The sudden onslaught of twinges, tweaks, aches and things that suddenly go *ping* can seriously make us question that whole “age is just a number” philosophy.
I’m a distance runner, so being in some amount of pain somewhere nearly all the time isn’t that unusual for me. However, having pain that interrupted my ability to run or was painful enough to make it difficult to get comfortable during the rest of my day – that was new.
Bodies get tighter as we age: muscles reduce in size, meaning what’s there has to work harder. Tissue is drier and less flexible, making it more vulnerable to injury. As a result, hamstring pulls in particular are quite common in older women who run, as this 51-year-old can personally attest.
A hamstring pull (literally, stepping off a curb to dart over to the post office and feeling it go *ping*) derailed my running for several months and made a fun relay race with friends into a constant worry that I wouldn’t be able to run my legs, so to speak.
I dialed the running way back, slowed down, and things got better. But the tightness and soreness never quite went away. I lived in fear of the next *ping.*
I tried it along with their CBD and Turmeric Relief & Recovery Capsules. The tightness went away after just a few applications of the cream and just yesterday morning after my run, I realized for the first time in nearly a year, my hamstring didn’t even cross my mind (which is a weird visual but you know what I mean) the entire run.
The cream is cooling, especially post-shower, so be ready for that, but it absorbs quickly, doesn’t make a mess, and best of all, it works. It has a pleasant, mild smell and even if you slather your entire body in it, it won’t set off alarms at your next required drug test at work.
I work for a company that helps women in menopause, and aches and pains are extremely common for this demographic. So I contacted Sagely Naturals Cofounder Kerrigan Behrens to learn more about how and why their product works.
Doesn’t it have something to do with marijuana? Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) comes from cannabis and hemp plants, Kerrigan told me. No, CBD will not get you high (the ingredient in marijuana that performs that function is THC). It’s a naturally occurring compound with relatively few associated side effects and it’s rapidly gaining in popularity for everything from sleep promotion to anxiety relief. And when CBD is sourced for products such as Sagely’s, it comes entirely from hemp plants to ensure there’s no THC present.
The pain in joints and muscles is from inflammation, Kerrigan said. Exercise literally tears you down leaving little micro-tears in muscle tissue. The repair to those tissues is what makes muscles grow bigger. It’s a fascinating process, but it can be painful, especially if you overdo it at the gym or on the track.
The good news is, those parts of the body that hurt also tend to be rich in cannabinoid receptors, meaning it’s easy for the body to access and utilize CBD’s inflammation-soothing qualities.
And that appears to be what CBD does, though we don’t entirely understand the mechanism yet. Nor are there large-scale studies that verify that CBD works at all, but certainly the anecdotal evidence – like my test, for example – is that CBD effectively relieves pain.
The products I used definitely help relieve pain but the promise of CBD, particularly for women in their prime years, is even more exciting. Many women have found that CBD helps them sleep better and reduces anxiety, two of the most challenging symptoms of menopause.
Classified by the FDA as a “Controlled Substance” until 2018, CBD hasn’t gotten a lot of study, so it’s good to approach with some caution. If you’ve been warned not to drink grapefruit juice because of possible interactions with medications you’re taking, be sure to check with your doc before adding CBD, as it can have the same effects.
Probably the biggest concern around CBD is that it’s considered a “supplement” by the FDA, and thus gets far less regulation and oversight than pharmaceuticals. If you get your CBD from a less-reputable source, the ingredients and amounts listed on the label may not match what’s actually in the bottle.
You can avoid that last concern by getting your CBD from companies that apply rigorous standards to their products, like Sagely Naturals. Every batch of Sagely CBD is quadruple-tested, Kerrigan told me, to ensure product quality and consistency.
As a runner, I’m pretty cautious about what I put in and on my body. I felt entirely comfortable with Sagely Natural’s products. I continue to use the cream and the capsules, more as preventative measures than to manage any existing issues. If you’re interested in adding CBD for pain to your menopause-management tool kit, I suggest talking with a menopause expert physician or nurse practitioner who can help you understand how to use it and how it might interact with medications you’re taking.