ProView – Pachamama CBD Icy Muscle Gel
As an avid skier, cyclist, and burgeoning trail runner in my mid 30s, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to hurt myself. A ski crash in 2019 left me with chronic neck stiffness. This summer, an overly zealous mountain bike jump dislocated my thumb and ended my mountain biking season. Thus I was compelled to begin trail running 15 to 25 miles at a time to fulfill my need for physical exertion and immersion in the natural world. It’s been a sore summer, managing old and new injuries and pushing my unaccustomed body to run for hours. I wanted pain management solutions other than drugstore options, but hadn’t been blown away CBD products I’d tried fleetingly. However, the Pachamam brand seems quite successful and popular so I was cautiously optimistic to give the CBD Icy Muscle Gel a try.
Pachamama CBD Icy Muscle Gel
Product Name: Pachamama CBD Icy Muscle Gel
Product Description: Easily target problem areas with a roll-on applicator. Get quick relief of aches and pains while addressing the root cause of discomfort. This roll-on gel has 500mg of THC-free, broad spectrum CBD extract and a plethora of healing Chinese herbs, offering quick relief for aches and pains. Backed by modern medicine, the therapeutic properties of peony root extract and licorice root extract work in synergy with menthol and camphor to fight inflammation.
Offer price: MSRP: $39.99
Ease of Use
The CBD Icy Muscle Gel is pleasantly aromatic roll on that will sooth what ails you, to varying extents. For me it is great on muscles and less so on joints. Keep in mind that not all bodies respond identically to every treatment, so if you’re searching for non-drugstore pain management options, give this a try.
- Relaxing smell
- Works well
- Best for muscles
- Plastic container
- Doesn’t work as well for joints
At first I thought the roller applicator was unnecessary, but after using it a few times I realized I quite liked it. Unlike pump or squeeze bottles, you can rub this in and minutes later touch that spot without instantly regretting your life decisions.
The herby menthol aroma is strong, but not overpowering. It’s not something I would use without permission in a car full of people, but I found it to be pleasant. I would, however, recommend to avoid using it on your neck and then laying down to read a book: the menthol wafts to one’s eyeballs where it is generally unwelcome.
I’ll admit to being incredulous of the topical CBD craze. While I can’t say that this product outperforms non-CBD muscle freeze products because I haven’t done a side-by-side test, I can confirm that it does exactly what it claims: to temporarily relieve minor joint and muscle aches and pains. I found it to be especially effective on my neck. It was also quite pleasant on my lower back and hamstrings after particularly high activity days. In using it on my knees (sore from running), thumb (sore from violent joint displacement), and elbow (sore from lingering tendonitis), I noticed a small effect, but not nearly so soothing as on my muscles.
I was impressed that the effects lasted for at least an hour, specifically when I used it on my neck. For whatever reason, the tingly sensation didn’t last as long on my hamstrings, back, or joints.
Friendliness to the Earth
Packaging: 5 stars for recycled paper packaging. The only plastic was a bit of tape and the shipping label on the exterior of the box.
Company affiliations: Among Pachamama’s most valued partnerships are natural food stores (makes sense) as well as a conglomerate of private clubs which seem to largely include golf and country clubs, which are famously wasteful entities. So while the company ethos is – commendably – to protect and serve mother earth, their partnerships don’t necessarily fully reflect that.
Social consciousness: The company was founded by two brothers who spend much of their time helping people become and remain sober: a commendable cause indeed. In terms of marketing, Pachamama + Chinese herbs + made in the USA reads to me as recruiting foreign cultures to exoticize the product. “Pachamama” means “mother earth” in Quechua, the language of an indigenous people of South America. From what I can see through their website, the company has no affiliation with Quechua or Chinese culture other than liking how it sounded. The practice of using indigenous words or traditions without acknowledgment is ubiquitous, but it doesn’t make it less cringey.
The Final Word
For minor muscle or joint pain, even of the chronic variety, this topical muscle gel is a soothing balm. I was surprised that I began reaching for it on sore days, and not just for reviewing purposes. That must mean that it really does do what it claims.
About the Gear Tester
In 2014 Cori diverged from an engineering career to pursue her passion of adventuring in the mountains. She spends her winters living, working, and skiing at Crystal Mountain, WA, and her summers riding bikes and slinging guidance at a bike shop in Hood River, OR. Shoulder seasons are for exploring the West on skis and bikes out of her 97 Astro Van, Gladys. When she’s not playing outside, you’ll find her baking, reading, and building a tiny house on wheels. You can follow her on IG @corilives.