CBD for Muscle Recovery
Considering CBD For Muscle Recovery?
Why are high-level athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, and UFC using cannabidiol (CBD) supplements?
Athletes are using CBD to help them recover faster between workouts and after an event. Faster recovery means they can get back into the gym sooner to continue their training.
Offering some unique benefits to the muscle recovery process by reducing inflammation in the area that may cause unnecessary damage to surrounding muscles, improving our quality of sleep to support the repair process, and alleviating symptoms like pain or muscle tension, it is no surprise the CBD sales are at an all-time high in the UK.
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! Its market share in the health and wellness space is likely to continue to grow.
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 with nausea to acting as a sleep aid for people with insomnia to helping people with stress & anxiety.
CBD is also said to help with smaller stuff, like helping you recover faster from workouts and is very popular in UK gyms all over the UK thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
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 fibres. Those muscles then become inflamed, which triggers the body to respond and repair, causing muscle soreness or stiffness.
Before you dive into a pool of CBD oil, here’s everything you need to know.
1. Reducing Inflammation
Perhaps the most important role CBD plays in the process of muscle recovery is in reducing inflammation.
Although inflammation is often seen in a negative light, it’s a vital immune response to infection. … Therefore, preventing inflammation when it is actually needed can lower immune function and make people more susceptible to disease. CBD and other cannabinoids may be able to help balance that function in the body.
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.
“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. It basically manages and prevents my joint inflammation, that aching kind of feeling, that I’d get after a heavy lift day.
Tara Laferrara, former sprinter and certified personal trainer who 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.
2. Supporting the Immune System
Dr Laurie Brodsky, a Naturopathic Doctor, whose focus is redefining health and wellness utilizing integrative medicine states that CBD supports a strong immune system, and its high antioxidant content maintains a robust cardiovascular system, which is of utmost importance for elite athlete status.
3. Lowering Muscle Tension
When it comes to injuries, tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area can make the pain much worse — which is why muscle relaxants are so popular for alleviating pain during recovery from exercise or injuries.
Some forms of prescription muscle relaxants used for treatment-resistant muscle tension are benzodiazepine drugs like Valium. These medications work through the GABA receptors — which are a key regulator of muscle relaxation. Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs and come with a significant risk of side-effects like sedation, depression, confusion, dizziness, and trembling — all of which are not conducive to optimal athletic function.
CBD and other cannabinoids have similar effects on GABA as benzodiazepines — only without the risk of severe side-effects.
Therefore, CBD may be a useful muscle relaxant for easing muscle tension and pain following an injury or rigorous workout.
4. Alleviating Pain
CBD is suggested to be a powerful pain-killer — as evidenced by both anecdotal and scientific research. This effect may allow CBD to offer symptomatic support for muscle injuries or post-exercise recovery. With less pain, you’ll find it easier to get yourself back into action faster, and feel more comfortable between exercise.
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 everybody. 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 you feel ready 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.