Will A CBD Massage Really Make You More Relaxed?

Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

It can’t hurt to try

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a naturally chill person. I am, however, very drawn to chill environments and activities that create a chill inner and outer atmosphere. So, it’s no wonder then that I so often find myself walking into the Lower East Side’s Chillhouse, a cafe-pampering den hybrid of all things trendy, quiet, and—most of all—chill. While I’ve found myself in the chairs of the nail art studio more times than I can count, it wasn’t until attending the launch party for The Chill Times, a new editorial experience put out by the Chillhouse team, that I learned that the very space I was sipping cocktails and getting my hair styled in a très chic single wave in was usually outfitted with massage beds, the most of-the-moment chill tunes, and—best of all—bottles on bottles on bottles of CBD.

Unfamiliar with the tri-lettered word? Allow me to introduce you to the product, or rather the ingredient, that’s currently taking the world, as well as my adventures in beauty and wellness, by storm. While many people are questioning the sudden popularity of CBD (a derivative of cannabis), thinking people may be more so fascinated by the sudden acceptance of a weed by-product, there are actually real benefits to be had with incorporating the non-psychoactive ingredient into your self-care, beauty, and wellness routines. To better understand what these benefits can entail, I reached out to Constance Finley, a cannabis expert and founder of Constance Therapeutics, a vertically integrated medicinal cannabis company producing standardized, science-based whole-plant cannabis extracts. "CBD topical products like lotions and balms, when made from nourishing plants and via non-toxic processes, can really help a woman calm down,” Finley says. “Calm down from inflammation, from stress, from aching muscles and sore joints, from sports injuries, from a demanding day in the office." In other words, from the daily weight of a woman’s modern-day life. Cool.

Now, back to Chillhouse and the launch party that opened my eyes to a whole new way to relax. As someone who has anxiety that tends to manifest in the form of physical tension, and used to treat herself to weekly deep tissue massages—keywords: used to, because there’s a big price difference between Virginia and New York City massages—to manage the stress of it all, the idea of being able to pair two of my favorite things—massages and CBD—together seemed like such a no-brainer, I was surprised I hadn't thought of it myself. I immediately set up an appointment to do what I like to think of as investigative reporting, but really it was just a chance to lay down, get rubbed, embrace a body high, and bliss out. 

When I arrived back at Chillhouse on the day of my massage, I met with my therapist, Andrea, who just so happened to be wearing a shirt that I would happily have bought off her back as it said, “Don’t tell me to relax.” Good, right? I think so. Once I finally got done complimenting her shirt (which I soon realized every other Chillhouse worker was also wearing—talk about a perfect brand motto), she asked me where my main focus area was. Once I told her it was my right shoulder leading into my neck, I quickly made sure she knew to massage the rest of my body too, worried that I wasn’t going to get the rub-down I was so badly looking forward to. Andrea assured me that a full body massage—what they like to call The Works—would be in effect, however, when a CBD add-on is incorporated into the process, they like to focus it on one main area to pinpoint the effects of the balm. After the rundown on what I could expect, Andrea led to me to the chillest part of all of Chillhouse, what I am now referring to as the Chill parlor, but what is in actuality just the back half of the salon. 

Once I got to my curtained-off massage room, Andrea told me to strip down and lay face up between the sheets—something I was surprised by, as most massages start face down in my experience. After I tucked myself in, Andrea pulled back the curtain and reappeared, ready to make magic happen. Immediately she began kneading, tugging, and pulling my shoulder and neck in the most gentle, yet effective, way, making me wonder how on earth I’m not able to stretch my neck the way she so softly was just able to. When she applied the CBD balm to the area, after heating it up in her hands, I could immediately feel a slight cooling sensation. I later learned that’s because the balm they use in their massages, Lab Blends Professional CBD Massage Balm, combines 660 mg of hemp-derived CBD with active and powerful pain fighters, menthol and lidocaine. So, not only was the CBD relaxing my never-ending knots, but the pain fighters were semi-numbing them as well. 

At the close of the super-soothing full body massage sesh, Andrea explained to me the anti-inflammatory effects associated with CBD massages and, while she’s unsure how well they hold up, her patients all seem to think one thing: They’re totally and completely sold and in love. 

As we wrapped up our conversation and I gathered my belongings, she told me to make sure to cover my neck when I headed outside. Unsure why, and not wanting to assume the wrong thing, I asked her if not covering my neck would reduce the loosey-goosey neck and shoulder feeling I was currently experiencing. Her response? “Well, it’s said that evil enters the body through your neck, so you just always want to have it covered up from rain, wind, and any uncomfortable weather; plus your neck is really warm right now from the massage and you don’t want it to lose that feeling.” Noted and true Andrea, noted and true. 

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]



Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.