I Tried CBD Oil on My Legs After My Workouts, and I Have Some Thoughts…
A s someone who works out 5 days a week—with each workout containing at least a two mile run—you could say that I’m always sore. That means that my legs frequently feel as heavy as cement, my hamstrings are continually tight, my quads are always quaking, and my calves know what it means to be knotted. Maybe I’m being a smidge dramatic (and maybe I need to foam roll more), but all of that running takes a serious toll on my legs.
In my beauty research, however, I’ve realized that cannabidiol or CBD is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, and since inflammation is the cause behind many woes—including muscle soreness—the wheels in my head started turning. Perhaps, by slathering a CBD-rich product all over my gams, I could enhance my recovery and optimize my workouts even more.
The non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant, CBD, has been all the rage for its multifaceted topical benefits. I’ve already tried CBD skin-care products, so I’m beyond ready to use it to enhance my workouts. “CBD is an active cannabinoid found in cannabis and has multiple uses in improving inflammatory conditions when used topically, like eczema, and even improving wound healing, itching, pain, and has even reported to improve a rare blistering disorder of skin,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a dermatologist with New York’s Schweiger Dermatology Group. “It would be great for sore muscles, because it has an analgesic effect which decreases pain.” Bingo.
Luckily for me, as soon as this plan entered my mind, a brand-new CBD body oil by Lord Jones ($75) landed on my desk. I spoke with Cindy Capobianco, co-founder and president of Lord Jones, about my muscle soreness and she was enthusiastic about how a CBD oil could help. “You can use it pre-workout and post-workout. Up front, it relaxes your muscles, allowing you to have a more efficient workout, and then on the back-end you can use it for inflammation and any kind of pain,” she tells me. For what it’s worth, this area hasn’t been well studied, so while the science isn’t there, anecdotal evidence amongst experts seems to suggest that it can supply an improvement (if even a slight one).
That night, I went home to excitedly apply the oil all over my legs, making sure to massage it into my quads and all over my calves, before slipping into my workout clothes. When I proceeded to run on the treadmill, I didn’t necessarily feel any difference. I still struggled in the same old spot—as I approach the 25-minute mark—and my legs began to feel heavy. Post workout (and post shower), I diligently applied the oil to my muscles again.
I continued my pre- and post-workout CBD oil regimen for the entire week. The CBD didn’t make me completely weightless on my feet and invincible on the treadmill, yet I did notice something after a solid seven days of using it. Formerly, in my pre-CBD oil life, it’d hurt to walk hours and days after tough workouts. Now? Slicking myself down with the anti-inflammatory ingredient has eliminated a little bit of the heaviness I used to feel in my legs from running.
“CBD is a known anti-inflammatory ingredient that can soothe skin conditions and affect the quality of life for many people—I’m a fan,” says Dr. Nazarian, who tells me she hopes (and thinks) the CBD oil should work for my muscle recovery. While it wasn’t a night-and-day difference, religiously incorporating CBD oil into my workout-slash-beauty regimen has made a subtle impact. You can kind of think of it as a recovery boost, and one that’s likely helped by the fact that I was massaging my sore limbs regularly which has been shown to be effective at relieving soreness in studies. Now, all I need to do is master that foam roller and I’m all set.
To get it on this, here’s a roundup of CBD products for athletes. And over in the beauty world, these are the mind-body-skin benefits of getting a CBD facial.
The 7 Ways CBD Oil Helps Foot Problems
Pain is pain no matter what part of the body is affected by it. But when pain originates in the foot, it can be life-altering by affecting your mobility and preventing you from enjoying routine daily activities, such as shopping, taking your kids to the park and exercising.
According to a recent American Podiatric Medical Associates study, nearly 80 percent of adult Americans have experienced a foot problem. Sources of foot pain range from bunions and ill-fitting shoes to more severe ailments, such as Achilles tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic neuropathy.
Regardless of its source, almost 50 percent of people with foot ailments choose over-the-counter products for relief, while 25 percent do nothing. One increasingly popular alternative to chasing away foot pain is with cannabidiol (CBD) products. Recent studies have found that transdermal (topical) CBD significantly reduced joint swelling and pain without adverse side effects. That’s great news for those managing foot pain but how does it work?
How CBD Oil Works Against Pain and Inflammation
Hemp-derived CBD oil interacts directly with receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Also known as the ECS, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors responsible for regulating vital functions such as sleep cycles, inflammatory response, and stress levels.
