I’ve been hearing a lot about CBD and hemp oil used for pain relief and muscle recovery, naturally because of my involvement in the fitness industry. Since the increased acceptance and legalization of marijuana (in some states), there has been not only augmented research, but general awareness of the benefits of not only Marijuana, but the individual cannabinoids. So, where do we start…
What is CBD and hemp oil?
CBD is cannabidiol and is one of the many compounds of the marijuana plant. This is not the part of the plant that has psychoactive effects, or gets you “high,” that compound is called THC. CBD is made from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp unlike hemp oil which is made from the seeds. According to this article, hemp oil has extremely low levels of CBD and marketing it for the same medicinal value as CBD oil is negligible… gasp! So probably stay away from things that have hemp oil and go to CBD based products for a better result.
What are the benefits of using CBD oil?
According to Healthline, there still needs to be more research done on CBD oil to solidify the benefits of it but there has been research to support that it helps with chronic pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort relating to some health conditions. It is a great alternative to some treatments when people resort to products like opioids.
Here is an explanation of how CBD interacts with the brain to give you a better idea. Healthline states, “Researchers think that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain,” multiple sclerosis and more.
When it comes to physical activity, there is once again not enough research to support all the benefits just yet. But according to Refinery 29, there is reason to be optimistic “Dr. Henry explains that physical activity, like running on a treadmill, has been found to raise the level of a certain type of endocannabinoid called anandamide (AEA) — presumably in order to reduce pain and inflammation. Taking CBD is also known to increase AEA, because doing so prevents it from being metabolized. So, "there is a plausible biological pathway that might explain how CBD administration could potentially reduce discomfort associated with exercise," Dr. Henry says. In other words, taking CBD oil might help promote the pain-regulating, anti-inflammation compounds that are already in our bodies — which could help with athletic recovery.”
So, I tried it.
I had two people send me some product to sample, one was CopperGel and the other was Extract Labs. So I tried them. As an ex dancer current runner, cyclist and overall extremely active individual I suffer from bunions… sexy AF, I know. These can get to be painful after spending 3 hours a day on a bike and jumping around all day doing HIIT training and more.
I applied both of these products to my feet and here is the verdict.
The Extract Labs Muscle Cream actually worked to ease the pain! I have this product on my feet as I type this because I wanted to remember what it felt like. I was getting like a shooting pain in the area. When I applied the lotion nothing happened immediately but I would say like 10 minutes post application my feet are feeling much better than before. The menthol in it helps to make the area feel nice and cool and relax my feet. I can say though, that I tried it on my quads when I was sore and it did not have much of an effect. I think it’s supposed to treat areas of your body where you are experiencing legitimate pain – like your joints, bones, etc. At least that’s what I’ve gathered so far.
The CopperGel Ice product focuses more on the copper aspect and the menthol aspect for muscle relaxation. The ingredients list for this product has the hemp oil listed in spot 14 (that the earlier article claims really does not have too much benefit because of its low CBD content), versus the Extract Labs muscle cream where the CBD is the main ingredient. This product was also pleasurable as a “hot ice” with what they claim to be "more" benefits but if you are looking for the benefits of CBD, then I would probably go with a product that has just that – even if it is more expensive. Apparently the external use of copper may have benefits to those experiencing joint pain, but I would have to do a bit more research on it.
Does CBD get you high?
CBD and hemp oil may contain traces of THC up to 0.3% – in states where marijuana is legal, it may contain more so keep an eye out for that when shopping. If it contains 0.3% THC levels, that is considered a trace level and it is not supposed to make you feel psychoactive effects. If you are trying CBD with higher levels of THC, yes, you will feel psychoactive effects.
Does it show up on a drug test?
CBD advocates claim that the federally legal supplements (less than 0.3%THC) will not show up on a typical drug test, but I personally recommend doing much more research on the company you are purchasing your CBD from – making sure it’s a reliable source with accurate levels and continuing to do research on drug test screenings.
So, to conclude... do your research but if you have been using opioids or painkillers it could be something worthwhile to check out. If your job has regular drug tests I would probably do more research and opt out until you found a reliable source of CBD and that's pretty much it!
For more on my personal experiences follow me on da gram at @milamarianaa.