The wellness industry is notorious for many trends and fads, but none has completely surpassed the pure craze and popularity of CBD, or cannabidiol. It is marketed as a virtual & # 39; remedy & # 39; for everything from fear to pain and inflammation and it is sold practically everywhere. One of the newest products to add to the CBD craze? Activewear infused with CBD oil. (Yes, really.)
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Clothing brand Acabada, launched this year, claims to be the first CBD-infused activewear brand in the world. The company pours its training clothing such as leggings and sports bra's with CBD and markets the clothing as a form of "pre-recovery" or "proactive activewear" – a kind of preventative measure against. In a sense, they are similar to recovery clothing, which uses far infrared radiation to soothe sore muscles while you sleep after a heavy workout.
I had the opportunity to test the CBD-laced training clothing for myself and have to admit that I was intrigued by the product idea. I have used other CBD products on and off (a tincture that I found useful for stress and anxiety) CBD gummies, a protein bar and a variety of current CBD products that are marketed to help with. But I was pretty skeptical about the clothes, because the only products that I found really useful were the more powerful CBD tinctures.
So is there any weight behind CBD infused activewear claims and how does it work exactly? Keep reading to find out more about the products and what science has to say.
Disclaimer: my results are subjective to my own experience and are in no way clinically effective. Acabada-astor-legging-black-mood "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic .com / img / giN1xm7ys_R0MCiLLaZ_-emD5SE = / 2019/10/29 / 4ab88ecb-181c-4507-b59d-3b132b208 / acabada-astor-legging-black-mood.jpg “/>
How does CBD activewear work?
So how exactly can you get CBD in clothing? Well, it's not that easy. Acadaba says it "strategically" imbues clothing with up to 25 grams of CBD. The company uses a process called microencapsulation (which is not a new technology) where the CBD is administered in small microcapsules that are applied to the substance. As soon as you start to move your body and create friction, the microcapsules break open and the CBD is said to be released into your skin.
Seth Baum, CEO of Acabada, told CNET that microencapsulation works well for activewear because most activewear items are made from elastic knitted fabrics, which have more fibers than woven fabrics.
"When you look at a knit under a microscope, you see thousands of fibers and the microcapsules bind to these fibers. And they are located located at all different levels in the substance. These different levels hold the microcapsules and as you move you actually break the ones that are the highest, or on the surface, "Baum said. According to Acabada, the CBD lasts about 40 times and washes (and this also depends on how long you train and then wear the clothes.)
So the idea is that every time you wear the Acabada clothes, a different layer microcapsules are released and activated in the substance. Once that happens, the product absorbs into your skin and works essentially in the same way as another topical product, such as a CBD ointment or cream.
What does science say?
Depending on what you are looking for, you should find CBD in everything from supplements and drinks to beauty products and even pet products. It is marketed as a "magic cure" for anxiety, pain, insomnia and inflammation. And the Acabada site specifically implies that the CBD has the same "anti-inflammatory, calming and muscle-relieving benefits" in their product as a current CBD product. But there is not really much solid science to support these claims. Dr. Ziva Cooper, research director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, said there is limited research into the therapeutic effects of CBD only. However, there is more research into CBD with THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (which is not legally permitted in consumer products with a concentration higher than 0.3%). This is perhaps one of the reasons why CBD claims are so confusing because we know more about the efficacy of products with both CBD and THC, but the vast majority of CBD products sold only contain CBD. It is important to know that products with only CBD and CBD with equal parts THC are completely different products.
And the research into current CBD? It is even more limited at best. "We currently have no evidence of a topical product that shows that it is penetrating the skin in a meaningful way. And we also have no evidence of topical cannabidiol or other cannabinoids from rigorous studies (placebo, double-blind controlled studies) at this point has therapeutic effects for every endpoint, "Cooper said.
When I asked Cooper about her opinion about whether CBD clothing could work in theory, she seemed skeptical. "Since we don't even know if topical CBD can penetrate the skin and have meaningful effects on the body, we absolutely don't know if CBD in clothing would have that effect."
So where do all claims about CBD products come from? According to Cooper, people report benefits of CBD use, which is anecdotal evidence, but in terms of scientific evidence – it's not the most solid type. "What we do have evidence from, reports from people, is that when they use topical cannabidiol, they alleviate certain symptoms, especially related to pain and muscle aches," Cooper said.
Because there is not much thorough research into how CBD products with low THC concentrations can help people, what about animal studies? "We have evidence in animal models that CBD can help reduce inflammation, but that is very different from the indications for which people use this athletic wear," Cooper said.
Ultimately, much more research needs to be done into the analgesic claims of CBD before someone can definitively prove that it works or not.
What happened when I tried it
I decided to test the Acabada product (the Astor leggings, $ 180) for two consecutive days. The first was during a barre lesson, which usually makes me very painful the next day. The next day I wore the leggings for a dance cardio class that doesn't leave me as painful as barre, but a real endurance challenge for my lower body, because it involves a lot of jumping. Both courses are challenging and intense – but very different. Dance is more cardio-intensive, while the barre class is more stressful for my muscles.
I will say that I noticed a little difference during the barre lesson. I have been going on and off classes for years, and most of the time during the leg and chair work sections of the class, my lower body is shaking and burning so much that I don't know if I can do another exercise. And while my muscles were certainly shaking (which is the goal in the barre class because you're trying to "tire" the muscle), I noticed that my legs didn't burn as much as normal – most of the time in class right now, the burn can get pretty intense.
While wearing the leggings, I could endure more repetitions than usual, because my legs hurt less. Can I say if this was due to the laying or another factor? Not really. But it was noticeable. The next morning I also noticed that my lower body was not as painful as normal after taking a barre lesson.
When I was wearing the leggings for my dance cardio session, I honestly felt no different. As I said before, this lesson is more of a cardio and endurance challenge and I can't say that my legs felt any difference during the lesson. The dance lessons don't get me so bad either, so the next day I didn't notice a difference. But it was nice not to be so painful from the barre class, and I feel that this helped me to perform better during the dance class.
At the moment you may be wondering whether CBD infused clothing is different from, for example, a current CBD cream that you apply to your body. And the answer is no, not really. It's like taking a much more complicated route to get to the same destination: CBD on your skin that can be absorbed into your muscles. If you currently find CBD useful forand want to add an extra element to your CBD routine, be sure to try the leggings if you are curious. Otherwise I would say to stick to what already works for you.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.