The action of CBD oil on the ECS has a full-body effect that may also help manage foot problems due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. Hemp-derived CBD also has the added benefit of providing temporary relief without the psychoactive properties inherent with products containing THC. In fact, hemp-derived CBD oil must have 0.3 percent or less THC content as mandated by law.
Although all high-quality CBD oils have anti-inflammatory properties and can be effective in treating a variety of symptoms related to foot pain, certain administration likely yields the fastest results when used for seven common foot problems.
7 Common Foot Problems
There are hundreds of conditions that can be classified as foot problems, and this list is far from exhaustive, but some of the most common are described below along with recommended CBD products that may help alleviate pain and inflammation.
1. Achilles Tendinitis and other forms of Tendonitis– is an injury of the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscles of the lower leg to your heel bone. It’s a common injury among runners who overdo it during training and among people who run moderately but are in not-so-good shape.
Achilles tendinitis pain typically begins as a dull ache in the calf and or the back of the leg. At times, it can intensify if there is not enough time given for the injury to heal or if the tendon tears, which would then require special medical attention. The properties of hemp-derived CBD oil to reduce pain and inflammation may help this type of injury.
2. Diabetic neuropathy- is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. It develops gradually and is comprised of four main types of this condition:
- Peripheral neuropathy-feet and legs affected first followed by hands and arms
- Autonomic neuropathy-affects neural system controlling heart, lungs bladder, etc.
- Proximal neuropathy- also called diabetic amyotrophy, this condition is more common in people who have type 2 diabetes and in older adults
- Mononeuropathy-comes on suddenly and involves damage to a specific nerve, causing pain in the foot, thigh or anywhere else in the body
Diabetic neuropathy can cause a wide range of serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain. Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes that affects up to 50 percent of people with the condition.
Besides people who have diabetes, those who are substantially overweight, smoke or who have kidney disease are also at risk for diabetic neuropathy. Hemp-derived CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection of the foot.
3. Gout- is a form of arthritis resulting from a buildup of excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid crystals eventually form in the joints, especially around the big toe and cause swelling and intense pain.
The tendency to experience a gout attack can be an inherited trait but it can also be brought on by high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, surgery, chemotherapy, stress and certain medications. Limiting consumption of certain foods and drinks may reduce your chances of getting gout. Limiting or avoiding shellfish, organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red wine, beer, and red meat are good ways to start.
Hemp-derived CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection of the foot and joints. Recommended CBD products include CBD with capsaicin, Pain Cream with CBD & Lidocaine, Warming CBD Salve, CBD Pain Patch
4. Degenerative Hallux Disorders-In addition to its tendency for getting stubbed, your big toe (great toe or hallux in medical terminology) is susceptible to a number of painful conditions including:
- degenerative arthritis (hallux rigidus)
- bunions (hallux valgus)
- traumatic conditions (sesamoiditis or turf toe)
Pain and inflammation management often calls for cold or heat compresses, change of diet or surgery. When symptoms are mild or easily managed, a high-quality CBD oil topical may provide temporary relief without the side effects of OTC analgesics or prescribed medications.
5. Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis- Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Almost one third of US adult respondents to a recent survey cited heel pain as the primary source of their foot pain. Heel pain happens when inflammation occurs with a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Plantar fasciitis most commonly occurs in people with high arches or flat feet. It can also happen to people who spend long hours on their feet without the proper supportive footwear.
Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of CBD may help to manage the symptoms as well as to suppress the inflammation that causes the pain.
6. Neuroma – is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. The most common cause of neuroma is wearing ill-fitting shoes, high heels or shoes with a tapered toe box.
The good news is that mild neuromas can be managed with padding, orthopedic devices or modifying your activities that put pressure on your feet. CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection.
7. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome-Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression, or squeezing, on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. In layman’s terms, if you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, you have painfully swollen ankles and feet.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the wrist. CBD oil can help with pain management, inflammation management and neuroprotection.
Our feet have 25 percent of all the bones in our bodies – 52 bones in all. With 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and multiple tendons holding everything together, the foot is susceptible to a variety of injuries and ailments likely to cause pain and immobility. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been shown to have beneficial properties lessening the severity of inflammation and pain.
When pain and inflammation can’t be alleviated by taking off shoes and kicking your heels up, CBD oil products may provide relief in a more holistic, natural way without the side effects of over the counter and prescribed medications.