As the CBD craze continues to grow across the United States, stores are rushing to stock their shelves with CBD-infused products. Even celebrities are attesting to the therapeutic properties of CBD, claiming to have experienced relief from anxiety and chronic pain after using products containing CBD and undergoing treatments such as CBD massages.
But is CBD really that beneficial, and should people be paying a premium for CBD-infused products and massages? According to Jordan Tishler, M.D., a trained Boston medical marijuana doctor and faculty at Harvard Medical School, the answer is no.
What Is CBD and What Is It Used to Treat?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, or a medicine found in cannabis. Cannabidiol has shown to be effective in treating patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome, which are rare seizure disorders found in children (Source). It should be noted that patients with these conditions are given 10-20mg per kilogram of their body weight per day, which is an incredibly large amount of CBD. It should be further noted that there is not enough evidence to suggest that CBD at any dose is effective in treating adults with epilepsy.
Studies have shown that CBD could have powerful analgesic properties, but only at extremely high doses. A study published in the European Journal of Pain suggested that when applied topically, high doses of CBD were successful in reducing pain and inflammation in rats, but each of the rats in this study were given roughly the same amount of CBD used to treat child epileptics: 10-20mg of CBD per kilogram of their body weight. Again, this really is an enormous amount of CBD – most bottles of CBD-infused massage oils cost around $50-100 and don’t even claim to contain 100mg of CBD.
This means that although CBD could be a promising treatment for humans with these symptoms, the dosage would also need to be extremely high – likely around 600-1200mg of CBD per day for a person to have any significant benefit from use, which would be financially unfeasible for most people.
What is a CBD Massage?
Research has shown that massage therapy can help remedy symptoms associated with hypertension, arthritis and fibromyalgia, and other pain and immune syndromes. However, it is unlikely that a CBD massage is necessary in order for patients with these conditions to reap any sort of significant relief. The CBD-infused massage oils used during these treatments contain such a low dose of CBD that the client is unlikely to experience any therapeutic effects from the CBD itself, but of course, like after any massage, it is common for people to feel a sense of calm and relaxation, which could easily be mistaken for the effects of CBD.
Additionally, it’s possible that many of those who feel as though their symptoms have significantly lessened after using a low dose of CBD topically may be experiencing what is known as the Placebo Effect. People truly don’t realize how powerful the placebo effect can be – in some studies, the symptoms of participants given the placebo have actually been known to improve nearly at the same rate of participants given the actual study drug.
The placebo effect is not necessarily bad – if more people are reporting living happier, healthier lives, then by all means that is a good thing. However, given the price of CBD-infused massage oils and treatments, opting instead for a regular massage may be far more cost-effective, and you certainly won’t be missing out on the small amount of CBD that salons use in their products.
Other Pain Relief Medicines Found in Cannabis
Although those looking to use cannabidiol as a remedy for their health conditions may be sorely disappointed, they should be pleased to hear that there are over 100 cannabinoids found in marijuana, many of which have shown far better results than CBD when it comes to treating symptoms like pain and inflammation.
In particular, THC-A is a cannabinoid that is abundantly found in cannabis with powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is non-intoxicating when used alone. This means that like CBD, THC-A won’t cause patients to experience a “high.”
Call Our Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Professional Today
If you are interested in using any of the medicines found within cannabis to help treat your condition, it is best to consult with a trained medical professional who has experience with medical marijuana. Massachusetts medical marijuana professional Dr. Tishler and the team at InhaleMD stand ready to assist patients in determining if medical marijuana may be right for them. To learn more or set up a consultation, call us today at (617) 861 – 8519.