CBD Gummies For Muscle Recovery

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Want to feel better after a hard workout? Then pick up any of these CBD Gummies for Inflammation and get your body back to normal. Research suggests CBD can help us recover faster between workouts & may prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) pain after exercise. Charlotte's Web CBD Muscle Recovery gummies with ginger and turmeric are formulated to support joint strength and exercise-induced inflammation.

Best CBD Gummies for Inflammation in Athletes: 10 Products for Recovery and Pain Relief

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As an athlete, your focus is built around staying calm, confident, and in control. Sometimes you have to dig deep to stay in the game but no matter how hard a training session is, you walk away from it feeling triumphant. Part of regular training to keep up with agility and keep yourself disciplined is inflammation. This natural response helps to protect your body but when it becomes chronic, your body becomes susceptible to disease. Below, we highlight the best CBD gummies for inflammation and include different types of CBD options, including broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate. There are a variety of different flavors to choose from and each formula is slightly different, so you can decide which one is best suited for you.

  • Best overall CBD gummies for inflammation: CBDistillery Unwind + Synergy
  • Runner up: Extract Labs
  • Best after leg day: Pure Spectrum
  • Best for injuries: FOCL
  • Best for chronic pain: CBDFX
  • Best for weight lifters: Green Roads
  • Best for CrossFitters: Zatural
  • Best for runners: Koi CBD
  • Best for something: Cheef Botanicals
  • Best for knee injuries: Just CBD Store

Best CBD gummies for inflammation in athletes

These are some of our favorite picks when it comes to fighting inflammation and pain in your body.

1. Best overall CBD gummies for inflammation: CBDistillery Unwind + Synergy

Pros:

  • Subscribe to save 30%
  • Vegan
  • U.S. Hemp Authority Certified
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • You have to either subscribe or spend at least $75 to qualify for free shipping

About CBDistillery

CBDistillery is all about its distillation process. They focus on extracting the beneficial plant compounds and vital nutrients that improve your quality of life, creating a product for every athlete who suffers from pain; from inflammation in professionals to the elderly athlete. CBDistillery’s mission is to provide an alternative path to a healthy and balanced life.

Founded in 2016 by a team of Colorado natives, CBDistillery came to fruition to provide high-quality CBD gummies and other products to their customer base at a fair price. They pioneered the #CBDMovement, which has well over 1,000,000 mentions on social media.

CBDistillery follows extremely rigorous quality assurance and testing to ensure only the highest quality products make it to market. With each product, you can scan a QR code to see their third-party test results and confirm quality and potency.

About the CBD gummies

These high-quality CBD gummies come in a 30-count jar and contain 25mg of CBD and 5mg of THC per gummy. They’re lightly sugar coated with a berry flavor that’s meant to enhance but not mask the natural terpene flavor that comes with CBD. These are designed to aid post-workout recovery, allowing you to get a relaxing and restful night’s sleep.

That terpene flavor is thanks to CBDistillery purposefully including terpenes in this formula. They do this so that you can experience all the benefits that the hemp plant has to offer.

What customers love

Customers rely on this formula to help them relax sore muscles and enable a better night’s sleep. They find that they deliver rapid relief and are very calming and relaxing. They pair well with an active lifestyle, especially for athletes, who need extra support during their recovery periods. One customer uses these gummies as the perfect boost to keep CBD flowing through his system in between tinctures. Nearly all customers rate the product as highly effective and mention a great customer experience.

2. Runner up: Extract Labs

Pros:

  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Free domestic shipping over $75
  • Subscribe to save 25%
  • Full-spectrum CBD

Cons:

  • International orders must first reach $200 to qualify for free shipping

About Extract Labs

Driven by the passion to make plant-based wellness accessible to everyone, Extract Labs remains grounded in science. This company was founded by a combat veteran and has recently made the Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest Growing Veteran-Owned Business Vet100 list. His name is Craig Henderson. He developed an interest in cannabis when he realized that it had the potential to assist other veterans. However, he was more interested in creating products without psychoactive effects. He started in a corner in his garage, where most of our projects start. He was able to scale rather quickly and soon thereafter, Extract Labs was born.

About the CBD gummies

These are the best CBD gummies designed for daily support. They contain 1000 mg of full spectrum CBD to relieve stress, keep your mood up, and improve overall wellness. The flavors are assorted and include lemonade, mixed berry, and orange cream. The nutrition facts are clearly listed on the bottle with each gummy containing only 15 cal. These are non-GMO ingredients that are manufactured in a cGMP facility. On the bottom of the lid, you can view the batch ID, which helps you verify the lab tests. Just below the image of the bottle, there is an option to “View Lab Test,” so you can verify the total cannabinoid content on the spot.

What customers love

Customers love using this product for a variety of reasons. It helps to relieve discomfort, alleviates even severe pain like sciatic nerve pain, and it helps with sleep after a hard day of exercise. The benefits range from person to person and overall, the feedback points to the CBD gummies working in a tailored way to help each person with the ailment they’re struggling the most with. One customer used these CBD gummies for pain. They helped to reduce swelling after he had an ankle/foot surgery. Five stars all around for this product.

