by Hana Ames
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, chances are that you’re going to experience aches and sore muscles at some point. Whether you’ve been working out and can feel the burn or have just spent too many hours hunched over your desk in front of your computer, muscle ache is never good.
Besides supporting your body with regular stretching and movement, adding a THC salve into your self-care routine can be a great, all-natural way to help soothe sore muscles. Here’s how it works.
What is a Salve?
A salve is an ointment, lotion, or cream that’s typically infused with natural ingredients packed with plenty of beneficial properties for skin and muscles. It is applied directly to the skin so that the active ingredients get to work where they’re needed most.
What makes a THC salve so effective?
The human body contains a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). More and more research shows that the ECS regulates and controls a whole host of bodily functions, including those relating to pain. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which are similar to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids such as THC or CBD bind with the receptors in the ECS and stimulate them in the same way that naturally occurring endocannabinoids would. Because of this, research has found that they may be beneficial in relieving a number of discomforts, such as sore muscles.
Will THC Salves Get me High?
Although THC is the component of cannabis that typically gets people high, using it in a salve won’t do that. It is rare that the cannabinoids in a topical salve can breach the bloodstream, and so won’t produce the ‘high’ effect. This means that THC salves are a great choice for people wanting the benefits of THC without the ‘high’ to go with it.
Why use a Cannabis Salve?
There are many reasons you may choose to use a salve over other types of products. Here are just a few of the benefits of cannabis salves.
- Few side effects: A 2016 study found that topical CBD products gave similar benefits to more traditional muscle soreness relief products, but may produce fewer side effects.
- Targeted relief: Many traditional remedies for discomfort such as ingestible capsules produce effects across the whole body. Topical salves, however, are applied directly to problem areas. This means they only work where they’re needed.
- Fast-acting: Salves typically work faster than edibles or ingestible relief methods as they don’t need to be broken down in the stomach.
- Combination of ingredients: Salves not only target specific areas but they do so with a specially formulated group of ingredients (which we’ll dive into later on in this article) that are designed to work together to tackle aches and sore muscles.
How to Use a Cannabis Salve
Though high-quality cannabis salves (like The Root of it All’s REWIND Muscle Rub) will be formulated to be allergen-free, it is always a good idea to do a patch test before using a cannabis salve to ensure it won’t irritate your skin. Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist and wait for any irritation to occur. If there is irritation, discontinue use. Otherwise, go ahead with the application.
- Apply roughly a teaspoon (around 5ml) to any aches and discomfort you may feel.
- Gently massage into the skin until absorbed.
- Repeat if necessary.
There are a variety of different ways to apply the salve to the skin. Depending on the area of the body that aches, you may wish to experiment with how you massage REWIND for restoration onto your body. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Petrissage: This is where you use your thumbs and/or knuckles to knead and roll the skin. Benefits of this technique include increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage at the massage site.
- Effleurage: This technique involves keeping your hands flat while you gently apply pressure to the skin. This can help remove muscle knots and tension from the body.
- Tapotement: Gently and repeatedly tap the salve into the skin. This increases blood flow and improves circulation. It should be used in conjunction with another massage type to ensure the salve is fully absorbed into the skin.
How to Choose the Right THC Salve
Remember that everyone’s bodies respond differently to various relief methods — salves included. That said, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when picking the right THC salve for you.
- Look at the CBD to THC ratio: It is believed that salves with a larger proportion of CBD are best for treating everyday aches and pains. (Whereas those with higher THC ratios are thought to better tackle more severe discomfort). Our REWIND salve features a 3:1 ratio of CBD to THC, with 135 mg CBD and 45 mg THC per tub.
- Look for Other Therapeutic Ingredients: Not every THC Salve on the market contains additional therapeutic ingredients. Opting for a product that does (like REWIND!) is a great way to boost the effectiveness of your salve.
- Consider your medical history: It is always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider or dermatologist if you are unsure if a topical cannabis salve is right for you.
Why We Love REWIND
It’s not just CBD and THC that make up our REWIND Muscle Rub. REWIND is plant-based, all-natural, allergy-friendly, and contains beeswax — which helps lock in moisture to protect and repair rough or chapped skin. It also has been formulated with the principles of Ayurveda in mind, and incorporates additional ingredients that have been specifically selected for their restorative and relieving properties.
Ayurveda, a natural system of medicine that dates back to ancient India, is the basis for all of The Root of It All’s formulations. It is one of the oldest methodologies of well-being, and focuses on combining the power of natural ingredients with a holistic approach to health. In addition to cannabis, REWIND features turmeric, black pepper, and cloves, all of which are used in Ayruvedic traditions to soothe tension.
Along with the CBD/THC combo, another ingredient in the REWIND salve that helps relieve sore muscles is turmeric. There is a lot of research showing turmeric has antioxidant properties. These properties are believed to allow turmeric to help relieve inflammation — which is often the root cause of discomfort and tension within the body.
Unfortunately, turmeric is known for not being easily absorbed into the body. That’s where our next ingredient comes in handy.
Studies have shown that black pepper can help increase the absorption of turmeric by as much as 2000%. The plant compound in black pepper is known as piperine. It’s piperine that can help turmeric absorb into the body.
As well as allowing the other ingredients in the salve to be more readily absorbed, black pepper has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as an analgesic in its own right.
Cloves are another ingredient that is packed full of antioxidants. They are the dried flower buds of the clove plant that have been used in cooking and traditional medicine for a very long time. Their antioxidant properties fight free radicals that can damage cells, preventing them from building up and causing damage.
When used alongside soothing massage techniques and gentle stretching, a cannabis salve can work wonders to support your body’s natural wellbeing.
Interested in learning more? Subscribe to our newsletter to join our community of thousands of health-minded individuals to receive information about Ayurveda, wellness, our products, and special events.