I’m a life-long distance runner who also works a desk job. My typical work week, then, can be summed up as follows: 8-10 hours in a chair at a desk, followed by 30-60 minutes of jogging on pavement. While I wouldn’t want to change my routine, I’ve begun noticing a variety of pains and aches that, if left unmanaged, will certainly only get worse: carpel tunnel-like pains from the keyboard; stiffness in the neck and back from so much sitting; soreness in the legs from jogging, and even a mild bout with plantar fasciitis. It’s certainly not chronic or debilitating pain, but occasionally, it does flare up and can become really bothersome.

I’ve tried a variety of techniques for managing this pain: ibuprofen, Icy Hot, massages, foam rollers—you name it. But I’m not interested in the stomach damage that can result from chronic ibuprofen use, and the chemicals in Icy Hot leave my legs uncomfortably tingly. I have been looking for a mild, non-addictive, natural way to mitigate the fallout of my day-to-day lifestyle—and I don’t have the money, frankly, for regular massages. In this regard, I imagine I am not alone.

A couple years ago, a friend who was aware of my soreness offered me a cannabis-infused, olive oil-based salve. I found the product to be exactly what I was looking for—an all-natutral, non-intoxicating product that actually worked for mild pain. I’ve since experimented with a variety of cannabis-infused topicals, all with the same fantastic results: With nightly use on my hands, I’ve noticed a near-elimination of my carpel tunnel symptoms. The muscle-relaxing properties of the product helps reduce stiffness in my legs, my neck, and my back. And the fact that the product doesn’t enter the bloodstream or cross the blood-brain barrier means it won’t show up on a drug test, nor will it induce intoxication—something I’m not interested in on a day-to-day basis.

If you’re the kind of casual athlete who has experimented with products like Icy Hot or Bengay but haven’t been impressed with their effects—or, like me, are wary of the chemicals and additives they contain--I’d highly recommend cannabis topicals. They’ve become an integral and effective part of my pain management routine.