CBD can also be a powerful workout adjunct, helping increase circulation pre-workout and aiding recovery and healing after you exercise. Research suggests CBD can help us recover faster between workouts & may prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) pain after exercise. These high-quality CBD balms, salves and muscle rubs are designed for aiding recovery from aches and soreness for runners, cyclists and other athletes.
Best CBD Topicals and Why You Should Consider Using Them for Muscle Recovery
In the past few years, CBD, or cannabidiol, has seemingly become all the rage. It’s been touted to do everything from promote sleep to reduce anxiety, improve focus to ease pain. As it turns out, CBD can also be a powerful workout adjunct, helping increase circulation pre-workout and aiding recovery and healing after you exercise.
To learn more about using CBD topicals to improve athletic performance and aid workout recovery, we turned to Dr. Jason Wersland, founder and chief wellness officer of Therabody, the company behind the beloved Theragun products and a newer line of CBD topicals and tinctures for athletic performance and overall health.
What Is CBD and Is It Safe?
CBD is a compound found naturally in the hemp plant that interacts with a widespread network of receptors in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), much like other molecules the body naturally produces. The ECS is known to help regulate energy, mood, sleep, and more, which is why CBD has such a range of uses.
Though there is an ever-growing, cult-like group of ardent CBD fans, lots of people are dubious about using CBD, confused about its connection to marijuana and worried about potential risks, addiction, the safety of CBD products, the soundness of manufacturing processes, and the legality surrounding its use. However, Dr. Wersland has good news,
“CBD is non-intoxicating and will not make you feel high,” he explains. While CBD is non-habit-forming and is safe, it does matter where the product is sourced and how it’s made. As the demand for CBD has grown, so too has the abundance of inferior CBD products.
When shopping for the best CBD topicals and tinctures, Dr. Wersland says it’s important to do your research to ensure the company is using pure products and clean formulations. “At Therabody, we spent over 18 months researching and developing a line of USDA Certified Organic CBD products that are toxin-free and provide the maximum therapeutic benefits, every time you use it. All TheraOne products are USDA Certified Organic, meaning they are formulated with a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. This standard applies not only to our hemp and CBD oil but also to every single ingredient in each of our products,” he says.
Can CBD Help With Muscle Pain and Workout Recovery?
CBD can be effective at numerous stops along the path to optimizing your workouts. Dr. Wersland says high-quality CBD products specifically formulated to aid exercise performance and recovery, such as Activate, Recover, and Revive, can be a healthy, drug-free way to feel better and reduce muscle soreness so you can recover faster and be ready to hit the next workout even harder.
Best CBD Lotions: TheraOne
Because CBD can increase circulation and warm the muscles, it can be used topically before you exercise to prepare your muscles for hard work. Products like Activate include CBD dosed appropriately for topical application pre-workout to ease stiffness and warm the muscles. It also contains organic white camphor oil, organic turmeric, and organic black pepper, a triad of powerful natural ingredients that invigorate, warm, and soothe the muscles.
CBD can also reduce inflammation and pain because it activates the ECS. Recover is a CBD topical ideal for use after your workout to facilitate recovery and ease soreness. It is a cooling and restoring CBD lotion that helps ease soreness, discomfort, and tension. Along with the purest CBD, it contains organic eucalyptus oil, organic peppermint oil, and organic arnica oil, which cool, soothe, and calm while promoting circulation. As such, Recover is a potent whole-body restorative CBD topical.
Runner Up: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated CBD Intensive Recovery Lotion
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated CBD Intensive Recovery Lotion with Organic Ashwagandha & Holy Basil is a nourishing, recovery lotion formulated with THC-free whole kelp extract. Each 2.5-ounce bottle of this vegan, non-GMO cream contains 800 mg of CBD blended with Ayurvedic botanicals like organic Ashwagandha and Holy Basil, which together provide cooling relief to sore muscles.
Best CBD Balm: TheraOne Revive
TheraOne’s Revive is a CBD balm designed for particularly acute, painful areas, making it a good option for a pulled muscle or inflamed tendon. Revive blends the highest-quality CBD with organic turmeric, menthol, and shea butter to promote circulation and reduce inflammation, while nourishing and hydrating the skin.
