cbd massage woman relaxing

Why it feels like that CBD massage works so much better than supplements

A monthly CBD massage changed my entire self-care game. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s true. I already told you what it was like for me to get a cannabis massage with CBD oil, but I can summarize it briefly. It was so good and so relaxing that I’m never getting a regular massage again. There was only one problem. The CBD massage made me question why the CBD supplements I was taking worked but didn’t make me feel as good. To figure it out, I talked with Mark Gould, a CBD expert and massage therapist at om.life in Jersey City, NJ.

om.life is just one of several options you have for getting a CBD massage in NYC. They’re not technically in The Big Apple, but it’s just a quick jog on the PATH train and it’s worth the ride. For a couple minutes of a commute, it feels like a world away from the city stress. They also offer float therapy (here’s how my first session went), infrared sauna, and cryotherapy (among even more offerings).

CBD massage vs CBD supplements

Naturally, my first question was about the nature of these two products. Is there a difference between the CBD oils I take as a supplement and the products used during a massage with CBD oil? “In short, no,” Mark told me. “However, because it skips the digestive system, the CBD is absorbed quicker through massage.” Your at-home supplements, whether they’re chocolates, capsules, or oils have to be broken down in your stomach.

But that’s not the whole story. Mark tells me that the effects of your CBD massage feel “supercharged” because of the effects of the massage. (Who doesn’t feel better after a massage?) He also points out that the products they use essentially give CBD a team, and they all work together to help you feel amazing. “CBD products for massage often contain added ingredients for extra pain relief, as well as better absorption in the skin.”

massage with cbd oil woman with dropper

Tiara Leitzman

But is the dosing different? It’s not a fair competition if the products used during a CBD massage pack more cannabidiol than the supplements in your regimen. “The actual dosage isn’t any stronger in a massage oil. In fact, it may often be less,” Mark tells me. “However, the combination of menthol and camphor in our massage oil makes for extra dose of pain relief.”

Do some people benefit more from a massage with CBD oil?

I’ve read up on the inflammation-busting benefits of CBD. But do you need to have chronic issues with inflammation to reap the rewards of a CBD massage, or can anyone benefit? Don’t worry, Mark assured me everyone has a good reason to book this service. “From anecdotal experience, many people use CBD products for chronic pain and anxiety,” he acknowledges, but adds that. “Most of us still deal with varying levels of stress though, so we can all use a little bit of calm!”

But there is a difference for people looking for relief from chronic illness and those of us who are just stressed out. “The key difference would be the strength and dosage,” he explains, “but CBDs can do wonders for anyone.” So, yes, go ahead and book that session at om.life or another CBD massage in NYC.

Does CBD have to build up in your system?

You might have heard that THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, needs to build up in your system. Is CBD the same way, or will you feel the effects in your very first treatment? After all, you want to know if you’re going to need to invest in multiple massages to reap the rewards.

Both THC and CBD “react to what’s called our endocannabinoid system, so there certainly is a process to the efficacy,” Mark explains. “When I personally take CBD oil, I notice it takes a short while to fully kick in.” But for reasons explained above, massage is a little different. Again, you don’t need to digest the compound if you’re getting a massage with CBD oil. “The combination of menthol in the massage oil gives it an immediate pain-fighting effect,” he explains. So the menthol will kick in right away, “but the CBDs tend to work their way through the body within time.” That’s why you’ll feel this effects of a CBD massage long after you leave the spa.

cbd massage vs supplment woman getting massage
Photo: iStock

How often should you get a CBD massage?

“Ultimately, it will still depend on the concerns of the individual,” Mark tells me. (I’m sitting here hoping he’ll tell me very frequently so we all have an excuse to book more sessions.) “In reality, most people don’t get as much massage (or self care in general) as they likely need.” (Amen!)

“Once a month is still great maintenance,” he explains. But he does add that “a CBD massage every 2-3 weeks will definitely start making great improvements for more long-term issues.” So if you’re looking for those muscle knots and cramps to finally work out, book more massages. He sums it up perfectly: “As much as possible is always the best frequency, of course!”

What should clients expect from their first CBD massage?

I already told you what my first massage with CBD oil was like. But you probably want to know from a professional. I asked Mark to describe what potential clients should expect from their first treatment at om.life. (For the record, while some other places offer CBD oil as an add-on charge to their massage. At om.life, however, it comes standard with their massage treatment “because we believe in it so much” Mark explains.

“Essentially everything is the same, other than a little kick of a potent, pain-busting oil,” he says. But the long and short of what you should expect is, as Mark tells me: “A great massage!”

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