CBD is in everything now. Bath bombs, face masks, massage oils, gummy bears, coffee – you name it. Manufacturers are producing an enormous range of products that suit every person imaginable. Whoever you are and whatever it is you’re suffering from, there’s a CBD product to suit you.
And now it’s in clothes. Yes, you read that right. CBD-infused clothes. Supposedly, these products can do everything from reduce anxiety to relieve joint pain. But is it really possible to address these issues through the clothes we wear?
Before you go investing your savings into that new line of flashy CBD activewear, let’s find out whether these products are really any good.
What Is CBD Clothing?
CBD clothing is precisely what it sounds like. It’s cannabidiol infused into textiles and fabrics. In case you’re a bit confused, CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s a natural compound that’s said to support overall health and wellbeing. Technically speaking, CBD is a cannabinoid; in layman’s terms, that means it’s an active compound from the cannabis plant.
Although people used to associate cannabis with getting high, we now know that CBD products are not intoxicating. You can use CBD to improve your health without the risk of getting high. Instead, CBD has a large number of purported benefits that claim to help both the body and the mind.
So, how do you add a chemical compound to clothes?
Belgium-based Devan Chemicals was the first company to do so. It has created a fabric it calls R Vital, consisting of CBD microcapsules woven into cloth. As you move, the capsules break and release CBD onto your skin. In the same way as a topical, the skin absorbs the CBD and allows it to work with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
CBD clothing first hit the market in 2019. Only a handful of brands are selling it right now, but several more have plans in the works. We’ll just have to wait and see how big a deal CBD-infused clothes become in the coming years. Surprisingly, it seems like there’s a big market!
The Supposed Benefits of CBD Clothing
Could CBD clothing be the product for you? According to its creators, there are lots of benefits to CBD-infused clothes, and they could provide some real health advantages. Before we get into whether these claims are valid, let’s discover why anyone would design CBD clothing in the first place.
1. Better Sleep
Imagine a luxurious, cozy pajama set filled with tiny CBD microcapsules. That’s what some brands are promoting now.
Many CBD users report feeling sleepier after using CBD in the evening, and plenty of others declare that they experience better sleep. Due to the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it may promote a more balanced sleep-wake cycle.
A lot of CBD-infused sleep products also contain melatonin, another compound that functions as a sleep aid. CBD-infused fabrics, of course, don’t contain added melatonin, so you have to question whether they’re as effective as, say, a CBD sleep gummy.
Nevertheless, there is some small potential for CBD-infused fabrics in the sleep department. Even if pajamas are ineffective, CBD pillows could be an avenue for exploration.
2. Reduced Inflammation
Most CBD clothes fall into the activewear department. Acabada is a brand really pushing this agenda, now featured in several publications as a CBD clothing pioneer. The Acabada ProActiveWear contains around 25 grams of CBD oil per garment, with no THC.
But why? Well, CBD is now widely known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Again, it works with the endocannabinoid system to achieve these effects. The ECS blocks the inflammatory response, thereby reducing inflammation and pain.
In theory, this is excellent news for gym-goers who want to relieve pain. Those suffering from joint pain during their workouts or who endure muscular soreness afterward could benefit – if it works.
Does CBD Clothing Work?
Now for the crux of the matter. CBD-infused clothing is an excellent idea, but it’s only useful if it works.
There are plenty of articles on the internet right now investigating these claims. Numerous people have tried the Acabada activewear to report on its effects. Most of these bloggers seem skeptical at first, only to reveal that the CBD-infused clothing really made a difference to their workouts.
One writer for CNET described how the Acabada leggings helped her complete more reps in her barre class. However, a scientist she spoke to cited an astounding lack of clinical evidence on the effectiveness of CBD clothing. In fact, it hasn’t been studied at all.
Scientifically speaking, it’s impossible to say whether CBD clothing works. We just don’t have the studies right now. Still, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that suggests it does.
Sadly, removing pain during a workout isn’t always a good thing. It can be difficult to tell whether you’re causing injury to your body – which is why painkillers are banned in sporting events. It’s essential to listen to the body when it’s in pain.
