Considering CBD For Muscle Recovery? Here’s What You Need To Know.
Cannabidiol is having a moment. Though you may not recognize its scientific moniker, you’ve probably seen it referred to by its buzzy nickname: CBD.
CBD is everywhere these days, and in a variety of forms. You can find it in capsules, gummies, tinctures, oils, balms, cocktails, cookies—even coffee sold at small-town bakeries. Its market share in the health and wellness space will likely only continue to grow, with some analysts estimating its value will hit $2 billion by 2022.
CBD has a lot of purported benefits with a lot of anecdotal (and some scientific) evidence to back those claims. Everything from helping cancer patients fight nausea, to acting as a sleep aid for people with insomnia, to reducing seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome.
While those seem like potentially huge breakthroughs, CBD is also said to help with smaller stuff, like helping you recover faster from workouts thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Before you dive into a pool of CBD oil, here’s everything you need to know.
Why are we sore after a workout anyway?
No matter how fit you are, sometimes you just feel it after a workout. Some workouts can leave you sore for days. That’s because, as the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) explains, working out causes microscopic damage to muscle fibers. Those muscles then become inflamed, which triggers the body to respond and repair, causing muscle soreness or stiffness.
Cool. So, what exactly is CBD again?
CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, which include both marijuana and industrial hemp. CBD is a close chemical cousin to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound found in marijuana that causes a psychoactive effect (AKA, the stuff that gets you high).
Though CBD is just one atom arrangement away from becoming THC, that microscopic difference is actually huge. No matter how much CBD oil you consume or how much CBD balm you rub on your body, you cannot get high from it. Which means.
I can legally buy CBD?
Yes. In December, President Donald Trump signed a new Farm Bill, which, among other things, legalized the growth, distribution, and sale of industrialized hemp, allowing it to be “cultivated for any use”—including the production and extraction of CBD.
There are a few caveats to the bill, but generally you’re now safe to buy CBD across the United States. Even professional athletes can use CBD, as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed it from its prohibited substance list in 2018. So relax, your gold medals are safe.
“Broadly speaking, CBD does decrease inflammation when it’s rubbed on muscles as an ointment or taken orally.”
Can CBD really help fight post-workout inflammation?
“As a personal trainer and someone that works out every day and really pushes myself a lot, I noticed the biggest difference in inflammation and stress after a workout,” Tara Laferrara, a former sprinter and a NASM certified personal trainer, told MensHealth.com about her personal use of CBD.
Laferrara was introduced to CBD via friends in the fitness industry who tried it after cannabis was legalized in Colorado in 2014. Now, she’s a devoted user. (A CBDevotee?) “It basically manages and prevents my joint inflammation, that aching kind of feeling, that I’d get after a heavy lift day,” she says.
Is there scientific proof?
While Laferrara’s anecdotal experience is intriguing, you might remain skeptical. Perhaps the scientific findings will squash some of your CBDoubts.
According to a 2018 review of 132 original studies published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD can indeed reduce inflammation in the body and help improve pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” the review study’s authors wrote.
“Broadly speaking, it does decrease inflammation when it’s rubbed on muscles as an ointment or taken orally,” Dr. Perry Solomon, previous chief medical officer and founding member of HelloMD, told MensHealth.com.
However, we can’t conclusively say that CBD will, without question, reduce inflammation—and in turn reduce muscle soreness—after another Eb & Swole workout. The empirical data just isn’t there yet.
But I’m good to start a CBD regimen?
CBD is commonly regarded as safe to use. Even the doctors published in Frontiers in Neurology said: “High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.” You shouldn’t need that much, though figuring out how much you do need can be tricky, as there is no “standard” dose.
One rule of thumb is 1-6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight based on pain levels. Another is to start with 5-10mg per day and increase by 5-10mg until you feel relief. This isn’t perfect and requires trial and error, but it’ll help you find a starting point.
As with anything you plan to put into your body, discuss CBD with your doctor first, particularly if you take other medications. They can help you make sure your liver will have enough room to metabolize it all so as not to diminish the effects of either.
How should I use CBD for recovery?
Beyond CBD oils and tinctures, CBD is often sold in infused balms, lotions, capsules, edibles, vape pens, and more. Basically, you just need to decide if you’d like to ingest it or rub it on for relief.
Again, you’re mostly on your own to determine exactly how much CBD you should take to feel its effects. The dosing guidelines above should give you a good jumping-off point, but CBD is a subjective chemical that reacts differently in every body. Once you feel the desired effect, though, you won’t have to up the dose. Which means if you use CBD oil for recovery, you can just fill the pipette to the same spot every time.
To sum it up, if your doctor says it’s OK and you’re game to try CBD instead of popping traditional anti-inflammatories, go for it. Try it for a few weeks while varying the delivery method and dose to find what works best for you. Who knows? By tomorrow, you could be recovering faster from your workout and have one less excuse to skip leg day.
The cannabis product is said to help inflammation. So… can it?
Should You Add CBD Oil to Your Post-Workout Recovery Routine?
Should You Add CBD Oil to Your Post-Workout Recovery Routine?
CBD powder could make the perfect addition to your post-workout recovery drink.
In an age where a dizzying number of health supplements are readily available for the fitness enthusiast, separating the facts from the hype can be a tricky task. If you’re considering adding CBD oil to your post-workout recovery routine, this information can help you decide whether CBD oil is the right addition to your fitness regimen.