CBD for Muscle Soreness Recovery: Benefits of Hemp Oil After a Work Out
Can CBD be used to support the recovery process between workouts?
What about to speed healing after an injury?
Here’s what the research says about it.
Why are high-level athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, and UFC using cannabidiol (CBD) supplements?
Athletes use CBD to help them recover faster between workouts and after an event. Faster recovery means they’re back into the gym sooner to continue training.
In this article, we explore what makes CBD popular for post-workout recovery, as well as recuperation after an injury. We’ll cover what the research says about the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant effects of the compound in more detail.
Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD to support muscle recovery.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
Updated on March 04, 2022
Table of Contents
- How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?
- What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?
$49 – $229
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||500 – 2500 mg|
|Potency:||16.6 – 83.3 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.12 – $0.18|
How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?
- CBD relaxes the muscles
- CBD prevents delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- CBD alleviates inflammation
- CBD improves sleep quality & recovery
- CBD may enhance satellite cell differentiation in the muscles
- CBD may support protein synthesis in the muscles
1. Alleviates Muscle Tension
One of the characteristic symptoms of DOMS is muscle tension.
When it comes to injuries, tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area can make the pain much worse — which is why muscle relaxants are so popular for alleviating pain during recovery from exercise or injuries.
Some forms of prescription muscle relaxants used for treatment-resistant muscle tension are benzodiazepine drugs like Valium. These medications work through the GABA receptors — which are a key regulator of muscle relaxation [5,18].
Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs and come with a significant risk of side-effects like sedation, depression, confusion, dizziness, and trembling — all of which are not conducive to optimal athletic function.
CBD and other cannabinoids have similar effects on GABA as benzodiazepines — only without the risk of severe side-effects [6,7].
Some research even suggests the use of cannabis as a supportive agent for benzodiazepine addiction due to the overlap of effects between the two . This is dangerous and requires monitoring by a doctor, of course. You should never attempt this on your own.
Therefore, CBD may be a useful muscle relaxant for easing muscle tension and pain following an injury or rigorous workout.
2. Alleviates Muscle Pain
CBD is suggested to be a powerful pain-killer — as evidenced by both anecdotal and scientific research. This effect may allow CBD to offer symptomatic support for muscle injuries or post-exercise recovery. With less pain, you’ll find it easier to get yourself back into action faster, and feel more comfortable between exercise.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Perhaps the most important role CBD plays in the process of muscle recovery is in reducing inflammation. The most common method of reducing inflammation after an injury or post-workout is to apply ice to the area.
There’s some debate around whether or not putting icing is helpful for muscle recovery or not, and research is inconclusive — some studies suggest icing the muscles improves recovery times , while other studies have found that icing offers no benefit for shortening recovery time .
The controversy revolves around what role inflammation plays during the recovery process.
The inflammation process is designed to help damaged muscle fibers recover — it brings in blood flow to the area and delivers essential nutrients and oxygen along with it.
Additionally, the increased blood flow helps to clear out cellular debris, damaged proteins, and byproducts of muscle contraction like lactic acid from the area.
Inflammation also stimulates stem cells (called satellite cells) in the muscle to turn into new muscle fibers.
Inflammatory markers like IL-10, TGF-β, TNF-α, and NF-κB are all thought to stimulate the satellite cells of the muscles after an injury  — leading to faster recovery and a return of strength to the muscles.
On the other hand, post-workout muscle damage, or injuries to the muscles often involve specific regions of muscle — yet the inflammatory process affects larger groups of muscles and joints that haven’t been affected. The inflammatory response can cause collateral damage to these regions of muscle and joints — leading to a slower recovery process.
This is the main reason athletes use anti-inflammatories or ice after a workout or injury. Reducing inflammation limits the damage caused to nearby muscle and joint tissue.
Athletes often use ice immediately following a workout, and NSAID medications like Aspirin or Ibuprofen to limit inflammation for the remainder of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS symptoms for the next few days.
CBD offers something even better — and may be able to reduce most of the unhelpful inflammation without compromising its benefits towards the recovery process.
CBD has been shown to inhibit a wide range of inflammatory molecules but has little effect on reducing TGF-β and IL-10. In some studies, CBD even caused an increase in IL-10 .
