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Integrative Health
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I Tried A Hemp Oil Massage & I Was Honestly Really Into It

Gretchen Lidicker, M.S.
mbg Health Contributor
By Gretchen Lidicker, M.S.
mbg Health Contributor
Gretchen Lidicker earned her master’s degree in physiology with a focus on alternative medicine from Georgetown University. She is the author of “CBD Oil Everyday Secrets” and “Magnesium Everyday Secrets.”
Image by VICTOR TORRES / Stocksy
February 24, 2019

While the most popular way to take hemp extract is still in an oil that you can put under your tongue or add to your morning coffee, topical hemp is gaining traction by the day. Personally, I use a high-CBD hemp lotion on my neck and jaw before bed that I think it really helps reduce pain and tension, so when I saw that full-body hemp oil massages were an option, I couldn't wait to try it out.

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The benefits of adding hemp to your massage.

To start my investigation, I headed over to Chillhouse—a popular NYC destination with a new membership program for massages, nail art, and the most delicious turmeric latte I've ever tasted—to put a hemp-oil-infused massage to the test. According Demetri Travlos, Chillhouse's Lead Massage Therapist, hemp oil massages are a big draw, which comes as no surprise: "The hemp focus is quite popular; I alone do somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 a week." At Chillhouse, they use a hemp-infused massage balm by Biotone, which has a large dose of CBD blended with lidocaine and arnica for extra analgesic effects.

So what benefits did I experience? I won't say that I felt any profound differences during the massage, but I definitely noticed that the benefits of my massage were greater and lasted longer. I also didn't have any post-massage soreness, which I always get. According to Travlos, that's pretty standard feedback. "Hemp's greatest benefit in regards to massage is its ability to reduce inflammation, which will soothe sore muscles and speed up healing. Clients tend to feel much better the day after their massage because the CBD in their system has had time to work overnight," she explained.

If you're wondering about the science behind all this, you're not alone. But unfortunately, due to the restrictions around studying cannabis and hemp, there isn't much research on topical applications. That said, some studies have supported the idea that cannabinoids like CBD could be used to fend off pain and inflammation. Plus, I, like so many other people who swear by topical hemp for muscle pain, joint pain, and headaches, noticed the benefits. It's impossible to know what role the placebo affect might be playing in this whole scenario, but based on my experience, I'll definitely be adding CBD to my massages in the future.

How to do it at home.

If a full-body massage isn't a fit for your busy schedule or budget, don't stress! You can get similar benefits by giving yourself a quick hemp oil foot massage before bed or first thing in the morning. To do this, "Use both hands and the thumbs, and starting with the ball of the right foot; hold pressure for a count of two and move across the foot, right to left. Then, starting with the baby toe, hold pressure for a count of two and move right to left. Repeat for the left foot, moving left to right," says Erica Girth, licensed massage therapist and founder of Therapeutic Elements.

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Gretchen Lidicker, M.S.
Gretchen Lidicker, M.S.
mbg Health Contributor

Gretchen Lidicker has a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University. She's the author of CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Epsom Salts, Magnesium Oil, and Nature's Relaxation Mineral. A Kripalu Center for Yoga and Ayurveda-trained yoga instructor, expert bread baker, and farmers market fanatic, she believes that no day is complete without a good dance party.