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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Cavoli, LMT

CBD Oil- Why we are not offering it.

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

I am sitting here with a ton of CBD lotions samples sent to me by a company who is really trying to get me to offer CBD Massage to my clients! I actually can't touch the stuff because 1. It has 14% menthol and I am allergic to menthol, and 2. in NYS using a CBD lotion or oil on my clients is out of my scope of practice!

CBD or Marijuana products have been a pretty popular topic of discussion as of late. It only makes sense that many of you have lots of questions. I get asked about what it is, how it can help, and of course why I am not offering while other LMT's locally are.

What is CBD?

According to Harvard Health Publishing (the article is linked here if you would like to ready it.) CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is an active ingredient in the hemp plant. Plants have many active components. Take for example the volatile oil that is used to make our favorite essential oil. The big difference with CBD is that it is not the same as THC. The THC content in a marijuana plant is the psyco active component, or the ingredient that makes you feel high. Instead CBD, does not get you high at all, and can actually help you with a variety of maladies.

Why would we use this in massage?

CBD extract is easily, albeit expensive, to put into a massage oil or lotion and many practitioners and clients have found it to be a positive experience. Below are just a few examples of what CBD has been known to do according to Harvard Health. You can easily see why this would be a popular add on in massage therapy studios.

CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control- Harvard Health Publisher


This sounds like a win win yes? Not quite!

Why is Sanctuary Massage not offering CBD Massage and products?

As much as we would love to be ahead of this trend and offering it to our clients it is considered out of our scope of practice according to the board of professions. This can get really tricky to understand, especially for well meaning sales people who don't have a professional licence regulated by the state and push the sale of their products without understanding the rules.

First you have to understand that every licenced practitioner in NYS has a Scope of Practice or a guideline that explains what can and cannot do, what we can and cannot say to our clients. For example: It is out of my scope of practice to diagnose, cure, or prescribe. Doing any of these things can result in disciplinary action from my board of professions. CBD is currently outside the scope of practice for a Licenced Massage Therapist in the sate of NY. This can be super confusing as the laws begin to change and clients are allowed to purchase and use CBD for their own private use. I can buy it and use it too, just not in my studio and on my clients. I have personally spoken to or corresponded with 4 different members of the board who all gave me a black and white answer. NO I CANNOT USE CBD OIL IN MY PRACTICE. While I don't think they are out to get anyone, I absolutely will not chance loosing my licence and my ability to work with all of you over the use of CBD Oil.

I cannot speak for the other practitioners who choose to use the products. They may choose to willingly ignore the rule and take their chances, or they may simple have not thought to check in with the board as so many others are doing it and that tricky sales guys explains it is all totally legal and there is nothing to worry about.

Rules can change

We all know that rules can change and it is very possible that this will change and CBD will sooner rather later be within our scope of practice. I do hope that is the case! Until then you will not see CBD on our menu of services. If and when that time comes you can rest assured that we will be doing ample research on any product we do choose to offer here at the studio. With so many options out there, it is very important to know what you are getting. Please take care in getting reviews, asking questions, and looking closely at the active ingredients of any given product you decide to try. The current samples I have been given list Menthol as the only active ingredient in their product with Hemp extract listed very low. I will be taking some time to dive in and understand what that means and hope you do if you choose to head down this path.


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