This could explain how CBD may alleviate inflammation in the muscle tissue without compromising recovery times. The important role of IL-10 in the activation of new muscle cell differentiation could have a big impact on our ability to recover from muscle damage.
4. Improves The Quality & Duration of Sleep
A few of the most important aspects of muscle recovery happen while we sleep. This is when most of our recovery processes become active .
Some of the important processes that take place while we sleep include:
- Restoring damaged proteins like troponin, actin, and myosin
- Removing cellular debris from damaged areas
- Converting lactic acid to glucose in the liver
- Stimulating the differentiation of stem cells into new muscle fibers
Sleep deprivation can pose negative effects on recovery in a few key areas :
- May lead to a reduction in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) — which we already pointed out as being one of the main triggers for differentiation of the muscle stem cells (satellite cells).
- May increase cortisol levels — which has a negative impact on protein synthesis.
- May cause a reduction in testosterone — which is heavily involved in the process of muscle recovery for both men and women.
A combination of CBD and THC in a pharmaceutical preparation of 1 part CBD to 1 part THC known as Sativex® has been tested repeatedly on its effect on sleep. Research has consistently shown Sativex® offers improvements on the quality of sleep, as well as the duration .
Other studies have found similar results using only CBD on rats . Researchers in this study found that CBD was able to increase the total sleep time, as well as improve the ability of rats to fall asleep.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s a close relative to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which is what makes marijuana psychoactive.
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids — organic compounds found alongside over a hundred other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Don’t worry, CBD is completely non-psychoactive — meaning it won’t make you high.
Most companies selling CBD will source it from a specific form of selectively-bred cannabis called hemp — which is the same species as marijuana (Cannabis sativa) but won’t produce more than trace amounts (>0.3%) of the psychoactive ingredient, THC.
CBD supplements made from hemp are completely non-psychoactive due to the lack of THC. As a result, government regulators around the world don’t consider CBD a drug in the same way as marijuana. Most countries regulate CBD as a nutritional supplement instead — however, laws governing cannabis products change frequently, so be sure to check your local laws before placing an order.
CBD has a lot of suggested benefits — many of which have been backed up by scientific and anecdotal evidence. Supplements and pharmaceutical preparations containing CBD are being used by cancer patients to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy (such as nausea), by children with rare forms of epilepsy (such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome), and by millions of people around the world for symptoms like anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia.
How can CBD have so many suggested benefits?
CBD achieves all of this because of its ability to interact with a regulatory system — rather than one specific organ. This allows CBD to affect many different organs around the body directly and indirectly — including the muscular system.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD works through a subsystem in the body found in all mammals called the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) involves a collection of special G-protein-coupled receptors (called endocannabinoid receptors), and hormones designed to interact with these receptors (called endocannabinoids).
The ECS is used to help regulate homeostasis throughout the body — which basically means internal balance.
Everything from temperature regulation to hormone levels needs to remain within a specific range. Homeostasis is the process of keeping these metrics within the ideal ranges. If we fall too far outside these ranges, we become sick and die.
CBD is a modulator of the endocannabinoid receptors. It attaches to them in a unique way and modifies their structure slightly to allow our naturally-produced endocannabinoids to bind to them more effectively. It also inhibits an enzyme designed to break down our endocannabinoids (called FAAH). This essentially primes the ECS — giving it a boost to do its job more effectively.
CBD doesn’t stimulate the endocannabinoid system directly, rather it helps upregulate the system we already have in place.
Conversely, the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, activates the endocannabinoid receptors directly (rather than modifying them). Some of the receptors THC activates result in a release of serotonin in the brain — which produces the characteristic high from marijuana plants.
CBD also activates other receptors in the body, including:
- 5HT1A receptors (serotonin receptors) 
- Vanilloid pain receptors 
- PPARγ nuclear receptors 
Muscle Recovery 101: What Happens After Excercise?
There are three kinds of muscle in the human body — but the most relevant for the purpose of this discussion is the skeletal muscle.
The other two are smooth muscle (found in the internal organs and lining of the arteries), and cardiac muscle (a specific type of muscle only found in the heart).
The cells that make up skeletal muscle are uniquely suited to their job. They have more mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) than most other cells in the body. This is meant to help them meet the high energy demands of the muscles.
