Here's what research and experts say about lathering up with the stuff.
Kristen Bell's post-workout go-to? The Lord Jones High CBD Pain & Wellness Formula Body Lotion ($50; lordjonesbrand.com). CBD oil, a substance made by extracting a specific compound from cannabis called cannabidiol, has been making headlines lately for its benefits in beauty, wellness, and more.
“I love my @thelordjones body lotion for my sore muscles after working out,” Bell shared with her Instagram followers after hitting the gym on Tuesday.
Fear not: CBD is non-psychoactive, so you won’t get high from using products like this. They're also widely available in the U.S. But what do experts say about them?
“It may have pain-relieving capabilities, but we’re still waiting for good clinical studies to prove this,” Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, previously wrote of CBD oil. “It's possible that a few drops of CBD oil can be therapeutic, but we need more info on what it's really useful for. Some research has shown that CBD may be effective for relieving chronic pain, as well as pain associated with cancer treatment and arthritis. It’s not entirely clear how CBD may work to alleviate pain; it may be related to the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties.”
Research suggests that marijuana products are effective at treating chronic pain, calming muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and easing nausea from chemotherapy. However, you may not find relief in your muscles.
As Ricardo Colberg, MD, a physician at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama, told Shape, topical creams won’t reach the muscle where your actual soreness is located.
“Any cream with a heating or cooling sensation desensitizes the nerves to pain by distracting them with stimuli on top,” he said, and the Lord Jones CBD lotion falls into that camp. But it's not all bad news: "Scientific literature says there’s a 33% chance of the placebo effect helping people, so for some, just using a cream they believe can help will provide some relief,” Dr. Colberg added.
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If cannabis cream helps Bell in her post-workout recovery, it could help you, too. We’re still waiting on more scientific evidence, but if you have $50 to spend and you're curious, there’s virtually no medical risk in rubbing some on your sore muscles.