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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 prob don’t have to tell you any of that.
But is there a way to make your luxurious massage even better with CBD?
Short answer: Maybe. Let’s dive into how CBD massage oils work, their benefits, and our picks for the best CBD massage oil products.
These two are the most widely researched cannabinoids and they’re both known for having some pretty interesting therapeutic benefits. But one of the biggest differences between the two? THC gets you “high” and CBD does not.
Research on CBD is still pretty new, so we’ve got LOTS to learn. But research so far has found that CBD is a promising treatment for:
Types of CBD
- full-spectrum CBD. This type of CBD contains all of the compounds naturally found in the cannabis and hemp plants, including terpenes, flavonoids, and small amounts of THC (hemp-derived CBD will never contain more than 0.3 percent THC). There’s a theory called the “entourage effect” that states that keeping all these bad boys together boosts CBD’s therapeutic effects.
- broad-spectrum CBD. Exactly like full-spectrum CBD, but ditch the THC.
- CBD isolate. Nothing but pure CBD, baybay.
As we mentioned, research so far shows that CBD has the potential to be a pretty good treatment for certain types of pain. Some of these studies look specifically at ingesting CBD, but others have found that topical CBD has similar pain-fighting powers. Score!
Plus, some massage oils contain extra ingredients that give ’em a little extra oomph:
Not sure if CBD massage oils are your ish? Let’s go over the pros and cons of using them:
- Early research shows promise for relieving pain and anxiety, reducing inflammation, and soothing certain skin conditions.
- You can apply CBD massage oil directly to pain.
- CBD is considered relatively safe with little risk of side effects — especially when applied topically.
- There’s very limited research on using CBD specifically for massage.
- It’s hard to find high quality CBD massage oils from reputable companies.
- It’s not covered by insurance.
- CBD interacts with some medications.
Because the FDA doesn’t lay out testing and labeling requirements for CBD products, quality can be allll over the place. This is especially true for CBD massage oils — we had a tough time finding high quality products from reputable companies that passed our rigorous vetting process.
The products on our list met the following requirements:
- made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- made with U.S.-grown hemp
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- gets passing results for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
We also considered stuff like:
- company certifications and manufacturing processes
- product potency
- overall ingredients
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$40
- $$$ = over $40
Best affordable CBD massage oil
- Price: $
- Size: 2 fluid ounces (fl oz.)
- CBD type: full-spectrum CBD
- Total CBD: 500 milligrams (mg)
- COA: available online
If you’re searching for an affordable CBD massage oil with simple, clean ingredients, this option from Lazarus Naturals gets the job done. 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.
Reviewers love how hydrating it is and say it brings almost instant relief. They also say it soaks in well, so you don’t feel greasy after using it. Some wish it had more CBD though and recommend trying the company’s balm instead.
This product is certified kosher and Leaping Bunny certified. 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 CBD massage oil for pain relief
- Price: $$
- Size: 2 fl oz.
- CBD type: full-spectrum CBD
- Total CBD: 400 mg
- COA: available online
Papa & Barkley is a solid brand with a feel-good origin story. The company was born after founder Adam Grossman helped his father regain quality of life with the use of homemade cannabis topicals.
Fast forward a few years, Papa & Barkley makes a variety of cannabis-based products, including the perennially-popular Releaf Body Oil. This roll-on product is made with Colorado-grown hemp and blended with eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and lavender essential oils for cooling anxiety relief.
It’s a little bit spendy, but it’s got reviews to back it up. Many reviewers say it helps nix pain quickly and is great for everyday use.
Best THC-free CBD massage oil
- Price: $$$
- Size: 1 fl oz.
- CBD type: broad-spectrum CBD
- Total CBD: 100 mg
- COA: available on the batch results page
This oil from Lord Jones uses broad-spectrum CBD, so it’s THC-free. And though it’s highly unlikely you’ll feel any psychoactive effects or fail a drug test from using full-spectrum CBD topically, some peeps just want to avoid THC. If that’s you, this is a great choice for you.
This roll-on also contains avocado, jojoba, and safflower oils, which are all spectacular moisturizers on their own.
