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Jen Keehn

Expert Health & Wellness Writer Specializing in CBD.

How Can CBD Topicals Benefit Athletes And Active Individuals?

As rewarding as living an active lifestyle and regularly engaging in an intense exercise routine is, the soreness that often ensues because of it isn’t necessarily the most welcoming experiencing. For people who exercise regularly and push their bodies to the limit, muscle aches and pains are par for the course.

You’re probably well aware of the term “no pain, no gain” when it comes to increasing muscle strength and endurance. If you’re someone that pushes the envelope regularly when it comes to your workout, you’re definitely familiar with the pain that can follow, no matter how great the gain might be. Here’s where CBD topicals come in.

If you’ve been around the exercise scene for a while, you’ve likely noticed a surge in the number of athletes that swear by CBD topical products to relieve muscle and joint pain. Does it really help, though? Seeing that more pro athletes are using CBD as part of their recovery program than ever before it just might.

Here we’ll take a deeper dive into the how CBD topicals can benefit individuals who live an active lifestyle and regularly get their workout on. Because as we all know, no matter how physically fit we are, there are some days we feel our workouts more than others. Check out how CBD topicals might help.

Love To Get Your Workout On? Here’s How CBD Topicals Can Benefit Your Active Lifestyle

Before we get into the myriad of benefits of CBD topicals for supporting workout related soreness, it’s important to understand why we feel pain after a particularly strenuous session.

What gives? Why exactly does pushing our physical capacity
and crushing it in our favorite form of exercise tend to leave
us aching hours, and sometimes days, after we exercise?

The sore muscles and joints you’re likely familiar with for up to 72 hours after a particularly trying workout or intense game is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). If you workout regularly, you’re well aware that not all workouts make you sore, just the ones that have you lifting
a bit more, running that extra mile or adding in something new. This is because DOMS tends to happen when the body
isn’t used to what’s being introduced.

According to a study published in Sports Medicine, DOMS affects both elite and novice athletes alike, and symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. DOMS tends to happen only when we push our bodies to the limit. Despite the discomfort it entails, however, this pain isn’t something to worry about. It’s simply a result of your body repairing itself.

When the body is introduced to any strenuous activity, including a particularly grueling workout, it causes our muscles quite a bit of stress. This stress causes changes to the muscles, resulting in small, microscopic tears. In turn, muscle fibers become slightly damaged. The result of this damage, combined with the inflammation associated with these tears, is what causes this pain.

The use of CBD topicals among both professional and amateur athletes has skyrocketed in recent years, and it all comes down to the potential these topical solutions contain for supporting sore muscles and joints and soothing workout-induced aches and pains.

How exactly do CBD topicals work for those with an active lifestyle? Let’s take a closer look.

How CBD Topicals Could Help Naturally Relieve Workout-Related Aches And Pains

The potential CBD topicals contain for achy muscles and joints all comes down to how the compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Considered to be one of the most important systems that exists, the primary function of the ECS is maintaining homeostasis throughout the body.

Research indicates that the ECS is responsible for supporting several functions, including mood, pain perception, sleep, immune function, reproductive function, digestive health, the body’s inflammatory response and much, much more. At the most basic level, the ECS is made up of three main components that include:

  • Two naturally occurring endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG)
  • Two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2)
  • Two naturally occurring enzymes that break down the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids (FAAH and MAGL)

These three components work harmoniously together to provide balance to the many different processes supported by the ECS. When the ECS is functioning properly, we experience balanced health and overall wellbeing. When there is imbalance in the ECS, we tend to experience imbalance in the various functions it serves to support.

The ECS is found throughout the entire body. The majority of CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, while the majority of CB2 receptors are found in immune cells and the spleen. Endocannabinoids interact with these receptors and ECS enzymes to ensure the body and mind are functioning their best.

Cannabinoids such as CBD are very similar to the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids, and introducing cannabinoids to the body is suggested to help naturally balance any deficiencies in the ECS. This is why CBD is said to support such a variety of conditions, from sleep and stress to physical discomfort, inflammation and more.

There’s evidence that shows the skin contains its very own ECS, which is largely responsible for maintaining the growth, survival, immunity and death of skin cells. The skin’s ECS contains all the elements of the ECS, including endocannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors and enzymes. Endocannabinoids in the skin show to inhibit the body’s inflammatory response through their influence on CB1 and CB2 receptors. Research also indicates that endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors contain potential for reducing pain and inflammation.

Applying CBD topicals to the skin shows to provide localized relief because of the way CBD influences the skin’s ECS. Preclinical studies have discovered that the transdermal application of CBD to the skin reduces inflammation and pain in animal models. In a 2016 review, authors noted that “transdermal application of CBD has long-lasting therapeutic effects without psychoactive side effects.”

While more research is needed, there is plenty of preclinical and anecdotal evidence that support the efficacy of CBD topicals for active individuals accustomed to muscle aches and pains.

3 Ways CBD Topicals May Benefit Your Active Lifestyle

CBD Could Support Joint Pain And Swelling

For some that push their bodies to the limit, painful, achy joints accompanied by swelling can be a common occurrence. Whether you experience joint pain in your shoulders, knees, hips or ankles, it’s typically because more harm occurs to your joints than your body can realistically repair.

