cbd massage

I Got a CBD Massage—Now I’m a New, Chill Woman

The benefits are incredible.


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In This Article

Let me just start by saying that there’s nothing I hate more than when people tell me to “relax.” As a highly emotional person, this is possibly the worst thing you can say to me when I’m feeling stressed or high-strung, and I guarantee that I will do the exact opposite the second I hear those words (my ex-boyfriends can attest!). Therefore, I felt like I had come to a place that understood me when I walked into NYC’s Chillhouse and saw that all the staff were wearing shirts that said, “Don’t tell me to relax.” Finally, a place full of kindred spirits who understood me. If more people realized that relaxing is not just something you can tell yourself to do, the world might be a more understanding place.

For me, the concept of relaxing often feels like a nice but unrealistic fairytale. Yes, of course, I’d like to Zen out and release tension from my body and mind. Now, would someone explain to me how I’m supposed to do that? Clearing your thoughts and allowing yourself to slip into deep relaxation is something that feels quite unattainable in a world where information is exchanged at lightning speed and there’s always, always something on your mind—from work stress to realizing you really underestimated Jessica Biel after watching season one of The Sinner (just me?). Anyway, all of this goes to say that I walked into Chillhouse feeling hopeful but slightly dubious about the de-stressing benefits promised by its CBD massage, an add-on you can choose to boost any of its normal massages for just $15.

Keep reading to find out what happened when I got a CBD massage.

What Is a CBD Massage?

First of all, let’s talk about CBD—full name cannabidiol—which is non-psychoactive and is found in high concentrations in cannabis and hemp (not to be confused with THC, which is the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant that people associate with the “high” feeling). When incorporated into a massage, the only difference is the product used not the massage technique itself. So, while it sounds like something much different than a traditional rub-down, a CBD massage is just that: a massage performed with CBD-infused oils and creams.

Benefits of a CBD Massage

  • Calms inflammation
  • Soothes anxiety
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Melts tension

Health-wise, incorporating CBD into your routine via tinctures, oils, and lotions has been shown to have amazing anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antibacterial properties, and lately, there’s been a boom of CBD products and treatments in the wellness space.

In terms of the benefits of CBD massage specifically, “CBD oil has natural anti-inflammatory effects that can more effectively soothe sore muscles and joints, which makes it great for massages,” explains Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, Chillhouse founder. “It encourages the body to speed up the healing process and is beneficial in relieving anxiety as well as gastric distress. Our CBD cream also has arnica and lidocaine, which allows for additional anti-inflammatory benefits.” (As a note, arnica is a common natural ingredient that people swear helps reduce bruising and muscle fatigue more quickly, and lidocaine gives a soothing, cooling feeling). Ramirez-Fulton is clearly a CBD believer and told me that if she ever can’t make it in for a massage, she’ll turn to her inventory of CBD oils and creams. The second she puts them on her shoulders or anywhere tense, she feels temporary relief. “For creams, I love Lord Jones ($60) and Cannuka ($28). For ingestibles, I love Soul Addict’s hemp butter ($35) and Cap Beauty’s The Daily Hit,” she says. “Hard to say what’s working for me long-term, but I’m overall less stressed these days, so something’s gotta be working!”

CBD Massage vs. Regular Massage

As mentioned, the biggest difference between a CBD massage and a regular massage is the CBD. When it comes to Chillhouse (and most massage studios for that matter), the kneading technique doesn’t change. That way clients are able to really tell the difference of the CBD inclusion alone, as opposed to trying to figure out what’s a result of the CBD and what’s due to the rubbing motions.

How to Prepare for a CBD Massage

Just chill. No, but really, when it comes to getting a CBD massage, the whole point is to reach peak relaxation, so don’t stress out over how to prepare for the rubdown. Simply arrive as you would to any other massage and get excited for a calming CBD experience.

What to Expect During a CBD Massage

As someone who also wants to feel less stressed overall, I immediately took her up on her offer to experience the CBD massage. I told the masseuse that I’d like her to focus the CBD part of the massage on my shoulders, which always holds a million knots from sitting hunched in front of a computer all day. As I laid facedown on the massage bed, I felt the familiar hurricane of thoughts begin to swirl in my mind. Deadlines, upcoming projects, what I’d be eating for dinner (one of my favorite things to think about)… I tried to quiet my mind and focus on my breathing using a meditation technique I had learned last year that involved counting up to eight while picturing the shape of the number eight. It worked. I felt my shoulders unclench (though that may have been because of my skilled massage therapist). The last thing I remember was feeling a slight cooling, chilly feeling on my shoulder blades. Then, the next thing I knew, my masseuse was gently shaking me awake and telling me she was done. A full hour had passed. It felt like minutes. Slightly surprised at just how quickly it had gone by and how the tension in my shoulders seemed to have all but melted away, I floated out of the room in a hazy cloud. I felt inexplicably calm and, yes, relaxed. If someone told me at that moment to relax, I probably would have smiled serenely and said, “I am. Isn’t it lovely?”

