBD to interfere with prescriptions, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting CBD if you’re taking any pharmaceutical drugs.
Is CBD Legal? Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.