With the legality of cannabis expanding across many jurisdictions and the increase in the number of cannabis-related products, CBD massage oil is growing in popularity. Not everyone is aware that this oil even exists, let alone how and why to use it. If an individual likes massages, appreciates the benefits of CBD or has an interest in the subject, there is plenty to know about oils infused with CBD.

Understanding the Oil

This oil is what it sounds like, oils used for massages that are infused with CBD.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of over a hundred different cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. As such, CBD is a natural compound. Despite it coming from cannabis, there are no psychoactive effects associated with CBD. Using it will not get an individual “high,” as there are no psychoactive elements in it. Another cannabinoid, THC, is responsible for the “high” associated with consuming cannabis.

CBD Benefits That Can Apply to Massages

CBD has grown in popularity in recent years due to a combination of its non-psychoactive effects and its range of benefits. Two of the many benefits associated with CBD include pain and stress relief. Given that most people look for those benefits from massages as well, the inclusion of CBD oil in a massage will only enhance the relaxation and pain alleviation of the treatment.

Pain Relief

There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence that those who suffer from pain of all severities, including chronic pain, experience relief from cannabis as a whole or CBD in particular. Studies with arthritic rats showed that massages with CBD gel on inflamed areas could reduce pain and swelling, which also improved movement.

This is a crucial point since the pain reduction associated with a CBD massage can help a person move more freely and live life to the fullest. Additionally, there are some indications that CBD can provide relief from temporary pain-related issues like muscle soreness and inflammation, including that due to exercise.

Pure CBD also has other pain-relieving benefits like anti-inflammatory properties that help issues like joint pain or sore muscles.

Stress Relief

Looking at stress relief, CBD is a natural analgesic, and research shows that it can help reduce stress-related symptoms that are linked to PTSD and social anxiety. It also seems to have antidepressant effects as well as anxiolytic-like effects (anti-anxiety), which further promote relaxation.

The Design of These Oils

Those who create these massage oils work to create a product that will moisturize the skin and not leave behind a greasy or oily residue. The oils also typically include a range of other natural ingredients. Conventional carrier oils include jojoba, almond, and coconut. The oils also tend to have omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in high concentrations. This is deliberate as those fats have healing properties and are associated with healthier, stronger skin.

How This Oil Works

CBD massage oil provides its benefits in the same way that other topical CBD treatments work. This is done via interactions with the endocannabinoid system. During the massage, the CBD comes in contact with the skin and engages the local endocannabinoid receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. For those unfamiliar with it, the endocannabinoid system regulates a range of functions, including temperature, mood, pain response, and appetite.

The CBD in the oil will bind with the endocannabinoid receptors found in the peripheral nervous system. This will lead to effects like pain relief and stress relief.

How It Compares to Ingesting CBD

There are some differences between ingesting CBD via an edible carrier or tincture compared to via the skin with oil. One of the factors is that CBD has a lower bioavailability when applied topically, meaning less of it will reach the endocannabinoid system.

A positive of topical application is that the liver will not break it down. Unfortunately, if an individual ingests CBD, the liver will break a lot of it down, slightly reducing the effectiveness. When applied topically, it skips the liver and goes right into the bloodstream.

Additionally, using massage oil with CBD lets the user target a specific area of their body that requires relief in a way that is not possible with ingested CBD. This way, they can massage the part of their body that is the tensest for localized relief instead of having the CBD’s benefits spread throughout the body.

Who Should Consider These Oils?

Realistically, nearly anyone could benefit from using these massage oils instead of their conventional oils.

Common Situations

People who suffer from chronic or temporary pain may want to consider a CBD massage as a way to supplement the benefits of their regular massages. It can be particularly helpful for those with cancer pain or seniors with arthritis.

Athletes may appreciate the extra relaxation and pain relief of a CBD massage when overcoming muscle soreness or an injury.

Additionally, anyone who wants to relieve anxiety, stress, or pain should strongly consider a massage with CBD-infused oils.

Consult a Doctor

It is incredibly rare to experience side effects in healthy adults, so there is almost no risk in trying it. However, users should consult a doctor before using this oil to be safe. This is particularly important for those who take other medications or are pregnant. There is not enough research yet to indicate whether CBD is safe for pregnant women, and there is evidence that CBD can negatively interact with certain medications.

How to Get the Most From the Oil

Whether an individual opts for this oil with a professional massage therapist or in the comfort of the person’s home, there are some things they can do to maximize the benefits they get from it.

Read and Follow the Instructions

Any oil that a person purchase should come with instructions. At the very least, there will be an indication of how much CBD is in every dose and the quantity of oil per dose. Individuals should pay close attention to this information so they can give themselves (or their massage partner) the appropriate dosage. There may also be other information, such as how frequently they should use the massage oil or how often to reapply it during the massage.

