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CBD Cream: Usage, Benefits and Potential Side Effects

As a professional athlete, muscle pain and injuries sap your energy and significantly affect your athletic performance.

You might take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain. Unfortunately, standard medications follow up with unwanted side effects, including nausea, stomach issues, and dizziness. 

Thankfully, CBD topicals are a great alternative to OTC pain relievers. Massaging a generous amount onto the skin can alleviate muscle soreness and prepare you for your next game. 

This article will discuss CBD sports creams and how they work to reduce discomfort.

Content Overview:

What Is CBD Cream?

Picture of a woman touching her back due to back-pain.

CBD cream utilizes the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol to soothe muscle and joint pain. 

The cream absorbs quickly and penetrates deep within the skin layers to target the areas of pain. 

A few creams are infused with ingredients that generate heat when massaged onto the body. The heat boosts the flow of nutrients and blood to a particular area, warming up the muscles. As a result, our muscles feel less stiff and heal faster. 

On the flip side, some CBD sports creams include ingredients like menthol that provide a cooling sensation. 

It slows down the blood flow and reduces discomfort and swelling. These types of creams are ideal for strain or sprain. 

Here are a few pain alleviating ingredients that most CBD creams include:

CBD Extract

Since it’s a “CBD” sports cream, CBD extract is likely found in every topical product. 

An animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests that topical application of CBD can lower inflammation due to arthritis. 

Arnica

Arnica is a herb often used to boost the flavor of food. 

However, studies indicate that active chemicals in arnica can act as antibiotics and may reduce swelling. 

Besides acting as a reliever, it is also used for bruising and bleeding after surgery. 

But since its oral consumption is unsafe, it is typically found in topicals. 

Several CBD sports creams use arnica as their active ingredient to reduce swelling and alleviate muscle soreness. 

Menthol

Menthol is a common ingredient found in most pain-alleviating topicals in addition to CBD creams. It is known as a counter-irritant.

In other words, it creates a cooling sensation on application and later warms your skin. 

As such, it tricks our brain by distracting us from feeling the pain deeper in our muscles. 

Most CBD brands infuse their creams with menthol as it reduces pain and promotes a feeling of relaxation.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the scented parts of a plant. They are typically extracted from leaves, peel, or bark. 

The strong scent of these oils affects our brain and body, promoting relaxation and calmness. Perhaps this explains why aromatherapy helps reduce pain.

Peppermint oil, rose oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, clary sage, and ginger oil are a few commonly used essential oils to reduce swelling and muscle soreness. 

CBD sports cream consists of one or more essential oils that work to reduce aching muscles and joint pain. 

How Does CBD Cream Work To Help Combat Discomfort?

Photo of a man applying the CBD cream on his hand to relieve pain.

Over-the-counter painkillers have several side effects. These include drowsiness, dizziness, itching, a weak immune system, depression, and addiction. 

Addiction – being the worst of all – encourages you to keep taking drugs even after you’ve recovered from the pain. 

So, when you feed your body something it doesn’t require, it can have adverse reactions to your physical and mental well-being. 

Luckily, CBD sports cream is an excellent substitute for conventional medications. 

But how does CBD cream work for pain? Let’s find out.

Our skin consists of CB1 and CBD2 receptors – part of the body’s endocannabinoid system. When you apply CBD cream to your skin, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors creating signals to reduce unpleasant aches. 

As you massage the cream onto your skin and it penetrates deeper, the receptors block the signals for pain by working through agents like 2-AG and anandamide. 

It is an all-organic non-synthetic component that’ll be gentle on your skin. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of side effects that otherwise come with standard medications, which is another plus. 

What Are the Benefits of CBD-infused Sports Cream?

Closeup image of a hemp plan that is infused on CBD products.

Whether you play football or do strenuous physical exercises in the gym, CBD sports cream comes in handy. 

CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, reducing discomfort, boosting metabolism, and improving mood. 

Below, we’ll discuss a few benefits of CBD sports creams.

Improves Mood

Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood and promotes well-being and happiness. 

Low serotonin levels can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression, or it can happen the other way around – stress and anxiety can lower serotonin levels.

Nonetheless, a 2018 study revealed the antidepressant-like effects in different rodent preclinical models. The research indicates that although CBD does not increase the serotonin level, it influences how the brain responds to the already present serotonin. 

Therefore, applying CBD to the skin can promote relaxation and elevate mood. 