Muscle cells are also long and cylindrical, helping them form long fibers.
Each muscle cell contains functional units called sarcomeres — which are the part of the muscle that contracts and expands to allow for movement. Proteins called actin and myosin contained in the cells are responsible for expanding and contracting the muscle tissue to achieve movement using calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
When a nerve stimulates muscle cells with acetylcholine, (i.e. when you tell your arm to move) calcium is pumped into the cell, which allows actin and myosin to interact, causing the cell to contract (shorten). This step requires a lot of energy — in the form of ATP, produced in the mitochondria of the cell.
When the nerve stops activating the muscle cells, calcium is pumped back out of the muscle cell and phosphate (a form of transferable energy) dislodged, causing the muscle to expand again (lengthen).
What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?
By now, you’re probably familiar with the aches and pains that come along with exercising. These sensations are present no matter how often you work out — so what causes them?
Every time you exert your muscles, you cause microscopic damage to millions of tiny proteins that make up your muscle cells. This damage leads to inflammation of the muscle — which causes the characteristic aches, pains, and stiffness experienced after a workout.
The pain after a workout usually begins the following day.
This is referred to in the medical community as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
DOMS is a healthy part of the adaptation process. It only happens when we push our muscles harder than they have before, or in a different way than we’re used to. Over time, repeating these activities will produce less DOMS as the muscles recover and become stronger and more resistant to the same level of exertion.
How is DOMS Usually Treated?
DOMS will go away on its own — usually after about 3–5 days. Many athletes can’t wait this long to get back into the gym or on the pitch, so they’ll take measures to reduce the downtime.
Here are some of the most common treatments for DOMS:
- Rest — This is the simplest treatment, but takes the longest amount of time.
- Massage therapy — Physically massaging the muscles helps to stimulate the area, remove lactic acid buildup that may be causing more inflammation to the area, and force fresh blood into the affected area.
- Painkillers — Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Aspirin are often used to reduce inflammation and stop the pain. Unfortunately, these medications also come with negative side-effects.
- Ice packs — Cooling the area slows blood flow and reduces inflammation. This only works if applied directly after an injury or following a workout.
Can Athletes Use CBD? Is CBD Legal in Competitive Sports?
You may be skimming through this article and wondering — “is CBD legal in sports? Won’t cannabis make athletes fail a drug test if they use it?”
While cannabis is technically illegal, CBD is a clear exception.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned substances list. This essentially means the organization recognizes that CBD is not comparable to performance-enhancing drugs like amphetamines, hormones, or illegal drugs. This is how professional athletes like Nate Diaz from the UFC are able to use CBD without being banned from events.
With that said, make sure to check your local laws and regulations. Just because WADA allows CBD doesn’t mean your individual country or regulatory agency allows it too.
Drug tests used in professional sports can’t identify chemicals in the blood or urine unless you specifically go looking for them. They don’t provide a full list of compounds contained in the fluid.
Most drug tests for marijuana use synthetic antibodies to look for THC — or the metabolites our body creates after breaking down THC. Therefore, you’ll only fail a drug test for these substances if you’ve used a supplement that included THC. For this reason, if you’re competing in professional sporting events and are interested in using CBD, you should opt for a product made from third-party tested CBD isolate, rather than full-spectrum hemp — which may contain trace amounts of THC.
Here are some of the most common ways people are adding CBD to their supplement regimen:
- Add CBD oils to your protein or nutritional shakes
- Take CBD capsules or gummies
- Use CBD oils sublingually after a workout and on recovery days
- Use a vaporizer pen
- Apply CBD topicals directly over the affected muscles
How To Get The Most From CBD For Muscle Recovery
The recovery process is complex, and shortening the amount of time needed between recoveries relies on many different factors. Taking several different measures at the same time will go a long way in shortening the recovery time beyond what CBD has to offer on its own.
Some simple advice for getting more out of CBD for muscle recovery:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
The recovery process releases a lot of metabolic waste into the bloodstream that needs to be filtered out by the kidneys. Aim for at least 3 L of water per day.
2. Spend Time Stretching After A Workout
This helps to remove harmful lactic acid after a workout and improve blood flow to the affected muscles.