Side Effects

While many people swear by topical CBD, it’s worth noting that the National Institutes of Health regularly point out that more research needs to be done. Currently, the majority of the studies on CBD pertain to oral dosages, which, in some cases, have been associated with diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, and more. None of these results, however, have been tied to topical use. As such, when considering a CBD massage, remember that, while it seems like everyone on social media is singing CBD’s praises, the science isn’t all there (yet).


Bliss out. That’s it. Simple as that. Following a CBD massage, there’s no need to immediately hop in the shower—in fact, it’s advised against. By going about the rest of your day with the CBD cream still intact, you’ll be able to benefit from the calming ingredient for hours to come.

The Final Takeaway

If you have the opportunity to incorporate CBD oil into a massage or facial treatment, I highly recommend it. It adds another level of relaxation, and you’ll emerge a chiller, less anxious person. As a very un-chill, anxious person, I can attest.

Our editorial director investigated the benefits of a CBD massage. Check out her experience and insights from the founder of Chillhouse here.

Best CBD Massage Oils

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis-derived compound with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been shown to have a positive effect on pain and anxiety.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound in cannabis, CBD is nonintoxicating. This means it won’t get you “high.”

CBD features in many different types of products, including massage oils.

CBD massage oils have the same key benefit as other massage oils — reducing friction on the skin. As a bonus, they may also provide pain relief. Some people even have fun with them in the bedroom.

It’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t currently regulate CBD products the same way they do drugs and dietary supplements. That means not every CBD product you find will meet the same standard of safety and quality.

This fact, combined with the sheer number of products on the market, means that finding your “just right” CBD massage oil can be a little tricky.

This article is here to help get you started with some top picks. Read on to find out about seven of the best CBD massage oils and discover what makes a quality product. Where available, we’ve included special discount codes for our readers.

CBD glossary

  • Cannabinoids: Cannabis-derived compounds, such as THC and CBD.
  • Terpenes: Aromatic compounds produced by plants. The terpenes in cannabis are partially responsible for its distinct effects.
  • Full-spectrum: Contains all compounds (that is, cannabinoids and terpenes) found in cannabis, including some THC. Federally legal products will still have less than 0.3 percent THC.
  • Broad-spectrum: Contains all compounds found in cannabis except for THC.
  • CBD isolate: Pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids or terpenes.

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to a certificate of analysis (COA)
  • is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency, since studies show that skin has poor permeability with respect to cannabinoids (More potent topical products may work better than less potent ones.)
  • whether the product contains any additional ingredients that may support pain relief or relaxation
  • whether ingredients are certified organic
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
    • customer reviews
    • whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter
    • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims.

Additionally, most of the products on this list contain full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD (also known as whole plant extract) may have some advantages over isolate. It’s thought that cannabinoids may work better together than they do alone — this theory is called the entourage effect.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $40
  • $$ = $40–$60
  • $$$ = over $60

Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil

Price: $–$$$

This oil is packed with skin-healthy ingredients like jojoba oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. Most of the hemp is sourced from Lazarus Naturals’ own farm, with the rest coming from other growers in Oregon.

Batch-specific test results can be found on the product page. The company offers a 60 percent discount to veterans, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes.

CBD type Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency 200 milligrams (mg) per 2-ounce (oz.) bottle, 800 mg per 8-oz. bottle, or 1,600 mg per 16-oz. bottle
COA Available on product page

Sagely Naturals Drift & Dream Body Oil

Price: $

According to Sagely Naturals, their products are formulated by top chemists and naturopaths using organic, U.S.-grown hemp. Their Drift & Dream Body Oil contains moisturizing jojoba oil and relaxation-friendly lavender and chamomile oils. This oil is also vegan and cruelty-free.

The company publishes comprehensive, batch-specific COAs on their site. Though they state that their products are tested by an accredited third-party lab, they don’t specify which lab.

CBD type Broad-spectrum (THC-free)
CBD potency 100 mg per 3.3-oz. bottle
COA Available online

Papa & Barkley Releaf Body Oil

Price: $

It can be hard to mask the earthy scent of CBD, but California-based Papa & Barkley does it well. Their Releaf Body Oil is one of the best-smelling massage oils on this list.

It contains a blend of essential oils — specifically tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender — to infuse your massage with an extra touch of calm.

You can find the COA for this product online or by scanning the QR code on the package.

CBD type Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency 400 mg per 2-oz. bottle
COA Available Online

Veritas Farms CBD Massage Oil

Use code “HEALTHLINE” for 15% off

Price: $$

This massage oil comes in a pump-style bottle, which makes dispensing a breeze. It contains only two ingredients: jojoba oil and full-spectrum hemp extract. That makes this product a good choice if you’re looking for something that’s unscented or if you have sensitive skin.

COAs are available on the site for every batch of every Veritas Farms product, which is one way to know you’ve found a good brand.

CBD type Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency 500 mg per 100-milliliter (mL) bottle
COA Available online

Moon Mother Hemp Company Massage Oil

Price: $$–$$$

Moon Mother’s massage oil contains hemp that’s USDA certified organic. In fact, all of their ingredients are organic, and the company aims for them to be responsibly sourced and fair trade whenever possible. Moon Mother also doesn’t test on animals.

