Sport creams infused with cannabis claim to be offering muscle relief. We have been talking to experts to see if they're worth a shot.
Chances are, muscle aches are no stranger. Okay, what if we told you cannabis creams can be helping to provide relief?
Yeah, there is a new(ish) form of topical ointment on the market, and it is filled with marijuana cannabidiol ( CBD). Manufacturers say it can help to relieve acute muscle pain and soreness. Aside for being non-psychoactive, CBD is similar to THC, and some researchers see it as the golden child of medicinal usage.
Science has confirmed that cannabis is an effective pain reliever, reinforced by the National Academies of Sciences , Engineering and Medicine in a massive new report. Yet there's a major difference between oral ingestion and absorption of cannabis or its individual chemicals through your skin. Here is the lowdown on this new crop of pain relievers (no pun intended).
The ointment is made from infusing high-quality cannabis flowers usually in some form of quality oil-coconut or olive-that extracts the active compounds, either CBD, THC, or both depending on the form of hemp used. (This is a reference to the difference between THC, CBD, cannabis and hemp) This oil is then combined with other medicinal herbs, such as arnica or lemongrass essential oils, which are well-known pain relievers.
As you read the list of ingredients, all in the bottle is mostly straight from Mother Earth. So long as that's the case for the cream you 're watching, the product is incredibly healthy, chemically, says Gregory Gerdeman, Ph.D., a neurophysiologist who's studying cannabinoid biology and pharmacology at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, FL. And because it's designed to be topical (absorbing into the top layer of skin) and not transdermal (which would pass through the skin and into your bloodstream) there's no risk of getting high, explains Gerdeman. (P.S. Here's How Marijuana Affects Athletic Performance.)
"When it comes to cannabis-based topicals for muscle soreness or other pain relief, there's absolutely no reason why it should be a big deal to try," he says.
They may be safe, but there is one major problem: there are practically no clinical evidence supporting the argument that a topical cream infused with CBD is any more effective than other topical pain relievers, such as Tiger Balm, BenGay, or Ice Hot. Michelle Sexton, the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy's San Diego-based naturopathic doctor and medical research officer, says that her patients seem to be very interested in CBD ointments, and about 40 percent have tried one. Some people are in her office now, though, because the topics didn't work for them.
"As a medical professional, my opinion is there's little evidence to back up the claims being made—it's all marketing for now," she says.
There is an argument to be made for the simple fact that science has not yet catched up with the cannabis trend (and laws). (Here's what science has to say about the possible benefits of CBD and cannabis so far.) And certainly there are researchers investigating the effectiveness of CBD pain relief creams as we speak.
There's abstract logic here, says Gerdeman. What, exactly, is that thinking? Okay, there are a few different ways that CBD can help control pain — increasing your natural endocannabinoids, decreasing your inflammatory response, and desensitizing your pain receptors (although it's still uncertain whether it's topically absorbed compared to orally).
Let 's start with it simple: Endocannabinoids are natural signals in your body that help to maintain homeostasis by detecting and regulating hunger, pain, mood and memory. (They 're actually part of your high post-workout exercise.) CBD helps raise your natural pain-relieving endocannabinoid levels by blocking metabolism as it moves around your body.
The second pain management strategy revolves on the harm you do while working out. You cause micro-tears in your muscles while you prepare for strength, which is why you feel sore when you are recovering. Once your immune cells detect damage, the inflammatory mediators are released to repair the tissue. CBD, though it has the potential to regulate the production of other proinflammatory signals, thereby assisting with pain without thwarting the healing entirely, Gerdeman describes.
Finally, you have TrpV1 receptors that detect and regulate the temperature of your body. They send out heat when triggered, calming your pain receptors. Using this channel, CBD makes these pain-sensing nerve endings hyperactive for a period of time, causing them to get hot, desensitizing and down-regulating.
When it comes to purchasing quality CBD Pain Creams that are long-lasting and effective, you always want to make sure the products you are receiving come from a reputable source like Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary. The main reason for picking products like ours is to ensure you only get the best quality CBD products and never receive any ineffective and/or potentially harmful products. With locations across several states to serve you, and our convenient online store, when you shop with Mary Jane’s you know you will only get the best CBD products on the market today.