Jordan Person wrote the book on cannabis massage—literally. Listen in as she tells us the difference between CBD and THC, side effects and contraindications, and incorporating CBD topicals into your practice. Jordan breaks down the common cannabis myths, talks about the growing public acceptance, and the possible future of cannabis research.
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0:01:09.6 KC: In this episode of the ABMP Podcast, we discuss the use of products that contain CBD, the ABMP government relations team encourages you to be aware of your state's position regarding CBD, as well as the massage therapy board's position, if they have one, before using CBD in your practice. The legality of the use of CBD-infused massage products is determined at the state level, your state massage board or regulatory agency can confirm whether the use of CBD products is within the scope of practice for your state.
0:01:41.1 KC: As a reminder, the liability insurance provided as a benefit of ABMP membership requires adherence to state regulations as a condition for coverage. Any products that exceed 0.3% THC or that could make a practitioner or a client high are considered intoxicants and not covered by the liability insurance provided as a benefit of ABMP membership. To be covered, the THC products you use also must be explicitly authorized by your state licensing board.
0:02:18.2 Darren Buford: Welcome to The ABMP podcast. My name is Darren Buford, I'm Editor-in-Chief of Massage and Bodywork magazine and Senior Director of Communications for ABMP.
0:02:26.2 KC: And I'm Kristin Coverly ABMP's, Director of Professional Education and a licensed massage therapist.
0:02:32.0 DB: Our guest today is Jordan Person. Jordan is a licensed nurse for 20 years, and a massage therapist for 15 years. She is the original cannabis massage practitioner, author of Cannabis Massage 101 and 102, cannabis curriculums for nurses and estheticians, and the founder of both Primal Therapeutics and Primal Healing. Jordan continues to teach students from around the world, and has been recognized globally in documentaries and publications, such as American Spa Magazine, Jordan's Primal Healing topicals line expands on the applications of infused skincare products, offering CBD infused serum, beard oil and her award-winning salve named best hemp topical of 2020. Jordan is an outspoken advocate for plant medicine and a freelance writer for cannabis, skincare and medical publications. Hello, Jordan. Hello, Kristin.
0:03:24.6 Jordan Person: Thank you so much for having me on your show today.
0:03:27.0 KC: Thank you so much for being with us. We're so happy to have you here to talk about what I know is a passion project and passion topic for you, but before we get into that topic. Let's start by getting to know a little bit more about you. Please tell us about your background and what led you to nursing and massage therapy.
0:03:44.0 JP: Absolutely. So quickly about my background, I got involved in the medical field at the young age of 14, my grandmother had me become a hospice volunteer, and that really kind of opened doors for me, that I knew I wanted to somehow be in the medical field. And my high school offered a magnet program called medical skills and services health occupations, and so I took that course, and at the age of 16, I got my CNA, my Certified Nursing Assistant license, and I was the youngest employee at the facility I worked at, and it was a wild experience, and it showed me that I wanted to be a nurse, and so I became a licensed practical nurse at the age of 19 and kind of just took off.
0:04:32.9 JP: I worked in every different type of nursing you can imagine, from obstetrics to telemetry, oncology, hospice. I worked at the worked at the [0:04:43.2] ____ county jail for two and a half years. Correctional nursing, I did a lot of different fields. Constantly searching for my niche. I couldn't find it, and by the time I was 25, I was already burned out because I had done so many fields so fast trying to find what was going to make me thrive, and so my grandparents passed and I just... I was their nurse until their last breath, I didn't feel that I could continue being a nurse at that point, I wanted to do something that would allow me to take care of people without pharmaceuticals, and so massage therapy came into my life, I became a massage therapist in 2006, and about a year after graduation, went to Kauai and I studied lomi lomi and hot stone, and I did 100 hours in each and became certified in those and hoped that that would kind of set me apart as a massage therapist, and I brought it back to Florida, where I'm originally from, and no one knew what it was or why I was doing it, and it wasn't what I was expecting, and then I got sick, and so in 2010, I moved to Colorado, and I didn't work for two and a half years, I had multiple surgeries, back to, back to back.
