I Tried CBD, Hollywood’s Best-Kept Secret for Wearing Heels Comfortably
Tonight is your night. You’re going out. You’ve got the dress—but most importantly— you’ve got the heels. Cut to two hours later: Heels are in your hands while you walk home a bit defeated by foot pain from your perfect shoes. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all been there. But, relief is just a lotion away.
Celebrities, aka permanent wearers of the high heels, are now turning to CBD to relieve pain. Among its fans are Mandy Moore, who has said she uses CBD oil on her feet for heels at the recommendation of her stylist, and Kristen Bell, who said in her Instagram stories that she uses CBD lotion to soothe sore muscles after a workout.
“The number one benefit of CBD I see in my patients is pain relief from aches, pains, and sprains,” says Dr. Richard Firshein, leading expert in integrative and precision-based medicine and founder of Firshein Center. “I have found it useful for treating a number of painful syndromes, including heel and foot pain—a particular problem for those wearing high heels or uncomfortable shoes.”
CBD, the very buzzy beauty ingredient, is one of more than 120 compounds isolated in the cannabinoid family and boasts the ability to relieve chronic inflammation and pain. CBD is also free from the side effects caused by many drugs available as treatments for people who suffer from these conditions. “A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly impacted chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain in laboratory animals without causing the kind of tolerance that opioids generally do,” explains Dr. Firshein. “CBD’s primary mechanism of action is as an anti-inflammatory.”
With relief in mind and the approval of Hollywood stars, I took it upon myself to see if CBD for heel pain really works.
I kicked off my CBD for heel pain journey with a bang. I had a fancy work event and I decided to pair my black jumpsuit with a pointy toe heel. Dressed as the poor man’s Sandy from Grease, I ran around all night chatting and celebrating with my colleagues. The night was great, but I did make one rookie mistake: I applied the CBD oil after the party when my heels were off instead of before the event. Unfortunately, I was in pain during the event, and rushed to take off my shoes the second I got home. I applied CBD to my feet right away, and immediately felt relief. It felt like I had applied a topical BenGay cream without the hot and cold properties. It instantly relaxed my muscles, and I fell fast asleep. My week of CBD was off to a great start!
My thigh-high black velvet boots are my go-to shoes in the winter. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as the day before, so I applied CBD first thing in the morning. I usually walk to my subway train in sneakers and change when I get to work, but today was different. CBD was on my feet and I was ready to take on the day. To be honest, the magic of Monday was lost on Tuesday. My feet hurt, and I didn’t feel like the CBD was working. I wanted to reapply during the day but I left my magic potion at home, so I sucked it up and kept my heels on all day. When I got home, I immediately applied more CBD and felt the now-familiar CBD-induced relief. Tomorrow was going to be a new day—and CBD was going in my work bag.
I Tried Mandy Moore’s CBD Hack for Making High Heels More Comfortable
While I’ve more or less gotten my beauty regimen down to an art, I’m still struggling a bit on the fashion front. And one thing I’ve never been able to figure out is how to comfortably wear high heels. In fact, most of the (really cute and really expensive) stilettos that I own wind up relegated to the back of my closet, because it’s just not worth it to me to suffer through hours upon hours of foot-related hell for the sake of completing an outfit. Which makes me sad! So recently, when I read that celebs prime their feet with CBD to make their own well-heeled lives more bearable, I knew I had to give it a try.
As someone who already uses CBD for the sake of sleep and anxiety, I was excited at the prospect of finding yet another use for the Internet’s favorite ingredient in my personal life. Studies suggest suggest that it could be helpful in mitigating some pain (though admittedly, more studies need to be done) so I swear I wasn’t just trusting the celebs that this was going to work.
According to the experts, the trick checks out. “CBD oil and its derivative can reduce pain and inflammation which can be the direct causes of any discomfort in the feet,” says Marcela Correa, the owner and podologist at Medi-Pedi NYC. “Using a CBD balm before putting on a pair of high heels can help aid in any discomfort you may encounter throughout the day or night. It works well since the balm is directly absorbed into the skin.”
