CBD for athletes: how to choose the best CBD sports cream

Anyone who works hard and plays hard knows how hard it can be on the body. Athletes live in a continual state of breaking down muscle fibers to rebuild them. Joints take hard knocks from repetitive motion, and pain crops up in both chronic and acute forms.

If an athlete is going to continue training, they have to learn to manage the pain. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers can be both dangerous and dangerously addictive. Even over-the- counter varieties like Tylenol and Advil are dangerous if taken more than a day or two. So what to do? Just work through the pain? Not when there’s a safe and natural option available.

CBD for Athletes

More and more athletes have started delving into the world of CBD to help support their bodies for training. Some take it by mouth to help support relaxation of the nervous system, balance the body’s anti-inflammatory response, and help regulate sleep patterns.

Others use topical CBD products like creams and balms to target specific pain areas in the joints and muscles. Because of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it is applied directly to the impacted joint or muscle to help manage pain.

The bad news is that hard research hasn’t yet caught up to the wild enthusiasm for CBD use. The good news is that anecdotal and preliminary research across several areas is so strong that now scientists are scrambling to conduct more studies.

Is it Legal?

The bottom line is that enough athletes have noticed improvements in performance and recovery that CBD is fast becoming a trend. Both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have taken CBD off of their Prohibited Lists.

Big note on this topic: While CBD has been specifically given an exception, THC and synthetic cannabinoids absolutely do remain on the WADA and USADA Prohibited Lists. If you are taking (either orally or dermally) a full-spectrum CBD product, trace amounts of THC can build up in the body. These trace amounts could very well show up on a drug test.

Is it Safe?

CBD and (even more so) CBD cream are exceptionally safe. Given a good safety profile by the World Health Organization, the side effects for CBD taken internally are typically mild and not widely experienced. These side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Sleepiness or weariness
  • Diarrhea

CBD taken on the skin is even safer. Very rarely someone with exceptionally sensitive skin may experience a rash or irritation.

How to Find the Best CBD Sports Cream

When deciding which CBD sports cream to use, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to be sure that what is being advertised is what you get. This is especially important for athletes who might face drug tests. Some full or broad range CBD products can have trace amounts of THC in their formula. This can very well get picked up in a drug test.

Look for third party lab testing results

So first and foremost, make sure whichever company you decide on uses independent third party lab tests for both purity and potency, and that the results are clearly displayed on their website.

A third party lab test will tell you three important things:

  • Whether the potency is correct (25 mg advertised is actually 25 mg of CBD in the product). Inaccurate dosing can be a problem. Not to mention that you don’t want to waste money on a product that actually contains little to NO CBD
  • If there are toxins, heavy metals, or contaminants present
  • That the ingredient list is accurate. Again, you want to find a THC version for safety’s sake if you get drug tests

The best CBD companies will honor transparency and batch test all of their products through a third party lab.

Check out Reputation and Quality

Also be sure to deal with a company that has a good reputation in the business. CBD is a newer industry so most companies won’t be ancient…but there are some well-established companies that have been around for at least a few years, or even more than ten. While age alone doesn’t make a company reliable, there will generally be more information available about them and more third party reviews on their products.

Look for a company that works with high quality ingredients, including sustainably farmed local hemp. Some even offer USDA Organic labels on their hemp, though this is less common. But look for purity and fewer ingredients.

Read the Reviews

Scour the reviews. Some of the bigger brands will show up on third party review lists. See what other people have to say about their efficacy and texture. Creams can be rather subjective, so if you have an aversion to extra-greasy creams or thinner creams, these reviews can give you an idea of what to expect. Even reviews on the company website can be helpful this way. See what kind of people are using it and what for.

Be Smart When Pricing Your CBD Cream

When you’re dealing with CBD, don’t expect to find products that are both cheap and quality. Unfortunately creating CBD cream at a higher standard costs money. Better hemp, more expensive processing (this makes for a purer product), and third party testing all run to money. If you find a product at a price that seems too good to be true, believe us…it probably is. Don’t waste your money on an ineffective or adulterated product.

But don’t lose heart if you’re working on a budget. Most of the big CBD companies work with pricing. They often offer discount loyalty programs for repeat buyers, or discounts on subscriptions. There are a few that even offer assistance programs for low income individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities. Shop around and see what you can find.

If you keep these tips in mind, it should be easy to find a CBD cream that is just right for you. It may take a little trial and error, but if you do a little research you’ll find a quality brand that gives you just what you need in a CBD sports cream.

Photo: Scott Webb, Pexel