If your joints ache after intense exercise, it could be an earlywarning sign of arthritis, and it’s important to manage any inflammation that can cause further damage. Using CBD topicals is one way to naturally manage the body’s inflammatory response and keep your joints from aching and swelling up after a particularly grueling game or workout.

It all comes down to the way CBD influences the ECS. Using CBD topicals on the affected area sends chemical signals to the ECS. Ultimately, this enables affected cells to positively respond to these chemical signals and the inflammatory response that’s occurred to reduce swelling and joint pain.

While research on how CBD topicals work to produce these effects is still fairly limited, there have been a few studies that support the efficacy of CBD to reduce joint pain. A 2016 study, for example, discovered that daily applying a CBD gel helped reduce joint pain and inflammation in animal models.

CBD Topicals Could Support Inflammation Caused By Intense Exercise

Were you aware that research has found that intense exercise can lead to an increase of inflammation? If you’re someone who regularly engages in an intense workout routine, increased inflammation may be a common occurrence.

This elevated inflammatory response after intense exercise is caused by a few specific factors including circulating blood levels of cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), creatine kinase
CK) and leukocytes. Each display elevated levels following intense, but not moderate, exercise.

When CBD topicals are applied to the affected area, they go to work to target exactly where they’re applied. Remember, the skin is teeming with cannabinoid receptors and the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids work to inhibit the inflammatory response via CB1 and CB2 receptors. Research also indicates that CB2 agonists like CBD influence a decrease in inflammation when applied to the skin.

CBD Shows Promising Potential For Individuals With Arthritis

While exercise is extremely important for individuals with arthritis, it can seriously hinder your performance and motivation to stay active. Here’s the thing, though. Exercise can help strengthen muscles around the joints, which is vital for supporting your bones and ensuring less joint stress.

using a CBD topical might help. With preliminary research supporting the use of CBD topicals as a “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors,” applying a CBD topical solution before and after exercise may significantly improve your workout.

The Benefits of CBD Topical Balms For Joint And Muscle Aches And Pains

Do a quick search for CBD topicals and you’ll find there are plenty of different options to choose from. CBD lotions, salves and balms are some of the most popular CBD topicals on the market, but which one is best for those living an active lifestyle?

While CBD lotions are said to be fabulous for supporting skin health, CBD balms and salves tend to be most beneficial for those interested in workout-related relief. Why? Where lotions can evaporate, CBD balms soak deep into the skin to interact with the skin’s ECS. CBD and other active ingredients in the balm work harmoniously together to create a synergistic effect that support muscle and joint aches and pains.

The 4KOR Health CBD Recovery Stick, for example, is infused with 3000mg CBD and other ingredients known to support muscle and joint recovery. While the CBD influences CB1 and CB2 receptors,menthol provides a cooling effect that helps divert feelings of pain in joints and muscles. Used for hundreds of years to treat inflammation, blunt injuries and inflammation, arnica is one of the primary ingredients in this soothing CBD balm because of its ability to relieve sore muscles and help with inflammatory swelling. It also contains several essential oils known to support inflammation and muscle discomfort including lavender, rosemary, cardamom, camphor, eucalyptus and more.

The result? A CBD Recovery Balm that provides an effective option for natural relief. Made with the finest ingredients and third party lab tested for quality, purity and efficacy, this CBD Recovery Balm is designed to effortlessly enhance your recovery with the convenience of an easy-to-apply rub-on stick. Simply rub into the affected area and active ingredients go to work to directly target the area they’re applied to.

Are CBD Topicals Legal?

In 2018, the World Doping Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances, opening up the professional sports arena to the benefits of CBD. That being said, most major sports leagues (aside from Major League Baseball) still prohibit the use of THC. Because full spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC, many professional athletes that are required to participate in drug tests forgo the use of CBD with concern that THC may be present in their bloodstream.

CBD topicals are a bit different. Because they don’t enter the skin below the epidermis, CBD, other cannabinoids and added active ingredients in CBD topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, even if they contain the legal limit of 0.3% THC or less.

To bypass any issues professional or amateur athletes might face when it comes to drug testing, all traces of THC in the 4KOR Health CBD Recovery Stick have been removed.

The result? A broad spectrum product that contains CBD and other minor cannabinoids,as well as other beneficial hemp compounds that work together to provide an enhanced effect. Because this CBD balm contains zero THC, it can be used confidently by anyone interested in naturally supporting sore muscles and joints.

Can A CBD Topical Balm Benefit Your Active Lifestyle?

Sourced from the highest quality ingredients and third party tested for quality, our CBD Recovery Balm was designed specifically with your active lifestyle in mind.

Because CBD balms show to contain effective relief from muscle and joint discomfort, they’ve become a go-to for countless athletes and active individuals interested in naturally supporting pain and inflammation.

Whether you’re an athlete that could stand some relief from annoying muscle aches and pains or are simply looking for a soothing salve to support your active lifestyle, a CBD topical balm could be the natural solution you’ve been looking for.

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