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2019 has been a great year for CBD. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid surged in popularity and has quickly become the conduit for brands eager to jump on the latest trend. CBD infused athletic gear is the latest integration to hit the market, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on Acabada’s muscle relieving gymwear to try it out.

“While there are several reported benefits of using a topical CBD product,” says Acabada founder Seth Baum, “the most popular reason for active and athletic users is the soothing effect they say it has on muscle pain and inflammation.“

Integrating CBD into athletic wear created an opportunity to build “a uniquely modern, category re-defining business that sits at the intersection of fashion, fitness and wellness.”

The magic is in the technology.

“When we discovered the scientific process of microencapsulation,” explains Baum, “and how an active ingredient, such as CBD, can be embedded into textiles…Acabada ProActive Wear came to life.”

If it sounds complicated. It’s because it is.

This patented textile finishing treatment embeds microcapsules of CBD into the fibers of the fabric. As you move and create friction, the muscle relieving cannabinoids release overtime, absorbing through your skin and interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system.

Acabada’s High Life Collection is strategically designed with “multi-layered CBD placements within the garment…placed to align with your muscle groups,” so the CBD is able to relieve pain and inflammation immediately, reducing soreness and recovery time.

Each garment includes up to 25mg of non-THC, lab-certified 99.9% pure CBD, and provides pain-relieving effects to up to 40 wash and wear cycles. 

CBD athleisure has “It-Girl” written all over it – But does it work?

“Everyone is unique,” says Baum. “There are many factors that impact the timetable for each individual to feel the effects. Different users will respond differently to CBD based on their genetics, weight, fitness level, age, and other factors. For some people the results are almost immediate, while others will need a pattern of consistent use for 2 weeks before experiencing the full benefits of CBD.”

If the innovation overload has you more than a little skeptical, you’re not alone. The popularity of CBD has the market flooded with brands claiming to be the next cure-all product. So we tried a pair of the Astor Leggings ($180) for a week of workouts to put Acabada’s CBD microencapsulation technology to the test.

If you’re familiar with compression athletic wear, you’ll love the luxe high-performance fabric that holds you in all the right places, making for a comfortable, supported workout.

After an intense 60-min spin class, I didn’t feel any less exhausted than usual, but I did experience a mild cooling sensation in my legs, specifically my glutes and thighs. I was also noticeably less sore the next day and had the extra energy to sign up for a sculpt yoga class. Not sure if it was just placebo effect, but I felt I could stretch deeper and hold poses longer during my yoga practice while wearing the proactive leggings. By the end of the first week, I experienced little to no leg soreness, and the residual pain from a lower back injury felt better than usual.

Impressive.

Not only did I experience the muscle relieving results as advertised, I got a few compliments on the gear’s sleek futuristic design too, which is motivation enough to invest in a matching set.

Acabada’s first drop includes a variety of women’s styles, including sports bras and bike shorts, with goals to expand with a men’s line in the future. Baum’s favorite piece in the collection, the Delancey Jumpsuit ($275), may be worth the splurge, with 18 mg of full body relief, acting as a “second skin” as you break a sweat.

CBD infused workout gear may be the wave of the future, but long-term use will prove if they are worth the investment to make the switch.