For the sake of my experiment, I opted to slather my feet in a coat of Cannuka CBD Healing Balm ($58) and then I slipped into a pair of ultra-pinchy stilettos—and was shocked that three hours of standing later I still felt like I was floating on air. I ran around the streets of New York, and while my heels did happen to get stuck in subway grates on multiple occasions, my feet didn’t hurt. So, like countless celebs, I am hereby never going back to my pre-CBD heeled ways. Though, to be fair, I think that I might chock a bit of this up to lessening the friction between my foot and my shoe. Truth be told, applying any balm or salve to feet seems like it would help to prevent heels from gripping too much and causing feet to hurt. And there are countless anti-inflammatories out there that could also be helpful in formulas beyond CBD.
So if CBD isn’t your thing, Correa suggests finding shoes with proper arch support, and using a drugstore gel insert to give your feet some extra cushion. “Another great tip is to spray your feet and shoes with a foot deodorant that can provide protection against perspiration and unwanted friction that in turn can have you end up with painful blisters and calluses,” she says. So, sorry mom, but beauty doesn’t have to be pain. As long as you’ve got the right balms, that is.
Some other things we like to use CBD for: Skincare, workout recovery and. deodorant?
CBD For Heel Pain Relief?
Learn about heel pain and how CBD can provide heel pain relief.
Heel Pain Relief
Heel pain usually refers to pain caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is also known as heel spur syndrome if a spur develops in the heel. Heel pain can also be caused by tendonitis, arthritis, bone fracture, nerve inflammation, or even a cyst in rare cases.
There are many conditions that can cause heel pain, so it’s critical to have your heel diagnosed by a medical professional. Your primary care physician should be able to perform a physical examination and determine the potential causes of the pain and discuss the possibilities surrounding treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist (doctor specializing in conditions affecting the feet.)
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue band (plantar fascia), which extends from the heel to the toes. Inflammation of the fascia is often caused by arthritis or other conditions that cause inflammation of bones, cartilage, and ligaments. However, trauma or injury can also cause heel pain, and chronic overactivity may also result in inflammation of the fascia.
Heel Pain Causes
The most common cause of heel pain is abnormalities in the structure of the foot. Physiological changes to the foot, such as high arches or notably flat feet, can make individuals susceptible to inflammation of the heel. Obesity and jobs requiring prolonged standing can also contribute to unnecessary stress on the heel, driving inflammation, and eventually causing pain.
Heel pain can occur solely from injury or overuse. High-intensity sports can induce inflammation of the tendons and tissue involved in the foot, especially in soccer and basketball, where sudden and dramatic changes in direction occur. Walking incorrectly can also lead to unnecessary stress on one or both of the feet, causing pain and inflammation.
Diseases such as arthritis can cause inflammation of the foot joints. Arthritis has many forms and doesn’t simply refer to one disease. Reactive arthritis is the pain and inflammation of joints due to an infection that may originate from somewhere else in the body, such as the stomach. Ankylosing spondylitis is inflammation of the spine and can affect other areas of the body, including the hands and feet, causing pain. Osteoarthritis or osteoporosis could be affecting the foot bone itself, causing degeneration of the bone and joints that may lead to permanent physiological changes to the foot and chronic pain.
Sometimes heel pain doesn’t have an explanation or underlying cause. The symptoms may improve on their own with careful use and active rest. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can result in reduced inflammation and prevent obesity, which can certainly help relieve heel pain.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
- Swelling on the bottom of the heel
The pain from plantar fasciitis may get worse with activity or after sitting for long periods. Active rest is recommended because gentle stretching and use of the fascia helps alleviate inflammation and reduce pain. Long periods of inactivity can stiffen the fascia, making it very painful whenever you get up to walk or move around.
Heel Pain Relief Treatment
Treatment of heel pain usually begins by a primary care physician performing a physical examination and questionnaire to help determine what may be responsible for the pain. Most cases of heel pain are treated by efforts to reduce inflammation and further injury by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and avoiding strenuous activity. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections have been required to reduce the inflammation of the heel. Applying ice can also help lower inflammation and provide brief pain relief.
Your doctor may refer you to a foot specialist to evaluate the foot and decide if you could benefit from orthotic devices that go into your shoe and alleviate pressure from the heel spurs and reduce stress on the Achilles’ tendon. Good fitting running shoes can provide pain relief by reducing inflammation from soft and proper cushioning. In rare cases, surgery may be performed to repair the heel.
