CBD and Fitness
The CBD craze is everywhere and no doubt it has made its appearance within the fitness community, here we’ll dispel fact from fiction. CBD is not a wonder supplement and it won’t dramatically improve your workouts. What it will do however is reduce inflammation from intense workouts and help get you to sleep and keep you asleep.
With the passage of the 2018 Farm bill CBD derived from the Hemp plant is fully legal and has greatly expanded the availability of CBD products throughout the US. CBD although only separated by one atom from THC is very different, and chief among those differences is that CBD will not, no matter how much you take ever get you high. This is why you’re now seeing CBD products pop up in health supplement stores, grocers, and beauty and wellness outlets.
What is CBD?
The body has a biological regulatory system called the endocannabinoid system and this is made up of neurotransmitters as well as receptors which are designed to interact with cannabinoids, like CBD. Cannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to deliver CBD and other cannabinoids to the endocannabinoid system, these are present throughout the body including the digestive system and the skin. When the body is out of alignment this is when the body kick starts the endocannabinoid system to start repairing and bringing the body back into homeostasis. This is usually done by the body releasing its naturally produced cannabinoids 2-AG or anandamide. CBD fits into the endocannabinoid system where 2-AG and Anandamide would and give us alternate benefits like anti-inflammation in our muscles.
Research on CBD has been ramped up in the last year and we expect to see more robust studies published to both support health claims and clarify understanding about this fast growing product on the market.
But how does CBD help with workouts you might be wondering? Well CBD has been known to have been used for anti-inflammation and pain reduction. After an intense workout out the soreness you feel is tiny tears in your muscle fibers, which is what you want to grow stronger and get larger more defined muscles. Many people will feel the soreness and inflammation for many days after a workout and this is wear CBD comes in and helps reduce inflammation, pain, and speed up the healing process. In a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, they make the claim that CBD has “substantial anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.”
As an additional benefit of choosing CBD instead of traditional over the counter anti-inflammatory CBD does not present the same side effects like blood thinning or stomach ulcers with long term use.
There are numerous ways that you can use CBD and some of those include edibles, oral sprays and topicals. Even though taking CBD orally is simple and easy, and often times quite a tasty way, there is less bioavailability absorbed into the body this way. This has to do with the size of the CBD not fully absorbing into the body before it passes completely through the digestive system.
Applying CBD through a muscle rub or lotion directly to the affected area tends to give the best results. This is because the skin has CB2 receptors and allow for the easiest absorption into the body and directly to the source of the inflammation.
Although there is a lot of research and plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting these health claims the US government and the FDA is still sorting out how they will regulate CBD in consumer products and what health claims they will allow to be advertised in products.
Costa, Barbara, et al. “The Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Constituent Cannabidiol Is an Orally Effective Therapeutic Agent in Rat Chronic Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain.” European Journal of Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 5 Feb. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17157290/.