May Help Reduce Inflammation

Studies show that CBD may help reduce discomfort by affecting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation. 

Another study reveals the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. 

Since muscle and joint pain leads to inflammation and swelling, massaging CBD cream onto the skin can alleviate pain and decrease inflammation. 

Alleviates Discomfort

The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties of CBD can work together to alleviate discomfort. 

CBD-infused creams generally contain other ingredients like menthol and essential oils. These substances work together to soothe the pain.

Promotes Better Sleep

If joint pain and muscle aches keep you up all night, CBD sports cream can do the job for you. 

Massaging a generous amount of CBD creams not only reduces discomfort but helps you feel relaxed. 

As a result, you might get a good night’s sleep which otherwise feels like a struggle.

Who May Benefit from Using a CBD Sports Cream?

Image of a man tying his shoes in front of gym dumbbells.

CBD creams come with many benefits, from soothing discomfort to reducing swelling to promoting sleep. 

So, it would be wrong to say that the usage of CBD sports cream is restricted to athletes or sportspeople only. 

Instead, anyone experiencing muscle discomfort, joint aches, or swelling can benefit from the topical application of CBD. 

Athletes

Being a professional athlete is not easy. It demands a lot of physical activity. You have to exercise regularly, train yourself, and be strong. On top of that, you have to remain active on and off the field. 

Unsurprisingly, rigorous physical training can lead to muscle soreness and joint pain.

Gym Goers

Whether you’ve begun your fitness journey or you’re an experienced professional, regular exercising can lead to sore muscles and achy nerves. 

When we finish working out, our immune system notices the muscle damage and begins repairing it. 

Furthermore, our body burns calories, leading to fluid loss and hormonal changes. 

Once the workout is complete, our body needs time to handle these changes, and not surprisingly, we might experience pain. 

Meanwhile, you need to replace your lost energy, balance hormones, and repair your damaged muscles. 

CBD cream can speed up your recovery. It can help you accomplish your fitness goals faster if you are a gym freak.

People With Sore Muscles

CBD creams typically contain arnica and menthol. These substances are powerful ingredients to soothe sore muscles. 

The combination of other pain alleviating ingredients act synergistically to produce a more significant effect. 

How Long Does CBD Cream Last?

Photo of an hourglass to signify duration.

CBD cream lasts on your skin depending on factors like the type of ingredients and your skin type. 

A CBD cream infused with several essential oils might last longer on the skin than the one with little to no oils. Similarly, the product might absorb quicker if you have dry skin. 

On the flip side, the cream will last longer on someone with an oily skin type.

Generally, a CBD cream takes 1-2 hours to produce effects. So, don’t expect instant pain relief immediately after massage. 

CBD cream will take 1-2 hours to start affecting, and a quality CBD cream will typically last for up to 5 hours. 

But, again, it depends on the type of ingredients and your skin. 

Is CBD a Muscle Relaxant?

You can experience muscle pain because of several reasons. For instance, psychological causes like stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute to muscle pain.

However, as an athlete, you experience muscle pain typically because of physical activity. 

Whatever the reason, CBD can help relax your muscles and soothe discomfort. 

It affects the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors, numbing the achy muscles. 

Studies suggest that CBD may be an effective muscle relaxer. 

While CBD alone can ease muscle discomfort, research shows that a combination of CBD and THC can be more effective than CBD alone. 

However, since THC is psychoactive, over-the-counter CBD products contain THC traces (0.3% or less). 

But, you can always go with a CBD cream to relax muscles post-workout or after playing sports.

Can CBD Cream Have Side Effects?

OTC CBD products have only 0.3% or low THC (the substance that produces the high effect). So it doesn’t get you high. 

Secondly, CBD might have a few side effects like fatigue, drowsiness, dry mouth, or diarrhea on ingestion. 

However, these side effects might not occur on topical application of CBD. Nonetheless, before applying CBD cream, make sure your skin doesn’t have any cuts. Otherwise, it might cause burning or irritation. 

Further, if you have any skin condition like acne, eczema, or psoriasis, make sure you use the cream per your doctor’s recommendation. 

Final Words

Muscle and joint aches are not life-threatening, but they halt our day-to-day tasks, disrupt our sleep, and cause stress, reducing the quality of our lives. 

While standard medications come with several side effects, CBD sports creams are safe to use and provide comfort. 

However, make sure you purchase from a trustable source and go for a product with more natural ingredients. 

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