From the hard-core athlete to the weekend warrior, and everyone in between, CBD is making a name for itself in the fitness world. This trend started a while ago, as early as 2016 when Nate Diaz used a CBD vape pen in a post-fight press conference after his UFC Lightweight Championship fight. Then it really picked up steam in 2018 when the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for athletes in competition.
Maximizing the Fitness Benefits of CBD
From the hard-core athlete to the weekend warrior, and everyone in between, CBD is making a name for itself in the fitness world.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Fitness
CBD is everywhere and, with so many therapeutic benefits, it’s easy to understand why. If you are an athlete, you may have even noticed CBD making appearances at your gym. This trend started a while ago, as early as 2016 when Nate Diaz used a CBD vape pen in a post-fight press conference after his UFC Lightweight Championship fight. Then it really picked up steam in 2018 when the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for athletes in competition. When the BIG3 basketball league allowed players to use CBD for pain relief and recovery, it just added more fuel to the fire.
The Fitness Benefits of CBD
What is the connection between CBD and fitness?
For starters, CBD can help our bodies come back into balance after a challenging workout or competition. The cannabinoids in CBD interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps our bodies maintain homeostasis. This promotes our overall well being, helping us to maintain proper sleep patterns, regulate our appetite, and increase metabolism, all of which helps us maintain our fitness regime and reach our athletic goals.
CBD is also an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. A rigorous workout causes microscopic tears to our muscles, activating our body’s anti-inflammatory response, which allows the muscle tissue to regenerate itself and come back stronger. But too much inflammation is a major cause of strains and injuries, and many athletes incorporate anti-inflammatory measures–like ibuprofen or ice baths–into their workout regimen to speed recovery and alleviate aches and pains. CBD can offer some of the same anti-inflammatory benefits by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, increasing T-regulatory cells, and suppressing fatty acid amidohydrolase activity. It also increases the production of eicosanoids, local hormones which aid in reducing inflammation.
CBD has also been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol are linked to a variety of health issues like high blood sugar, hypertension, and reduced immunity. Cortisol is also thought to hinder muscle growth as it breaks down tissue and muscle fibers.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Explained
CBD, a chemical compound found in weed known as a cannabinoid, has come to be seen as a sort of cure-all among wellness enthusiasts. People use it to chill out, fall asleep, ease their anxiety — to do just about everything but actually get high. But CBD oil isn’t just popular for home use. Some believe that it could give them a leg up at the gym, too.
How Are Athletes Using CBD?
- To alleviate chronic pain
- As an ibuprofen alternative
- Incorporated into pre- and post-workout routines
- To reduce game-day stress
- To perform better
Popular CBD Formats
CBD Topicals are perfect for spot treating sports injuries and general soreness. Just remember to apply liberally for the best results.
CBD topicals allow you to apply the nourishing properties of CBD oil right to your troubled areas.
Are your joints and muscles sore after a particularly strenuous workout? Did your skin get exposed to too much sun during a weekend hike? You can massage CBD topicals directly to the areas where the full-spectrum botanical is needed most for more focused effects.
While CBD is more permeable to the skin than most other cannabinoids like THC, your skin has a relatively low absorption rate for cannabinoids. It’s a good idea to apply topicals liberally to the targeted areas to overcome the barrier.
When targeting isn’t as important, CBD vapes are another option. CBD vapes are a good choice when you want nearly immediate results.
Vaping CBD is the ideal consumption methods for athletes looking to deliver CBD to their systems as quickly as possible.
When you inhale CBD vapor from a vaporizer, the active compounds are nearly immediately absorbed through the alveoli in your lungs and sent to your bloodstream. That means that almost instantly the cannabinoids are in a position where they can interact with your endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
CBD Oils and Tinctures can easily be titrated to your ideal dose. Once you’ve established your dose, orally consuming your CBD is simple and easy. CBD tinctures and oils are also an easy way to incorporate into a post-workout snack or smoothie. Once consumed the CBD must pass through your digestive system before reaching your bloodstream; this process can take around 30 to 60 minutes.
Similar to CBD Oils and Tinctures, CBD pills are convenient. With an established dose, they are easy to carry to your workout and consume as needed. However, again similar to CBD Oils and Tinctures, CBD Pills must also through your digestive system before reaching your bloodstream.
How To Maximize The Effectiveness of CBD
Depending upon your therapeutic needs, maximizing the effectiveness of CBD is as easy as selecting the correct route of administration.
The route of administration is defined as “the path by which a substance is taken into the body (i.e., by mouth, injection, inhalation, rectum, or by application).” The route of administration of any therapeutic compound (in this case CBD) is extremely important as it can govern the uptake, distribution and elimination of the therapeutic. Consequently it can govern how effective the therapeutic will be.
Most athletes find CBD vapes to the fastest way to consume CBD for its overall effects, however, due to the targeted relief they can provide, CBD topicals, like TheraJoy CBD topicals, are proving to be more popular. CBD topicals are becoming a staple among those who are regularly physically active, from the hard-core athlete to the weekend warrior.
What Is The Ideal Dosage?
Those new to CBD should stick to using topical CBD or orally consumed CBD before and after workouts, this can minimize recovery time and manage post-workout soreness. Be careful not too over consume, higher dosages of CBD can make you drowsy.
Prospective CBD users should keep in mind that the scientific community still has a lot to learn about the drug. For instance, there have been no studies on recommended dosage for a given ailment. There’s also no scientific consensus about how effective CBD is compared with anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen.
Pre- and Post-Workouts with CBD
When should you be taking CBD? CBD can be added to both your pre- and post-workout.
“CBD oil helps control appetite, boosts energy, and metabolism,” Dr. Gandhi adds. “CBD oil increases endurance, helps muscle recovery, pain tolerance, pushes you during a workout, as well as keeps you focused and in the zone.”
The pain-relieving and anti-swelling benefits of CBD oil are the primary uses for its surge in popularity with athletes. While some workout devotees might opt for foam rolling (another great way to relieve tension and help ease sore muscles after a hard session), CBD treatments have been proven to reduce muscle spasms and calm inflammation, two of the main post-workout issues athletes have to endure.
But CBD’s benefits go a bit beyond just the physical recovery boost. As Dr. Gandhi notes, cannabidiol can also help to protect your muscle mass, all the while also maintaining healthy blood sugar levels that manage diabetes and encourage healthy weight loss.
“CBD has anti-catabolic properties, so it helps break muscle down while rebuilding it at the same time,” Dr. Gandhi adds. “CBD regulates blood sugars so you are burning fat effectively and not having insulin spikes, therefore burning glucose and more fat.”
Apart from the direct fitness-related benefits of CBD oil, studies have also described its effect on sleep quality, showing that regular use of CBD can help improve the length and quality of your snoozes. And since insufficient and improper sleep directly contributes to irregular weight loss and muscle loss, finding ways to improve your slumber can have a positive effect on your workout efforts.
To maximize the effectiveness, we recommend consuming a smaller CBD dosage in your pre-workout and a larger CBD dosage in your post-workout. Too large of a CBD dosage in your pre-workout and you may find yourself drowsy.
At TheraJoy, we have been making CBD products in the US for three years, and are proudly a market leader in CBD topicals. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. Our products are always all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.
Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.