With the growing popularity of cannabidiol — or CBD oil — many spas and wellness centers across the country have taken notice of the cannabis extract’s potential health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. And now, consumers here will have the opportunity to incorporate CBD oils into service offerings exclusively at the Relâche Spa inside the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor.
When I found out the spa was offering massages with CBD-spiked products, I scheduled an appointment right away in hopes that it would soothe my tired muscles from a lot of cycling classes and gym sessions.
I was both nervous and excited. While massages have been known to help work out soreness, I was intrigued by what CBD would add to the experience. Dan Cramer, lead massage therapist at Relâche, told me that CBD coupled with massage would indeed help to ease tightness and relax my sore, achy muscles. “Is there a part of your body that’s hurting you?” he asked me. Yep, my shoulders and neck.
He got right to work kneading and using trigger-point therapy on my shoulder blades and neck muscles.
A CBD massage, I learned, always starts with a warm towel compressed onto the back, followed by an application of hemp oil products. First, Cramer started with Mary’s Hemp Massage Oil, which can be applied locally to muscles, joints or any tender area. He then rubbed in some of Mary’s Elite Transdermal Compound.
You can also incorporate their muscle-freeze product to tender areas to help reinvigorate the muscles as an add-on experience to the massage, which Cramer did for me. Within the first few minutes, the combination of the oil and the balm had a cooling, tingly effect on my upper and lower back.
That didn’t surprise Cramer. “I think a lot of the continuing studies of CBD and hemp-infused products are showing huge benefits and that they actually work to reduce inflammation,” he says. “CBD treatments create a positive attitude and help uplift, reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and help people sleep. So, we are excited to be using these products.”
The product line is safe to use and hasn’t been known to have harsh side effects, he adds. “It’s very similar to our custom massage, but this is an entire body application, where you get a double dose of the hemp product between the massage oil and balm,” Cramer says. “To be clear, there is no THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in these products. Federal law prohibits any CBD and derived hemp products from having any more than .03 percent of THC, and it’s a topical application, so there is no reason to be concerned.”
When I leave the spa and make the trek to my car, I notice that the heaviness that I usually feel in my shoulders and back is gone. Typically, even walking is a chore after my regularly scheduled massage sessions, as I tend to have lingering soreness, but CBD (coupled with the massage) has been very successful in relieving that problem.
And while the offer of a traditional massage is always glorious, depending on what muscles are tight, I am sold on the CBD enhancement to keep the relaxed vibe going. Relâche offers both 50-minute CBD massage treatments. Consider it a higher form of self-care.