3. Best after leg day: Pure Spectrum

Pros:

  • THC-free
  • Vegan friendly
  • Subscribe to save 15%

Cons:

  • Contains corn syrup and sugar

About Pure Spectrum

Birthed in the mountains of Evergreen, Colorado, Pure Spectrum is a company who lives and breathes nature — so they’re committed to ensuring that their ingredients are of the highest quality. With family farms spread out across America, Pure Spectrum prides itself on cultivating the best hemp derived products through rigorous third-party testing and state-of-the-art processing facilities.

About the CBD gummies

One of the most potent gummies on the market, each gummy contains 25mg of CBD, ensuring that post-workout inflammation will be fought right at the source. Made with natural flavor extract from mango, watermelon, green apple and lemon, each gummy is packed with deliciousness.

What customers love

Customers rave about this product, with one verified customer stating that it’s the only product that’s helped with their back pain. It also helps customers get a deep, restful sleep — so no more tossing and turning after a hard workout.

4. Best for injuries: FOCL

Pros:

  • 15% off your first order
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • 60-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Effects may take 30 to 60 days to notice; consistency is key

About FOCL

FOCL has a singular mission and that’s to support your peak performance. Obviously, when you feel better, you can beat all your personal bests. That’s why they put together a team of passionate high performers who know what supplements a healthy life requires. They put together a list of products to support a healthy mind and a healthy body, so you can keep your focus on everything that’s important. Every time you show up feeling your best, you can make it to the next level both at the gym and at work.

About the CBD gummies

These CBD fruit chews come in assorted flavors that include orange cream, strawberry, and wild berry. There are 30 gummies per bottle with 10 mg of CBD per gummy. These are designed to help your mind and body relax so that you can relieve everyday stressors, keep your focus, keep a stable mind, and relax to fall asleep more quickly. When you’re dealing with injuries, you need proper rest to recover. With a daily dose, you can enjoy higher quality sleep for faster recovery.

What customers love

Customers comment on the consistency of these fruit chews. Some take them in the morning to start their day while others prefer to take them in the evening when they’re ready to wind down. They love the flavors and have to keep them hidden away from their kids and spouses, so no one takes their CBD away from them. Keep these in your gym bag or your medicine cabinet to make sure sneaky hands don’t get at them.

5. Best for chronic pain: CBDfx

Pros:

  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superfoods
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • All natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Some customers may not like the flavor

About the Company

CBDfx was founded by Ali Esmaili and Jameson Rodgers in 2014 when they realized that there was space in the market to create the finest, purest, and most effective CBD products. They started in San Fernando Valley, California, and are now recognized as the second largest privately held CBD company in the world. Talk about overachieving. They figured out their formula just like you figured out yours.

About the CBD gummies

These CBD gummies with turmeric and spirulina come in a bottle of 60 gummies total. The bottle contains 1500 mg of broad-spectrum CBD, with 50 mg of CBD per serving. Each serving also contains 50 mg of turmeric and 20 mg of spirulina. You get the benefits of CBD alongside antioxidants to keep your health up. The anti-inflammatory properties help to make this product more potent, especially if you’re dealing with chronic pain.

What customers love

Customers rely on these high-quality CBD gummies to manage chronic pain like back pain and arthritis. Although often debilitating, chronic pain conditions don’t have to stop you from keeping active. One customer shares that these gummies have been effective in reducing pain and stiffness and allowing him to tackle his days the way he did before the chronic pain. He’s 73 years old and not ready to stop being active. His only complaint is the texture but because they work so well, it’s not enough of a deterrent for him.

6. Best for weight lifters: Green Roads

Pros:

  • Extra strength formula
  • CBD isolate
  • Pharmacist formulated
  • Subscribe and save

Cons:

  • This formula doesn’t contain minor cannabinoids or terpenes

About Green Roads

Green Roads was founded by Laura Fuentes, who spent over 20 years as a licensed compounding pharmacist before she made it her personal mission to focus on CBD products. From the start, she was creating unique formulations to help people like you find the healthiest version of themselves through the power of plants. Green Roads focuses on consumer advocacy, and they push for stricter requirements so that you have greater transparency when it comes to the CBD products you ingest. Whenever you purchase a product from Green Roads, you can trust that it is safe, pure, and tested.

About the CBD gummies

These extra-strength CBD gummies come in a bear shape and in an assortment of different flavors including green apple, orange, lemon, cherry, and blue raspberry. Each bear contains 25 mg of CBD isolate, which is more than two times the strength of the original formula. When you spend your time lifting heavy weights, you need support for recovery. These “relax bears” deliver exactly that.

What customers love

Challenging your body daily means that you also deal with pain and discomfort. Customers love that they can rely on a natural product like these relax bears to relieve pain and keep them on track with their goals. One customer suffered an injury, and his physical therapist recommended these specific CBD gummies. Not only did they taste good, but they took the edge off, kept him fully present, and focused on full recovery.

