Best CBD Oil For Muscle Recovery

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These high-quality CBD balms, salves and muscle rubs are designed for aiding recovery from aches and soreness for runners, cyclists and other athletes. This article was produced in partnership with Paradigm Media By now, you’ve probably heard there are a handful ailments that science and athletes say CBD

The Best CBD Balms, Salves & Lotions For Recovery From Muscle Soreness

If you suffer from muscle aches and pains while training, or post-race effort, a good CBD Balm could be exactly what you need.

All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

CBD products are a really great addition to any athlete’s recovery routine – and in particular, using CBD balms, muscle rubs, lotions, and salves is a popular and growing trend among runners, cyclists, and other athletes who are looking to support training recovery, or are dealing with pain, inflammation, and fatigue.

This post shares the best CBD balms, lotions, and salves we’ve come across for athletes that are designed to support fast recovery and temporary relief. We hope our CBD balm reviews help you choose the best one to try, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Keep reading to see the list, or click here to jump down to first learn more about using supplements such as CBD balms and lotions.

Best CBD Topicals for Athletes – Table of Contents

All the CBD topicals on this list are made with either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD extract, from companies that lab-test their products for purity, third-party verification, and potency.

Read our guide more about the difference between full and broad-spectrum CBD products and why competitive athletes should always ensure their chosen CBD brand lab-tests each batch of their products, they know all the ingredients and can access lab test results.

1. Level Select CBD Cream | Best CBD Cream For Athletes

  • CBD Topical type: Cream
  • Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
  • Lab-Tested: Yes
  • CBD Contents per 1oz: 600mg (Level 3)

With a relatively high concentration of CBD per 1oz for their most potent Level 3 formula, Level Select’s CBD cream (and roll-on option) are designed with athletes from all backgrounds to help with workout and injury recovery.

With a cooling mint formula that is non-greasy to apply and soaks in quickly, they’re easy to use without worrying about staining clothes or waiting around before getting dressed post-workout.

Level Select’s CBD recovery topicals are also available in lower concentrations of 1200mg and 900mg per 3oz tub, if you’re not looking for the most potent option available.

This cream (as well as the roll-on) is sold at a price point that represents excellent value for money for non-GMO, US-grown, third party lab-tested CBD products, at only $50 for a 3oz tub containing 1800mg of CBD – or as low as $30-$35 per tub when bought on a monthly subscription.

To learn more about this cream and Level Select CBD’s other products, read our In-Depth Level Select CBD review.

2. Venga CBD Recovery Balm | CBD Balm For Athletes

  • CBD Topical type: Balm
  • Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
  • Lab-Tested: Yes
  • CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg

Venga is a CBD company specializing in recovery products for athletes and is founded by runners and athletes who know all about pushing your limits when it comes to endurance sports.

I first noticed the power of this CBD balm when I ran a 30k mountain race in the Swiss Alps with the UTMB OCC ultra marathon 5 days later. I rubbed it on my leg muscles after Matterhorn Ultraks and felt repaired and ready to run UTMB OCC 5 days later.

That impressed me but what really blew me away was just how good my legs felt the day after my mountain ultra-marathon race – which involved a total moving time of 10.5 hours in the mountains.

I can only attribute it to this CBD balm I smothered over my legs after the race. This is why it currently holds the crown as our chosen best CBD balm for athletes. That – and it being THC-free is important for competitive athletes.

To learn more about Venga CBD’s other great products, read our in-depth Venga CBD review.

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3. CBDPUre Muscle & Joint Formula | Best CBD Lotion Creme

  • CBD Topical type: Lotion
  • Broad or Full-Spectrum: Full-Spectrum
  • Lab-Tested: Yes
  • CBD Contents per 1oz: 83mg (250mg CBD in one 3oz tube)

CBDPure’s Muscle & Joint Formula 250 CBD Cream is a topical CBD cream formulated for rapid absorption. Unlike other CBD creams on this list, the CBDPure lotion is made using full-spectrum, rather than broad-spectrum CBD.

