* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
Essential oils and other types of topicals are being used in physical therapy and occupational practices more and more frequently as people are turning towards more holistic approaches to health and wellness. Along with essential oils CBD (Cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive constituent of hemp is make a huge push into the preventative medicine and health-wellness space.
Many physical therapists and others in the healthcare industry are starting to incorporate CBD oil into their practices, and for good reason that is becoming increasingly supported by science.
As more research and literature on CBD oil and its medical and wellness benefits unfold, an increasing number of physical and occupational therapists are adding CBD oil into their practices to be applied to their patients to provide an enhanced therapeutic experience.
So many people can benefit from physical therapy treatment. Whether patients are using it to reduce their chronic pain, recover from injury, from surgery, or even avoid surgery altogether, physical therapy can have a myriad of applications if utilized and followed appropriately. As beneficial as physical therapy can be, CBD oil may be able to make it even more effective and enhance the overall recovery experience.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that's found in cannabis or cannabinoid rich hemp plants. Pure CBD is one of the most abundant compounds in these plants, along with another cannabinoid, THC.
CBD supplements are generally low in THC or are void of it altogether, depending on the plant variant is was extracted from. Generally speaking, hemp-derived CBD tends to be extremely low or completely void of THC, making it safe to take for those not looking to get high.
CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, unlike THC which induces psychoactive effects. It has already been hailed for its benefits in both humans and animals and has the miraculous ability to impact several processes that the endocannabinoid system regulates.
This cannabinoid works to alleviate a number of symptoms, thanks to its indirect interactions with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system promotes balance in the body by regulating a host of different biological functions, including sleep, pain, inflammation, mood, and appetite, among others. It makes use of naturally-occurring endocannabinoids to maintain homeostasis in the body by communicating between nerve cells throughout the body.
Studies have shown CBD's ability to reduce pain, minimize inflammation, improve mood, regulate the metabolism, strengthen immunity, reduce the number and severity of seizures, alleviate nausea, and even potentially slow down the growth of specific cancer cells and tumors.
CBD oil is a specific source of CBD and is a pure and concentrated form of cannabidiol. However, there are several other forms of CBD that consumers may use to benefit from the healing effects.
CBD Can Be Used in a Physical Therapy Practice
The goal of a physical therapist is to improve motor function and reduce pain in patients. Current practices already do a great job of helping patients regain their mobility following injury or surgery, as well as reduce pain as a result of such trauma. But CBD oil can give physical therapy a boost to help patients achieve even greater results.
CBD oil supplements may help to enhance therapy to help patients achieve and maintain optimal balance, which can help them better manage their physical limitations or even help to avoid other physical issues going forward.
Over the recent past, there has been an ongoing shift in how the world views cannabis and its derivatives regarding how it can be medically beneficial. Thanks to continued clinical research on CBD, the medical world is increasingly embracing the cannabinoid as far as how it can have a therapeutic application in the medical field, including in physical therapy practices.
CBD oil supplements are available in several different formats and concentrations to help customize them for your patients' needs. CBD tinctures, topicals, capsules, and oils can all be opted for depending on the specific ailment being treated and the particular needs of the patient.
Considering the current results of recent studies on CBD, physical therapists should become familiar with the options available for their patients. While CBD oil isn't necessarily a standard part of the average physical therapy practice, it should still be considered as a viable option to incorporate into specific treatments and for certain patients.
Is CBD Legal?
There is always legal matter to consider before implementing CBD oil into practice in physical therapy offices and clinics. Just recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) determined that CBD should be categorized as a Schedule I Substance under the Controlled Substances Act, even though it's been shown that CBD has plenty of medical applications and produces no mind-altering effects.
This ruling comes not long after the DEA released an internal directive affirming their position that cannabinoids are not illegal themselves, but rather their legality depends on the legal source of the product that the cannabinoid is derived from. In the case of hemp, then, it would stand to reason that hemp-derived CBD would be federally legal.
Regardless, there is certainly a grey area when it comes to the legality of CBD on a federal level. But each individual state is free to come up with their own legislation regarding CBD. State laws on CBD vary widely, though most states allow hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC to be widely distributed and used.
Adding CBD oil to your physical therapy practice is an individual decision to make. Of course, there are certain things to consider, especially when it comes to legal matters in your particular state and whether or not the product contains trace amounts of THC and if your particular patients would be open to incorporating CBD oil into their therapy sessions and daily life.
Given the incredible results from multiple preliminary studies, data on CBD oil would suggest its ability to relieve pain and inflammation, improve mobility, and even reduce anxiety associated with physical discomfort. Physical therapists should at least consider how CBD oil can benefit their patients and their practice as a whole before passing judgment on whether or not the product will actually help the patient, which is the ultimate goal, right?
Application x CBD
New to CBD? check out the related link to the new user guide.
Cannabinoid options of application:
Transdermal (Skin)-Topical Salve: This application is typically used for acute and direct application. Such as an ankle sprain, arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia and migraines. Full-spectrum salves provide a whole panel of cannabinoids for increased potency.
Tinctures: Tincture oils are utilized in full-spectrum form (whole plant derived) and Isolated forms (Pure CBD) that are applied directly under the tongue or mixed in water. This form is typically used for direct application to the central nervous system and the entire body for ailments like anxiety, stress, epilepsy, insomnia, depression, PTSD, autoimmune responses, ADHD, cancer, systemic inflammatory disease such as, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. All applications are available as CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum.
Soft Gels: Full-spectrum soft gels essentially have the same application as tincture oils. The difference is that each soft gel is measured to a specific milligram to provide a consumer with a perfectly measured dose of CBD. This would be used for any ailments one might use CBD for, including all the ones listed above.
Superfood powder: Super food green powder has a broad range of greens, phytonutrients, vitamins and of course CBD. This application is great to give some a nice, clean energy boost before a workout or just to get your day started naturally with improved focus.
Kai Pattison, M.S.
Athlete Relations x Physiologist
Kai Pattison was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Kai graduated with a Master’s degree in clinical physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. He is very passionate about human physiology and the applications in sport performance, recovery and clinical diagnostics. Kai has specialized in cardiopulmonary diagnostics, exercise induced energy expenditure and metabolism. Kai has also gained extensive research experience at UCSD on Parkinson’s disease. He enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of exercise to reduce risk of multiple inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. His passion for alternative medicine enables him to strive when promoting health and wellness.