Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring component in the cannabis plant. It is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) because CBD does not affect the body in a manner that leads to abuse or dependence [1, 2]. In addition, there is no evidence of CBD being used for recreational problems, neither are there any public health concerns associated with the use of pure CBD . There is, however, ample research that demonstrates the benefits of using CBD topically such as for the purpose of giving a massage. A CBD-infused massage is associated with an improved response to inflammation and pain, heightened mood, and enhanced mobility as well as less muscle tension and stress .
Studies indicate that CBD influences bodily processes by binding to specific structures in the body called cannabinoid receptors [4, 5]. Research shows that there are cannabinoid receptors throughout the skin, sweat glands, hair follicles, and even nerve endings . This means that when combined with a massage, CBD can penetrate the skin and improve the experience by binding to receptors within the skin and directly underneath it. Its activity with these receptors also prevents it from causing intoxicating feelings by hindering it from traveling to the brain.
Due to these properties, CBD can help relax the muscles during a massage, thereby allowing individuals to accommodate a deeper amount of pressure and experience longer-lasting benefits from the massage. According to a 2012 study, deep tissue massage is significantly better than a lighter massage at targeting inflammation, improving blood flow, soothing tense muscles, easing stress, and promoting muscle tissue recovery after an injury . However, a deep tissue massage necessitates the application of a lot of pressure. Because it functions as a natural agent which loosens muscles, CBD improves the effectiveness of deep tissue massage and targets inflammation and sensitivity to pain .
Accordingly, a CBD-infused massage may be optimal for individuals with overworked muscles, sports injuries (e.g., tendonitis), arthritis, or neurological (nerve-related) problems, as well as those who want to experience enhanced relaxation along with less stress and anxiety. Indeed, the use of CBD can ease soreness after a deep tissue massage and support a quicker recovery from the deep pressure that was applied. A CBD massage also helps target pain and swelling , which is especially useful for people with joint problems. These types of benefits can even improve discomfort throughout the day and make it easier to sleep comfortably at night.
Interestingly, CBD also promotes skin health by enhancing blood flow within the skin, and this process also appears to accelerate the healing of small bruises, scrapes, or cuts [8, 9]. Overall, the benefits of CBD massage have been demonstrated, CBD is well-tolerated, and it also has a good safety profile [1, 6, 10]. In response to these observations, countries are continually modifying their regulatory controls in order to accommodate CBD as a beneficial health-supporting agent.
- World Health Organization. Cannabidiol (CBD): Pre-review report. WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products: 2017. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
- Martin-Santos R, Crippa JA, Batalla A, et al. Acute effects of a single, oral dose of d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) administration in healthy volunteers. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):4966-4979.
- Zuardi AW. Cannabidiol: from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug with a wide spectrum of action. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2008;30(3):271-280.
- Bisogno T, Hanus L, De Petrocellis L, et al. Molecular targets for cannabidiol and its synthetic analogs: effect on vanilloid VR1 receptors and on the cellular uptake and enzymatic hydrolysis of anandamide. Br J Pharmacol. 2001;134(4):845-852.
- McPartland JM, Duncan M, Di Marzo V, Pertwee RG. Are cannabidiol and Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabivarin negative modulators of the endocannabinoid system? A systematic review. Br J Pharmacol. 2015;172(3):737-753.
- Ständer S, Schmelz M, Metze D, Luger T, Rukwied R. Distribution of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) on sensory nerve fibers and adnexal structures in human skin. J Dermatol Sci. 2005;38(3):177-188.
- Romanowski M, Romanowska J, Grześkowiak M. A comparison of the effects of deep tissue massage and therapeutic massage on chronic low back pain. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;176:411-414.
- Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154.
- Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313-322.
- Fasinu PS, et al. Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents. Pharmacotherapy, 2016;36(7):781-796.