7. Best for CrossFitters: Zatural

Pros:

  • Sign up to save
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Fast, free shipping
  • Vegan formula

Cons:

  • Cannot be shipped internationally or to the state of Idaho due to full-spectrum CBD

About Zatural

Founded by a naturopathic doctor, MaryAnn Stanger, Zatural is focused on delivering therapeutic natural products to its consumer base. MaryAnn’s interest in CBD came after she went through a midlife crisis and decided to study everything she could about health and nutrition. She went back to school and focused on a variety of different modalities until she received her naturopathic doctor’s degree in 1997. Although she recognizes that CBD is certainly not a cure-all, she Knows firsthand how miraculous it is. Her hope is that she can bring a little relief to you or to those you love.

About the CBD gummies

These full spectrum CBD gummies come in a 30-count jar that contains a total of 600 mg of CBD. They are sweet with a natural berry flavor, and you can purchase higher count jars up to 90 gummies. These are formulated with vegan ingredients and are specifically for easing discomfort, improving mood, improving sleep quality, and helping you relax after putting your body through the special kind of hell only cross-fitters enjoy.

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What customers love

When you’re constantly putting your body through rigorous activities, discomfort becomes a part of your life — both when you’re in the thick of a WOD and during the aftermath, as your body works to recover. One customer loves that these are great tasting. He suffers from chronic pain and uses this product daily to keep his pain level manageable. This allows them to keep going out to enjoy his life. Although he doesn’t train as hard as he used to, with these gummies, he’s able to keep up with his active lifestyle.

8. Best for runners: KOI CBD

Pros:

  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Subscribe to save 20%
  • Available in different flavors
  • Made in a cGMP facility

Cons:

  • Contains Delta-9 THC, which may not be suitable for some users

About KOI

Koi CBD has been setting CBD quality standards since 2015. They are proud members of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable Board of Directors, Hemp Industries Association, and the California Hemp Council. They sourced their hemp extract through a very strict vendor validation process. That means all their products are infused with hemp that is both grown and extracted in the U.S. These processes they have in place allow them to provide their customer base with the finest CBD oil available on the market today. Each batch of their CBD offers full traceability, from where it’s grown to how it’s produced. They are proud to call themselves ambassadors of responsible farming, extraction, and distribution.

About the CBD gummies

The Koi complete full spectrum CBD gummies are available in a 20-count jar that contains 500 mg of CBD and 100 mg of THC. You can select from three popular flavors, including pineapple, pomegranate, or grape. These gummies contain Delta-9 THC along with other minor cannabinoids to create an even stronger entourage effect. They are designed to keep you balanced day-to-day and provide you with the relief you seek post-workout.

What customers love

One of the first things customers comment on is the flavor of these gummies. They seem to love the grape gummies the most and share that they’re excited to try the other flavors. Some people take them at the end of the day when they’re ready to wind down and get some good rest. After running for miles in the evening, one customer includes these in his nighttime routine to ease him out of runner’s high and into the sweetest sleep.

9. Best for knee injuries: Cheef Botanicals

Pros:

  • 25% off your first order when you trade your email
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Gelatin free = cruelty-free30-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • International shipping is currently unavailable

About Cheef Botanicals

Cheef Botanicals believes in going back to our roots. This includes the incorporation of natural, healthy alternatives to support wellness. They believe in the healing power of safe and effective cannabinoids, which are found in the hemp plant. They acknowledge that we’re in a huge health crisis and that the pharmaceutical industry has been at the forefront, misleading the public for years. Cheef Botanicals strives to only share the truth about natural alternatives, and they prioritize education, so consumers know exactly what they’re getting. Your body is meant to have equilibrium and that’s why they focus on delivering CBD products to help you reach and maintain homeostasis. This company was founded by a group of health-conscious cannabis enthusiasts and together, they boast 25 years of experience in the organic food industry.

About the CBD gummies

Cheef Botanicals offers two different types of gummies. The first is their gummy cubes, which contain full spectrum CBD oil and come in assorted flavors, including elderberry, kiwi, guava, blueberry, and strawberry. The bottle contains 30 gummies with 10 mg of CBD per gummy. You can always choose a more concentrated option because they have these gummies available in concentrations up to 1500 mg of CBD. The other gummies they offer are similar, but you can get them in a concentration as high as 3000 mg of CBD. Each option is 100% organic and natural and if you’re not completely satisfied, they offer a guarantee.

What customers love

Customers are excited to have found a product that works. Even first-time customers are pleased with how soothing this formula is and with how awesome their customer service experience was. From quelling anxiety to alleviating pain related to sore knees, these CBD gummies are doing what they’re supposed to.

10. Best for rest day: Just CBD

Pros:

  • 35% off your first order
  • Gelatin and gluten-free
  • Made with real fruit juice
  • Non-GMO ingredients

Cons:

  • Manufactured in a facility where tree nuts are present (coconuts)

About Just CBD

When you’re pushing your limits so frequently and exerting yourself to the point of exhaustion, you need those rest days to help you recover. With Just CBD, your physical and mental stress become a lot more manageable because you’re able to relax and let your body do what it’s designed to do to get you back on track and ready for the week ahead. This company offers free shipping on all orders over $35, they always third-party lab test their products, and they derive their CBD from organic and domestic hemp.

About the CBD gummies

You don’t indulge often but every once in a while, a champagne brunch is an order. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, these gummies give you that easy-on-Sunday-morning vibe because they’re strawberry champagne flavored and contain 300 mg of CBD per bag. They’re formulated so that you can enjoy six to eight hours of total relief on your rest day.

