26 Sep 2019
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, seems to be showing up everywhere: in the news, on store shelves in various forms and, increasingly, in peoples’ homes. Pure CBD, which occurs naturally in the hemp plant, is not marijuana and does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that produces a euphoric “high” or altered state of mind. Considered safe and non-addictive, the U.S. legislature passed the 2018 Farm Bill, removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and making CBD from hemp legal to manufacture, buy and sell in all 50 states.
While a number of compelling studies indicate CBD is a potential therapy for everything from anxiety and seizures to high blood pressure and PTSD, other findings along with anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory in addressing pain.
One increasingly popular way to experience the soothing benefits of CBD is through the skin: hence, the relatively recent development of infusing massage creams with CBD oil – with massage therapists using those creams to help relieve pain from arthritis, exercise and/or sports injuries. People who have experienced CBD massage say it helps with inflammation and healing, but the most commonly reported benefit is a feeling of deep relaxation during and following a full-body CBD massage.
Stephanie Hershkowitz, owner of Tranquility Spa on Central Avenue in Scarsdale, introduced CBD massage to Westchester County last spring. She explained, “CBD actually goes hand-in-hand with massage therapy and takes it to the next level. Our clients are reporting it as a meaningful upgrade to the traditional massage experience.” One of those clients described the outcome from a CBD massage, ” I suffer from chronic lower back pain and receive massages regularly. This was by far one of the best massages I ever had. My back pain was immediately relieved and I stayed pain-free for several days. My mood was lifted and I was in a profound state of relaxation that I have not experienced before.”
Alicia Fucci, a long-time Tranquility massage therapist, works with another client who is routinely kept up at night from a hyper-active mind. Following a CBD massage, the client, said Fucci, ” felt relaxed, mellow, calm, and was able to complete a full night’s sleep for the first time in memory, that evening.” Natasha Vaz, suffering severe pain from a twisted ankle, said a CBD massage localized to her ankle resulted in a substantial decrease in inflammation. Relating a similar experience, Natalia Leon applied CBD pain relief cream to an inflamed wrist (from an automobile accident injury); her mobility improved along with a reduction in inflammation.
The CBD revolution has only just begun. Much remains to be learned and, with the Farm Bill now on the books, more research and studies are underway by doctors, scientists and companies: all investigating whether CBD may help fight cancer cells and conditions such as glaucoma, eczema, psoriasis and memory loss. Currently, the FDA is considering whether to officially approve and regulate the inclusion of CBD in various foods and beverages. For now, all age groups – especially boomers and seniors – may find pain relief in this natural remedy.
For those concerned about the possible interaction of CBD with prescribed medications, you will want to consult your physician and other health professionals.