Is CBD-Infused Athletic Wear Worth The High Price Tag?

January 14, 2020

These days, it seems like you can find CBD anywhere. You can mix drops of CBD tincture into your drinks, you can take it in a capsule as a supplement, you can drop a CBD bath bomb in the tub, you can snack on CBD chocolates, and you can find it listed as an ingredient in topical creams and ointments. Topical CBD application supposedly helps relieve muscle soreness and aches—this compound has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why people say that it provides relief for everything from stress to back pain.


One company is taking things a step further and going beyond: Now, you can even find CBD in activewear. One activewear brand, Acabada, has debuted “The High Life Collection,” which they describe as “the world’s only CBD infused activewear brand.” How does it work? Basically, CBD droplets are encapsulated in polymer coating and woven into the clothing at sites that will touch major muscle groups. Skin friction supposedly triggers the release of these capsules, and your muscles will be soothed by topical CBD.

If you want to get in on this CBD activewear, how much will it cost you? Fair warning: the price tags on these products might burn a hole in your wallet. The sports bra and the bike shorts are the cheapest items in the collection—both are priced at $125. The jumpsuit is the most expensive, at $275.

Yes, good activewear will generally be fairly expensive—after all, you want to purchase clothing made of high-quality materials that can withstand tough workouts and the outdoor elements, and you want it to last. Naturally, a good pair of leggings for the gym will cost you a bit more than a pair of casual jeans, and a workout tank top that wicks sweat away from your body is going to be more expensive than a normal tank top made for layering. But you don’t have to shell out $125 for a supportive sports bra or $160 for a pair of cropped leggings, especially if you’re just a casual gym-goer.

Plus, the science behind topical CBD is still shaky—we don’t really know how effective it is. Most studies about the effects of topical cannabidiol actually test it in combination with THC. But the CBD products you’ll find on the market do not contain THC—that’s why they’re not psychoactive. Furthermore, the studies in which researchers have tested the effects of topical CBD application on its own were conducted with rats. While those studies did indicate that CBD had value for relieving muscle pain, these results are not conclusive. And we have no idea if similar studies on humans would yield the same results!

So, what does this all mean for those who are interested in working out while wearing clothing from The High Life Collection? Honestly, any benefits you get from the clothing will be minimal. Perhaps one day we will have an ample body of research showing very clear benefits of topical CBD application for athletes or people struggling with physical pain, and activewear like this will become more common. But we’re just not there yet—and the evidence is so limited that dropping over $100 on a single item of workout gear just to test out those effects is likely not worth it.


By Acabada’s own admission, the purported effects will only last for 40 wash-and-wear cycles. So, what happens after your clothing has gone through all of those cycles? They’re just normal workout clothes with no special benefits, and suddenly, that expensive price tag doesn’t seem worth it anymore.

Our recommendation? You don’t need to purchase CBD activewear to reap the benefits of CBD after exercising—you can get the same effect for a much lower price. For example, you can buy CBD lotion for muscle pain and apply a little before and after your workout. This is a much more affordable option—and you will probably get more than 40 uses out of any bottle of CBD lotion. Overall, simply wearing normal workout clothes and incorporating CBD products into your pre and post-workout routines will give you a very similar effect for a much lower price.

Even if these clothes do work as intended, do you really need consistent exposure to CBD throughout your entire workout to ease muscle soreness? CBD can be a great way to help treat many ailments, but you don’t have to break the bank with this luxury fitness gear to get the benefits of this compound.


Photo: Acabada; Pexels

Jane Harkness is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. She writes about veganism, travel, and wellness, and her writing has been published on platforms like Thought Catalog, Student Universe, The Financial Diet, and Wholesome Culture. She blogs daily on Medium, and you can check out more of her work on her website.


always stay inspired!