California Athletes’ Best Cannabis Topicals, Patches, and Edibles

Care By Design gels can fight insomnia caused by chronic pain from sports injury. (Elise McDonough/Leafly)
Care By Design gel caps can fight insomnia caused by chronic pain from sports injury. (Elise McDonough/Leafly)

Whoops, the holidays happened and we’re all a bit bigger for it. Also super-sized: our fitness goals for 2019.

While cannabis gets a bad rap for the munchies, that rep is dated.

You can help your body recover after spin class or a challenging weightlifting session by integrating cannabis-based products into your wellness routine. Already trending among endurance athletes—cannabis topicals and edibles fight inflammation, helping the body heal faster after prolonged physical exertion.

During tough workouts, muscles get microscopic tears, causing swelling, stiffness, and soreness. Your body’s self-repair process builds stronger muscles over time, but over-exertion can lead to injuries, and chronic pain. If you’re hitting the gym often, take advantage of the many ways cannabis can aid in recovery, soothing sore muscles while providing a safer alternative to ibuprofen, which can cause kidney damage.

If you want to avoid euphoria, those feelings of well-being that come from cannabis’ main active molecule, THC — look for CBD, also known as cannabidiol. CBD fights inflammation, but does not make you “high”, just calm and content. CBD can be found in edibles, vape pens, tinctures and topicals, and it’s sometimes mixed with THC to create specific effects.

Looking For Legal Cannabis?
Leafly Has All Your Local Menus

We get it — smoking and athletics do not mix. So seek out a new, different delivery methods. Soak in a cannabis-infused bath, then rub healing topicals into your skin. Alternatively, stick on a transdermal THC patch before leaving the gym, and hit your vape pen after leaving class. Simultaneously using a few complimentary products offers multiple layers of relief, saturating your system with cannabinoids. If you’re still feeling sore later in the day, eat a cannabis capsule for relief that will extend into the evening, helping you get restful sleep.

By using cannabis as part of your self-care rituals, you can shorten recovery time and keep yourself feeling energetic and fit.

Hot Topicals

Apothecanna

(Courtesy Apothecanna)
(Courtesy Apothecanna)

Use the “Extra Strength” suite of products to counteract post-workout soreness. Available in extra-strength versions of body creme, spray and oil, Apothecanna blends cannabis with other pain-relieving herbs including peppermint, juniper and arnica for a soothing lotion that smells great while it fights inflammation. Slather this cannabis-infused oil on joints and painful spots after workouts, and follow up with frequent applications throughout the day.

Spotted At:

OM Athletic Bath Salt

(Elise McDonough/Leafly)
(Elise McDonough/Leafly)

Combining cannabis with hydrotherapy results in an incredibly relaxing experience, soothing the body and preparing it for sleep. Sprinkle these THC-infused epsom salts into a hot bath and soak for at least 30 minutes, allowing the cannabinoids to absorb into your skin and effectively relieve pain and soreness. Pair this sensual soak with Lion Balm, which should be rubbed into trouble spots like the lower back, hips and knees immediately after bathing to double up the power of cannabis.

Spotted At:

Looking For Legal Cannabis? Leafly Has All Your Local Menus

Mary’s Transdermal Patch

(Courtesy Mary's Medicinals)
(Courtesy Mary’s Medicinals)

Discreet and reliable, these transdermal patches stick onto your skin, delivering cannabinoids into your body for up to eight to twelve hours. Choose from different formulas including indica-derived THC, sativa-derived THC, a blend of THC and CBD, just CBD or CBN. After applying the patch, you’ll be feeling pain relief within 15 to 30 minutes, making this a fast-acting option on par with a tincture or vape pen.

Spotted At:

Essential Edibles

Level Protabs

(Courtesy Level)
(Courtesy Level)

Vegan, gluten-free and containing zero calories, Protabs deliver 25mg of fast-acting cannabinoids, with formulations including THC derived from sativa, indica and hybrid cannabis strains, as well as tablets containing CBD, THCa, CBG and Delta-8 THC. Convenient and discreet, these dissolving tablets offer heavyweight doses of THC that will definitely make you feel high, so choose the CBD, CBG or THCa if you’re looking for something that won’t make you buzzed.

Spotted At:

Plus Gummies

(Courtesy Plus)
(Courtesy Plus)

Made with real beef gelatin for time-release, long-lasting effects, Plus Gummies come in grown-up fruit flavors including Lemon & Blackberry, Pineapple & Coconut, Sour Watermelon and Blueberry. With a gentle dose of just five milligrams of THC per piece, these gummies make it easy to microdose throughout the day. Pop a gummy right after a workout for subtle pain relief, and have another before bedtime.

Spotted At:

Care by Design Soft Gels

Care By Design gels can fight insomnia caused by chronic pain from sports injury. (Elise McDonough/Leafly)
Care By Design gels can fight insomnia caused by chronic pain from sports injury. (Elise McDonough/Leafly)

With a full suite of CBD-rich products including soft gel capsules, tinctures and vapor cartridges, Care by Design blends THC with CBD in precise ratios. Look for 1:1 soft gels that combine 10 milligrams of THC with 10 mg of CBD in each capsule for a balanced high that will be euphoric but not overwhelming. There’s also soft gels with a 4:1 ratio of CBD to THC, and an 18:1 ratio that’s basically all CBD, so there’s plenty of options to explore until you find the ratio that works for you!

Spotted At:

Great Vape

Bloom Farms Pax Pods

Conserve your lungs by vaporizing cannabis instead of smoking it and receive the same faster-acting effects, similar to smoking a joint. Bloom Farms teamed up with Pax to create pods that fit onto the popular vaporizer, so you can choose from blends for daytime, nighttime or anytime use, as well as strain-specific pods that deliver the essence of favorite cannabis cultivars.

Spotted At:

Share your favorite after work-out topical, edible, or vape below!