What customers love

Customers love these CBD gummies because they help them get the rest they need so that they can wake up refreshed and ready to tackle their goals for the next day. They also comment on how great the taste is because it has a soft, soothing texture and the aftertaste is pleasant.

How we chose our winners

To keep our focus on CBD gummies for inflammation in athletes, we had to identify three primary factors to help us put this list together.

Quality

Quality is everything. You know exactly what you’re putting in your body every day and hitting your macros requires precision. We weren’t going to recommend any shady products with vague ingredient lists. We’re talking to athletes, so we chose the best CBD gummies on the market. The companies that make them are transparent when it comes to their lab test results. CBD companies don’t have to conduct third-party lab testing and they don’t have to make those results available. However, those that do follow through with these protocols do so because they want you to know they are dedicated to creating honest, trustworthy, and effective products.

Effectiveness

If the CBD gummies aren’t working, you may as well just be chewing on traditional candy. We took a look at the effectiveness of each of these CBD gummies and considered who they may be best suited for. We highlighted nine different types of CBD gummies, each one geared toward a specific purpose. We thoroughly reviewed the ingredients, highlighted any other beneficial components, like superfoods, and made sure that each product had a long list of raving reviews.

Customer reviews

You know not to buy anything without first checking reviews. Before, it used to be primarily word-of-mouth but now we have a star rating system for nearly every product—and honest people are not afraid to tell it how it is. The reviews section is where you find specifics that aren’t included in standard product descriptions. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re extremely telling, and sometimes they make you so excited that you’re ready to click “buy” right away. We selected products that have an overwhelming number of happy customers who expressed their genuine gratitude for the benefits these CBD gummies bring into their lives.

Why athletes should consider CBD gummies for inflammation and pain relief

Simply, athletes should consider CBD gummies because they promote balance in your body. You’re already working to keep your protein intake up, to make sure that you’re following up leg day with upper body exercises, and you always have a jug of water alongside you. Your entire life is a balancing act and it’s not just because you’re an athlete.

You might be a parent, an uncle, a boss, and a husband. There’s a lot going on in your life and achieving balance when you have so many things pulling at you is difficult, no matter how much of an expert you are at handling it all. CBD gummies help to restore homeostasis in your body to keep you healthy and ready to keep tackling whatever each new day brings. Below are just some of the benefits that athletes experience when they choose CBD gummies as part of their supplement regimen:

Anti-Inflammatory benefits

CBD has both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is an appropriate response when you’ve put your body through a lot of stress but with excessive inflammation, you can end up with more damage than you anticipated. To prevent chronic inflammation from leading to disease, you can enjoy natural products like these CBD gummies, which clinical studies have confirmed reduce inflammation.

Pain relief

Pain is just part of the deal when you’re working hard and challenging yourself to reach new levels. But it doesn’t have to stop you when you have forward momentum. High-quality CBD gummies for pain help to reduce inflammation and they’re also known to significantly alleviate pain, both when it’s acute and chronic. If pain is part of your journey, pain relief should be too.

Better sleep quality

Discomfort can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep—so can pre-workout when you take it too late in the day. It’s happened to the best of us. To help you relax, wind down, and get some good shut-eye, you can incorporate CBD gummies into your nighttime routine. CBD has been extensively studied and research shows that it promotes better sleep.

How to take CBD gummies for inflammation

If you’re new to CBD, you should know upfront that it may take a little bit of trial and error before you find your perfect dose. The best way to start is with a consistent routine. Whether you choose to take your CBD gummies for pain in the morning or prefer to take them in the evening, it’s important that you remain consistent. Pair them with another one of your favorite supplements, so you don’t forget during those first critical few weeks. The best place to start is with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Each CBD formula is different, containing broad-spectrum, full spectrum, or CBD isolate. Additionally, the concentration of CBD is different from product to product so it’s always best to take heed and start with the recommended dosage.

Keep consistent and if after a week, you notice that you are not experiencing the relief that you need, increase your dose by a few milligrams. If your body requires it, you can keep going up in small increments over the next couple of weeks. Once you find that sweet spot, when you feel like the inflammation has gone down, your discomfort is fading, and you’re feeling better overall, mark that as your ideal dose and keep up with that new dose every week. You may find that the recommended dosage is perfect for you but feel free to make small adjustments over several weeks until you arrive at a dose that feels right for your body.

What you should know about CBD

If you’re just getting started in the world of CBD, there are a few things you might be wondering. We’ve covered some of the basics for you.

Types of CBD

There are three types of CBD. The first is full spectrum CBD, which includes all minor cannabinoids along with terpenes and a small percentage of THC. The second is a broad-spectrum CBD, which does incorporate some minor cannabinoids but leaves out any traces of THC. The third is a CBD isolate, which completely removes any minor cannabinoids, to create a pure extraction of CBD only.

Where does CBD come from?

CBD comes from the hemp plant, which is considered a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD is primarily extracted from the flower of the cannabis plant and then it’s mixed with a carrier oil, such as MCT oil, which is derived from coconuts.