The addition of jojoba oil and lavender essential oil makes this a good pick for a pre-bedtime massage.

Moon Mother has lots of positive reviews online. You can see a sample COA on the product page, or enter your batch number here to see testing results for your specific product.

CBD type Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)
CBD potency 500 mg per 2-oz. bottle or 1,000 mg per 4-oz. bottle
COA Available online

Susan’s CBD Hemp CBD Massage Oil

Price: $$

Cannabinoids naturally have low permeability, meaning they don’t absorb especially well through skin. That’s why choosing a potent product, like this one from Susan’s CBD, can be particularly helpful when it comes to topicals.

This product is THC-free. It’s also priced fairly considering the potency and size of the bottle. This version is lightly scented with essential oils, but the company offers an unscented version as well.

Susan’s CBD sources their CBD isolate through a third party. It’s tested for potency, pesticides, and heavy metals, and additional details can be provided upon request. The company tests their finished products for potency through an ISO 17025-compliant lab that follows good manufacturing processes (GMP).

CBD type Isolate (THC-free)
CBD potency 1,200 mg per 8-oz. bottle
COA Available online

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Oil

Price: $$$

This CBD oil comes in a bottle with a rollerball top, allowing you to effortlessly glide it onto your skin. The formula is free of parabens and phthalates. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

A combination of plant-based oils, including organic avocado, jojoba, and safflower oils, nourishes skin while alleviating tight muscles. Orange and bergamot add a light, musky aroma.

COAs are only viewable by email request or online by inputting a batch number, which you can see only after purchasing a product.

CBD type Broad-spectrum (THC-free)
CBD potency 100 mg per 1-oz. bottle
COA Available online

Navigating the world of CBD products can be confusing, even for more experienced users. Here’s what to look for when evaluating a product.

Comprehensive, up-to-date COA

The first thing you’ll want to look at is the certificate of analysis, or COA. The COA should be from an accredited third-party lab, not the brand itself.

Review the COA and check to make sure the cannabinoid profile and potency matches what’s on the product label. Some companies stop there, but the highest quality products will also be tested for heavy metals, molds, pesticides, and residual chemicals or solvents.

If the company doesn’t provide a COA or provides one that’s incomplete or old, its products probably aren’t the highest quality.

CBD source and type

Look for products made with U.S.-grown hemp, which is subject to agricultural regulations.

Also consider the type of hemp. If you’re looking for a product that’s federally legal, look for a full-spectrum product with less than 0.3 percent THC, or an isolate or broad-spectrum product.

Red flags

Watch out for red flags when shopping. These include:

  • Exaggerated health claims. Although CBD may help with certain conditions, it’s not a cure-all. Avoid companies that claim their product can treat or cure any disease.
  • Misleading ingredients. Some brands may try to sell hempseed oil masquerading as CBD. If a product only lists hemp seeds, hempseed oil, or Cannabis sativa seed oil, but doesn’t list cannabidiol, CBD, or hemp extract, it doesn’t contain CBD.
  • Many poor reviews, customer complaints, lawsuits, or FDA warning letters. As with any product, do your research before making a purchase. Try getting info at sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also research to see whether the company has had any legal trouble in the past.

You can learn more about how to read a CBD product label here.

Find what’s right for you

When looking for a product to suit your specific needs, consider the cannabinoid and terpene profile, potency, type of CBD, and additional ingredients.

For example, if you’re looking for localized pain relief, you may want to opt for a topical product you can rub into a specific area. If you want something you can use before bedtime, look for a product that contains high levels of linalool, a terpene found in lavender and cannabis.

Topical products are as easy to use as it gets. Simply apply the oil to the desired area and massage it in for at least 30 seconds.

Remember how we said skin doesn’t easily allow cannabinoids to pass through? That means you’ll want to use a generous amount of oil on your skin.

There isn’t currently a lot of information available regarding onset and duration time of the effects of CBD topicals in humans. Many people who use topicals say they begin to feel the effects within a few minutes.

The overall duration time is variable, though some user reports suggest peak effects occur at 90 minutes. The short duration time is likely why instructions for topical use advise you to reapply as needed.

CBD is considered safe and generally well tolerated in humans at doses of up to 1,500 mg per day . However, CBD users may still experience some side effects. These can include:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

You’re less likely to experience such side effects from topically applied CBD products.

If you’re CBD-curious, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying it, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD products can have significant drug interactions. You can also talk with a knowledgeable cannabis clinician, if one is available to you.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties make it a great candidate for topical applications, including CBD massage oil. CBD massage oil is applied directly to skin for the purposes of relaxing tense or sore muscles.

Shopping for the right CBD products requires a little savvyness. Always be sure to look for COAs with passing tests to ensure you’re getting the highest quality CBD possible.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

These seven CBD massage oils are some of the best out there. Find out about top brands and learn what makes a quality CBD product.