You may have heard of essential oils and other types of topicals being used in physical therapy practices, but have you heard of CBD oil?
Many physical therapists and others in the healthcare industry are starting to incorporate CBD oil into their practices, and for good reason.
As they find out more and more about CBD oil and its medical and wellness benefits, an increasing number of physical 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 pain, recover from injury, recover from surgery, or even avoid surgery altogether, physical therapy can have a myriad of applications.
And as beneficial as physical therapy can be, CBD oil may be able to make it even more effective.
If you run a physical therapy practice, you might want to consider adding CBD oil to your repertoire to provide your patients with a heightened therapeutic experience. You can also offer CBD oil to patients to be used in between sessions so they can continue to experience the therapeutic effects of the cannabinoid before their next appointment.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that's found in cannabis or industrial hemp plants. It's 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, though that depends on the plant it is 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 plant, unlike THC which induces mind-altering 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 interaction 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.
Plant-based cannabinoids like CBD also can mimic the actions and effects of the endocannabinoids of the ECS to provide the same types of effects. When absorbed in the body, CBD can interact with specific receptors of the ECS and influence experiences in 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 of cannabidiol.
How 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?
Of course, there's always the legal matter to consider before implementing CBD oil into practice in physical therapy offices. 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 a completely 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 your particular patients would be open to incorporating CBD oil into their therapy sessions and even at home.
But given the incredible results from study after study on CBD oil and 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.