0:06:06.1 JP: And I used cannabis plant medicine to save my life, and when I got to the point of being ready to go back to work, my body wasn't physically ready to be a nurse or a massage therapist, and so I managed a medical marijuana dispensary, and so I did that for about a year, and I became really complacent because I have these two licenses to do something, so I wondered what would happen if you applied cannabis from head to toe, and at that time, there was no research... This was in 2013, turning 2014. We had just passed the recreational legalization of cannabis here in Colorado, where I'm now located. And it was a game changer. I had some clientele already that I just kind of went to and said, So I have this idea, and I went and bought all these products... Would it be okay if I apply them to your body? And they were like, What's it going to do to me? And I said, Well, that's the thing, I have no idea, but I would love to work with you to find out. And so I started a spreadsheet and I would ask them all the same questions when I got there and when I left, and I started creating kind of like a hypothesis, my theory of what I thought this modality was capable of, and so I practiced the modality for several years before I wrote a class on it, I reached out to all the massage organizations asking to be certified, and unfortunately, because they stated that I work with a schedule one substance, they won't allow my class to be taught.
0:07:48.1 JP: And so that kind of brings us to now, I've been doing cannabis massage for the last seven years, we've treated thousands of patients from around the world, I've taught students from around the world how to do this as a modality.
0:08:03.0 DB: Let's take a short break to hear a word from our sponsors.
0:08:06.0 DB: Anatomy Trains is happy to announce our return to the dissection lab in person, January 10th through the 14th, 2022 at the laboratory of anatomical enlightenment in Boulder, Colorado. We are thrilled to be back in the lab with Anatomy Trains' author Tom Myers and master dissector Todd Garcia join students from around the world and from all types of manual, movement and fitness professions to explore the real human form, not the images you get from books. This is an exclusive invitation, email email@example.com, if you'd like to join us in the lab.
0:08:43.0 DB: Now, let's get back to the podcast.
0:08:46.0 KC: You've mentioned THC, CBD, can you tell us a little bit more sort of a foundational introduction to those terms?
0:08:53.2 JP: Absolutely, so CBD is also known as cannabidiol. It's one of 113 identified cannabinoids. It's found in both hemp and cannabis, I don't like hearing or saying that it is a non-psychoactive compound, because at the end of the day, that's not really true. The definition of psychoactive is affecting the mind, and CBD absolutely has the ability to affect the mind, especially on calming anxiety if taken internally, so it does not intoxicate you, and so that's a better way for us to use the terminology when we're discussing CBD with our friends, and family and our patients, it's the non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
0:09:41.5 DB: And how is that different than THC?
0:09:44.0 JP: So THC does produce euphoria and does cause an intoxication, so that's truly the primary difference, if you were to look at them side by side, this is one of the slides I show when I teach Cannabis Massage 101. I show the two molecules next to each other, and they really only have two or three chains of difference, and so if you overlap them, they are almost identical in molecular structure, and so that's why we often have so many... Some people will say, "Well, THC works for sleep." "Well, I thought CBD works for sleep." Well, they both do, and that's because molecularly speaking, they're so similar.
0:10:24.6 DB: Jordan, what are the benefits of CBD? Are there any side effects or any contraindications?
0:10:30.0 JP: So there are some side effects and contraindications, but that's when taken internally, if we are talking about topicals, I can tell you that in the thousands of clients that we have seen over the last seven years, we have not had any contraindications or side effects from the use of our products, taken internally, absolutely. There are several heart applications, different heart medications that can interact with CBD. There are also organ rejection medication, so if the patient has an organ transplant, those rejection medications can often cause bizarre levels, and so it's interesting because science is confused right now, is it the body regulating itself, because that's what cannabis does, right. Our body has an endocannabinoid system. Cannabis is a phytocannabinoid, it's what activates our receptors, and so the primary purpose of these receptors being activated is homeostasis or balance.