Is CBD legal?

Yes, CBD is legal in the United States. This is because the 2018 Farm Bill allowed for the legalization of CBD products. This bill removed hemp as one of the controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act. This change allowed for hemp and CBD to be legally cultivated throughout the United States. There are some different regulations from state to state, so be sure to double-check your state’s laws to confirm that CBD is okay to purchase and consume.

Does CBD contain THC?

Sometimes, yes. Full spectrum CBD does contain minute traces of THC. If you’re looking for CBD products that don’t have any traces of THC, your best bet is to stick with broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products.

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Other CBD products to help athletes with inflammation

High-quality CBD gummies for pain are fantastic for a slow release of CBD’s medicinal properties that offer pain relief. They stay in your system for longer, but they also do take a little bit longer to take effect. You also have other options if you’d like to try additional CBD products to help with inflammation. They include:

Topicals

Topicals are a great way to get targeted pain relief. If you have a specific area of your body that’s just killing you after you’ve killed it during training, you may want to reach for a topical that has either a cooling or warming sensation and that delivers CBD straight to the part of your body that needs relief.

Tinctures

If you’re feeling like you need to garner the benefits of CBD right away for pain relief, the most fast-acting CBD product, aside from vaping, is ingesting CBD sublingually. A CBD tincture is excellent for when you need relief right away. The effects don’t last as long as CBD gummies, but they do kick in a lot faster.

FAQs:

How fast do CBD gummies work for pain and inflammation?

CBD gummies for pain travel through your digestive system, so they may take some time before you feel any pain relief. Typically, you can expect effects anywhere from one hour to two hours after you’ve adjusted CBD gummies.

Should I take CBD gummies right before a workout?

This is a matter of personal preference. CBD gummies are effective whether you take them before your workout or after. If you choose to take CBD gummies before your workout, you’ll notice that you get a boost in your energy and a sense of relaxation throughout your muscles. If you choose to take it after, you can tackle the post-workout inflammation you normally experience. Some people prefer to take a small dose before and a small dose after—it’s all up to you.

How many CBD gummies are safe to take daily?

On average, you can usually take between one and five CBD gummies per day. This is also dependent on the potency that you select. There isn’t a universal dosage because CBD works differently for different bodies. However, if you do take too many CBD gummies, you may experience side effects like gastrointestinal upset, nausea, and diarrhea. If you experience any uncomfortable side effects, try lowering your dose or discounting use.

What do CBD gummies taste like?

That depends on the formula. Most CBD gummies have a sweet flavor that is usually associated with some type of fruit. Some of them are sweet while some can be a little bit sour. Some include terpenes, which gives them that earthy, herbaceous flavor while others may be CBD isolate products, which means there is a very little aftertaste.

Will CBD gummies make me high?

No, CBD is not psychoactive. Even if you purchase CBD gummies that contain full spectrum CBD, the traces of THC are so small that they are essentially imperceptible. Some formulas, depending on the state you’re in, may incorporate higher amounts of THC. If you’re in a state where marijuana is legal for recreational use, then you may be able to purchase a CBD product with stronger concentrations of THC. If this is the case, you may get a slight buzz after ingesting a CBD plus THC product. Be sure to double check the THC concentration, particularly if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, just to be sure you don’t experience an accidental psychoactive effect you weren’t expecting.

Will CBD gummies show up on a drug test?

Drug tests don’t typically look for CBD. They look for the psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, which is THC. There’s always a slight chance that if you ingest a product that contains THC, it’ll show up on a drug test. However, for most people, the THC content is so minuscule, that a drug test doesn’t pick it up.

Are CBD gummies for you?

CBD gummies for pain and inflammation may just be the supplement you need to keep you strong and going, even when you want to quit. As an athlete, that word isn’t even in your vocabulary. You can always slow down when needed, take recovery breaks, and then get right back at it. CBD gummies are formulated to keep you on the edge of your limits, ease discomfort when it flares, and keep your body balanced so you can handle the next big challenge. Are CBD gummies for you? Try them out and let us know!

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Prices valid at time of publication but are subject to change.

CBD for Muscle Soreness Recovery: Benefits of Hemp Oil After a Work Out

Can CBD be used to support the recovery process between workouts?

What about to speed healing after an injury?

Here’s what the research says about it.

Article By

Why are high-level athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, and UFC using cannabidiol (CBD) supplements?

Athletes use CBD to help them recover faster between workouts and after an event. Faster recovery means they’re back into the gym sooner to continue training.

In this article, we explore what makes CBD popular for post-workout recovery, as well as recuperation after an injury. We’ll cover what the research says about the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant effects of the compound in more detail.

Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD to support muscle recovery.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Updated on March 04, 2022

Table of Contents
  • How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?
  • What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?
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Extract Type: Full-spectrum
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How Can CBD Help With Muscle Recovery After A Workout?

  • CBD relaxes the muscles
  • CBD prevents delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • CBD alleviates inflammation
  • CBD improves sleep quality & recovery
  • CBD may enhance satellite cell differentiation in the muscles
  • CBD may support protein synthesis in the muscles

1. Alleviates Muscle Tension

One of the characteristic symptoms of DOMS is muscle tension.