Relax the Mind

No matter where an individual chooses to have a massage, the person should create a relaxing state of mind. Getting in a relaxing mental state will make it much easier to physical relax so they can get all the benefits of the CBD massage.

Try taking deep breaths and dim the lights so the eyes can relax. Infuse the space with a calming scent, such as lavender. Users can do this via an aromatherapy diffuser or candles. Individuals should also consider turning on ambient noise or calming music to help them.

Prepare the Skin

Because of the way that the CBD in oil enters the body, there is reduced bioavailability than products like vape oils or tinctures. This refers to the fact that less of the CBD will reach the endocannabinoid system. To maximize the amount of CBD that enters the relevant system, massagers should do what they can to provide it with a direct path to the skin. Ideally, this will include rinsing or cleaning the skin before the massage. Afterward, make sure that the skin is dry.

Apply Enough

The low bioavailability of CBD in oils also means that users should be ready to use a generous amount. The more a person applies, the higher the chances are that the CBD will be able to engage with the endocannabinoid system.

For the best results, apply the oil generously and massage it firmly into the skin. This should help it reach the local endocannabinoid receptors on the skin. This part also goes back to paying attention to the instructions of the chosen oil. If the product cautions against overuse, pay attention to the warnings and stay within the outlined limits, while still being generous with the oil.

Wash Hands When Done

After giving someone a massage with CBD oil, individuals should make sure to wash their hands using soap and water. This helps ensure that they do not accidentally irritate the eyes by touching them with hands that contain the oil. The CBD may irritate the eyes in some cases, but it is also very likely that the other ingredients in the oil would irritate the eyes.

Choosing the Right Oil

Although there are not as many oils with CBD as some other CBD products, there is still an abundance of products to choose from. How does someone choose between all of the options to make sure they get the right high-quality oil for their needs and stay safe?

Third-party Testing

Start by looking for third-party lab testing on the chosen products. A buyer should not purchase any oil, or other CBD product, that does not have independent testing. The testing should include the results on a Certificate of Analysis. This certificate will include the various elements present, including their concentrations. It will also confirm that there are no harmful substances in the oil, such as bacteria or mycotoxins.

The best products and companies will have these certificates of analysis easily accessible via their websites. In some cases, a person may have to do some digging on the website to find it. Some companies allow buyers to contact them for the information. If there is no readily available testing information and the company will not provide it, move on. There are enough massage oils with CBD available that users do not have to settle for a potentially unsafe product.

Extraction Method

There are multiple methods of extracting CBD from the hemp plant, and this can affect purity, safety, and quality. When opting for CBD massage oil, buyers should ideally choose a product with CO2 or ethanol extraction. Avoid synthetic oils and those with extraction featuring propane, butane, petroleum, or other hydrocarbons. Those may cause dry skin.

CBD Concentration

A person should also pay attention to how much CBD is actually in the oil. Given the trendiness of CBD, it is common for companies to put trace quantities of CBD in a product and call it “CBD-infused” to make sales. To get benefits from CBD, make sure that there is a reasonable amount present.

Full-spectrums Vs. Isolates

CBD massage oil, just like any other CBD product, is an isolate or a full-spectrum product. Isolates only have CBD without any other cannabis elements. They will still have carrier oils. Full-spectrum oils have other cannabinoids as well as terpenes but in smaller quantities than the CBD. The psychoactive compound will likely be under 0.3 percent. It can only be above this in products that are not hemp-based and require legalized marijuana in the jurisdiction. As long as the latter component is under 0.3 percent, it should be legal under the Farm Bill.

The choice of full-spectrum CBD or isolates mostly comes down to personal preference. Research shows that using full-spectrum products will give better results than isolates due to the entourage effect. This is how the presence of other elements enhances CBD’s effects. The caveat, however, is that since full-spectrum products contain small quantities of psychoactive compounds, they may show up in drug tests.

Scents, Carrier Oils, and Other Preferences

There will also be some personal choices when it comes to choosing oil for massage. Specifically, users will be able to select the scent and carrier oil that they prefer, just like they would with any other oil. Buyers should have no problem finding multiple scents of CBD-infused oils, although the variety may be a bit more limited than essential oils. Examples of carrier oils include grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil, all of which can accompany the hemp oil. Buyers can also opt for oil that is vegan, paraben-free, non-GMO, or nut-free if they prefer. There are also options with other favorite ingredients, like chamomile or vitamin E.


CBD oils are legal at the federal level in the United States, provided that the CBD was extracted from hemp and had less than 0.3 percent THC. This is the case thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Though pay attention, since some oils are extracted from marijuana. While rarer, this is entirely possible. CBD massage oils from marijuana are only legal in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal. There is no FDA regulation, however.


Using CBD massage oils can enhance relaxation and pain relief already associated with massages. These oils are available in a range of scents, and the hemp-based versions (which are more common) are legal across the United States.

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