Dance is a beautiful art — but it’s also a physically demanding one. Although it’s typically not associated with traumatic injuries like those common to football, boxing, and other contact sports, dancers subject their bodies to enormous amounts of wear and tear. And just as other athletes have turned to CBD to handle the rigors of their profession (or hobby), a growing number of dancers are doing so as well.
As James Moore, a principal at Pacific Northwest Ballet, told Dance magazine, “CBD has really helped me. At 37 years old, it’s getting harder to do what I do on a daily basis, but I wake up feeling more refreshed, with my muscles more pliable.”
The anecdotal reports are encouraging, but the scientific evidence that CBD can help dancers specifically is still scant. Still, there’s reason to believe it could be useful for some of the issues they face on a frequent basis.
According to specialists from Johns Hopkins Medicine, the most common type of injury for dancers is ankle sprains. While these can vary widely in severity — ranging from grade 1 sprains, which involve a slight stretch or tear of the ankle ligaments, to grade 3 sprains in which the ligament is completely torn —they tend to share a number of common characteristics, chiefly pain and inflammation.
Preliminary studies on CBD indicate that it could be useful for treating both of those symptoms. It’s known to exert anti-inflammatory effects by activating the body’s CB2 receptors, and studies have shown it can also be an effective pain reliever (without the risk of side effects posed by many conventional alternatives).
Arthritis is another common issue for dancers, due to the repetitive, high-impact movements that dance entails. And again, while the research is still in its early stages, researchers have found that CBD topicals and other products can help improve flexibility and mobility, both of which are crucial for dancers.
It’s important to mention that CBD isn’t a silver bullet for dancers trying to stay in tip-top shape. Still, it does appear to have something to offer, and when used in conjunction with other training tools and recovery methods, it could (potentially) make it easier to get back out on the dance floor.
CBD Balm by Green Infused ($50)
Intended for use on sore muscles and joints, this 100 percent organic balm contains 250 mg of hemp-derived CBD and other natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, and olive oil. It’s tested for purity in an independent third party lab, and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
The Original Stretch Out Strap With Exercise Book by OTPT ($16)
Made with 6’4” of durable woven nylon, this stretching strap has 10 individual loops that allow you to stretch more deeply (and in different ways) than you can on your own. It also comes with a book of over 30 stretches that includes pictures and instructions to help you make sure you’re stretching safely and effectively.
Ballet Turning Board by Artylish ($17)
Made of strong, lightweight glass fiber, this turning board helps improve body posture, balance, and coordination as you work on your turns and pirouettes. It also comes with a velvet carrying pouch and a 100 percent money back guarantee.
Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve by TechWare Pro ($18)
One of the top-reviewed foot supports on the market, this compression sleeve can improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation — both of which are essential for ankle injury-prone dancers. Made from 80 nylon and 20 percent spandex, it’s slim enough to be worn with socks but breathable enough to be worn without them. It’s available in seven colors and a variety of sizes.
Multi-Style Headband by BLOM ($16)
This versatile headband can be worn in more than 14 styles, making it a solid option for dancers who need to keep their hair out of their face (and want to look good while doing so). It’s handmade by artisans in Bali from rayon and spandex, and comes in 16 different color options.
Compression Knee Brace by PowerLix ($17)
While many knee braces are one-size-fits-all (in theory, if not in practice), this top-ranked model is available in a range of sizes that allows you to choose the amount of stability you need. It’s made with anti-odor, non-slip materials — and it also comes with a no-questions-asked 100 percent money back guarantee for six months.