When it comes to injuries, tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area can make the pain much worse — which is why muscle relaxants are so popular for alleviating pain during recovery from exercise or injuries.

Some forms of prescription muscle relaxants used for treatment-resistant muscle tension are benzodiazepine drugs like Valium. These medications work through the GABA receptors — which are a key regulator of muscle relaxation [5,18].

Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs and come with a significant risk of side-effects like sedation, depression, confusion, dizziness, and trembling — all of which are not conducive to optimal athletic function.

CBD and other cannabinoids have similar effects on GABA as benzodiazepines — only without the risk of severe side-effects [6,7].

Some research even suggests the use of cannabis as a supportive agent for benzodiazepine addiction due to the overlap of effects between the two [8]. This is dangerous and requires monitoring by a doctor, of course. You should never attempt this on your own.

Therefore, CBD may be a useful muscle relaxant for easing muscle tension and pain following an injury or rigorous workout.

2. Alleviates Muscle Pain

CBD is suggested to be a powerful pain-killer — as evidenced by both anecdotal and scientific research. This effect may allow CBD to offer symptomatic support for muscle injuries or post-exercise recovery. With less pain, you’ll find it easier to get yourself back into action faster, and feel more comfortable between exercise.

3. Reduces Inflammation

Perhaps the most important role CBD plays in the process of muscle recovery is in reducing inflammation. The most common method of reducing inflammation after an injury or post-workout is to apply ice to the area.

There’s some debate around whether or not putting icing is helpful for muscle recovery or not, and research is inconclusive — some studies suggest icing the muscles improves recovery times [1], while other studies have found that icing offers no benefit for shortening recovery time [2].

The controversy revolves around what role inflammation plays during the recovery process.

The inflammation process is designed to help damaged muscle fibers recover — it brings in blood flow to the area and delivers essential nutrients and oxygen along with it.

Additionally, the increased blood flow helps to clear out cellular debris, damaged proteins, and byproducts of muscle contraction like lactic acid from the area.

Inflammation also stimulates stem cells (called satellite cells) in the muscle to turn into new muscle fibers.

Inflammatory markers like IL-10, TGF-β, TNF-α, and NF-κB are all thought to stimulate the satellite cells of the muscles after an injury [3] — leading to faster recovery and a return of strength to the muscles.

On the other hand, post-workout muscle damage, or injuries to the muscles often involve specific regions of muscle — yet the inflammatory process affects larger groups of muscles and joints that haven’t been affected. The inflammatory response can cause collateral damage to these regions of muscle and joints — leading to a slower recovery process.

This is the main reason athletes use anti-inflammatories or ice after a workout or injury. Reducing inflammation limits the damage caused to nearby muscle and joint tissue.

Athletes often use ice immediately following a workout, and NSAID medications like Aspirin or Ibuprofen to limit inflammation for the remainder of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS symptoms for the next few days.

CBD offers something even better — and may be able to reduce most of the unhelpful inflammation without compromising its benefits towards the recovery process.

CBD has been shown to inhibit a wide range of inflammatory molecules but has little effect on reducing TGF-β and IL-10. In some studies, CBD even caused an increase in IL-10 [4].

This could explain how CBD may alleviate inflammation in the muscle tissue without compromising recovery times. The important role of IL-10 in the activation of new muscle cell differentiation could have a big impact on our ability to recover from muscle damage.

4. Improves The Quality & Duration of Sleep

A few of the most important aspects of muscle recovery happen while we sleep. This is when most of our recovery processes become active [12].

Some of the important processes that take place while we sleep include:

  • Restoring damaged proteins like troponin, actin, and myosin
  • Removing cellular debris from damaged areas
  • Converting lactic acid to glucose in the liver
  • Stimulating the differentiation of stem cells into new muscle fibers

Sleep deprivation can pose negative effects on recovery in a few key areas [12]:

  1. May lead to a reduction in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) — which we already pointed out as being one of the main triggers for differentiation of the muscle stem cells (satellite cells).
  2. May increase cortisol levels — which has a negative impact on protein synthesis.
  3. May cause a reduction in testosterone — which is heavily involved in the process of muscle recovery for both men and women.

A combination of CBD and THC in a pharmaceutical preparation of 1 part CBD to 1 part THC known as Sativex® has been tested repeatedly on its effect on sleep. Research has consistently shown Sativex® offers improvements on the quality of sleep, as well as the duration [13].

Other studies have found similar results using only CBD on rats [14]. Researchers in this study found that CBD was able to increase the total sleep time, as well as improve the ability of rats to fall asleep.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s a close relative to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which is what makes marijuana psychoactive.

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids — organic compounds found alongside over a hundred other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Don’t worry, CBD is completely non-psychoactive — meaning it won’t make you high.

Most companies selling CBD will source it from a specific form of selectively-bred cannabis called hemp — which is the same species as marijuana (Cannabis sativa) but won’t produce more than trace amounts (>0.3%) of the psychoactive ingredient, THC.

CBD supplements made from hemp are completely non-psychoactive due to the lack of THC. As a result, government regulators around the world don’t consider CBD a drug in the same way as marijuana. Most countries regulate CBD as a nutritional supplement instead — however, laws governing cannabis products change frequently, so be sure to check your local laws before placing an order.

