Whether you are a professional athlete, enjoy a pickup game of ball at the rec, or you are an avid outdoors enthusiast, you are probably aware of the wear and tear high impact activity can have on the body. From overworked muscles to strains and pulls, our bodies need a recovery period to prevent these injuries. Time is one of the best healers, but is there anything additional you could add the up the ante of your recovery process? CBD says yes. 

What Is CBD?

CBD is one of many naturally occurring compounds in cannabis and hemp plants. Research surrounding CBD is still limited, but there are signs pointing toward effective promise in the realms of pain, inflammation and muscle soreness. CBD interacts directly with the human body’s endocannabinoid system. This bodily system is largely responsible for the management of pain, inflammation, appetite, sleep, mood and more. This direct interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could prove highly beneficial for athletes and active people looking for a potentially therapeutic and natural alternative.

Over time, the physical exertion from training can begin to wear down on an athlete’s body. While stretching before and after workouts or training sessions can undoubtedly help reduce the likelihood of injury, many athletes still turn to pain relief in the form of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). For serious injuries, powerful and addictive painkillers like opiates are used on a fairly regular basis. For much of the history of professional sports, pro athletes have even been encouraged to use prescription medications by team doctors or coaches, making them the industry standard in most injury cases. 

However, the recent boom of interest and research regarding cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has shown promising results for its use as a pain relief solution. This natural alternative does not boast unwanted side-effects, does not have psychoactive capabilities and has been shown aid in a variety of wellness and pain management areas. So, what’s the best options for athletes when it comes to CBD? Many say topicals are one of the best ways to go. 

CBD Topicals For Athletes

Utilizing a CBD topical could aid in athletic recovery in a variety of ways. CBD topicals can be directly applied to the source of pain, delivering targeted relief to a specific area. For many athletes, muscle or joint pain and inflammation can be an accompanying factor of a post-training recovery period. Inflammation occurs after an injury or over exertion. It can also trigger your body to fight illnesses through the immune system response. While some inflammation can help your body, excessive inflammation can cause problems like chronic illnesses, depression and pain. In addition, inflammation can slow down your recovery time. 

During a 2010 study, researchers found cannabinoids were effective anti-inflammatory agents. Basically, CBD works to reduce inflammation to a safe, healthy level. This allows your muscles, joints and tissues to recover without suffering from chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Reduced oxidative stress is also connected to having better insulin sensitivity, less muscle soreness and improved immune function. 

Similarly, when CBD is applied directly to a problem area it begins immediately to increase your muscle relaxation. This is important for athletes because exercise produces lactate. When you have excess lactate in your muscles, it leads to soreness and cramps. Since CBD is a muscle relaxant, it can help your body handle lactate. The compound helps neurotransmitters calm the mind and body. By reducing certain neurotransmitters, CBD is able to alleviate cramps and muscle spasms. 

CBD may also help improve your joint health. When CBD oil is combined with icing, foam rolling and stretching, it could even help to possibly treat tendonitis injuries. 

Best CBD Topicals For Athletes

Finding a reliable CBD topical is key to actually reaping the benefits and improving your athletic recovery routine. Not all CBD is created equal. Turn to CBD companies that conduct third-party lab test results, to ensure quality, potency and purity. When it comes to athletes and CBD, most want something that is truly THC-free. Trusting transparent independent lab-test results and companies created with active lifestyles in mind are your best bet in finding a high-quality CBD topical or other product. 

Real Tested Top Picks

Elixinol CBD Sports Gel

Ranked with the number one spot in our Best CBD Topicals category is Elixinol CBD’s Sports Gel. This CBD topicals gets a highly recommended from our experts. Testing well above the label amount for CBD (300mg more!) and with many of the rare cannabinoids we like to see, this CBD topical offers a fantastic value for consumers. This THC-free topical costs just around $0.04 per milligram of CBD, making it a very cost effective option for a high-quality CBD topical. Eliniol’s CBD Sports Gel also comes with a unique and easy to use pump feature, ideal for easy use anywhere. 

Reefined CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Muscle Gel Roll-On

Now we have Reefined CBD’s Full-Spectrum CBD Muscle Gel Roll-On topical. This CBD topical ranks second in our Best CBD Topicals category. With an easy roll-on application method, this CBD topical is great for anyone seeking some targeted relief. This CBD topical tested well above the label claim for CBD with 2100mg of CBD and contains plenty of rare cannabinoids including 61mg of THC, 98mg of CBC and 49mg of CBG. This is another very affordable product from Reefined CBD, costing just $0.85 per milligram of THC and $0.02 milligrams of CBD. If you are looking for a great potent CBD topical, this is a solid choice for you. 

Receptra Naturals Serious Relief Targeted Topical CBD Stick

First up we have Receptra Naturals Serious Relief Targeted Topical CBD Stick in 640mg. This topical gets a highly recommended review from our experts and comes in third in our Best CBD Topicals category. With passes on all pesticide and solvent tests, this is a safe CBD topical to use and has a significant amount of CBD. This topical has most of the rare cannabinoids we like to see plus over 700mg of CBD. 

To see more from Real Tested CBD’s Best CBD Topical category, click here.

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