The High Demand of CBD Massage in Calistoga

“When people book the [CBD] massage, it’s reiterated that it won’t get you high, but will intensify the relaxation.” — Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa marketing manager, Peter Alig

I was curious, but once armed with information from an article in the Calistoga Tribune’s monthly, Mud City Times, I was chomping at the bit to try this relatively new massage treatment utilizing CBD (cannabidiol). My quest would soon be answered — I booked a CBD massage treatment at Moonacre Spa & Baths at the Calistoga Motor Lodge.

Upon my arrival to Moonacre Spa, I slipped on a cute gray and white linen-like robe and requisite pair of spa slippers. The departure from the traditional white spa robes should have tipped me off to the delightful quirkiness of the Moonacre facility. From the changing room, I made my way to the relaxation room, a perfect spot for some pre-spa meditation.

My view of the spa garden and the distant mountains in the mist made for a picture-perfect meditation setting. I made a “note to self” to return to use the hammocks and rocking chairs on the patio, as well as Moonacre’s pools, which are fed by Calistoga’s geothermal hot springs.

Complimentary citrus water in hand (there are also assorted teas available), I scanned the spa area’s whimsical touches, which included jigsaw puzzles and adult coloring books. I thought, “What a fun way to decompress while waiting for your treatment.”

There was no time for coloring; my therapist soon arrived to escort me to the treatment room. I settled onto the table for my CBD massage, but before it began, I was given an explanation on how the CBD cream allows a deeper access to the tissue, ultimately offering additional therapeutic benefits compared to typical massage lotions.

This CBD lotion – not oil – hails from Vital Body in nearby Santa Cruz, Calif. The shea-butter-based massage cream felt surprisingly light, and it emitted a pleasant aroma of ginger. What I didn’t smell was the St. John’s Wort and several other healing herbs in the mixture.

Details of my treatment became fuzzy at this point, and not because of a CBD “high”. I escalated into a state of mindless relaxation while my knotted muscles were attended to. Fifty blissful minutes later, I was reluctant to admit the treatment was over, but alas, it was. Upon the recommendation of my massage therapist, my next task would be to sit in the steam room before showering and getting on with my day. Before I left the spa, I scanned the variety of CBD products available for purchase.

Sleep doesn’t come as easily as it once did, yet that night, I slept better than I had in a long while, and again the night following my CBD massage treatment. This proved reason enough for me to make another appointment.

Without a doubt, I would return to Moonacre Spa for a repeat of this treatment or something similar, such as a CBD facial if it ever takes a spot on the spa menu. For now, I’m told they are currently researching skin care lines.


As published, with permission, in the Calistoga Mud City Times:

Although Calistoga is mostly known for the wines, hot springs and mud baths, it may be time to start making room for other relaxing reasons people can visit, with the recent rise in popularity of a less traditional spa experience.

Some spas in town, including Mount View Hotel and Spa, Solage Spa, MoonAcre Spa and 360 Salon and Day Spa have, in the last year, began incorporating CBD options into some of their traditional spa treatments, like the massage and mineral bath, for its healing potential in an already relaxing setting.

CBD, short for cannibidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the flower of the cannabis plant. But unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is also found in cannabis, CBD is not known for its ability to create the “high” feeling that THC does.

“We’ve always tried to be innovative with treatments and add something that makes them unique,” said Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa marketing manager, Peter Alig. “When people book the massage, it’s reiterated that it won’t get you high, but will intensify the relaxation.”

Because CBD is not psychoactive like THC and does not give the feeling of being stoned, it is known to be used to provide relief with chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and a number of other conditions.

“As the relaxing, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD take effect, muscles are loosened, stress is relieved and guests are able to sink into a deeper state of relaxation,” said Nora Schaeffer, who has worked as a massage therapist at Mount View Spa for the past nine years. “It’s particularly helpful when performing deep tissue massage,” Schaeffer said. “It’s also been reported that guests experience less soreness and recover more quickly after treatments using CBD products.”

Mount View Spa’s CBD Creation menu includes The Bomb; an 80-minute hydrotherapy bath with a CBD bath bomb and CBD oil, Sound Healing with CBD Wrap; a warm body cocoon with CBD extracted creams while listening to binaural beats on a headset, CBD Hydrotherapy Bath, which begins with a shower and scrub before entering a CBD bath, and the CBD Massage. The bath bomb and oil are available for purchase.

Schaeffer has been massaging locally for about 10 years and also massages at 360 Salon and Spa. While CBD is not yet an option spa-wide, Schaeffer and one other massage therapist at 360 offer CBD oil massages to their clients.

Not only is it beneficial to guests receiving treatments, it is also eases her own aches and pains while performing a physically demanding service, Schaeffer said, adding that it makes her job easier.

“Some people are not very open to it yet because it’s not federally regulated,” Schaeffer said, adding that although she recommends using CBD oils for a massage, she doesn’t push it on her clients.

Solage Spa began using CBD in the spa last summer and those treatments have also gained much popularity, said Brittany Jacobs on behalf of Solage Spa.

Using Healthy Lotus CBD products from Danville, which can also be purchased on-site, Solage Spa offers CBD upgrades to some treatments, including facials, scrub treatments and massages. Spa guests can upgrade and get a 30-minute CBD arm and face mask added to treatments as well.

“CBD oil is known widely as an anti-inflammatory, also helpful with insomnia, pain relief, anxiety and eczema, among other things,” Jacobs said.

At Calistoga Motor Lodge’s MoonAcre Spa, where Alig said CBD options have been popular since they became available last fall, guests can “elevate” their spa experience with the CBD Massage or sit in the tub for 25 minutes during the CBD Soak, which includes CBD bath salts.

“I think people up here are a little more willing to try new things,” Alig said.

Currently, there are 10 states where cannabis is entirely legal for medicinal and recreational use and three

states with restrictions on all cannabis-derived products, including Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota. Laws related to CBD, however, can vary per state.

Even with the recent adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, which legalized hemp at a federal level by removing it from the list of controlled substances, it is still new and CBD legality remains unclear.

“As people become more comfortable with CBD, I think they’ll become even more popular,” Alig said. “I think guests want to have experiences they can remember versus things they can take home. I think [CBD] will definitely take root in Calistoga.”