There’s clearly no one-size-fits-all approach to CBD clothing. There’s no telling whether topical CBD will work for you, whether it’s beneficial to relieve pain during exercise, or what type of CBD clothing is best. For example, are CBD leggings better than a tight-fitting CBD sleeve that covers the joints?
For now, it seems that there’s too much undiscovered about CBD-infused garments.
The Obvious Disadvantages
Here are some of the most apparent problems with CBD clothing right now.
No idea how long the CBD will last: Surely, the CBD in your clothes won’t last forever. Once those microcapsules have all popped, you’ve got no CBD left! Acabada claims that the CBD in its clothing pieces lasts for 40 wash cycles. It seems a little optimistic; how much CBD are you really getting on the 38th cycle?
No way to tell how much CBD you’re getting: Some people are uncomfortable with the lack of accuracy in CBD tinctures, never mind clothes! There’s absolutely no way to tell how much CBD your sports bra released during that run. It’s impossible to run a regulated, continuous CBD regime.
Impossible to tell whether mid-workout CBD will help: Muscular pain tends to come on after a workout due to lactic acid build-up. It doesn’t seem that CBD can prevent this pain, so what’s the point of using CBD at the gym? If you suffer from pain due to inflammation, then it might help you get through the workout and push harder. However, you need to be really careful to ensure you avoid serious injury.
Ridiculous expense: You may have already guessed, but CBD clothes are a bit out of most people’s price range.
The Cost vs. The Benefits
One CBD-infused sports bra from Acabada costs $120. That’s not the typical price of a sports bra! Furthermore, you need to replace CBD clothing often to ensure you’re getting enough CBD. That’s a lot of money to be spending on a regular basis.
It’s also wasteful. One of the largest climate concerns right now is the microplastics in clothing that find their way into landfills and the ocean. Some experts even think microplastics are filling the air we breathe, with no certainty about how this will affect our health.
We should be focusing on organic clothing materials that last a long time, rather than clothes that will serve us for a short time period. Think about it: Do you really want to spend hundreds of dollars on CBD-infused clothes that you need to throw away soon? You’ll damage the environment and your wallet, all without a guarantee that these clothes really work.
However, there’s actually a CBD-related product that could change the clothing game forever: Hemp.
What About Hemp Clothing?
Most CBD is farmed from hemp plants because they contain so little THC. Manufacturers extract the CBD using techniques like CO2 extraction, leaving undamaged plant matter behind.
As it turns out, hemp stalks are extraordinarily fibrous and perfect for making textiles. Some estimates imply that hemp fabric is up to three times stronger than cotton. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for warm days. Some say that hemp fabric wicks away sweat, too. Since hemp is antimicrobial, the material also remains clean.
There are even more benefits to behold. Hemp fabric gets softer the more you wash it. Not only is it durable and more resistant to wear and tear than cotton, but it gets softer with wear. Say goodbye to clothing waste! It also retains color really well.
What’s more, hemp is biodegradable, recyclable, and sustainable. Farmers can grow hemp without herbicides and chemical growth enhancers, and this crop requires much less water than cotton. Hemp farmers can sell plant matter onto both CBD and clothing manufacturers, reducing waste.
When your clothes finally give way years down the line, hemp fabrics can break down without piling up in a landfill. So, maybe you should be searching for organic fabrics like hemp clothing on your next shopping trip.
Final Thoughts on CBD-Infused Clothing
CBD clothing appears to be a bit hit and miss. The first brands bringing it to the market are set to make a huge profit on expensive clothes as people rush to test-drive CBD-infused materials. With potential benefits such as better sleep and pain reduction, there is a gap in the market for CBD-infused clothing.
However, there is no evidence right now to support the claims companies are making. Until scientists test CBD clothing in clinical studies, it’s impossible to verify these supposed benefits. If you’re someone who’s optimistic, you might choose to believe the anecdotal reports that CBD clothing is the best thing since sliced bread.
The sad fact is that the current CBD clothing is out of most people’s budgets. As with all products, the price may decrease as these products become more commonplace.
For now, you should try hemp clothing. While it isn’t infused with CBD, it could be an environmental game-changer.