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We spoke with Katie Uveges, a licensed massage therapist who recently led our CBD Partners Massage 101 in Denver, to find out everything we should know about massage and CBD. We discussed CBD and cannabis topicals, how to incorporate them into a massage, a few basic massage techniques, and any tips she has to offer those looking to relax through massage.
What does incorporating CBD or THC topicals to a massage do?
The biggest draw towards using cannabis or CBD products is for fast pain relief and an anti-inflammatory effect. It can also increase relaxation and help with some skin conditions, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis and CBD.
Can using a topical CBD or THC product make someone feel “high”?
No! You will experience no psychoactive effects by applying a topical product to your skin. Do not consume the salve as this may produce psychoactive effects. Also, it probably won’t taste very good.
Can you use too much CBD or THC salve?
Because there will not be any psychoactive effects, you can’t really use too much. That being said, I would save your money and remember that a little can go a long way! It is really up to you, and you can always add more. If the products work well with your skin, you can apply as needed throughout the day.
What is better to use for massage – CBD isolate, full spectrum CBD or THC and CBD?
All are great options, but it will depend on individual preferences. It has been reported that the properties of cannabis or hemp are more beneficial when there are multiple cannabinoids; this is called the entourage effect. A product that contains THC and other components such as CBN or CBA may have a larger benefit as a result. Stratos’ Soothe ER offers 300mg of THC and 300mg of CBD, and offers the largest amount of phytocannabinoids for therapeutic effects. There is also a Soothe 1:1 option with 100mg THC and 100mg CBD. For those who would prefer to access full plant benefits with minimal THC (less than 0.3%) the salve option is best. If you don’t want any THC or additional plant properties, the Soothe CBD Isolate salve is the best option.
What body parts or areas do you find CBD and THC topicals to be most effective?
Neck, shoulders and back are my most requested, but it will be effective anywhere. Areas of injury or chronic pain/inflammation will yield the most noticeable results, and can be used before activity or after to prevent some inflammation. If localized pain or inflammation is an issue, you can help yourself hurt less later by applying early. I use these products on my hands, wrists and forearms before a long day of work, and any pain I experience at the end of the day is noticeably less than it would be without. This also saves your products, since you won’t need to lather on as much at the end of the day.
What do essential oils add to a salve?
All Stratos salves each have 6+ valuable essential oils infused with shea butter and beeswax, which moisturize, calm, and offer additional healing elements. For example, the primary oil in Stratos CBD salves is peppermint, which creates a bit of a cooling analgesic effect and can help with muscle spasms, inflamed skin, and releasing muscle tension. This allows the product to move more efficiently into the tissue and activate the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors more quickly. Soothe ER (CBD and THC) has arnica essential oil, which is an anti-inflammatory typically used for pain and swelling associated with bruises, sprains, pulls, muscle aches and even arthritis. It also contains wintergreen essential oil, which can help relieve muscle pain and relax achy joints.
Are there any easy massage tips you have to share?
Always be present and ask what the other person needs. We often go too deep, too fast or are mindless with massage and that doesn’t feel good for the recipient. Body positioning is important, never strain yourself working on someone else. If you really love massage therapy and want to learn all the tips, tricks, ins and outs of the job, come see me at Colorado School of Healing Arts and get your license!
Can I bring a topical CBD or THC salve to a massage? Or do they offer them already?
This is all based upon therapist preference, but I haven’t come across many who are opposed to using these products if you bring them in. If you already have a trusted CBD product or massage therapist, by all means, continue using them. If you don’t, we suggest finding something you prefer and bringing it to your massage to ensure the most consistent and reliable results. When a THC product is used, it must be brought in by the client; I cannot sell THC products within my practice due to legality of distribution.
Is there anything people should do after a cannabis infused massage to maximize the benefits?
Water! As important as this is in general and after any massage, this will help to hydrate the tissue, allowing your body to utilize the product more efficiently. Movement and gentle stretching will also bring blood flow to the area.
Katie Uveges is a Licensed Massage Therapist who specializes in pain relief. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology. Since her primary emphasis was in pre-physical therapy, she spent her internship for UNC shadowing physical and occupational therapists for over 400 hours in multiple settings, giving her a unique perspective on integrative healing and the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy. She currently practices massage therapy in western Denver and Colorado Springs, and teaches physiology at the Colorado School of Healing Arts in Lakewood, offering a holistic approach to her work with multiple elements, including: myofascial release, deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point therapy, Swedish massage, and Healing Touch among many other modalities. She is a proponent for CBD and other cannabis products, and hopes to educate her clients and the larger community to open the door for those who have not yet been introduced to their many benefits.