So you’ve just maxed out those squats or finished a forty-minute intensive on the treadmill and you are sore, sweaty, and tired. Now what? Beyond pounding some water and hitting the showers there’s another thing you can do: use a cannabis topical! Having a solid recovery routine (or even day-to-day) where you focus on relaxing, letting your body rest and recover, and supplementing your needs is vital to optimal health and wellness. This article will cover some of the reasons why you should use a cannabis topical for workout recovery.
What Are Cannabis Topicals?
But before we start talking about why you should use a cannabis topical, you need to know what they are and why they are great for your workout recovery! A cannabis topical is typically a cannabis-infused lotion, balms, salves, sprays, patches, or body oil that features either THC, CBD, or both. They are commonly absorbed through application on your skin and designed so that you can target specific areas to get localized relief from pain, soreness, or inflammation. Because of how they are applied, the cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream meaning they are non-intoxicating. A cannabis topical is great for people who want to experience the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids without the euphoric “high” that is typically associated with other delivery methods (namely inhalation or ingestion).
How do cannabis-infused topicals or THC topicals work?
Each one of our bodies contains within it an endogenous endocannabinoid system (ECS) that comprises two receptors (CB1 & CB2). These receptors are present throughout our bodies. When we supplement the ECS in our bodies with the cannabinoids in cannabis products they make their way to the receptors and the effects are felt within our bodies. In the case of THC and CBD there are numerous effects that have been studied, which are possible. These include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reduction of stress and anxiety, and mood elevation (among others).
1. THC & CBD act as anti-inflammatories.
When we exercise and workout we are typically damaging (in a good way) the muscles of our body. After we finish, our bodies naturally repair them so that they grow back even stronger than they were. It is during this repair process where inflammation comes into play. Inflammation is an increase of blood flow to the affected areas that replenish oxygen, fuel our muscles, and remove harmful waste that were accumulated during exercise. The US National Library of Medicine within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has studied the effects of THC as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The NIH has also studied how CBD and other cannabinoids can be used as a novel anti-inflammatory agent to help reduce the effects of inflammation in the body. When infused into a topical, both THC and CBD can be useful anti-inflammatories that can easily be added to your recovery routine to help soothe achy and sore muscles after a strenuous workout.
2. Get pain relief from sore muscles.
In the previous reason, we outlined that both THC and CBD are anti-inflammatories but did you know that the cannabinoids in cannabis topicals also work on the pain receptors in our bodies. Significant evidence, as well as scientific research, has suggested that THC and CBD can relieve pain. So after a hard gym session of weight lifting or total body workout in the pool or on your yoga mat, a THC and CBD topical can be incredibly useful to help alleviate sensations of pain. Not to mention because as a form factor topicals can be applied directly to the affected area where you are feeling pain without the concern of feeling intoxicated!
Here’s a quick way cannabis topicals can help reduce pain:
- Relaxes muscles, which alleviates muscle tension and spasm
- Reduces mild inflammation, preventing damage to surrounding healthy muscle
- Supports sleep, which aids muscle fibre regeneration
- Helps prevent DOMS and associated pain
- Supports faster recovery between workouts or following injury
- Improves consistency with training routines due to reduced pain and downtime
3. You can improve relaxation after your workout.
If you are consistently training or even just after a heavy game of sports your body can feel worn down and painful. That is why rest and recovery are so important. Without both, you can become injured or recovery can take much longer than it should. Besides cooling down after your workout and drinking plenty of water it is important to relax! Relaxation allows your body time to rest, reduces stress and the symptoms of anxiety, lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. If you pair your relaxation with the THC and CBD in cannabis topicals the effects are compounding because of the properties that we mentioned before. So take a seat or lay down and apply a topical!
4. They are discreet, easy to use, and fit in your gym bag.
One of the best things about cannabis topicals is that they are discreet, easy to use, and fit inside your gym bags easily. As opposed to consuming an ingestible (which are just as discreet and easy to use) a topical can be applied just like a lotion or cream. Or depending on the form factor you can apply a cannabis transdermal patch (think IcyHot) to your body and just go on with your day! Other types such as sticks, lotions, balms, and creams can easily be applied to your skin and then placed back in your bag just like your stick of deodorant or perfume/cologne.
5. You can target specific areas that need relief.
The greatest benefit of a cannabis topical is how easily and specifically you can target pain on your body. Because of the form factor (balm, cream, applicator stick) you can actually place the cannabinoids right onto the areas that are sore or hurting. Sore ankles? Rub some balm on your feet! Sore lower back? Apply a transdermal patch and go on with your day. Painful knees or neck? Grab a pump of pain cream and give yourself a little massage. Cannabis topicals are there whenever and wherever you need them!
6. Topicals are perfect for post-workout massages.
This is one of my personal favorites—cannabis body oils, pain creams, or lotions are perfect for a post-workout massage! Just use a little and really dig through that soreness in your legs, arms, shoulder, neck, or anywhere else you need! Cannabis topicals are made in such a way that you can reuse them over and over to get the desired effect and as I said earlier, they don’t enter the blood stream so you don’t have to worry about intoxication!
Which THC Topical to Use
There is a myriad of topicals on the market, but make sure that you are careful when purchasing a topical that contains THC and CBD. Not all products are created equally. Be sure to check that the products have been tested and that the brand is reputable about its extraction processes. To get you started here is a list of great topicals to use after a workout:
For those of you interested in a balm or salve: Humboldt Apothecary – 1:1 CBD:THC – Juniper CBD Balm – 1 Oz
For those interested in a pain cream: Care By Design – 1:1 Pain Cream – 1 Oz
For those of you who prefer a roll on topical: Humboldt Apothecary – 1:1 CBD:THC – Wintergreen CBD Stick – 1.05 Oz
If you are interested in trying a transdermal patch: Mary’s Medicinals – 1:1 THC:CBD – Transdermal Patch – 20 MG
These are only a few of the amazing topicals we have available at our shop!
Ready For A Cannabis Topical for Workout Recovery?
Whether you are a dedicated gym-goer or looking to improve your recovery time after a run at the local track a cannabis topical can improve your daily routine. Check out our store for highly effective cannabis topicals!