This CBD cream has been developed for those of us with active lifestyles, and it combines the benefits of CBD with botanicals like menthol and white willow bark (aka nature’s aspirin). The menthol actually gives a pleasant tingling sensation when applied to the skin which I enjoy.

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This CBD cream smells pleasant, and because it’s non-greasy, it absorbs into the skin cleanly and quickly. You only need to apply a pea-sized amount of this CBD lotion directly to the affected area too which means the product lasts a good amount of time as the tube has 3oz. of cream in it.

Coming in at $40 for one tube this is also a reasonably priced full-spectrum CBD topical for athletes. The relatively low entry price makes this a smart choice for those on a budget when it comes to trying a CBD topical for the first time (although note that this includes 250mg of full-spectrum CBD in a 3oz bottle compared to other, more potent options on this list.

4. Beam CBD ‘The Fixer’ | CBD Balm With Essential Oils Aroma

  • CBD Topical type: Salve
  • Broad or Full-Spectrum: Broad-Spectrum, THC-Free
  • Lab-Tested: Yes
  • CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg

Beam Organics is another CBD company founded by former professional athletes. As former Ironman triathletes and marathon runners, they know a thing or two about pain and the need for effective recovery products.

Beam’s CBD product range is grouped into four categories, ‘balance’, ‘performance’, ‘recovery’ and ‘sleep’. Within each of these categories, they offer a blend of products, from a CBD powder that you make into a hot drink to aid sleep, to CBD oil and this CBD balm for relief from soreness (which is part of the ‘recovery’ range).

I like the soft texture of Beam’s CBD salve, and the aromatherapy benefits, as it is infused with organic Lavender and Eucalyptus oils, two of my favorites.

Other CBD balms on this list also feature these essential oils, however, something about this blend makes it stand out when it comes to the overall aroma. Like the other CBD topicals on this list, it is designed to not only help with soreness relief but also inflammation.

If you’re going to use CBD topicals regularly, it can be more cost-effective to buy them on a monthly subscription, and when you do this with Beam’s ‘the fixer’ balm, the price drops from $75 to $60 a month. Get 15% off your order with code ‘TRYBEAM‘.

5. Miraflora Recovery Balm | Smooth CBD Topical Recovery Balm

  • CBD Topical type: Balm
  • Broad or Full-Spectrum: Full-Spectrum
  • Lab-Tested: Yes
  • CBD Contents per 1oz: 500mg

Miraflora’s CBD recovery balm is another full-spectrum CBD topical for pain relief, inflammation and recovery, specifically designed with athletes and people with an active lifestyle in mind.

This CBD recovery balm has a really smooth texture and it is not greasy like some CBD balms can be. The ingredients that help provide this texture include shea butter and extra virgin coconut oil.

The smell of this CBD pain relief topical is nice, and not too potent either – part-aromatherapy, part-medicinal, on account of it also including lavender, eucalyptus, and menthol essential oils (similar to the other CBD balms listed above). Read our full Miraflora CBD review HERE.

Guide to CBD Balms For Athletes

Why CBD Balms are popular for athletes look for support with pain relief and soreness

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a plant-based, all-natural, anti-inflammatory supplement that is widely recognized as being well-suited for endurance athletes’ therapeutic needs.

CBD does this by working in synergy with existing systems within the body to help alleviate, inflammation, soreness, loss of mobility, stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Many people looking for creams topicals for pain relief consider CBD as a supplement that can help with soreness and recovery. These products are not marketed as pain relief products, rather they’re described as being topicals for use in alleviating soreness and aiding recovery.

Benefits of CBD balms and salves

There are many benefits of using a CBD balm or muscle rub. In our experience it can help alleviate the following issues which are also common amongst other runners and athletes:

  • stiffness and immobility that comes after endurance runs, whcih is common in areas such as backs, necks and hips.
  • joint swelling in your knees, wrists, ankles, and hands due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
  • shin splints, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and tendonitis.

Using a CBD topical for such soreness offers a more targeted and localized manner than using just CBD oils and soft gels – and you use it much in the way you would use other plant-based muscle rubs such as Arnica.

