CBD has exploded in popularity, transforming from a substance which wasn’t even legal in most of the world to a compound which is expected to generate up to $22 billion by 2022.
It’s popularity is rooted in its utility, as some studies have found that CBD can be very beneficial in improving ones physical and mental conditioning. As a result, many have turned to CBD to help keep them in shape.
CBD can be a very important part of your pre- and post-workout routine, and particularly for muscle recovery. Here’s a quick look at how.
CBD works by altering the functioning of your body’s naturally occurring Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. Your body’s ECS naturally produces cannabinoids. Those cannabinoids then bond with cannabinoid receptors which are studded throughout your body. Researchers have thus far identified two such receptors:
CBD does not attach directly to any receptors. Instead, it alters the length of time and strength of your body’s naturally produced cannabinoids with those receptors. This can have an impact on a wide array of bodily symptoms, including pain, inflammation, mood, fatigue, appetite and more.
If you’re thinking about using CBD for your diet, taking CBD as an edible may seem like a natural fit. However, if you’re taking CBD as part of a workout plan, odds are good you’re also watching what you eat. This can be a problem, as most CBD edibles come in some sort of sweet snack which isn’t ideal for a constrained diet that is trying to limit calories and sugar.
As such, adding CBD into your diet as an edible may not be a good option for you. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options, as noted above, which allow you to get the benefit of CBD without also adding the calories. These allow you to get the benefits of CBD without the extra calories.
As any regular gym attendee knows, a good workout often means a sore body, leaving muscles and tendons in pain for days at a time. This is one of the areas where CBD has been known to be very helpful, as multiple studies have shown that CBD has the potential to be very effective when it comes to pain relief. For example, a review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine found that there is evidence to indicate CBD can be beneficial in reducing certain types of pain. Other studies, including animals studies conducted on rats, have shown that CBD has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
So, how can you use CBD for workout recovery? As we’ve already established, edibles may not be appropriate if you are using CBD to work out and lose weight. Thankfully, there are no shortage of other options. When it comes to working out, however, a CBD salve or balm may be most appropriate. This is because you can use a salve or balm and rub it directly into sore muscles. Doing so allows you to control the dosage and target the CBD directly to the muscle in question.
If you haven’t tried using CBD slaves or balms for muscle relief before, here are a few tips:
CBD does have some negative interactions with certain drugs and disorders. Again, they are relatively rare, but you should be aware of them before starting CBD. As such, it is always best to check with a medical professional before taking any CBD.
Furthermore, some less-than-reputable CBD merchants have taken advantage of consumer’s ignorance and a lack of regulations in the CBD field. For example, a 2017 study from the University of Pennsylvania tested dozens of CBD products and found that an astonishingly high 70% of products were mislabeled. This, of course, presents a major problem for fitness enthusiasts, as you can wind up ingesting chemicals which are contrary to your dietary needs or may have a negative impact on your workout.
Consumers should use caution when purchasing CBD products and always ensure that the CBD which they buy has been independently verified by a third party. This means that the CBD vendor you are purchasing from will be able to produce a certificate of analysis from a third party which verifies that what they say is in the ingredients has been confirmed for accuracy. This is particularly important for athletes who play in sports which have bans on THC, as some CBD vendors have inappropriately labeled their products as THC free, only for that to later prove to not be the case. Consuming these products can put an athlete’s eligibility in doubt.
The future appears bright in this area. For example, as noted by news reports, some CBD companies are actually partnering with specific fitness ventures to promote CBD as part of a plan to help muscle recovery. There are also reports of physical therapists who have begun to approve of their patients using CBD to help recovery from injuries which have come from working out or sports competitions.
The article above correctly notes that there have been no studies, as of yet, which explicitly test CBD on fitness or muscle recovery. As such, you should use CBD slowly, and with caution. However, based on what is known about CBD, it does appear that the compound has the potential to be helpful in muscle recovery.