3. Visit A Physiotherapist
It’s ideal to seek professional help to monitor your recovery and provide specific advice.
4. Listen To Your Body
Sometimes the pain experienced after a workout is more than DOMS. If you feel a sharp or excruciating pain, or the pain is accompanied by a fever, visit a doctor immediately.
5. Combine Internal & Topical CBD
This is going to provide the best chance for CBD to exert its effects on the muscles.
6. Prioritize Sleep
As mentioned, sleep is a critical component of the recovery process. Take the time to rest so you can get back into the gym faster.
7. Seek High-Grade CBD Products Only
There’s a lot of poor-quality CBD products floating around, many of which lack the potency advertised on the bottle, and may even have contaminants like heavy metals which could negatively affect your recovery.
8. Combine Other Health Supplements With CBD
Some of the best supplements for promoting recovery are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
9. Eat A Balanced Diet With Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables
In order to recover the body needs access to the raw materials. These raw materials come from our food. We need proteins (and their amino acid components) to build the structures of muscle tissue, along with trace nutrients and vitamins.
Key Takeaways: CBD & Muscle Recovery
CBD is a popular supplement for a lot of reasons. The active ingredient (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system to regulate homeostasis throughout the body — including the muscles.
After a tough workout, the tiny microfilaments in the muscle fibers become damaged — leading to inflammation, pain, and a loss of strength in the muscle. Over the next 3-5 days, the body needs to repair this damage and strengthen the fibers. During this time, it can be difficult to keep exercising that muscle group, which can ultimately slow down your gains.
Injuries are even worse, sometimes keeping you out of the gym for months on end.
CBD offers several unique benefits to aid the recovery process:
- It reduces inflammation to prevent unnecessary damage to surrounding muscles
- It improves our quality of sleep to support the regeneration process
- It relaxes the muscles to stop spasms and tension
- It blocks the transmission of pain
These effects help explain why so many athletes report improvement in recovery times after using CBD.
In order to get the most out of CBD, we recommend you take a multifaceted approach, incorporating other measures into the recovery as well — such as massage, healthy dietary habits, taking other supplements, drinking water, and ensuring you get plenty of rest.
The field of CBD and muscle recovery is still young, and there are dozens of interesting research studies on this subject either in progress or planned for the near future. Be sure to stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter below to receive news and updates on cutting-edge research as it’s published.
The Best CBD Balms, Salves & Lotions For Recovery From Muscle Soreness
If you suffer from muscle aches and pains while training, or post-race effort, a good CBD Balm could be exactly what you need.
All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
CBD products are a really great addition to any athlete’s recovery routine – and in particular, using CBD balms, muscle rubs, lotions, and salves is a popular and growing trend among runners, cyclists, and other athletes who are looking to support training recovery, or are dealing with pain, inflammation, and fatigue.
This post shares the best CBD balms, lotions, and salves we’ve come across for athletes that are designed to support fast recovery and temporary relief. We hope our CBD balm reviews help you choose the best one to try, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
Keep reading to see the list, or click here to jump down to first learn more about using supplements such as CBD balms and lotions.
Best CBD Topicals for Athletes – Table of Contents
All the CBD topicals on this list are made with either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD extract, from companies that lab-test their products for purity, third-party verification, and potency.
Read our guide more about the difference between full and broad-spectrum CBD products and why competitive athletes should always ensure their chosen CBD brand lab-tests each batch of their products, they know all the ingredients and can access lab test results.
1. Level Select CBD Cream | Best CBD Cream For Athletes
- CBD Topical type: Cream
- Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
- Lab-Tested: Yes
- CBD Contents per 1oz: 600mg (Level 3)
With a relatively high concentration of CBD per 1oz for their most potent Level 3 formula, Level Select’s CBD cream (and roll-on option) are designed with athletes from all backgrounds to help with workout and injury recovery.
With a cooling mint formula that is non-greasy to apply and soaks in quickly, they’re easy to use without worrying about staining clothes or waiting around before getting dressed post-workout.
Level Select’s CBD recovery topicals are also available in lower concentrations of 1200mg and 900mg per 3oz tub, if you’re not looking for the most potent option available.
