"The pain and stiffness that comes post-workout or from overexertion certainly has a pro-inflammatory component to it, so it's reasonable to think CBD or other cannabinoids might have benefits, but we have no research to support this yet," adds Gerdeman.
Biology lesson aside, all of this has yet to be proven in scientific studies on humans.
If you read the ingredient list, often everything in the jar is straight from mother earth. As long as that's indeed the case with the cannabis cream you have your eye on, the formula is immensely safe, chemically, says Gregory Gerdeman, Ph.D., neurophysiologist who researches cannabinoid biology and pharmacology at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, FL. And since hemp pain relief creams are formulated to be topical (absorbing into the top layer of skin) and not transdermal (which would pass through the skin and into your bloodstream) there's no risk of getting high, explains Gerdeman. (P.S. Here's How Marijuana Affects Athletic Performance.)
What Science Says About Hemp Creams for Pain Relief
But there is an argument to be made for simply believing the CBD adds that special something. "Scientific literature says there's a 33 percent chance of the placebo effect helping people, so for some, just using a cream they believe can help will provide some relief," adds Dr. Colberg.
The fatty tissue can only hold so much oil, so, theoretically, if you apply enough of a cannabis cream to your skin, it might leak down into your skeletal muscle just out of diffusion, adds Sexton. But there's no study to show this, and that means you're going to be rubbing on a whole lot of the stuff.
There is an argument to be made for the simple fact that science hasn't caught up to the trend (and laws) of cannabis yet. (Here's what research has to say about the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis so far.) And there are doubtlessly researchers testing the efficacy of CBD creams for pain relief as we speak.
The other issue? Topical hemp pain relief products and cannabis creams will treat anatomical structures within 1 centimeter of the skin—and the muscle where your actual soreness is located is going to be deeper than that, explains Ricardo Colberg, M.D., a physician at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, AL. (The good news: Since it doesn't need to be absorbed deeply, CBD and cannabis could do amazing things as a skincare ingredient.)
Over the last few years, CBD has seemed to explode on the market. CBD dispensaries can be found in most cities, with topical products, tinctures, and even edibles available in various strains and strengths. Everyone from famous brands to your distant cousin on Facebook swears by its many varied uses. Oils and tinctures are used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve anxiety, while topical applications are being sold to improve healing, treat skin concerns, and provide relief for aching muscles.
These days, CBD dispensaries can be found in most cities, with topical products, tinctures, and even edibles available in various strains and strengths claiming to treat everything from anxiety to chronic pain—including foot pain.
It’s important to note that while CBD may help reduce your discomfort, it will not treat the cause of your pain. If you only treat the symptoms and not the condition, you may end up continuing to exacerbate the good or tear the fascia tendon. We recommend using CBD for pain management in addition to treating the root cause with a product like QUICK TAPE.
What is CBD used for?
Cannabis is notorious for its psychoactive properties, but many don’t realize that marijuana is composed of 120 cannabinoid compounds—and not all of them induce the “high” this plant is most known for.
In reviewing both clinical and anecdotal evidence, it does seem that CBD products may help alleviate foot pain for some people—but it’s important to go in with an open mind and temper expectations. We know firsthand how frustrating it can be to find pain management that works, and that what works for one person may yield little-to-no results for another.
Anecdotally, there is nothing CBD can’t do—but what does research say? While in-depth study of cannabis and CBD is still a bit behind, there are a number of studies that explore the health benefits of cannabinoids.
It wasn’t until later in the mid-20th century that the various structures present in marijuana were isolated and researched, with Dr. Raphel Mechoulam leading one of the first breakthroughs in understanding the effects of individual cannabinoids—and earning himself the nickname “The Godfather of Cannabis Research.”