After about seven days of alternating between the gumdrops and spray before right after my workout, I decided to try the CBD products right after I got back to my apartment from the gym to see if they felt more effective. As Verywell Health reported, muscle soreness after workouts, in large part, is caused by microscopic tears that lead to inflammation. Since CBD has been found in some studies to have those anti-inflammatory and analgesic (aka, painkilling) effects, I thought it may be helpful for my achy muscles. As before, I continued to use the ointment on my muscles and joints that felt tender.
I’m a skeptic when it comes to fads: Coconut oil in everything, charcoal masks, avocado toast, and most recently, CBD. However, with all the hype surrounding CBD (aka, cannabidiol) and the emerging research, I was interested to see how CBD affects exercise. I workout on the regular, and I’m always on the hunt for new products that will make enhance my fitness routine, and shorten my recovery time. Though I don’t typically buy into the hype, the research surrounding CBD has been promising enough that I wanted to give it a shot.
My weekly fitness routine can be pretty rigorous. It typically consists of two to three weightlifting sessions, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, and cardio a few times a week. So, I tried to keep my expectations about CBD — and what it could actually do for my workout performance and recovery time — realistic, despite research showing the benefits.
To be honest, I noticed only a slight difference in my workout performance when it came to the gumdrops and spray, and it very well may have been a placebo effect. However, I felt the positive effects of the balm almost immediately. I wouldn’t say it took away my post-workout pain, but it definitely soothed my muscles. In addition to CBD oil, the balm contains eucalyptus oil and lavender oil — which, in some studies, Healthline reported, have both been shown to also ease pain. Not only did it smell wonderful, but it created a tingling sensation (probably due to the eucalyptus oil) that was relaxing.
One of the products I was sent was the Sigur Rós and Lord Jones Limited Edition CBD Gumdrops, which cost $60 on their site. Each berry-flavored gumdrop contains 20 mg of broad spectrum CBD extract. I was also provided the Life Bloom Organics premium nano wellness spray, which delivers 1.2 mg of hemp per spray and rings in at $34.95. I also received Hempure’s Relief and Recovery Balm. It is the most expensive product of the three I tried, at $129.99, but it is also packed with 1400 mg of CBD. As Hempure’s site explains, the salve is formulated with CBD, MCT oil, essential oils, and beeswax, and is an "ideal choice for those seeking quick relief in muscles and joints."
I began by using the gumdrops and oral spray about 30 minutes before I hit the gym, and used the balm following my exercise routine. I tracked my progress and workout performance of my workouts on my phone — particularly noting how strenuous my runs and resistance training felt, compared to the prior weeks.
After about another seven days — again, alternating between the gumdrops and spray — I felt using CBD products after my workout was much more beneficial than prior to exercising. Usually, my recovery time after resistance training can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours, depending on the length of the workout, the intensity, and the heaviness of the weights I’ve used. However, taking CBD following my exercise routine seemed to slightly decrease my recovery time.
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On the third day, I woke up feeling great, rolled out of bed with little to no pain, and was able to function normally. I was shocked. I expected a long recovery full of frustration, but I was pretty much healed after only three days. I waited one more week before going back into the gym and then did some light squats and deadlifts with hardly a twinge or notion of pain. Anecdotal evidence or not, a bottle of CBD cream or oil will now always be a part of my training regimen.