CBD for Heel Pain Relief?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis that may provide pain relief without a high that’s commonly associated with smoking or consuming cannabis. CBD is typically extracted from hemp and processed into oil or infused into various products ranging from topical creams to food and drink. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid known for producing the euphoria and high after consuming cannabis. CBD differs from THC in various ways, but the main difference is that CBD doesn’t produce a high or euphoria, providing pain relief without intoxication.
The FDA only sees CBD as a treatment for seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy under the pharmaceutical “Epidiolex.” However, recent studies have suggested that cannabinoids like THC and CBD possess enormous potential in providing symptom relief for a variety of conditions, particularly those causing pain and inflammation. More research is needed to establish CBD’s efficacy in treating pain and inflammation definitively, but most studies are finding that CBD does appear to possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. With this in mind, CBD may be able to provide heel pain relief, but we cannot say for certain yet.
Why Is CBD Becoming So Popular?
CBD has recently exploded in popularity, and you may be wondering why. Due to a devastating opioid crisis in the U.S., people are seeking safer alternatives to provide pain relief instead of highly addicting opioids, especially for chronic pain. Current non-prescription pain medications primarily include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen (Alleve). NSAIDs aren’t effective for everyone and come with severely adverse effects when used in the longterm like stomach bleeding, ulcers, and liver damage.
Clinical research has also demonstrated that CBD has enormous potential in treating various conditions, including oxidative stress, inflammation, cancer, pain, psychiatric disorders, and many more. While we don’t know CBD’s entire effect on the body, we do know that it indirectly interacts with cannabinoids receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a large and complex system responsible for various biological functions, including homeostasis, pain sensation, mood, appetite, memory, sleep, immune function, and more. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids may be revolutionary to treating pain, inflammation, and various physical and psychiatric disorders because they are well tolerated by the body and don’t appear to produce severe adverse side effects in the majority of individuals.
The recent 2018 Farm Bill also federally legalized the sale and growing of hemp and hemp-extracts. Hemp is cannabis Sativa grown without the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. This matters because hemp and hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC to be considered legal commodities. If a hemp plant produces more than 0.3 percent THC, then it’s considered as marijuana and subsequently illegal. Cannabis or marijuana remains a schedule 1 substance, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), meaning it’s illegal to grow, sell, buy, or possess in the United States. However, several states have already legalized both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, with many states slowly catching onto the legalization movement. Always check with your state and local laws regarding the purchase of CBD products as they do vary by state.
How To Take CBD for Heel Pain
Taking CBD By Mouth
CBD products that are taken by mouth include CBD oil, capsules or edibles. This method is great due to convenience and since most oils and capsules are accurately dosed. Edible strengths vary and aren’t always accurate unless you consume the entire pastry or candy. The drawback to this method is that the effects will take longer to kick in due to the slow digestion process. However, to bypass this, you could take the CBD sublingually since it enters the bloodstreams much quicker.
The sublingual method requires CBD oil to be dropped under the tongue where it sits for at least a minute to quickly diffuse into the bloodstream. The only problem with this method is that you may not be comfortable with the taste of the CBD oil or tincture.
Taking CBD Topicals
The next most common way to take CBD would be applying a CBD-infused topical product onto the heel locally. CBD-infused topicals usually come as creams, balms, or salves and contain additional ingredients mean to boost the pain-relieving effects of CBD. Always read the ingredients label to ensure your product contains quality-sourced CBD and is free of anything that would cause you to have an allergic reaction. CBD topicals have not been studied and there’s no confirmation on whether they actually go through the skin. However, since CBD is well tolerated, you could try it out and if it doesn’t work no harm done.
Best Dose Of CBD For Heel Pain Relief
We can’t give you the best dose of CBD for heel pain because it’s entirely subjective and dependent on various factors such as weight, pain severity, metabolism, genetics, product type, CBD quality, and more. What worked for your best friend may do absolutely nothing for you, so it’s important to remain observant and play around with the dose to determine what works best for you. There’s no concern with overdosing as CBD is well tolerated by most people, and even clinical research has found that CBD produces little to no toxicity.
Even though it’s rare for CBD to produce adverse side effects, certain medications or genetic factors may impact the way your body processes CBD or combined medications. There have been no deaths that have been confirmed to be caused by CBD, and most people don’t experience life-threatening side effects when taking CBD.