Gone shopping lately? It seems like cannabidiol, or CBD, is in everything. One POPSUGAR contributor likes to describe it as “Mother Nature’s Xanax mixed with ibuprofen” for its anxiety- and pain-relieving properties without the high you get with THC. There is limited research on CBD and specifically how it can impact muscle inflammation, pain, and soreness, but Claudia William, MD, a board-certified family medicine physician specializing in cannabis, told POPSUGAR in a previous interview that she’s heard anecdotal evidence from patients.
They’ve said that “CBD topical creams help for musculoskeletal pain, such as muscle strains, muscle tightness, or soreness,” Dr. William explained. “In some instances where it doesn’t completely relieve pain, it has helped decrease the amount of NSAIDs or oral pills people have had to take.” On that same note, one study suggests that CBD and cannabis products can reduce the use of antidepressants and other prescription drugs that may have adverse side effects.
We sought out certified personal trainers in the fitness field to ask if they used CBD as a step in their own workout recovery processes. There was a mix of “yes” and “no,” but some were very adamant about the relief they’ve felt from CBD creams, sprays, and bath salts. Ahead, check out what trainers said about such products and their recommendations for easing muscle aches and pains.
Trainer Allison Tibbs Likes to Use CBD Bath Salts
NASM-certified personal trainer Allison Tibbs said her all-time favorite products to use for recovery are CBD bath salts. Specifically, she recommends OM Hemp Athletic Epsom Salt ($24 for 6.5-ounce bag) and Vertly CBD-Infused Bath Salts ($29 for six-ounce bag). “I started adding CBD to my baths when I realized that my body was not recovering as quickly as it used to after long days of training my own clients and doing my own workouts,” she said.
Allison continued, “For me, it helps with the inflammation that I have. On top of helping with inflammation, it also creates a greater sense of calm, which can help with getting a better night’s sleep. I always wake up feeling refreshed, and my body feels rested and supported in the morning.”
Trainer Kate Ligler Uses CBD Oil After a Tough Workout
Kate Ligler, Mindbody wellness manager and NASM-certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and performance enhancement specialist, is a big fan of Charlotte’s Web and said she got turned onto this company after a handful of her elite athletes asked her to research CBD-enhanced recovery and CBD’s effects as a sleep aid. “The gist of all the buzz is that phytocannabinoids can behave similarly to neurotransmitters that specifically quiet our immune system’s inflammatory response,” she said.
Kate continued, “Admittedly, this is an area of study that is very new, but the quality of the CBD oil supposedly makes the biggest difference. I can personally vouch that as a sleep aid after an intense training block, the Charlotte’s Web Original Formula CBD Oil ($150 for 30 ml) has been incredibly helpful!”
Trainer Alicia Todisco Likes CBD Sprays and Creams
ACE-certified personal trainer Alicia Todisco said she is an avid supporter of CBD products, uses them quite regularly, and recommends them to her clients. Her favorite so far is Apothecanna Extra Strength Body Spray ($38 for two fluid ounces). “I personally find the sprays more effective than the lotions,” she noted. “Plus, it makes it a lot easier to apply to hard-to-reach areas like your mid-traps. What I like about it most is that it gives you an instant subtle cooling sensation that feels really good on sore, tired muscles.”
Alicia also likes to use a Theragun for muscle recovery, calling it a “miracle worker” in her life. She applies Apothecanna Extra Strength Body Creme ($20 for two fluid ounces) before she uses the Theragun, which “helps the gun to glide extra smooth over the muscles, and these two together are a winning combination.”
Bonus Product From Assistant Fitness Editor and Personal Trainer Tamara Pridgett
POPSUGAR Assistant Fitness Editor Tamara Pridgett, also a NASM-certified personal trainer, recommends using Maison For Recovery CBD Balm ($63, originally $70, for 59 milliliters). She wrote in our February 2019 must-haves roundup, “I like to use Maison when I’m extremely sore or have tight muscles, aches, and pains. I’m addicted to the scent, and this balm has definitely become a staple in my recovery routine!”
Sources: Brodsky, Samantha. “The CBD Products That Trainers Recommend (and Use Themselves) For Workout Recovery.” Pop Sugar. Mon. 9 December 2019. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/trainer-approved-cbd-products-for-muscle-recovery-46905300?stream_view=1#photo-46975415. Accessed 11 Dec 2019.