World Physical Therapy Day is on the 8th, and with it, just around the corner, it’s time to look at the benefits of hemp-based CBD creams in physical and massage therapy.

This sector has seen tremendous success with CBD creams because physical and massage therapists have amassed a wealth of evidence on the benefits of relieving body pain, muscle tension, reducing inflammation, and regulating sleep.

There is also growing evidence of benefits of using it in a pre-workout routine as a preventive measure against injuries.

Science and the Law

CBD is a Cannabinoid found naturally in the cannabis and hemp plants.
Cannabinoids are a range of chemical compounds that can directly affect the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Even though CBD and THC are both cannabinoids and can be found in cannabis plants, this does not make CBD a psychoactive substance.

The body of research supporting CBD’s health-giving properties in the treatment of arthritis, epilepsy, pain management, and anxiety-based conditions has grown in recent years.

So much so that in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the cannabinoid drug Epidiolex for use in the treatment of epilepsy as well as a World Health Organization report finding, “no adverse health outcomes but several medical applications for cannabidiol.”

In 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances as an increasing number of athletes have begun using it.

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Benefits in Physical Therapy

CBD oil has been scientifically proven to help with the effects of arthritis and joint pain.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky looked into the effect of CBD for the relief of arthritic symptoms in rats for the European Journal of Pain. With the goal to see how CBD could reduce pain and improve mobility.

Using a CBD gel, they noted “reduced joint swelling,” while concluding that other indicators of pain like joint positioning had also improved.

They also noted the benefits of applying the CBD through a topical application which allows the active ingredients to be, “absorbed directly into the affected area for faster and more focused relief.”

Joint pain can benefit from the application of a topical CBD cream for pain.

Other studies have found a strong correlation between CBD in relief of chronic pain and reducing inflammation of muscles.

In a 2012 research paper in the Journal of Experimental Evidence and a team of scientists discovered “cannabidiol (CBD), a major non psychoactive component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.”

Reducing inflammation is an important aspect of any post-injury physical therapy, and the strong positive results noted are one of the reasons that physical therapists are incorporating hemp-based CBD creams and oils into their treatment plans.

Anecdotally an increasing number of professional and recreational athletes look to CBD cream for combating chronic joint pain including retired NHL linebacker David Arhens who, when speaking to MensHealth.com spoke about his over-reliance on opioids to manage pain, “I enjoyed a 10-year playing career. I have taken more pain pills in that time than most people have in their lifetime. I wish I had known about the benefits of CBD much earlier.” Using CBD creams as pain relief, instead of potentially addictive opioids, is, of course, a huge benefit.

Another aspect of recovery is sleep, and its importance cannot be overstated. CBD releases serotonin in the brain, which reduces anxiety, and which can act as a sleeping aid. Sufferers of insomnia have also reported an increased ability to sleep.

This is just yet another aspect of the potential for CBD to aid physical therapy.

Final Thoughts

The scientific evidence for CBD’s ability to aid physical therapy is overwhelming.

The benefits seen in reducing chronic pain, inflammation, muscle tension and its ability to help regulate sleep mean that those who suffer from these ailments and those that treat them should consider hemp-based CBD creams as part of a holistic and effect treatment for these conditions.