The benefits of CBD and hemp for the skin are often underrated. While we mostly think about CBD in terms of e-liquids, tinctures, and edibles, it’s time to look at infused topical products, too, such as CBD massage oils.
This review will explore whether CBD massage oils are genuinely effective and discuss what makes a top-shelf product. But before we get into the specifics of the science, let’s begin by showcasing the five best CBD massage oils of 2023.
1. Neurogan – CBD Massage Oil (1000 – 16000mg)
Relax, unwind, and relieve your muscles with Neurogan’s premium CBD Massage Oil. This US-made, plant-based topical promotes a sense of calm and helps moisturize the skin. The smooth and silky oil serves to soothe the skin and will quickly leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Neurogan blends CBD extract with several other natural ingredients, including lavender essential oil, jojoba seed oil, and sesame seed oil. Choose between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum, THC-free massage oils.
Neurogan manufactures its CBD massage oil in a cGMP-certified facility. The third-party lab report from Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs confirms this product is Farm Bill compliant and has the correct amount of CBD.
Sizes: 1000mg, 4000mg, 16000mg
2. CBD American Shaman – CBD Massage Oil
CBD American Shaman has a growing reputation for producing boutique CBD products, and this massage oil is another fine addition to their range.
Rich in CBD extract (15mg/oz), essential oils, apricot oil, sweet almond oil, and MCTs, this product has everything required to make a wonderful topical. The carefully chosen selection of ingredients helps relieve muscle and joint pain while keeping the skin hydrated.
The CBD American Shaman Massage Oil is made in the United States with home-grown ingredients. They use Green Scientific Labs for third-party testing and have passed potency and legality checks.
Scents: Natural Unscented, Lavender, Palo Santo, Tea Tree
3. Susan’s CBD – Pain-Relieving CBD Massage Oil
Feeling stressed? Allow yourself some all-natural relief with the CBD Massage Oil from Susan’s CBD. The 8oz bottle is packed with 1200mg of hemp-sourced CBD, equating to a mighty 150mg per oz!
The manufacturing process involves blending the CBD-isolate oil with dried chamomile and calendula plants for at least three weeks to enhance the therapeutic effects. With jojoba oil, lavender oil, and vitamin E also playing a role, it’s no wonder this is an award-winner!
If you are allergic to any essential oils or tree nut oil, contact Susan’s CBD for a version without these ingredients. The massage oil is also free from THC and third-party tested often by the Botanacor laboratory in Colorado.
4. Supa Naturals – Full Spectrum CBD Massage Oil
Supa Naturals comes to the party with a massage oil rich in CBD, sweet almond oil, and lavender. This family-owned brand uses organic, non-GMO hemp and cruelty-free practices, and the ethical approach has paid off.
Sold in 4oz bottles, the massage oil delivers 150 or 300mg of CBD per oz, depending on which strength you choose. A useful stress reliever and painkiller, this Supa Naturals topical may help with arthritis, sore muscles, and general aches and pains.
While marketed as a full-spectrum massage oil, the third-party report from ProVerde Laboratories suggests this is really a CBD-isolate product blended with terpenes. The questionable advertising stops it from featuring higher on my list – but otherwise, the lab report is good.
5. Veritas Farms – Full Spectrum CBD Massage Oil
Relax your mind and body and wash away any tension with Full-Spectrum CBD Massage Oil from Veritas Farms. Loaded with 500mg CBD-rich hemp extract and organic jojoba oil, this 100ml product more than justifies its high price tag.
Veritas Farms makes application easy with the pump-style bottle, ensuring you get the right quantity and that not a drop of oil goes to waste. The full-spectrum hemp helps alleviate pain and inflammation, while the jojoba oil keeps the skin moisturized and nourished.
These guys use several ISO-certified labs for third-party testing. Enter the batch number for your product on their website to access the relevant certificate of analysis.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive, naturally occurring substance in cannabis. Officially known as cannabidiol, CBD is one of the most prominent compounds present in cannabis and is one of over 100 chemicals classified as cannabinoids. The famous THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, is also a cannabinoid.
In the United States, hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD must be obtained from Cannabis Sativa L. plants with a maximum of 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. But there’s no cap on how much CBD a hemp-based product can have.
Since you can’t get high from CBD, these products serve a therapeutic purpose. Studies suggest that CBD has anti-inflammatory and potentially pain-relieving properties, likely because of the compound’s effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabinoid research is the new kid on the block. Humans have been consuming marijuana – and, therefore, cannabinoids – for thousands of years, but scientists only discovered cannabinoids in the mid-20th century. Even more astonishingly, scientists didn’t describe the ECS until the 1990s!
Despite the absence of high-quality research, CBD has gone mainstream over recent years. Numerous products infused with CBD, from vape juices to sparkling water, have come onto the market. CBD massage oil is one of many products making waves.
What is CBD massage oil?
CBD massage oil typically consists of CBD-rich hemp extract, essential oils, and other beneficial ingredients such as jojoba oil and vitamin E. Like any topical, CBD massage oil is applied to the skin, giving the cannabinoids chance to interact with various receptors.