People who use it love it, saying they’re customers for life. One complains that the rollerball is a little iffy, but thinks the product is still worth it.
Best CBD massage lotion
- Price: $$–$$$
- Size: 1.7 fl oz.
- CBD type: isolate
- Total CBD: 500 or 1,000 mg
- COA: available online
Sometimes massage oils are just too… oily. If the thought of putting massage oil on your body makes you want to shower immediately, a cream or lotion might do ya better.
There’s a dizzying array of CBD products out there and wading through them all can be tricky. We used a super thorough vetting process to make our list, but if you want to keep exploring on your own, here’s what to look for:
CBD source and type
Always look for CBD that’s made with clean, quality (organic, whenever possible) ingredients and U.S.-grown hemp, since it’s subject to agricultural regulations.
Whether you go for full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate mostly comes down to personal preference. While the “entourage effect” states that keeping all of the compounds found in the cannabis and hemp plants together might boost CBD’s therapeutic effects, that theory isn’t proven and more research is needed.
So basically, if you don’t care if your CBD contains a little THC, feel free to venture into the world of full-spectrum. If you’re not interested in THC (or want to avoid it entirely), look for broad-spectrum or isolate products. All three are pretty easy to find.
If a company isn’t willing to provide an unexpired, up-to-date (within the last year) certificate of analysis (COA), that’s a huge red flag.
And even if a COA is easy to find, make sure that it includes testing for contaminants like pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and molds. Also verify that the info on the COA matches what the brand says about the product (i.e., if the brand says it’s THC-free, but the COA says it contains 0.3 percent THC? That’s some shady sh*t).
Dosage for massage oils is a little tricky since there isn’t always a “serving size” for topicals. Plus, there really isn’t any definitive research that says what dosage you’ll need to get certain benefits (yet).
Generally, though, you can opt for higher potency topical CBD products than you would for ingestibles — CBD has a harder time absorbing through the skin than when you ingest it.
For a lot of people, CBD does the trick on its own. But if you’re looking for a little boost, you can choose products with additional ingredients like lavender and peppermint essential oils, arnica, menthol, and capsaicin. These are all evidence-based ingredients.
It’s def important to follow the instructions on your product’s packaging since every product is different.
But basically, you’ll use CBD massage oil the way you would any other massage oil: apply it to the area you want to massage a bit generously, giving your skin a bit of a slick feel.
You can then either rub the affected area until the massage oil is completely absorbed or let it soak into your skin on its own. There isn’t any research saying that one is better than the other, so do whatever gives you the most relief (ummm, we’ll take the massage, thanks).
CBD is generally considered safe and side effects from topical CBD products are pretty rare, but they’re still possible, including:
CBD can also interact with your meds if you’re taking any. Talk with a healthcare professional to make sure there’s no risk of interactions before self-massaging with CBD twice a day.
What is CBD massage oil good for?
Many massage oils also have other ingredients (like pain-relieving menthol or arnica and moisturizing plant oils) that can boost your massage oil’s benefits.
Where do you put CBD massage oil?
Wherever you want a massage, hunny (except if you want a sexy massage, you should use lube for that).
But really, put it wherever it hurts. Just make sure you do a patch test on a small area of skin before going all in.
Is CBD massage oil worth it?
CBD is a pretty promising treatment for certain types of pain and it also has some potential for treating inflammatory skin conditions, so it can be a nice way to enhance your regular ol’ massage.
You’ll just want to make sure that you’re buying a high quality massage oil from a reputable brand that isn’t up to shady sh*t.
Is CBD oil safe for massage?
Yep, you can totally use regular CBD oil for massages. But instead of just putting CBD oil directly to your skin, try adding a few drops of it to your favorite moisturizer — that’ll help you cover a little more surface area.
Does CBD massage oil make you high?
No. It takes quite the effort for CBD to make its way into your bloodstream from your skin, so even super-high doses of full-spectrum topical CBD products are not likely to make you high.
When will I feel the effects of a CBD massage?
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 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 with your doctor before starting CBD if you’re taking any pharmaceutical drugs.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.