Updated: 3 days ago
With the recent growth in the “wellness” space, massage products are earning an increasingly important role in skincare ranges. The versatility of massage oil products means their uses can range from intimate, sensual use between couples to helping increase circulation in tired and sore muscles after exercise.
And let’s face it, who doesn’t like a massage?!
The benefits of CBD infused massage oil
There are several reasons that CBD makes such a great addition to massage oils
CBD is an excellent ingredient to promote skin health. It not only conditions the skin but also acts as a strong anti-oxidant, reducing the risk of free radical damage to the skin. It also is suitable for use on all skin types.
There is much anecdotal evidence where users cite that topical application of CBD has benefits to skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as being able to provide relief for sore joints and muscles
Many people who already use CBD orally have turned to it to help improve recovery after sport or aid relaxation and reduce anxiety. There are obvious overlaps between these benefits of orally administered CBD and the benefits people feel after a massage, both physically and mentally.
If you can see the potential for a CBD infused massage oil to enhance your range, the next challenge is finding the right supplier and product. For us at Cannafull, the CBD is a critical ingredient in our products, but the other ingredients included are just as important.
In this blog article I explain a bit about how and why we’ve chose the ingredients that made it into our 2 massage products.
What are the key components of a massage oil?
When developing a massage oil formulation there are 3 main parts of the product to consider:
the carrier oils that will be used as the “base”
ingredients that will add scent
additional active ingredients that will provide additional therapeutic benefits to the product.
What makes the best massage oil carrier oil?
Designing the blend of carrier oils for a massage oil takes into account a broad range of considerations such as:
Skin health benefits: such as the presence of fatty acids or antioxidant compound in the oils
Feel: how does the oil feel during application – it’s important to get enough “slip” with the formula but not too much
Absorption: How quickly does the oil soak into the skin after use
Scent: Plant oils can often have a strong natural scent, so preference is usually given to selecting more neutrally scented oils that aren’t off putting and won’t overpower any scented ingredients added
Cost: The massage carrier oils make up the vast majority of the product, so it’s important to take a balanced view between the above properties and the cost of the ingredient. Additionally, plant oils’ shelf lives can vary: this should also be taken into account to reduce the risk of product having to be thrown away if it’s not used quickly enough.
Creating a massage oil scent
CBD infused massage oil can be scented with either synthetic fragrances (which will show as “parfum” on labels) or essential oils
Carefully crafting a scent at this point in the product formulation development is critical. The difference in scents used can make the difference between an invigorating, stimulating, sport-themed product and a sensual, relaxing one. Furthermore, the formulator also needs to pay careful attention to how the blend of fragrances or essential oils being used interact with any natural scent of the carrier oils.
Not only do the scent profiles need to smell good, they also need to comply with IFRA regulations, as fragrance ingredients are often very potent in certain compounds (it’s these compounds that generate the scent!) and therefore have maximum usage limits that must be observed to ensure the product is safe for use on skin.
At Cannafull, we choose to use essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances, not only because they provide a more natural, holistic option but also because of their long-standing aromatherapy benefits. Additionally, many of the aromatic compounds found in essential oils overlap with those naturally occurring in cannabis extracts allowing for an amplification of the entourage effect (see here for more)
CBD as an active ingredient in massage oil
Active ingredients can also be included in the massage to help boost the therapeutic properties of the product.
For us, at Cannafull, the key example would be addition of either full spectrum or hemp-derived isolate CBD.
Why grapeseed oil is a great carrier oil
Both of our massage oil formulas use grapeseed oil as the main carrier oil, combined with hemp seed and jojoba oil.
Grapeseed oil has a long-standing use in skincare, with evidence dating back to 14th century, when it is cited that Ferdinand IV, who was king of one of the Iberian regions, was recommended grape seed oil as treatment for skin problems by an Arab doctor. Ferdinand found the effects so effective that the formula was made a secret and named the elixir “royal oil” or “oil of the throne” (1).
The good news is that these days, the use of grapeseed oil is not just restricted to Iberian royalty, and in fact the oil is much more commonly known for its use in cookery. However, it also serves as an excellent carrier oil for massage oils for the below reasons:
Primarily, grapeseed oil has an excellent texture for massage: it has a light texture that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, whilst providing long-lasting lubrication that is very effective at reducing friction during a massage. For this reason, it has a long-standing history as a favourite oil of aromatherapy massage therapists.
Its scent is very neutral, meaning there is no risk of it “fighting” with the essential oils that we combine it with
It is suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skins (1)
The oil has excellent skincare properties such as:
Would healing: Grape seed oil’s ability to improve the healing of wounds has been demonstrated in several studies (eg 2). This is thought to be due to a flavonoid compound it contains called proanthocyanidins which is a strong antioxidant (20 and 50 times more potent than the better-known Vitamin C and Vitamin E, respectively) (2)
As well as supporting skin healing, the high amount of antioxidants such as Phenolic compounds, resveratrol, and vitamin E neutralise the impact of free radicals thus reducing cell damage (3)
It has a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (85 to 90%), which are strong ingredients for improving the appearance and health of skin. The human body doesn’t have the capability to synthesise these compounds itself, thus they need to be gained by either diet or topical application (4)
Use of oils on the skin keeps them hydrated by locking in water. Some oils can leave the skin feeling greasy, but the light texture of grapeseed oil eliminates this issue.
Finally, the grape seeds that the oil is made from are by-products of the wine-making industry meaning that from a sustainability perspective, the oil is produced from what would otherwise be waste.
All of the grapeseed oil that we use in our ingredients is cold pressed, meaning that it is free of solvent residue and retains more of the beneficial compounds (5)
Cannanfull white label CBD massage oils
Within the Cannafull product ranges we offer 2 different “off the shelf” products, available in both hemp-derived isolate and full-spectrum CBD options.
Alternatively, if you would like to design a custom scent to complement existing products already in your range this is also a service that we can offer. To find out more, please get in touch
Evangelia I. Sotiropoulou. V. Varelas, M. Liouni, E. T. Nerantzis, 2015, Grape Seed Oil: From a winery waste to a value added cosmetic product – a review, Conference Paper · May 2015
Ali Asghar Hemmati, Maryam foroozan, Gholamreza Houshmand, Zahra Beigom Moosavi, Mohammad Bahadoram & Nader Shakiba Maram, (2015), The Topical Effect of Grape Seed Extract 2% Cream on Surgery Wound Healing, Global Journal of Health Science; Vol. 7, No. 3;
Tzu-Kai Lin 1 , Lily Zhong 2,* and Juan Luis Santiago 3 (2017), Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, International Journal of Molecular Sciences
John Parry, Zhigang Hao, Marla Luther, Lan Su, Kequan Zhou, Liangli (Lucy) Yu , (2007) Characterization of Cold-Pressed Onion, Parsley, Cardamom, Mullein, Roasted Pumpkin, and Milk Thistle Seed Oils, J Amer Oil Chem Soc (2007) 84:613