This article was produced in partnership with Elixinol.
Like short-travel 29ers, ever-slackening geometry and e-MTBs, CBD is having a moment in the mountain bike world. Ever since the World Doping Association removed CBD from its list of banned substances in 2018, pro mountain bikers have picked up sponsorships from brands selling CBD products. It’s likely you have bellied up to the bar for a post-ride beer and overheard the rider next to you singing the praises of cannabidiol (the “CBD” in CBD oil) to support a knee or back injury. Most mountain towns are sure to have a CBD shop selling oils and tinctures to soothe physical ailments and improve overall wellness.
So, what’s the deal? Should CBD join tire levers, tubes and multi-tools in your gear bag?
To answer that, you need to know what CBD products are designed to do. Cannabinoids, like those found in the hemp plant, act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, a sort of relay network for the nervous system that helps deal with imbalances in the body like inflammation or overstimulated neurons. Ever hear of homeostasis? It means balance, physiologically speaking—the body’s systems working in harmony. CBD products are meant to help you achieve homeostasis.
CBD is unique in its ability to act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and stress reliever all at once. It does that by binding to receptors in the aforementioned endocannabinoid system. Once there, the CBD essentially tells the body, “Hey, it’s cool, everybody just relax, no need to freak out and get all worked up.”
Where this helps is with things like inflammation from sore muscles after a sufferfest in the saddle. Climb a couple thousand feet, legs pumping like pistons? You’ll feel that the next day. Muscle pain, sure, but also overworked joints. Ripping burly downhill lines all day often means aching joints in the fingers and wrists. Of course, a get-off in a rock garden, heading ass over teakettle off the trail and into bushes, banging into tree limbs—all of that will cause impact-related pain and bruising.
A CBD product like Elixinol’s Sports Gel is meant to soothe those problem areas. The Sports Gel is a broad spectrum CBD, meaning it has all the essential oils and terpenes extracted from hemp, but no detectable levels of THC. To complement the CBD, capsaicin and arnica are added, to help soothe. The gel quickly absorbs through the skin, speeding relief to throbbing joints or banged up knees.
Bringing your body into proper balance can aid with recovery after a big ride, which is why a full spectrum capsule like Elixinol’s Body Comfort CBD Capsules are designed to be taken daily. Boosted with Boswellia, a powerful anti-inflammatory, it aids in recovery of both body and mind by allowing overworked joints and muscles to rest comfortably. That, in turn, relaxes your whole system.
Gaining the full benefits of CBD requires an understanding of which products work best for your system. But product lines like Elixinol’s offer a variety of combinations and delivery mechanisms to help you identify what will get you back in the saddle, literally, ready to perform in body and mind.
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