0:11:32.9 JP: So when they're looking at these lab values of these patients, are they seeing homeostasis taking place or are they actually seeing the lab value being incorrect, they can't determine that yet, so the good kind of warning that I currently give people is that if you're on a medication that has a grapefruit warning on the side of the bottle, you shouldn't be taking CBD without notifying your doctor, because that seems to be a general kind of hold right now in the medical community as to who could possibly have an interaction.
0:12:07.5 JP: But our ECS is this master regulator system, and so to its benefits, I know I was talking on all negative just now, it's two most amazing benefits, the list goes on and on, but it's being an antioxidant and being a neuroprotectant, and our government owns the only patent that exists on cannabis as a neuroprotectant and an antioxidant, so currently we cannot do research to prove that and to utilize that plant medicine because of that patent. So we have a long way to go as far as advancing this plant, but we know so much already that people should really start opening their eyes and listening with their ears.
0:12:52.2 KC: Let's do some myth-busting, what are the common misconceptions around CBD?
0:12:57.7 JP: Well, I feel that the definition itself, talking hemp, cannabis, marijuana, that in itself, I feel people will say, Well, it's cannabis. It's not marijuana. And it's like, Whoa, that's the same exact thing. Hemp is also the same thing. They're all the same plant. The definition of hemp truly is cannabis that is less than 0.3% THC, other than that, they are all the same exact plant, if we allow hemp to grow to fruition, it generally does not maintain that 0.3% THC.
0:13:36.5 JP: It will go higher. We see it all the time in testing here in Colorado, so I would imagine the same things happening across the US right now, so a lot of times they have to chop the plants down early, so you're getting different cannabinoid content, which is great, but that's one of the only ways that they're being able to have less THC, so the definition itself is definitely something that that bothers me, and then another big stigma is... Do topicals get you high? No, they don't, because the topicals are interacting with your integumentary's endocannabinoid system, so those receptors are being worked with in those skin cells, and unless you're working with an actual transdermal that has something in it to make it drop down lower, it's not gonna enter the bloodstream, so you're not gonna have that intoxicated sensation because you're just gonna feel amazing on the surface, So no, it doesn't get you high. It's all about the health. Not about the high.
0:14:37.2 DB: We're talking a little bit about the misconceptions and misinformation out there, you also mentioned some of the things that have changed since 2018, banking right, banking in your practice, fears, acceptance, all of those, are those all in a positive upward swing right now.
0:14:54.5 JP: I would say mostly, for sure. Banking is still an issue. In 2018, 2019, I lost all credit card processing. In about a month, I lost Square, Stripe and PayPal, and it was fast and furious. And I almost lost my business because I all of a sudden had no ability to process credit cards, and as a massage therapist that's mobile, that can kill you. And so, thankfully, due to other payment applications and eventually over the years, after losing seven other companies, I finally have a credit card processor, but the same thing happened with my topicals line, even just listing something on Etsy, you can't use the word CBD, you can say hemp now, but if you use the word CBD, it's a red flag and it's everywhere, and that's still in advertising as well. And so I just had a student reach out to me the other day, she took my class in 2017, and she said, I don't understand how you post every day from your page and you say Cannabis Massage, she said, I've been blocked for a year from Facebook and Instagram, because I kept using the word cannabis. Well, I can't use ads, I've been blocked from Facebook ads and Instagram ads for years, but I use the word cannabis and CBD every single day.
0:16:19.4 JP: Thankfully, they haven't shut me down yet, I do think I'm shadowbanned often, so again, these are problems that are still relevant right now that we need to work on, let's see what else, the SAFE banking act, as I mentioned, did just pass the house a couple of days ago, so now we're off to the Senate for a vote. The SAFE Banking Act would prohibit banking regulators from discussing client's banking needs, and so that would protect people like me that have a cannabis massage business or have a hemp topicals business, that need those protections. Acceptance, that's one thing that has definitely changed. We now see CBD everywhere, it's in grocery stores, it's in your grandmother's medicine cabinet, so that has been global and beautiful to see.
