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For athletes, recovery time is everything – it’s the difference between consistent workouts 4-5 times a week, and spending days on end languishing on the couch, nursing sore muscles (and missing out on gains).

Every minute you spend recovering is a minute you aren’t spending training.

That’s why it’s so important to find the right CBD products for recovery, muscle pain and soothing soreness. 

With more and more research pointing to CBD‘s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory, as well as it’s potential for pain relief, it may be a great solution for athletes, or anyone looking to relieve muscle pain and recover more quickly.

How does it work, exactly? Let’s take a look:

What causes muscle soreness?

To know how CBD topicals might help with muscle soreness, it’s helpful to first understand what makes muscles sore in the first place.

In essence, working out or using your muscles intensely results in lots of tiny rips and tears to your muscles. That damage causes inflammation, which alerts your body to start repairing the area. This phenomenon is also what’s responsible for muscles getting bigger – once healed, they’re stronger and more pronounced than before.

Anybody who’s spent any time in a gym can tell you that muscle soreness is a serious barrier to progress – whether it’s immediate, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Both are believed to be caused by microtrauma, the type of small tearing and damage your muscles experience after an intense workout.

So the primary culprit for post-workout muscle soreness is inflammation.

Can CBD help with that?

CBD for inflammation and muscle soreness

The good news is that CBD has massive potential to help with muscle soreness and inflammation.

New research is coming out all the time that points to CBD‘s possible effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic – for example, a review published in Frontiers in Neurology found that “Cannabidiol Reduces Spasticity, Pain, Inflammation, Fatigue, and Depression” in a subset of patients.

There is also evidence that CBD is safer than other pain medications – the same review noted that “Cannabis Reduces the Usage of Prescription Drugs, Particularly Pharmaceutical Opioids, Benzodiazepines, and Antidepressants.”

This evidence, and more, points to CBD‘s effectiveness as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, which is great news for anybody looking to address muscle soreness, pain, or post-workout inflammation.;

What type of CBD product should you take for muscle soreness?

Most of the studies surrounding CBD for pain and inflammation deal with topical CBD products – i.e. creams, lotions, gels, rollons and the like.  

Since muscle pain tends to be localized in one area, a topical application makes sense – you can target the specific part of your body that’s in pain.

A report published in the European Journal of Pain found that “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.” In other words, their experiments showed evidence that both inflammation itself, and the pain resulting from it, were reduced by applying a CBD gel or CBD cream.

If you’re not sure how much CBD to take, head over to our handy CBD Dosage Calculator.

Best topical CBD products

If you’re looking to address muscle soreness and inflammation with CBD, take a look at these star topical CBD products:

Green Roads CBD Muscle & Joint Heat Relief 500mg – Soothe sore muscles with this warming Heat Relief roll-on. Easy to use and super-portable, with 500mg of broad-spectrum CBD. Goes on easy, warms to relieve soreness.

Medterra CBD Rapid Cooling Cream 750mg – Kind of the opposite of the first product, but similar – this cream uses menthol, along with a host of other plant extracts and essential oils, to produce a cooling effect reported to help soothe sore muscles.

cbdMD CBD Freeze Pain Relief Roller 750mg – For the absolute most bang for your buck, try this 750mg roll-on from cbdMD. Made with arnica, tea tree oil, vitamin E, and a whole lot of broad-spectrum CBD, this roll-on is perfect for athletes.

Can other products help as well?

A 2017 study found that cannabinoids like CBD can lead to reduced pain, and less intense pain, for people suffering from migraines. They were given CBD orally, and pain was still found to be reduced – so there may be potential for CBD gummies for pain, or other oral CBD solutions for pain – like CBD oil.

That said, taking CBD orally (as in, via a CBD oil or CBD gummies) is probably better suited to address generalized pain, rather than targeted muscle pain. Our #1 recommendation for muscle pain is still a topical CBD product.

As always, if you have any questions about CBD for muscle recovery, inflammation, topicals vs edibles, or anything else at all – don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our wellness experts. We love hearing from you, and we’ll take any excuse to talk shopping CBD products.