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Marijuana and Massage in Oregon: a Cannabis Coming Out


Transcend Bodywork is Pro-Cannabis.

What new services can/do I offer?  How do I tell my kids?

I’ve wanted to shout my love for cannabis from the highest mountaintops for years (pun intended).  Why now?

Here’s what’s new: cannabis, including topical oils and lotions are legal in Oregon, both recreationally and as medicine.

Plus the latest word from the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists:

#1 is what I can’t do as a LMT:

1. Medical Marijuana: OAR 334-010-0025 (b) states that massage therapy does not include use of equipment or devices that require a prescription or (c) making a medical diagnosis. Dispensing or applying medication is not within the scope of practice of a Licensed Massage Therapist. Marijuana infused massage oils obtained by or through a medical marijuana cardholder are considered medicines under state law. Therefore, a licensee is prohibited from recommending or applying marijuana-infused massage oils obtained by or through a client who is a medical marijuana cardholder. SUBJECT: Topical Use Policy NUMBER: Effective: May 20, 2016 APPROVED: May 20, 2016

#2 is what I can do as a LMT:

2. Recreational Marijuana: Once retails stores are open and selling marijuana-infused topical creams or oils an LMT can legally purchase them at a retail establishment. (As long as they are over 21 years of age) If a client 21 years or older consented in writing to the use of such topical, the LMT who is 21 years of age or older can administer it to the client in a massage. The LMT is prohibited for charging extra for that infused topical. Any use of transdermal patches is prohibited. The LMT will use protective gloves or other barrier protection while applying any marijuana-infused topical creams or oils.

The topicals used at Transcend Bodywork won’t get you high.   The kind of CBD receptor sites in our skin don’t absorb activated THC, or the psychotropic part of marijuana.  Click to learn more about your Endocannabinoid System, and how your body naturally produces and uses cannabinoids for healing and homeostasis.

It’s the Wild West once again, and Oregon has a long history of pioneering.  I’m looking forward to the pioneering new role models that emerge as we begin to explore cannabis culture openly, personally and professionally.  I hope this post contributes to the conversation.Oregonically Grown T-shirt

Growing up in the 1980’s meant D.A.R.E. culture, where indoctrination, not education was the norm.  All substance use was presented as taboo, and children were frequently used as informants against their parents by D.A.R.E. education officers.  Until legalization in Oregon two years ago, the very real consequences of having assets seized and children taken into custody by the state because of a relationship with cannabis existed.  It’s been a struggle to arrive at the time and place where I could set down my own secretiveness to publish this.


As a father of two, now 11 and 15 years old, I often wrestled with how I would know when it was time to let them into a bigger picture of cannabis and Dad.  I didn’t have role models for responsible or legal cannabis use by adults.  Indigenous cultures where the adults maintain a relationship with the psychoactive plants in their bioregion have some form of rite of passage, or passages, where the adolescents are exposed to the bigger world and tougher questions the adults face.  Intoxication and consciousness-altering are two of these adult issues.

The United States has no such rite of passage other than living to the legal age to participate, or knowing someone who can hook you up. Introduction to drug use is often left to peers, (frighteningly) from middle-school through College.  This is often the blind leading the blind, with no deeper intent or purpose to use other than “Let’s get fucked up.”.  It has taken me many years of self-exploration and struggle to learn that when used with intent, mind-altering substances such as cannabis can be powerful tools for self-exploration and change.

The big legal binds are gone now, but that doesn’t answer my deeper question:

How do those of us who have kept our usage secret transition to role modeling open, responsible cannabis habits for our children?

I’m asking for help here from other parents and our elders.  How have you, or how do you, suggest we transition formerly illegal behaviors to openness with success?  Please share your experiences and advice in the comments.

My kids learned I use cannabis a little over a month ago, thanks to a trip to the ER for our mischievous puppy Pluto.  Puppies get into and eat everything, including cannabis, which is very bad for dogs.  It was scary!

Following the ER visit, my son kept implicating a relative for the “weed” Pluto got into, I took the opportunity to say  “It just as easily could have been mine.”.  After that info sank in, we talked about why it hadn’t been appropriate nor safe to share with him or his sister earlier.  I let both kids know “You may ask any questions you have about any of this, at any time.  I love you and am figuring it out as I go too.”.  Well, they’re talking and the conversation continues.  As a parent that’s what I hope for.  We’ve always told our kids they needed to wait until legal age (accepting responsibility for their own actions) to experiment, or at least I’ve quoted Chef from South Park: “Kids, there’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s called College.”.

I feel blessed to have time to converse with my kids every day, and participate in their engagement in school and hobbies.  They are subject to peer pressure and exposure to drugs at school daily. I’m grateful they simply don’t have the time to misbehave, and less interest, as it’s not such a taboo.   They talk openly with me about the negative effects they see usage creating in peers while maintaining their own kick-ass grades!

In contrast, I was left to my own devices following my parent’s divorce, and nothing made me more interested in knowing about something than hearing “Don’t look into that, because authority says not to.”.  I had both the time available to look into stuff, and a drive to alter my emotional feeling-state due to my personal adolescent circumstances.  I work hard to create better circumstances and provide more adept guidance for my children.

I knew I couldn’t cannabis come-out professionally until I had come-out to my kids personally.

Phew, glad that’s done.  Pluto is doing just fine and seems a little more experienced. : )  Thanks for taking one for the team Pluto!

What does this all mean for Transcend Bodywork, other than adding 25+ years experience with cannabis to my resume? (Thank you Oregon for being a place where the previous sentence can be credibility rather than detriment.)

  1. Have a recreational topical? Bring it to your session if you’d like.  I’ll apply it following our myofascial work.
  2. I’m selecting a brand for use in-practice, I’m currently sampling several, if you’re interested in trying one, just ask.
  3. Ongoing exploration of cannabis in Professional Massage Therapy and Bodywork.
  4. Now offering Recreational Cannabis Mindfulness, Movement and Meditation Groups for Self Exploration and Pain Relief – These events are hosted at the organizer’s (you) private residence (so you may legally consume cannabis) for individuals or groups.  Groups are guided through meditation to notice and feel their issues as-is, before introducing mindfulness and movement techniques that can be employed with or without cannabis to expand options for self-care and self-exploration.  Cannabis use is invited during the second half of the class, so attendees may feel the onset and effects of cannabis with the issues they’ve tuned in to.  Fun and professional, I’ve been there and done that, and will hold space for your playful learning and relief.

As a professional, I do not partake before or during work, and as your guide I do not partake during class.  Email me: for more info or to book your group.

Learn more about cannabis as medicine from The CBD Project.

Be well, and don’t hold back your questions or comments,


P.S.  Enjoy this 2 minute time-lapse from my trip to Spain and the El Camino de Santiago.  Set to the song “Peace Pipe”.  Imagine that.

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