Using CBD muscle rubs after exercise

As an example of when an athlete may benefit from using a CBD muscle rub like this, I will massage a CBD topical balm or salve into my legs if they’ve taken a heavy beating during a strenuous run to help reduce inflammation and recover faster.

Becoming a stronger runner starts with a good recovery routine and using CBD topicals helps me recover quickly.

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Whether you’re an ultrarunner, sprinter, cyclist, weight-lifter, CrossFit athlete, or simply an active person… if you have strained a muscle, are trying to recover from injury, or seeking a CBD topical for relief from workout soreness, then it’s definitely worth trying one of these products and seeing if it works for you, too.

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Given the benefits outlined above, it’s also easy to see how these CBD salves, balms, and lotions can also be beneficial to people with other forms of soreness, aching and inflammation, such as those dealing with arthritis and recovery from non-athletic injuries.

The difference between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD topicals

It’s important to understand the difference between broad and full spectrum CBD topicals, especially if you are a competitive athlete required to pass drug tests.

CBD is legal in the US, however, to be legal in the US CBD topicals and other products must have less than 0.3% THC.

The reason for this is that THC, the compound found in large quantities in marijuana, occurs in very small quantities in full-spectrum CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD typically includes more hemp plant extracts than Broad Spectrum CBD, and this may include up to 0.3% THC that naturally occurs in the hemp plants used to make the CBD topical.

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Broad-spectrum CBD also contains several such plant compounds, but it is typically entirely free of THC as it is not harvested from the whole plant, only certain parts.

Therefore if you are looking to avoid THC in any CBD that you ingest (such as oils, gummies, and other edibles), broad-spectrum CBD is something to look out for.

If you’re interested in the value of CBD products for anxious or active pets read our post on the benefits of CBD for dogs next!

Even though our understanding is that CBD topicals won’t affect drug tests in the same way anyway (as you don’t ingest them and they don’t enter your bloodstream) many companies offering broad-spectrum CBD will ensure their lab testing process certifies that their CBD topicals as well as any, oils and other products, are THC-free.

It’s important to consider that if you are subject to drug testing you may want to avoid using any CBD products or at least be thoroughly knowledgeable about the contents of the products and the rules of your testing organization.

Do this to ensure any products you are using do not result in a positive test for THC (for example, if the THC content of your chosen CBD salve is higher than permitted).

WADA has some guidance on their website which should be a good starting point, and it’s worth consulting with a professional for further advice on the subject.

5 Best CBD Products for Sleep, Recovery, Pain, and Stress

By now, you’ve probably heard there are a handful ailments that science and athletes say CBD can actually help with: trouble sleeping when you have a big meeting tomorrow, body pains after taking a digger off your mountain bike, stress or anxiety when responsibilities start piling up, and muscle recovery after a heavy leg or chest day.

But the key to leveraging the power of CBD is sorting the snake oil from the reliable formulas. That means finding brands that have intentional formulations.

For starters, that looks like using high-quality hemp. But we find it best to not just rely on CBD alone—there is an array of other plants that can act as medicine to help you sleep better or recover faster.

Enter Evn, a no-fuss CBD brand that focuses on high-quality extracts, trusted by world-class athletes.

Evn CBD products are made from non-GMO, organically grown hemp plants on family-owned hemp farms in Colorado. Smaller farms cared for by real people is usually a guarantee for higher-quality plants.

Evn then uses premium-grade CO2 equipment to extract the CBD from hemp plants for a cleaner distillation, and it tests all its final formulas at accredited, third-party independent labs to ensure everything is hitting the benchmarks for quality and consistency.

The result: You’re putting incredibly high-quality CBD in your body that’s been confirmed to be pure, reliable, and as effective as possible.

But there are two other reasons Evn CBD products stand out above others. For starters, its products focused on sleep, pain relief, and other ailments leverage more than just the power of CBD—the formulas have been thoughtfully crafted with other powerful herbs and plants proven by science to help you find relief, like curcumin for pain and L-Theanine for sleep.

But the real clincher: Evn offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee that says if you don’t find its products help your ailment, you get your money back. So there’s little reason not to give the brand trusted by athletes and everyday guys alike, a shot.

Here are our top picks.

