I was running late. I couldn’t find the place and my pulse was beginning to roll like a snare drum. My appointment was for 15 minutes before 10:00 a.m., and it was already five past. I glanced nervously down at the little green-and-white box on my passenger seat — the Stratos CBD salve. That’s it, I thought, I need to call for help.

Colorado Body Wisdom,” a soothing voice answered.

“Hello — yes? I’m on my way!” I exclaimed.

“What?” she replied.

“Can you hear me?!” I nearly screamed.

“I’ve got a ten-o'clock, but I can’t for the life of me find you. Where is this place?”

The idea to get a CBD massage had struck me a couple of weeks earlier. I had been burning with a friend, when they brought up the growing trend.

“You know, man,” she told me, ripping a bubbler like a diver sucking oxygen. “CBD massages are in right now — you just bring your own CBD and they take it from there. It’s super legit.”

“They allow that?” I asked.

“Dude,” she looked at me like I was being naive. “They encourage it. It makes their job easier.”

I wasn’t convinced. But the idea intrigued me — especially since I had a so-far unused jar of medical grade CBD salve floating around my car. I realized then, as a man of science, that I had a duty: I needed to test this emerging Colorado custom for myself, to see what a CBD massage could do to a person.

My agitated energy jangled the poor girl on the other end of the line as I called for directions, I could tell. But she directed me to the center, and only three minutes later, I was screeching sideways into a parking garage and sprinting up a staircase into the Crossroads Garden Center. I circled the building’s interior frantically several times before I located the door I was looking for: Suite 309 — I plunged headlong through it.

My explosive entrance startled the three women standing within. From their faces I knew, I must have looked totally deranged. My breath was heavy, my forehead beading with sweat droplets, my wild eyes were wide and worried.

“I made it! I found you,” was all I could think to say. Then added, “Against all odds.”

They leapt into action. Like a team of highly trained nurses confronted with a gravely ill patient, they set to work on me; rushed me into the nearest operating room, hydrated me, and, before I knew what had happened, I was bare-ass naked, lying face-down under the sheets, listening to Indian harmonium music and waiting for my masseuse, Selina Borquez.

This high-tension arrival had been on the calendar for over a week (and still, somehow, I managed to scream in seven minutes behind schedule). I was there, though, and I was stoked! Because, this was not going to be any regular massage, this was going to be a cannaboosted rubdown of epic proportions.

I lifted the green-and-white box, carefully extracted the small jar within and studied it: Stratos Soothe 1:1, cannabis infused topical salve. 100mgs of active THC and 100 mgs active CBD, read the box. This was the stuff; the wizard cream that was about to take me and my muscles to another plane of therapeutic rapture.

I had not had a massage in years … my muscles are a warped and gnarled mess, I know this. My back was tight and knotted and full of tension I’d been storing in there for the better part of my adult life. I wasn’t sure what horrors might be lurking in that tissue, and I definitely wasn’t sure Selina was prepared to handle them, either.

But, Selina is a professional of the highest rank — I probably wasn’t even the most serious patient she’d encountered that morning. And, in my case, she had a powerful ally on her side.  

“Woah!” she exclaimed, as she opened my jar of Stratos Sooth. “Smell this,” she said, and held the jar under my nose. I breathed deeply and my eyes went wide. “That smells like some potent medicine you’ve got here.”

Which was no understatement. Just a dime sized dollop of that peppermint scented salve was enough for my entire back, my knees, shoulders and even my neck.

Selina applied the Soothe 1:1 and started down the left side of my spine. She encountered her first challenge about halfway down: a ping-pong-ball sized knot that had been embedded under my shoulder blade for well over a year. It was a node I’d come to accept as permanent.

But it was no match for the CBD massage. When Selina finally worked that malignancy out, as it unraveled inside my back like some kind of Gordian knot, a rush of emotions and memories flooded my mind. At first, I nearly laughed, but before I could, I had to choke back a sadness I couldn’t explain. It was as if Selina had burst some kind of bubble — or opened a box that I’d been storing excess emotional crap inside of, and all of it came pouring out at once.

Then she moved down to my legs, worked them, flipped me over, and started on the other side.

The Stratos salve was working at full tilt now. I could feel a comfortable numbness, a deeply relaxing sensation that sank into my body and made me tingle just beneath the surface. I wasn’t high (even though this particular salve is half THC, half CBD), but I could tell this was far from the typical massage experience. This was on another, more intense level, entirely.

And the CBD wasn’t just doing good for me, either, the stuff was in fact making Selina’s job easier, too. She explained that the anti-inflammatory qualities of the CBD protect the muscles, and medicinally sooth them to a point where they are easier to work with and less susceptible to damage. So, with CBD, the client’s body is virtually purged of tension, and the masseuse can get deeper into their muscle tissue for it.

It’s a win-win situation.

“It allows the muscles to relax easier, and for the healing to happen a lot more quickly,” Salina said. “I think it makes the massage a lot more impactful, a lot more beneficial, when you add the CBD.”

Selina was generous with my time, but eventually she had to stop. And when she did, I didn’t want to move; I wanted the massage to continue on and on into the afternoon and the evening.

But all good things must come to an end (especially when they cost $88 an hour). So, reluctantly, I rolled off the massage table, got dressed, and thanked Selina, who was waiting for me in the hallway just outside. Then, in a trance-like state, I walked out of Colorado Body Wisdom.

It was a different experience entirely from my panic-stricken entrance. On the way out, I noticed the big leafy plants that adorned the walkways and stopped to admire the Crossroad Garden Center’s beautiful Zen garden arrangement. My pace was sedated, my gait was smooth; gone were my anxieties and my high-strung demeanor; no more was I gasping for air, and no longer were my thoughts filled with fear and loathing. I felt calm, and rejuvenated. New, by all means and measures.

That feeling followed me for the rest of the day. It followed me into my car, onward to lunch, and through my afternoon. It even followed me into yoga later that evening, when my sweat reactivated the CBD oil (still on my skin), and about halfway through class I was once again, unexpectedly, thrust into that blissful body-buzz.

It was an all-day experience. And honestly, I think it may have ruined me forever. Massages may never feel complete again without CBD supplementation.