As the extraction techniques, manufacturing best-practices and the money poured into the research of CBD continue to grow we’ll collectively continue to see more and more claims come out about what CBD can and cannot help with. Early on, much of this will be speculation; people will read about some benefits of CBD and attempt to apply them to different facets of their lives. It’s important to be an educated consumer and not buy into every claim you hear, and we’re here to help with that. One such claim, that many mainstream health outlets have covered, is that CBD can help improve recovery after your workouts. Let’s break that down.
What happens to your body when you workout?
The first piece of the puzzle that’s necessary to understand is what happens to your body when you workout. There are essentially two types of “workout” that are beneficial for different reasons; aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is associated with limited oxygen intake that results in the cardiovascular system having to work harder and harder over extended periods of time. Running, swimming and biking are some examples of exercises that are more aerobic in nature. Anaerobic exercises are short bursts of intense activity wherein your muscles breakdown sugars and build up lactic acid. This then results in muscle growth. Weightlifting is a good example of this type of exercise. We’ll focus primarily on this type of exercise today.
When muscles grow via anaerobic exercise they grow because small muscle fibers are actually torn and replaced with newer, tougher and stronger fibers. This is why you’re often sore after in an intense workout. However, the side-effects of muscle growth (pain and swelling) are often uncomfortable at best and searingly painful at worst. Enter CBD…
Treating inflammation with CBD
There has already been a fair amount of research conducted into CBD’s ability to treat severe muscular diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is has performed admirably in these studies. A 2018 study, published in Frontiers Journal in Neurology showed that CBD can be effective in reducing “Spasticity, Pain, Inflammation and Fatigue” in patients with MS. The study goes on to say the following:
However, data indicates that cannabis, with 1:1 or greater CBD:THC ratio, reduces muscle spasticity (11) and pain in PwMS (12). The American Academy of Neurology (13) has highlighted cannabis’ safety profile as well as these benefits…. some studies have suggested that cannabinoids may exert positive effects on health by decreasing inflammation and decreasing pain.Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Furthermore, another study completed by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that “… cannabinoids have exhibited significant potential to be used as novel anti-inflammatory agents and specific targeting of CB2 receptors holds the promise of mediating immunosuppressive effects without exerting psychotropic side effects.” This study did not focus exclusively on CBD, but rather on the cannabinoids as a collective. Further proof that CBD, when used in combination with other cannabinoids, can produce an even stronger beneficiary effect known as the entourage effect.
While it’s great that CBD can help MS patients manage their pain, what does that have to do with working out?
CBD as a post-workout recovery treatment
Muscles become inflamed after working out. This is how they grow. However, dealing with this side-effects of growth can be uncomfortable or even painful. CBD can help to treat this muscle inflammation, by increasing our body’s T-cell production. This means that your muscles can still grow and heal appropriately while not become irritated and inflamed. Additionally, CBD is perceived to reduce anxiety and stress and generally make you more relaxed after a workout leading to a better post-workout recovery, both physically and mentally.
In addition to helping with muscle growth, CBD can also help with inflammation around joints specifically after repetitive exercises where joints are pressed together or pulled apart continuously in the same general motion i.e. running, skiing, rock-climbing etc.
There has also been discussion around whether or not CBD is effective as a pre-workout. Pre-workouts, many of which claim to boost energy or blood flow during a workout, are designed to simply enable you to push your body further to the limit during the workout. Many of these supplements contain caffeine, carbs, sugars, amino acids or B-vitamins that work to give you that energy boost. CBD works almost as an antithesis to these things and should not be taken as a pre-workout. It’s not as though you’ll have any negative effects from taking it before your workout, you simply might not get the most out of your workout.
What CBD products are best for post-workout recovery?
Firstly, we always recommend consulting a doctor before choosing a specific CBD product and dosage. Generally speaking you can’t go wrong with taking a CBD oil tincture subliminally right after your anaerobic workout. You can always mix it into your smoothie right after your workout as well. We love the Lazarus Natural 900mg Full-Spectrum tincture. If you’re looking for more isolated pain treatment around the joints, this CBDMD 300mg Freeze Gel Pain Rub should do the trick.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.