For Sleep: Evn Sleep Powder

For as little research as we have on CBD, we are pretty confident it can help with sleep troubles: When people who had basic trouble sleeping took CBD before bed for a month, some 67 percent started scoring a better night’s rest, reports a large 2019 study in the Permanente Journal. Other research shows CBD might even help folks with sleep apnea and insomnia.

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Evn’s Sleep Powder offers 20mg full-spectrum CBD per serving, which allows for the entourage effect wherein terpenes and other cannabinoids can work together to enhance the power of CBD.

But what makes this powder truly powerful is that, in addition to the cannabinoid, this product is elevated by a blend of vitamins and minerals all supported by science to either help you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer, including magnesium, passion flower, L-Theanine, and melatonin.

The powder has a nice, slightly sweet vanilla-cacao flavor that mixes well in warm milk or a “mylk” alternative—a nighttime drink that’ll land you hours of uninterrupted rest for tomorrow’s adventures.

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For Pain: Evn CBD Curcumin Capsules

You’ve probably heard CBD’s psychoactive brother, THC, is a great remedy for pain, but you actually don’t need the mind-altering effects to score relief: A 2016 study in the European Journal of Pain found topical CBD helped relieve pain and inflammation in rats without any side effects, and a whopping 79 percent of the people in that 2019 Permanente Journal study said nightly CBD helped improve their anxiety and sleep.

Evn’s CBD Curcumin Capsules are ideal for soothing pain because, in addition to 25mg high-quality CBD, each capsule also contains 10mg curcumin. The bright yellow chemical in turmeric, curcumin has been proven to help reduce inflammation, theoretically supercharging pain relief.

Packed with that extra punch and all-natural relief, these capsules are ideal to keep on hand whether you’re looking to soothe achy joints after a long day of sitting at work or muscle soreness after a big day in the mountains.

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For athletic recovery: Evn CBD Salve

Now, CBD for athletic recovery is one area we don’t have a ton of human research to support, but it’s a common recovery tool we hear athletes swear by. And some animal studies report topical creams with pure CBD can help relieve arthritis pain and be both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.

Intended to be rubbed into skin after a heavy lifting day or long run, Evn’s CBD Salve provides 500mg broad-spectrum CBD per jar to help soothe tired muscles. The formula—beloved by world-class athletes and weekend warriors alike—is enhanced by eucalyptus and lavender oils. These medicinal plants not only help you relax further, but they also help make the balm smell lush as you rub it into achy muscles. The base of the salve is beeswax and MCT oil, which is super hydrating and easy on sensitive skin, so it’ll agree with most everyone.

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For Stress: Evn Natural CBD Oil 1000mg and Evn 10mg CBD Gummy Bears

If you regularly feel anxious or stressed, we couldn’t recommend CBD more. Studies show small doses of the cannabinoid can help with a range of anxiety-related disorders. Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that rats given CBD exhibit diminished anxiety and lower heart rates. In particular, CBD can help offset that late-night, anxiety-induced, wide-awake feeling—which most of us know all too well.

For stress and anxiety, we love Evn’s pure CBD formulas, which offer a super clean cannabinoid from organically sourced, small-farm hemp plants without any herbs or minerals to enhance the effect. For this, Evn has two products we love.

CBD Gummy Bears are ideal if you want a smaller, more controlled dose. You’ll know exactly how much CBD you’re getting with each gummy (10mg) and you can adjust your dosage higher or lower according to how you feel after one. It’ll take longer to kick in (your body has to digest it), but it’s often a more nuanced and steady stabilizer.

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Meanwhile, tinctures are more versatile if your stress and anxiety levels range day to day. They’re also ideal if you need the relief to kick in ASAP. Evn’s tinctures are made with broad-spectrum CBD, which means that it contains no trace of THC but does offer the benefits of other plant compounds.

One full dropper of Evn’s CBD Oil will deliver 50mg of the natural stress relief. That means if you just need a little help taking the edge off that heart-racing feeling, you can play with one quarter or half a dropper; then, on days where you’re looking for a serious unwind—say, after meetings or long travel—you can score more milligrams of relief without having to down a bunch of capsules or gummies.

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