0:17:13.5 JP: You know, I, as you know, wrote a class called Cannabis Massage, and I teach it for the International esthetics, cosmetics and spa conferences. Well, I called the class Cannabis Massage 101, one year, and we had, I think, 12 registrations. I started to wonder if the word cannabis invokes fear in people... So I called it CBD Massage 101, the class sold out with 47 registrations. It's crazy to me that we're this far into an industry already, and that the word cannabis still scares people the way that it does, that's why you hear me use it all the time because I want to ease people's minds that it's just a plant, it's the same plant that produces that one cannabinoid that everybody feels is so special right now, but what we have to remember is there's 500 other components in this one incredible plant.
0:18:10.1 DB: Jordan, can I ask you a question? I bet listeners are gonna wanna know, practitioners are gonna wanna know, what do you charge for a service, and how might that be different from a normal massage service without CBD?
0:18:19.8 JP: Absolutely, so it is actually illegal in the state of Colorado to charge more for something that contains cannabis, it's called no distribution with remuneration. So I have charged $95 an hour for our services with or without cannabis since the day we opened. Before I used cannabis, I think I charged $75 an hour. But when I started this business, I made the decision that it was a premium service, and I changed my rate as such, and it's been that way, like I said, since we started. Yes, it is more, but if you call me tomorrow and say that you want to book, but you don't wanna use cannabis, the price remains the same.
0:19:01.7 KC: Jordan, what's the future for CBD? Whether it's about research, whatever, what's on the horizon, what's going to come in the future.
0:19:10.7 JP: Well, I think continued acceptance is a big part of that, I think the research is, for me, the most fascinating part of things, I personally am working on a couple of case studies this year for the first time, one is on using cannabis massage for traumatic brain injury, and the other is on cannabis massage and the improving of quality of life, because right now, if you type in topical cannabis into PubMed or Google Scholar, you get a lot of articles about utilizing various forms of cannabis for nausea and things like that, but they're not studying for muscle pain and for that type of information, and so when the studies are there, they're done on lab rats, and so I have touched thousands of people in the last seven years, and so I feel it's very important that we start to actually publish that information, so that people can look back and say, Wow, there is science.
0:20:12.0 JP: This is what happens when you apply this much for this many days, I think once those clinical trials and I'm able to start actually researching what we've been doing, I think I will be able to tell you, this is how much you need this many times a day, but I think that all comes with research, and so I'm excited and grateful to continue to be on the forefront of that, there are a lot of really incredible research scientists right now, Dr. Philip Blair, Dr. Jahan Marcu, Dr. Jackie von Salm, Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, all really brilliant individuals that spend their days studying terpenes and cannabinoids, and so there's so many incredible things that are taking place right now, and that's the future for me, the scientists, the physicians, the nurses, the healthcare professionals that are willing to put their lives and licenses on the line to shout from the rooftops that we should all be using this plant, so I think in the future, we'll also hear a lot more about the other 500 components of this plant, the other amazing cannabinoids that all have fantastic abilities as well as terpenes. Terpenes are a whole other show, it's a whole other conversations. So I think the future is bright, and I welcome it with open arms.
0:21:40.5 DB: I wanna thank our guest today, Jordan Person, to find out more information about Jordan, visit primalhealing.com and cannabismassagecolorado.com.
0:21:49.5 KC: Listeners when I'm not working on the ABMP podcast with Darren, I'm creating CE courses. In my role as ABMP's Director of Professional Education, I absolutely love working with instructors and experts in the field to share their knowledge with you through online, on-demand courses in the ABMP education center, where members earn free CE for more than 200 video-based courses covering a wide variety of techniques and modalities, ethics, therapist safety and more, if you're not a member, you can purchase single course access or discounted multi-course packages, find a new favorite instructor, learn a new technique and find a course you will love at abmp.com/ce.
0:22:31.0 DB: Thanks Jordan, and thanks, Kristin.
0:22:32.7 KC: Jordan, thank you so much for being with us and sharing your passion with us, we really appreciate it.
0:22:38.0 JP: Absolutely, thank you so much for having me. It's been my honor.
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