Cannabis: the plant that keeps on giving. Its uses are incredible and can be traced back thousands of years. There are various species of cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD), is one that has been gaining a ton of popularity.
People are still often cautious of using CBD oils as they sometimes confuse CBD with THC, but there are actually stark differences between the two. While THC is known to get people high or alter their state of mind, CBD does neither. It is not psychoactive and also has more medical use than THC.
"CBD stands out because it is both nonintoxicating and displays a broad range of medicinal applications, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and analgesic (pain relief) properties," Dr. Blake Pearson, founder of Greenly Medical Consulting and practicing medical doctor in Ontario, Canada, specializing in cannabinoid medicine, told POPSUGAR. However, certain levels of THC (don't worry — they're not strong enough to show up in a drug test since they're used topically) can be present when using CBD products as it can make the beneficial properties of it even more potent.
Benefits of CBD Oils
People with arthritis, broken bones, sports injuries, overworked muscles from working out, neurological disorders, and those who want to relax or relieve anxiety can benefit from CBD oil treatments. According to Dr. Pearson, there's also a growing body of evidence supporting claims that CBD has been shown to improve symptoms related to "inflammation, including inflammatory bowel disease (for example Crohn's and colitis), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and sports and occupational injuries causing chronic pain, like tendinitis," mood disorders, and more. He's seen patients in his clinic find great improvements in their pain after starting cannabinoid therapy.
Because of its many benefits, CBD has been taking the healthcare and beauty industries by storm in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in special treatments at several spas across the country — and for good reason. While CBD in spa treatments is not as closely monitored as treatments by a licensed physician over a period of time, it can be marginally beneficial during such things as massages. The incorporation of CBD into spa treatments has been shown to reduce inflammation, relieve and ease pain, and destress, according to Anna Pamula, owner of Renu Day Spa, who was the first to introduce CBD treatments in Illinois over four years ago. Her salon in Illinois offers an ever-changing menu based on careful research of cannabis-infused massage therapy and other treatments with cannabis oils and products. She is very careful about sourcing the best, organic products without chemicals for her clients as they are the most beneficial.
The use of CBD oils in spas can be "great for musculoskeletal and joint pain relief," Dr. Mark Rosenbloom, MD, MBA, told POPSUGAR, "because it would really get into the tissues." He usually recommends CBD for localized pain and has seen very positive results from it. Dr. Rosenbloom has also seen a decrease in nausea, inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients when using CBD.
How CBDs Are Used
"What we are doing when using CBD is using the body's own system and just augmenting it a bit," Dr. Rosenbloom said. Our bodies naturally produce endogenous cannabinoids, which are the same structure of plant cannabinoids. We have two receptors for cannabinoids, but CBD doesn't act on them directly. Rather, it seems to encourage the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
The plant cannabinoids last longer in the body because our bodies aren't used to breaking them down. "Over 1,000 genes in our body are affected by CBD. They are essential to human life. The body would not function well without endogenous cannabinoids," Dr. Rosenbloom added.
In spas, CBD is used as tinctures, massage oils, and is infused in lotions and creams. The products will not get you high but are applied to the skin during a massage and can reduce pain, inflammation, and much more.
Side Effects and Dangers of CBDs in Spas
A study conducted by the World Health Organization stated that there is no evidence correlating any public-health-related problems with the use of pure CBD. Dr. Pearson added that CBD "is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile," and the study stated that "CBD does not induce physical dependence and is not associated with potential abuse." However, because it is an entirely nonbenign substance and there could be a chance of developing contact dermatitis or an allergic reaction since it's applied topically, Dr. Pearson recommends consulting with your physician first. He also recommends those interested in seeking the benefits of CBD to work closely with a medical practitioner to understand their own underlying conditions and develop a bespoke treatment plan with a personalized dosing regimen.
It's also very important to do your research before pursuing any treatments involving CBD at spas. Try to find spas that obtain their CBD from organic sources with minimal ingredients. The products the spas use are of utmost importance, so you want to make sure you're going to a place that really cares about the ingredients it's putting in and on your body because "what can harm you is if the CBDs are mixed with oils that aren't good quality or have a lot of chemicals," Pamula stated.