August 1, 2018

To CBD Or Not To CBD, That Is The Question…

What the heck is CBD? Technically CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabinoids. Great, but what the heck are Cannabinoids? Cannabinoids refer to the active compounds from plant species called Cannabis. Cannabis? Gasp! Now before you go getting your tail feathers in a twist, the answer is yes. According to the Federal Government, Cannabis is still illegal. Quite ironically, the Federal Government holds a patent (#6,630,507) on CBD that confirms the following: 
“Cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following…stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease…”

Hmmm, I’m not a doctor but, ‘limiting neurological damage’ and ‘treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’ sounds like a good thing, right? So what’s the deal? Why the stigma? Well that’s a whole other story, but the question for us as massage therapists is, ‘Should we offer CBD oil and/or cream as a massage treatment?’

According to the research, the answer is definitely.

Whoa whoa whoa. How can we be sure? Laws are different in every state. Is it safe? Well let me save you the hours of research and going down crazy rabbit holes that I’ve been lost in lately. Here’s what you need to know:

The Drug Enforcement Agency amended the Controlled Substance Abuse Act effective January 13, 2017. It clearly states that if you put it ON the body its okay, if you put it IN the body, not okay. DEA Spokesperson Russ Baer told MASSAGE Magazine that CBD lotions, topical ointments and patches are exempt from controls under the Controlled Substances Act. Here’s the difference: edible cannabis derived products are not.

But is it safe? Lo and behold, Uncle Sam has paid quite a bit of money to research Cannabis. The National Cancer Institute at NIH reports on Cannabinoids and Cancer.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a report recommending that steps be taken to overcome regulatory barriers that make it difficult to do research on marijuana’s health effects. As further evidence of a new normal on the horizon, the #1 online employment job site, Indeed, lists 159 jobs currently available working with Cannabis. What’s my point? Soon Cannabis will be as available as Crest, Covergirl and Chapstick. So, yes its safe.  But just like with any product you purchase, it is important to know the ingredients. Massage Warehouse is on the bandwagon early with a Biotone brand of CBD. They also carry CBD Clinic products which are 100% free of THC. That’s a good thing right? Not so fast. 

Medical cannabis company, CBD Essentials,explains the entourage effect, meaning sometimes things work better together. Its kind of like vanilla ice cream by itself or vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and nuts. Founder Aryn Sieber explains, “CBD simply works better with THC.” Contrary to popular opinion we can use CBD cream and not get high. This isn’t a science lesson, so I’ll skip introducing you to the Endocannabinoid System. Mr. Sieber’s company sells medical grade massage cream but more importantly is sponsoring the research. On one project CBD Essentials is working with more than 300 massage therapists in Las Vegas, Nevada to introduce treatments and measure the collateral effect of using the cream. Initial results? Therapists who used to ice their hands and wrists after a full day at work to counteract the pain and inflammation are finishing their day free of pain and swelling. Another research project is going on at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The tinctures blended by their scrupulous scientists with both CBD and THC are reducing the the tremors and spasms in Multiple Sclerosis patients. As stage IV cancer survivor he makes no apologies, “The biggest benefits come from the medicine with both CBD and THC.”
Let your conscious be your guide. In my humble opinion, if it makes our sessions more effective and its legal, then hell yes, bring it. 

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