Karen Dunne, a retired nurse, began with her first CBD experience back in February at Varuna Salon Spa in Annapolis. She said she was skeptical about it and had some questions regarding the cannabidiol massage. In other words, Dunne felt it was all too good to be true.
Cannabidiol, or better known as CBD, is a hemp-derived substance that is touted for its health benefits that include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Since the federal government legalized hemp last year under the Farm Bill Act 2018, many companies have entered into the CBD industry producing an array of CBD based products.
Both brick and mortar, and online stores offer a wide range of CBD products- oils, tincture, cream, topicals, lotions, serum, bath bombs, vape pen, gummies, isolate – and spas like Varuna are garnering more popularity by the day.
The CBD massage was expensive as compared to her regular massages, but Dunne instantly felt the change after her cannabidiol treatment. Usually, her body would become sore and achy, and then hurt after getting a traditional massage, but with CBD, she didn’t have any pain, said Dunne. She further revealed that post her cannabidiol treatment, she didn’t feel any pain for days.
An Annapolis resident, Dunne said that she experiences a lot of body pain and these massages help her get through with those tough times. Dunne was really surprised at how effective CBD really was. She has several fused discs and other back problems, which experienced noticeable relief after the CBD treatment. She also has arthritis in her fingers, and the swelling has dramatically reduced.
Despite the benefits of CBD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been more measured, noting that there is a lot of research that needs to be done to investigate the effects of CBD, especially for the elderly, adolescents, children, lactating and pregnant women.
The FDA has also warned companies about marketing their products that contain cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds such as CBD or THC in ways that may violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has not yet created a regulatory framework for cannabis and cannabis-derived products. The only approved cannabis-based medicine by the FDA is Epidiolex, an oral solution that is used to help with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy- Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
Jenna Bingham, the Mid-Atlantic sales rep for Cannablis, a Colorado-based brand, said the CBD industry has exploded after the commercial cultivation of hemp was legalized. Bingham’s products are sold in 11 spas in Mayland including About Faces Day Spa and Salon in Annapolis.
The legalization removed the stigma of cannabis and cannabis-derived products which boosted the sales and literally opened floodgates for consumers. By the end of the year, the spas that Bingham works with will start offering CBD-infused oral gummies that would help to promote elasticity in the skin and cell renewal.
Although CBD products are considered to be safe, Bigham recommends customers to properly research and look into the concentration before buying a CBD product. She said that buying a CBD product from a 7-Eleven and a furniture store is not the same as buying a cannabis-based product from a high-end spa. Not all CBD products are created with equal precision, concentration and quality.
Additionally, a 2016 study of 84 CBD products bought online, revealed that the majority of the products were mislabeled, and contained high levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana.
According to the US federal regulations, the maximum threshold for the amount of THC per unit is 0.3%. THC is known to be the reason behind the ‘high’ that people experience when they smoke weed or joint. It tends to cause hallucinations and produce a euphoria-like feeling which can often lead to prolonged mental health disorders.
Oil-based products found in spas were more likely to be legal and contain safe concentration levels of THC. Helga Surratt, one of the first clients of Cannabliss, says that CBD massages have helped her in improving her sleep, backaches, pains and it has also helped to even out her skin.
Surratt says CBD works differently for different people. While some people might sleep better, others will be more relaxed.
According to the General Manager of Varuna Salon Spa, Brittany North, the response has been quite consistent, and positive about the CBD treatments. North says they have not received any negative or bad comment or review about the cannabis-based massages.
The Annapolis business offers Cannabidiol massages that range from $95 for 30 minutes to $185 for 90 minutes, averages about five messages a month. They use CBD concentrate for their massages bought from a Colorado-based company known as Nuleaf.