CBD has a lot of suggested benefits — many of which have been backed up by scientific and anecdotal evidence. Supplements and pharmaceutical preparations containing CBD are being used by cancer patients to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy (such as nausea), by children with rare forms of epilepsy (such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome), and by millions of people around the world for symptoms like anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia.

How can CBD have so many suggested benefits?

CBD achieves all of this because of its ability to interact with a regulatory system — rather than one specific organ. This allows CBD to affect many different organs around the body directly and indirectly — including the muscular system.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works through a subsystem in the body found in all mammals called the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) involves a collection of special G-protein-coupled receptors (called endocannabinoid receptors), and hormones designed to interact with these receptors (called endocannabinoids).

The ECS is used to help regulate homeostasis throughout the body — which basically means internal balance.

Everything from temperature regulation to hormone levels needs to remain within a specific range. Homeostasis is the process of keeping these metrics within the ideal ranges. If we fall too far outside these ranges, we become sick and die.

CBD is a modulator of the endocannabinoid receptors. It attaches to them in a unique way and modifies their structure slightly to allow our naturally-produced endocannabinoids to bind to them more effectively. It also inhibits an enzyme designed to break down our endocannabinoids (called FAAH). This essentially primes the ECS — giving it a boost to do its job more effectively.

CBD doesn’t stimulate the endocannabinoid system directly, rather it helps upregulate the system we already have in place.

Conversely, the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, activates the endocannabinoid receptors directly (rather than modifying them). Some of the receptors THC activates result in a release of serotonin in the brain — which produces the characteristic high from marijuana plants.

CBD also activates other receptors in the body, including:

  • 5HT1A receptors (serotonin receptors) [15]
  • Vanilloid pain receptors [16]
  • PPARγ nuclear receptors [17]

Muscle Recovery 101: What Happens After Excercise?

There are three kinds of muscle in the human body — but the most relevant for the purpose of this discussion is the skeletal muscle.

The other two are smooth muscle (found in the internal organs and lining of the arteries), and cardiac muscle (a specific type of muscle only found in the heart).

The cells that make up skeletal muscle are uniquely suited to their job. They have more mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) than most other cells in the body. This is meant to help them meet the high energy demands of the muscles.

Muscle cells are also long and cylindrical, helping them form long fibers.

Each muscle cell contains functional units called sarcomeres — which are the part of the muscle that contracts and expands to allow for movement. Proteins called actin and myosin contained in the cells are responsible for expanding and contracting the muscle tissue to achieve movement using calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

When a nerve stimulates muscle cells with acetylcholine, (i.e. when you tell your arm to move) calcium is pumped into the cell, which allows actin and myosin to interact, causing the cell to contract (shorten). This step requires a lot of energy — in the form of ATP, produced in the mitochondria of the cell.

When the nerve stops activating the muscle cells, calcium is pumped back out of the muscle cell and phosphate (a form of transferable energy) dislodged, causing the muscle to expand again (lengthen).

What Makes Your Muscles Sore After a Workout?

By now, you’re probably familiar with the aches and pains that come along with exercising. These sensations are present no matter how often you work out — so what causes them?

Every time you exert your muscles, you cause microscopic damage to millions of tiny proteins that make up your muscle cells. This damage leads to inflammation of the muscle — which causes the characteristic aches, pains, and stiffness experienced after a workout.

The pain after a workout usually begins the following day.

This is referred to in the medical community as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is a healthy part of the adaptation process. It only happens when we push our muscles harder than they have before, or in a different way than we’re used to. Over time, repeating these activities will produce less DOMS as the muscles recover and become stronger and more resistant to the same level of exertion.

How is DOMS Usually Treated?

DOMS will go away on its own — usually after about 3–5 days. Many athletes can’t wait this long to get back into the gym or on the pitch, so they’ll take measures to reduce the downtime.

Here are some of the most common treatments for DOMS:

  1. Rest — This is the simplest treatment, but takes the longest amount of time.
  2. Massage therapy — Physically massaging the muscles helps to stimulate the area, remove lactic acid buildup that may be causing more inflammation to the area, and force fresh blood into the affected area.
  3. Painkillers — Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Aspirin are often used to reduce inflammation and stop the pain. Unfortunately, these medications also come with negative side-effects.
  4. Ice packs — Cooling the area slows blood flow and reduces inflammation. This only works if applied directly after an injury or following a workout.

Can Athletes Use CBD? Is CBD Legal in Competitive Sports?

You may be skimming through this article and wondering — “is CBD legal in sports? Won’t cannabis make athletes fail a drug test if they use it?”

While cannabis is technically illegal, CBD is a clear exception.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned substances list. This essentially means the organization recognizes that CBD is not comparable to performance-enhancing drugs like amphetamines, hormones, or illegal drugs. This is how professional athletes like Nate Diaz from the UFC are able to use CBD without being banned from events.

With that said, make sure to check your local laws and regulations. Just because WADA allows CBD doesn’t mean your individual country or regulatory agency allows it too.

