Before you think "how random" and click away, know this: One of the reasons why the cannabinoid is so popular is due to its inflammation-soothing, muscle recovery benefits. I've slathered CBD-spiked body oil over sore legs in the past to deal with post-workout soreness, so donning CBD-enhanced leggings doesn't feel all that different. The only question in my mind is whether a fabric laced with CBD can provide as much of the active ingredient as I'd need to feel the the effects.
Allow me to explain the science behind Acabada's CBD-infused athleisure line: Basically, it happens through a process called micro-encapsulation that "strategically infuses CBD molecules into their high-performance fabrics," a rep from the brand tells me. So these teeny, tiny droplets of CBD are wrapped with a protective polymeric coating, which are bonded within the fibers of the fabric. As you wear them, these open up and release the CBD to your skin.
When I slip on my leggings and sports bra—which are black and accented with leather-looking cutouts (very Bladerunner if you ask me)—they just feel like my regular workout clothes (but maybe tighter). I don't feel anything different, but that's normal at this point.
I head to the workout class, which happens to be a HIIT-heavy blend of boxing, running, and strength training, feeling like I'm going to slay it extra-hard since I'm armed with muscle-soothing CBD in my outfit. I get to work. As I cross-hook-jab it out, sprint, and lift weights, I pay special attention to my legs, which are supposedly getting little sips of CBD as I move and sweat. I'm still sore though—my legs feel tired after doing a ton of burpees and then hit the treadmill.
According to Acabada, the CBD micro-capsules get "slathered" transdermally (aka through the skin), where they interact with my body's endocannabinoid system to reduce the inflammation that's happening in my workout. "For some people the results are almost immediate, while others will need a pattern of consistent use for two weeks before experiencing the full benefits of the CBD," says Acabada. I still cling to the chance I'm one of the former and not the latter, but it's tough to tell.
By the time the workout's over, my body feels exhausted, as per usual after a boot camp-style class. But a doctor I spoke with says there's merit in this CBD-athleisure idea. "This is a unique product with potential medical applications," says Richard Firshein, DO, osteopathic doctor, integrative and precision-based medicine expert, and founder of Firshein Center. "That said, there are many unknowns. I'd want some validation as to dosage per hour of wear, and how the CBD beads interact with washes." He also points out that CBD can sometimes interfere with other medications since it's processed through the liver, so that would be something to talk to a doctor about before trying the outfits.
According to Acabada, though, each piece contains up to 25 grams of pure CBD, which means it'll last through 40 high-intensity wear and wash cycles. In my case, my CBD outfit would probably last just under three months if I wore it every day. After my workout donning the activewear, I'm not sure I'm convinced they'll make much of a difference in my workout recovery routine—especially since you're supposed to get out of sweaty clothes right after your workout's finished. The Acabada outfit's definitely cute though. I think I'll stick to getting my CBD fix with a tincture, but to each their own.
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