The quality and potency of CBD massage oil vary, with some brands selling products for less than $50 and others offering premium solutions for more than $100. The best massage oils contain a variety of ingredients and are generally whole-plant hemp extract.
We can divide CBD massage oils into three categories, determined by the type of hemp extract used to make them. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each.
CBD-isolate extract: Separating the CBD from the rest of the hemp extract can guarantee a negative drug test. With a little less therapeutic value, expect CBD-isolate massage oils to be cheaper, but you may notice the absence of other cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum CBD extract: The opposite of CBD-isolate, massage oils made with full-spectrum hemp extract incorporate all cannabinoids and terpenes. This includes THC, albeit never more than 0.3%.
The inclusion of minor cannabinoids makes the massage oil more effective but creates a small risk of a failed drug test. Given the added benefits, products infused with full-spectrum extract are usually more expensive.
Broad-spectrum extract: With a broad-spectrum CBD massage oil, minor cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG) are conserved while that pesky THC is filtered out.
Sure, THC does bring anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits, but if drug tests are an issue, it’s a risk you cannot afford to take. Broad-spectrum massage oils are an ideal middle-ground between CBD-isolate and full-spectrum topicals.
Beneficial non-hemp ingredients in CBD massage oil
We cannot talk about CBD massage oils without giving mention to the non-hemp ingredients that make them what they are. You might not find all these ingredients but expect to see at least two or three in high-quality massage oil.
Jojoba oil: Derived from the shrub bearing its name, jojoba oil has a moisturizing and nourishing effect on the skin. The extract has antibacterial properties and is an effective antioxidant, too. Jojoba oil is also hypoallergenic, which is perfect if you have sensitive skin.
Vitamin E: A potent antioxidant, vitamin E can help to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. When used topically, vitamin E can have a nourishing effect and works to stop free radicals from damaging the skin.
Lavender essential oil: Renowned for its calming and relaxing properties, lavender essential oil has a soothing effect on the skin and alleviates inflammation.
Lavender is also associated with skin lightening as it reduces discoloration and dark spots. And, of course, it smells wonderful!
Sweet almond oil: This ingredient might not ease pain, but sweet almond oil can limit skin damage caused by the sun and tackle dry skin thanks to its moisturizing properties. Furthermore, sweet almond oil may combat acne, improve skin complexion, and reduce scarring.
What to Look for When Buying CBD Massage Oil
As the CBD skincare industry grows, more brands than ever are sensing an opportunity in the market. That’s a good thing in some ways, with several companies competing to make premium products.
But quantity doesn’t always breed quality, and I’ve spotted some sketchy massage oils online and in physical stores, too. I want to show you what I look for when shopping for CBD massage oil – I considered these four aspects when picking my top five.
Third-party lab reports
There is no official quality control body in the CBD scene, which is why the market is littered with scammers and opportunists. That’s why you should always buy from CBD brands that supply third-party test results or certificates of analysis.
Honest companies willingly undergo third-party testing to demonstrate that they manufacture pure, potent, and legal CBD massage oil. A lab report should show the exact CBD and THC content and clarify if there are any impurities in the product. Traditional cosmetic brands introducing CBD product lines often fail to provide lab results, so be cautious of them.
The amount of CBD in massage oil products tends to vary a lot. While not a problem, you should keep this in mind when deciding what product to buy and how much to pay for it.
Most brands helpfully state the quantity of CBD per oz so you can easily determine a product’s strength. You could find anywhere from 15mg to 150mg CBD per oz. I prefer large bottles of massage oil, even if it’s less potent, as it allows me to apply it more liberally.
Type of hemp extract
Always check what hemp extract a brand is using and then confirm these claims by reading the third-party report. The type of extract matters for two reasons.
Firstly, some hemp extracts (i.e., full-spectrum) contain low levels of THC, which could pose a drug test risk. Secondly, the type of extract determines if the massage oil is worth the money. As a rule, CBD-isolate massage oil should cost less than broad or full-spectrum oils.
Extra ingredients can make a CBD massage oil more effective but may also increase the risk of allergic reactions. Most brands are wise to this and careful only to use hypoallergenic ingredients, but it’s impossible to reduce the risk to zero.
Always read the full ingredients list before making a purchase. Some brands, like Susan’s CBD, produce special massage oils to eliminate allergic reactions.
How to Store Your CBD Massage Oil
Store CBD massage oil in a cool, dry, and dark location, away from direct sunlight. Never leave your product lying around in the open after use, as the sun’s UV rays could degrade its active ingredients.
How Long Does CBD Massage Oil Last?
CBD tends to remain active for up to 24 months if stored in the appropriate conditions. Once opened, you can expect the massage oil to degrade more quickly. Always ensure the cap is tightly resealed after use.
Purchasing CBD Massage Oil Online vs. Shops Near Me
Experienced online CBD retailers know more about hemp-based products than regular health and beauty stores. That better understanding makes them more adept at spotting scammers and low-quality brands.