Drug tests used in professional sports can’t identify chemicals in the blood or urine unless you specifically go looking for them. They don’t provide a full list of compounds contained in the fluid.

Most drug tests for marijuana use synthetic antibodies to look for THC — or the metabolites our body creates after breaking down THC. Therefore, you’ll only fail a drug test for these substances if you’ve used a supplement that included THC. For this reason, if you’re competing in professional sporting events and are interested in using CBD, you should opt for a product made from third-party tested CBD isolate, rather than full-spectrum hemp — which may contain trace amounts of THC.

Here are some of the most common ways people are adding CBD to their supplement regimen:

  1. Add CBD oils to your protein or nutritional shakes
  2. Take CBD capsules or gummies
  3. Use CBD oils sublingually after a workout and on recovery days
  4. Use a vaporizer pen
  5. Apply CBD topicals directly over the affected muscles

How To Get The Most From CBD For Muscle Recovery

The recovery process is complex, and shortening the amount of time needed between recoveries relies on many different factors. Taking several different measures at the same time will go a long way in shortening the recovery time beyond what CBD has to offer on its own.

Some simple advice for getting more out of CBD for muscle recovery:

1. Drink Plenty of Water

The recovery process releases a lot of metabolic waste into the bloodstream that needs to be filtered out by the kidneys. Aim for at least 3 L of water per day.

2. Spend Time Stretching After A Workout

This helps to remove harmful lactic acid after a workout and improve blood flow to the affected muscles.

3. Visit A Physiotherapist

It’s ideal to seek professional help to monitor your recovery and provide specific advice.

4. Listen To Your Body

Sometimes the pain experienced after a workout is more than DOMS. If you feel a sharp or excruciating pain, or the pain is accompanied by a fever, visit a doctor immediately.

5. Combine Internal & Topical CBD

This is going to provide the best chance for CBD to exert its effects on the muscles.

6. Prioritize Sleep

As mentioned, sleep is a critical component of the recovery process. Take the time to rest so you can get back into the gym faster.

7. Seek High-Grade CBD Products Only

There’s a lot of poor-quality CBD products floating around, many of which lack the potency advertised on the bottle, and may even have contaminants like heavy metals which could negatively affect your recovery.

8. Combine Other Health Supplements With CBD

Some of the best supplements for promoting recovery are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

9. Eat A Balanced Diet With Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables

In order to recover the body needs access to the raw materials. These raw materials come from our food. We need proteins (and their amino acid components) to build the structures of muscle tissue, along with trace nutrients and vitamins.

Key Takeaways: CBD & Muscle Recovery

CBD is a popular supplement for a lot of reasons. The active ingredient (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system to regulate homeostasis throughout the body — including the muscles.

After a tough workout, the tiny microfilaments in the muscle fibers become damaged — leading to inflammation, pain, and a loss of strength in the muscle. Over the next 3-5 days, the body needs to repair this damage and strengthen the fibers. During this time, it can be difficult to keep exercising that muscle group, which can ultimately slow down your gains.

Injuries are even worse, sometimes keeping you out of the gym for months on end.

CBD offers several unique benefits to aid the recovery process:

  • It reduces inflammation to prevent unnecessary damage to surrounding muscles
  • It improves our quality of sleep to support the regeneration process
  • It relaxes the muscles to stop spasms and tension
  • It blocks the transmission of pain

These effects help explain why so many athletes report improvement in recovery times after using CBD.

In order to get the most out of CBD, we recommend you take a multifaceted approach, incorporating other measures into the recovery as well — such as massage, healthy dietary habits, taking other supplements, drinking water, and ensuring you get plenty of rest.

The field of CBD and muscle recovery is still young, and there are dozens of interesting research studies on this subject either in progress or planned for the near future. Be sure to stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter below to receive news and updates on cutting-edge research as it’s published.

CBD Muscle Recovery Gummies

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Our unique, proprietary Charlotte’s Web™ hemp genetics feature hemp extract and naturally-occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more in every serving. We’ve paired the effects of our premium hemp extract with ginger and turmeric in gummy form to help you recover faster, move easier and feel good.*

Supports healthy joints*

Helps to maintain joint mobility*

Helps support healthy recovery from exercise-induced inflammation*

Products that are made with ingredients grown in nature sometimes vary slightly from batch to batch. Charlotte’s Web™ products are not made with additives or dyes to standardize the color of our products.

Charlotte’s Web™ CBD oil products include full-spectrum hemp extracts from Charlotte’s Web™ plants. The extracts contain a unique blend of cannabinoids plus terpenes and flavonoids. Cannabinoids are phytocompounds that are produced by the hemp plant.

  • CBD + Ginger + Turmeric
  • CBD – 10mg/serving (from full-spectrum hemp extract)
  • Ginger – 25-50mg/serving
  • Turmeric – 50mg curcuminoids/serving
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  • This unique botanical blend has been crafted with natural ingredients to help support joint health.*
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  • Store at room temperature away from light.
  • Keep away from children.
  • Adults: Take 2 gummies daily, Great before or after exercise.
  • As with any dietary supplement, consult your physician before use if you are pregnant, nursing, have or suspect a medical condition, or are taking any medications.
  • Not intended for use by children.

Common Questions

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