As all health and fitness buffs know, there are a number of sensations you may experience after a workout, most notably pain and soreness. This is because the exertion of your workout puts your body under physical stress. This stress, particularly if you are doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT), causes microdamage to your muscles, which triggers inflammation that results in muscle aches and fatigue.
So, how can CBD oil help you recover from your workout more quickly?
The answer can be found in CBD oil’s role in the endocannabinoid system and the way in which cannabidiol (CBD) impacts specific neurotransmitters and hormones in your body.
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Benefits of Using CBD Oil as a Post-Workout Supplement
CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been found to work in tandem with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Because CBD oil is readily absorbed, well tolerated, and low risk, a growing number of people are using it not just as a part of their post-workout recovery routine, but to help potentially combat a range of diseases and chronic illnesses.
With additional benefits discovered all the time, the research into CBD oil is unearthing exciting potential for this natural compound. Here is a closer look into some of that research and a few of the reasons why you should add CBD oil to your post-workout recovery routine.
CBD Oil for Pain and Inflammation
A good workout puts your muscles and joints through a great deal of stress, resulting in inflammation and pain. For most people, this is an unavoidable part of a fit lifestyle; adding CBD oil to your post-workout routine can help reduce inflammation.
The human endocannabinoid system contains two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CBD oil is believed to predominantly impact the CB2 receptors, which are mainly located in the central nervous system. CBD oil’s indirect effect on CB2 receptors play a significant role in the immune system, regulating both pain and inflammation.
Several studies have shown how cannabis is helpful in reducing pain in a variety of long and short-term conditions, some of which may correlate with the pain experienced after a high-intensity workout. Additionally, a 2017 study pointed to cannabis as a viable option in the treatment of joint pain, which is an often overlooked but major aftereffect of strenuous exercise.
Finally, a 2014 study showed how CBD affects glycine receptors, which play a role in the perception of pain. CBD oil’s activation of these receptors decreased inflammatory pain in the mice and rat test subjects, further highlighting cannabidiol’s extensive role in regulation of inflammation in the body.
CBD Oil for Muscle Recovery
Strenuous workouts cause muscle damage, making your post-workout routine an incredibly important part of your fitness journey.
For most people, an effective post-workout routine entails taking rest days, getting enough sleep, and eating muscle-building proteins right after a session. While these are all important elements, adding CBD oil to the mix may help speed up and enhance the recovery process.
When the body goes through an intense workout, it produces the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which means that it reduces protein synthesis and may even prevent the growth of new tissue. After a long or intense workout, a large release of cortisol would inhibit new muscle growth and even increase the amount of fat stored in your body.
CBD oil is an anti-catabolic which means it regulates how much cortisol is released into the system. By reducing the level of cortisol in your body post-workout, CBD oil allows protein synthesis and encourages muscle regeneration.
CBD Oil to Improve Post-Workout Sleep and Muscle Repair
One of the most important elements for post-workout recovery is sleep. When you’re asleep, your body does a lot to repair and grow your muscles.
If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, CBD oil may be able to help. Whether you are working out late at night, or you experience stress and anxiety from the pressures of everyday life, it is likely cortisol is keeping you awake.
CBD oil can benefit your sleep in two ways: Not only can CBD oil regulate cortisol levels and help you to fall asleep faster, but a 2014 study also showed how CBD consumption reduced the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder in test subjects with Parkinson’s disease. Reaching the REM cycle of sleep is crucial to a successful post-workout routine, as it’s the sleep stage that provides optimal conditions for muscle building and repair. While more research is certainly needed on the topic of CBD oil and REM sleep, the initial findings outlined above are promising.
CBD Oil for Competitive and Professional Athletes
While CBD oil has been legalized in most states, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has a very different set of restrictions in place. Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid which can be extracted from the cannabis plant. THC has some health benefits but it also has intoxicating properties, responsible for the mind-altering “high” experienced by marijuana smokers.
Athletes need to understand that the USADA’s anti-doping rules include THC in their list of prohibited substances. While there are many CBD oil products which market themselves as isolates and free of THC, the lack of federal regulation on these products means there’s a chance you could be misled.
It’s very important to first check your state’s laws regarding CBD oil, and if you are legally able to purchase a CBD oil product, it’s imperative that you do so from a reputable brand.
One way to know you are buying CBD oil with contents as advertised is to look for up-to-date Certificates of Analysis. These third-party lab results will reveal exactly what is in your CBD oil. If a brand does not make these lab results readily available online, ask if you can see them before you make a purchase.
How to Take CBD Oil for Your Post-Workout Recovery Routine
Due to its anti-catabolic and pain relieving properties, CBD oil may offer fitness enthusiasts a naturally derived, relatively inexpensive support tool for aiding in post-workout recovery. Cannabidiol oil offers a low-risk, gentle option for those who wish to optimize their workout, encourage muscle growth and reduce their recovery time.
However, before adding CBD oil to your fitness regimen, consult your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with any medications you may be taking. You might also want to speak with a specializing cannabis doctor , who can give you recommendations around dosage and products to use.
After getting the ‘OK’ from your doctor, you can start to experiment with different CBD products to find which is best for your needs. CBD oil can be consumed in a number of different ways, including via drops, vapes, capsules, gummies, and topical solutions. There are even CBD drink powders that you can easily add to your post-workout protein drink to further aid in your recovery.
When it comes to CBD dosage, you should follow the recommendation included on the CBD oil product you’re using. Though, if you’re looking for further guidance, we at CBD Oil Review have reviewed hundreds of CBD products and suggest the following:
The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25 mg of CBD taken twice daily.
If you’re not seeing the results you’d like, increase your dosage by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you find an ideal outcome.
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