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  • by Nicola Boulton August 18, 2022 5 min read


    When it comes to conversations surrounding cannabinoids (CBD), younger and older folks alike seem to be simultaneously excited and apprehensive. This may be accrued to a variety of information and downright misconceptions spread about CBD, especially due to its close connection with cannabis.

    However, there are no qualms about the insane number of benefits CBD possesses. From relieving pain and muscle spasms to being instrumental in cancer and diabetic treatment, CBD has surely taken the country by storm and must be watched out for


    Yoga enthusiasts also seem to join the wave of CBD fanatics. Using topical CBD for yoga helps warm the muscles before the exercise and relieves muscle spasms. That said, how effective is topical CBD for yoga?

    CBD Vs. THC: A Deep Dive

    With these names used interchangeably and frequently thrown into the spotlight, it is no surprise that there is a sense of confusion surrounding them. To dissect this, it is important to understand that CBD and THC are two different chemical compounds with different effects but are found in strains of cannabis plants.

    According to Barrie et al. (2019), CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in hemp, which is a plant strain of cannabis. Therefore, topical CBD for workouts or yoga would not make someone feel "high" as commonly perceived. Furthermore, while CBD is prevalent in hemp, psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is predominantly found in marijuana and can be attributed to the high effect felt by the user after consumption.

    Other important chemical compounds are found in hemp, such as terpenes and flavonoids. According to Shannon et al. (2016), Terpenes have proven instrumental in treating cancer, diabetes, anxiety, and mood disorders, and improving sleep, due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, and anti-microbial and neuroprotective properties. Terpenes include limonene, linalool, caryophyllene, pinene, and myrcene.

    How Safe Is Topical CBD?

    Topical CBD is infused with other essential oils to make lotions, creams, balms, and salves. Topical CBD is usually applied to the skin and does not directly interact with the bloodstream. Hence, using topical CBD in the right amounts does not present side effects like drowsiness. However, remember to check the product ingredients to ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients used.

    The Legality Of CBD

    With the craze surrounding CBD products, especially among young adults, many people have resolved to believe that it may be illegal due to its close association with cannabis. The Farm Bill was passed in 2018 and sought to redefine hemp according to the Controlled Substances Act since hemp did not present any psychoactive effects after use. However, state governments were allowed to develop laws and regulations regarding the use of CBD, despite being federally legal. Thirty-six states have legalized CBD for medical use, while 14 other states have legalized CBD for recreational use.

    Topical CBD For Yoga

    Yoga is a practice that involves doing mildly strenuous exercises, intending to calm down your thoughts while simultaneously stretching and relaxing your muscles. Yoga enthusiasts highly recommend adding topical CBD to your yoga regimen. This is because of the anti-inflammatory properties present in topical CBD and the minimal side effects of applying topical CBD on the skin. Learn more about cbd - what are the different ways to use it?

    Enhancing Muscle Rejuvenation

    Even as yoga is generally regarded as mildly strenuous, some practices are more strenuous as they aim to strengthen the muscles. According to Oleinik (2022), CBD has anti-inflammatory effects that help in muscle rejuvenation after strenuous yoga exercises. Applying topical CBD would reduce muscle stiffness and soreness, help relax the mind, and ease body tension.

    Topical CBD Has Little To No Side Effects

    After strenuous yoga practices, many tend to head to the nearest chemist and purchase drugs that would relieve muscle pain. However, most drugs tend to have serious side effects, such as migraines and diarrhea. On the other hand, applying topical CBD presents an advantage since it does not have any side effects.

    To understand this further, it is important to comprehend how topical CBD works in the body. As mentioned, topical CBD is applied onto the skin, as it is usually processed in the form of lotions, creams, balms, and salves. Once applied to the skin, topical CBD is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead, it interacts with the brain's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system has several receptors in the body that convey impulses to the brain to relieve muscle spasms and reduce muscle inflammation. Furthermore, the endocannabinoid system is key in regulating homeostatic processes, which maintain the body in a balanced state necessary for yoga practice.

    Improving Sleep

    Yoga is primarily aimed at relaxing the mind through exercises and meditation. While meditation relaxes the mind, strenuous exercises cause muscle pains that would otherwise impact the person's sleep. Applying topical CBD would reduce muscle pains, which would lead to deep sleep since brain waves would be drastically slowed down, leading to the secretion of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.

    Reducing Nervousness And Anxiety

    Cimino et al.  (2021) stated that topical CBD could reduce nervousness and anxiety. This may be attributed to the anxiolytic properties boasted by CBD, which aims to reduce stress before or during yoga practice. This would enhance a person's yoga experience and calm their nerves down.

    Instrumental for powerful yoga activities

    There is a strong connection between working harder and having a strong mind. Some yoga activities, such as ashtanga, are quite powerful. Therefore, it is possible to lose concentration during such powerful yoga classes as the mind and body are not exactly relaxed and focused on the goal at hand. These powerful yoga classes, with strenuous exercises, may develop several radicals in the muscles that lead to inflammation. According to Mena et al. (2020), Topical CBD has anti-oxidant properties that reduce muscle inflammation. Furthermore, applying topical CBD would alleviate muscle rigidity caused by strenuous yoga practices, improving the yoga experience. Learn more about does topical cbd actually work?

    What to look for when purchasing topical CBD

    Always ensure that your product has less than 0.3% THC to avoid any psychoactive effects.

    Ensure that the product you purchase has undergone thorough third-party testing to certify the purity levels

    Ensure you purchase topical CBD from reputable brands and read the customer reviews to get more insight concerning the quality of the product you opt to purchase

    The bottom line

    Using topical CBD for yoga presents various benefits. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties help alleviate muscle pain while also relaxing the mind and reducing anxiety.

    Prioritize the quality of the topical CBD you purchase to avoid any possible health effects


    Barrie, A. M., Gushue, A. C., & Eskander, R. N. (2019). Dramatic response to Laetrile and cannabidiol (CBD) oil in a patient with metastatic low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Gynecologic oncology reports, 29, 10.

    Cimino, C., Maurel, O. M., Musumeci, T., Bonaccorso, A., Drago, F., Souto, E. M. B., ... & Carbone, C. (2021). Essential Oils: Pharmaceutical Applications and Encapsulation Strategies into Lipid-Based Delivery Systems. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 1–35.

    Mena, M., Dalbah, L., Levi, L., Padilla, M., & Enciso, R. (2020). Efficacy of topical interventions for temporomandibular disorders compared to placebo or control therapy: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of dental anesthesia and pain medicine, 20(6), 337–356.

    Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4).

    Oleinik, G. The Best CBD Creams & Topicals for Acne (March 2022).

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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