This cream (as well as the roll-on) is sold at a price point that represents excellent value for money for non-GMO, US-grown, third party lab-tested CBD products, at only $50 for a 3oz tub containing 1800mg of CBD – or as low as $30-$35 per tub when bought on a monthly subscription.
To learn more about this cream and Level Select CBD’s other products, read our In-Depth Level Select CBD review.
2. Venga CBD Recovery Balm | CBD Balm For Athletes
- CBD Topical type: Balm
- Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
- Lab-Tested: Yes
- CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg
Venga is a CBD company specializing in recovery products for athletes and is founded by runners and athletes who know all about pushing your limits when it comes to endurance sports.
I first noticed the power of this CBD balm when I ran a 30k mountain race in the Swiss Alps with the UTMB OCC ultra marathon 5 days later. I rubbed it on my leg muscles after Matterhorn Ultraks and felt repaired and ready to run UTMB OCC 5 days later.
That impressed me but what really blew me away was just how good my legs felt the day after my mountain ultra-marathon race – which involved a total moving time of 10.5 hours in the mountains.
I can only attribute it to this CBD balm I smothered over my legs after the race. This is why it currently holds the crown as our chosen best CBD balm for athletes. That – and it being THC-free is important for competitive athletes.
To learn more about Venga CBD’s other great products, read our in-depth Venga CBD review.
GET 20% OFF YOUR VENGA CBD ORDER WITH OUR EXCLUSIVE CODE: ‘TRAILKALE20‘
3. CBDPUre Muscle & Joint Formula | Best CBD Lotion Creme
- CBD Topical type: Lotion
- Broad or Full-Spectrum: Full-Spectrum
- Lab-Tested: Yes
- CBD Contents per 1oz: 83mg (250mg CBD in one 3oz tube)
CBDPure’s Muscle & Joint Formula 250 CBD Cream is a topical CBD cream formulated for rapid absorption. Unlike other CBD creams on this list, the CBDPure lotion is made using full-spectrum, rather than broad-spectrum CBD.
This CBD cream has been developed for those of us with active lifestyles, and it combines the benefits of CBD with botanicals like menthol and white willow bark (aka nature’s aspirin). The menthol actually gives a pleasant tingling sensation when applied to the skin which I enjoy.
This CBD cream smells pleasant, and because it’s non-greasy, it absorbs into the skin cleanly and quickly. You only need to apply a pea-sized amount of this CBD lotion directly to the affected area too which means the product lasts a good amount of time as the tube has 3oz. of cream in it.
Coming in at $40 for one tube this is also a reasonably priced full-spectrum CBD topical for athletes. The relatively low entry price makes this a smart choice for those on a budget when it comes to trying a CBD topical for the first time (although note that this includes 250mg of full-spectrum CBD in a 3oz bottle compared to other, more potent options on this list.
4. Beam CBD ‘The Fixer’ | CBD Balm With Essential Oils Aroma
- CBD Topical type: Salve
- Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
- Lab-Tested: Yes
- CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg
Beam Organics is another CBD company founded by former professional athletes. As former Ironman triathletes and marathon runners, they know a thing or two about pain and the need for effective recovery products.
Beam’s CBD product range is grouped into four categories, ‘balance’, ‘performance’, ‘recovery’ and ‘sleep’. Within each of these categories, they offer a blend of products, from a CBD powder that you make into a hot drink to aid sleep, to CBD oil and this CBD balm for relief from soreness (which is part of the ‘recovery’ range).
I like the soft texture of Beam’s CBD salve, and the aromatherapy benefits, as it is infused with organic Lavender and Eucalyptus oils, two of my favorites.
Other CBD balms on this list also feature these essential oils, however, something about this blend makes it stand out when it comes to the overall aroma. Like the other CBD topicals on this list, it is designed to not only help with soreness relief but also inflammation.
If you’re going to use CBD topicals regularly, it can be more cost-effective to buy them on a monthly subscription, and when you do this with Beam’s ‘the fixer’ balm, the price drops from $75 to $60 a month. Get 15% off your order with code ‘TRYBEAM‘.
