After a long day of hiking or mountain biking in the Rockies, there’s nothing like a nice, relaxing massage, especially when you add Colorado cannabis to the equation. And, we know what you're thinking: Smoke weed, then get a massage. But there’s another way. Across the Mile High City, massage therapists are lining up to rub you down with weed-infused lotions and creams.
No, you won’t get high, but your body -- and your mind -- will thank you for the gentle melty feeling that some therapists say can last hours after the massage.
The folks at Apothecanna, a Denver-based maker of cannabis-infused body oils and creams, claim that cannabis can relieve pain and reduce inflammation when it’s applied to the skin.
“The most well-known compound in cannabis is THC,” according to Apothecanna. “Studies have shown it has potent analgesic or pain-relieving properties, which is why it is widely used as medicinal. A less known compound called CBD is (also) present. Studies show CBD delivers potent calming and anti-inflammatory benefits.”
1. Behr Bodywork
Matthew Behr got his start as a massage therapist six years ago. He says his Denver-based practice is grounded in themes of music, water, lighting and aromatherapy.
“I have been actively using CBD-infused balm in my massage practice for over two years now and the results exhibited and reviews from my clientele have been nothing short of amazing,” Behr says. “In my own experience and the feedback I’ve gotten from clients, the effect is more of a localized, subtle melty or numbing sensation, rather than being warming or cooling.
I find it’s wonderful to apply to soreness in the body after rigorous exercise for faster muscle recovery.”
Behr incorporates cannabis-infused muscle balm into his medicated massages, which cost $90 for an hour and $125 for 90 minutes. Behr specializes in a number of massage techniques, including myofascial release, Swedish, trigger point, neuromuscular therapy, deep-tissue and others.
He said cannabis can ease inflammation, calm your body and help relieve pain organically.
“I believe the body is inherently self-healing when we can give ourselves a chance to rest and relax,” he said.
And, the best part?
“You will pass a drug test,” he says.
2. LoDo Massage Studio
LoDo Massage Studio has two locations -- one in Denver’s trendy Highlands neighborhood and another in LoDo, short for lower downtown.
They offer a one-hour massage for $69, a 90-minute massage for $99 or a two-hour massage for $129. With their signature “Mile High Massage,” you can choose from a variety of techniques depending on your needs, including deep tissue, sports, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release and Swedish.
Now for the fun stuff: They let you pick your lotion. Choose between shea butter, a natural creme or Apothecanna’s Pain Creme, which is infused with THC, CBD, arnica, peppermint and juniper.
“As the THC does not enter the bloodstream, there are no psychoactive effects,” according to the LoDo Massage Studio website. “Just soothing, cooling sensations and immediate relief from pain.”
Ed Rich, who owns the studio, said massage therapists apply Apothecanna’s Pain Creme first and let it sink in before starting the massage with an oil or a lotion.
They apply it to areas that are tight or painful so that they can massage deeper, he said.
Massage therapists there use it as a valuable tool in their therapeutic arsenal, he added.
“When given the choice, people always want us to use it,” Rich says. “The response has been fantastic.”
3. Primal Therapeutics
Jordan Person credits medical marijuana with alleviating a mysterious pain that conventional medicine couldn’t help her curb.
Person, who worked as a nurse for 14 years and then as a traditional massage therapist for eight years, decided to launch Primal Therapeutics after witnessing the health benefits of cannabis with her own eyes.
She also worked at a medical marijuana dispensary before opening her own business. Person uses an array of cannabis-infused oils and salves with “broad-spectrum cannabinoid content” in her massages, according to her website.
She’ll come to you for your massage, so you won’t have to leave your hotel if you’re in town visiting the Mile High City. She offers an array of massages, ranging in price from $20 to $200.
4. Mountain Serenity Massage
Mountain Serenity Massage in Centennial was founded by Stacy Hoffman-Farmer in 2014 after she quit her corporate job because she suffered from chronic pain and fatigue. Hoffman-Farmer incorporates cannabis into her practice, which she says she uses to open her clients energetic pathways. She helps clients identify “stuck” energies that could be causing chronic pain.
She believes that cannabis massages can be beneficial to anyone, even those who don’t regularly use marijuana.
“Cannabis massage is particularly helpful for people that suffer from daily pain and inflammation,” she said on her website.
Hoffman-Farmer charges between $50 and $150 for a cannabis massage, depending on the length of time, massage technique and number of people.
If you venture down to Colorado Springs for the day while visiting Denver to check out the Garden of the Gods or the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, consider stopping by Yeden for a cannabis massage.
Yeden touts the benefits of cannabis massage for issues such as muscle pain or spasms, rheumatism and arthritis, back pain, sciatica pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, insomnia, depression and nausea. They also work with people who have experienced sports-related injuries.
Treatments range from $45 to $90 depending on the technique. Complimentary cannabis oils are available upon request for any massage.
“Through our non-intoxicating cannabis massage and hands on massage therapies, we’re able to utilize the natural anti-inflammatory elements and other benefits of the plant to help alleviate your chronic pain and provide you with results lasting up to 3 days longer than a normal massage,” according to the Yeden website. “Our lotions are completely optional and are non-psychoactive.”