5. Miraflora Recovery Balm | Smooth CBD Topical Recovery Balm
- CBD Topical type: Balm
- Broad or Full-Spectrum: Full-Spectrum
- Lab-Tested: Yes
- CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg
Miraflora’s CBD recovery balm is another full-spectrum CBD topical for pain relief, inflammation and recovery, specifically designed with athletes and people with an active lifestyle in mind.
This CBD recovery balm has a really smooth texture and it is not greasy like some CBD balms can be. The ingredients that help provide this texture include shea butter and extra virgin coconut oil.
The smell of this CBD pain relief topical is nice, and not too potent either – part-aromatherapy, part-medicinal, on account of it also including lavender, eucalyptus, and menthol essential oils (similar to the other CBD balms listed above). Read our full Miraflora CBD review HERE.
Guide to CBD Balms For Athletes
Why CBD Balms are popular for athletes look for support with pain relief and soreness
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a plant-based, all-natural, anti-inflammatory supplement that is widely recognized as being well-suited for endurance athletes’ therapeutic needs.
CBD does this by working in synergy with existing systems within the body to help alleviate, inflammation, soreness, loss of mobility, stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
Many people looking for creams topicals for pain relief consider CBD as a supplement that can help with soreness and recovery. These products are not marketed as pain relief products, rather they’re described as being topicals for use in alleviating soreness and aiding recovery.
Benefits of CBD balms and salves
There are many benefits of using a CBD balm or muscle rub. In our experience it can help alleviate the following issues which are also common amongst other runners and athletes:
- stiffness and immobility that comes after endurance runs, whcih is common in areas such as backs, necks and hips.
- joint swelling in your knees, wrists, ankles, and hands due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
- shin splints, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and tendonitis.
Using a CBD topical for such soreness offers a more targeted and localized manner than using just CBD oils and soft gels – and you use it much in the way you would use other plant-based muscle rubs such as Arnica.
Using CBD muscle rubs after exercise
As an example of when an athlete may benefit from using a CBD muscle rub like this, I will massage a CBD topical balm or salve into my legs if they’ve taken a heavy beating during a strenuous run to help reduce inflammation and recover faster.
Becoming a stronger runner starts with a good recovery routine and using CBD topicals helps me recover quickly.
Whether you’re an ultrarunner, sprinter, cyclist, weight-lifter, CrossFit athlete, or simply an active person… if you have strained a muscle, are trying to recover from injury, or seeking a CBD topical for relief from workout soreness, then it’s definitely worth trying one of these products and seeing if it works for you, too.
Given the benefits outlined above, it’s also easy to see how these CBD salves, balms, and lotions can also be beneficial to people with other forms of soreness, aching and inflammation, such as those dealing with arthritis and recovery from non-athletic injuries.
The difference between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD topicals
It’s important to understand the difference between broad and full spectrum CBD topicals, especially if you are a competitive athlete required to pass drug tests.
CBD is legal in the US, however, to be legal in the US CBD topicals and other products must have less than 0.3% THC.
The reason for this is that THC, the compound found in large quantities in marijuana, occurs in very small quantities in full-spectrum CBD.
Full Spectrum CBD typically includes more hemp plant extracts than Broad Spectrum CBD, and this may include up to 0.3% THC that naturally occurs in the hemp plants used to make the CBD topical.
Broad-spectrum CBD also contains several such plant compounds, but it is typically entirely free of THC as it is not harvested from the whole plant, only certain parts.
Therefore if you are looking to avoid THC in any CBD that you ingest (such as oils, gummies, and other edibles), broad-spectrum CBD is something to look out for.
If you’re interested in the value of CBD products for anxious or active pets read our post on the benefits of CBD for dogs next!
Even though our understanding is that CBD topicals won’t affect drug tests in the same way anyway (as you don’t ingest them and they don’t enter your bloodstream) many companies offering broad-spectrum CBD will ensure their lab testing process certifies that their CBD topicals as well as any, oils and other products, are THC-free.
It’s important to consider that if you are subject to drug testing you may want to avoid using any CBD products or at least be thoroughly knowledgeable about the contents of the products and the rules of your testing organization.
Do this to ensure any products you are using do not result in a positive test for THC (for example, if the THC content of your chosen CBD salve is higher than permitted).
WADA has some guidance on their website which should be a good starting point, and it’s worth consulting with a professional for further advice on the subject.