CBD For Fitness: How And Why It Works
Sabina King on Jun 19th 2019
More athletes are starting to use CBD for fitness to aid their performance. The compound from hemp is the newest trend among those looking to live an active and optimal lifestyle.
CBD and the 2018 Farm Bill
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and CBD were removed from all legal grey areas and became legal at the federal level in the United States. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can benefit from taking CBD if you’re a runner, a weightlifter, or any kind of athlete. The benefits of CBD are enormous, and by using CBD for fitness goals, you can see great results.
CBD For Runners
The cannabis plant has over 100 different cannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids in plants. Likewise, endocannabinoids are cannabinoids in the body. One of the two endocannabinoids produced in the body, anandamide, is responsible for producing the feeling of “runner’s high.”
The body naturally begins producing and releasing anandamide when you start running. Anandamide works within the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD also interacts with the body’s ECS. It works by blocking the receptors that are responsible for recycling anandamide after it has been used.
Through this action, CBD allows more anandamide to be present for the ECS to use. In theory, this means that those runners that take CBD will be able to have a longer and more sustained “runner’s high” because of the increase in anandamide available. “Runner’s high” can help with stamina and allow for athletes to exercise longer because of how great they start to feel in the middle of their workout.
What does the science say?
Currently, scientists do not have a full understanding of why exercise promotes improvements in mental health. In a paper titled “Endocannabinoids and Exercise,” authors proposed the idea that the ECS could be the mechanism that produces these mental benefits.1
In the paper they note that exercise increases the amount of endocannabinoids present in the blood. While the authors of the study state that more research needs to be carried out to make conclusions about the exact mechanisms of how this works, they hypothesize that the ECS plays a key role in multiple exercise related benefits including sedation, reduction of negative feelings, increased memory function, and healthy metabolic processes.
Because CBD supports the endocannabinoid system and helps it to function better, it is possible that CBD could be encouraging and heightening the benefits of exercise that the ECS creates.
CBD For Fitness: The Recovery Process
CBD can help runners after big runs or weightlifters after a depleting workout. After a heavy workout, runners can feel an upset stomach, sore, have difficulty sleeping and sometimes not want to eat. CBD shows promise in helping athletes with all of these post workout problems.
The digestive tract is full of endocannabinoid receptors. One study discovered that an increase in endocannabinoids could result in a decrease in abdominal discomfort.2 By using CBD for fitness goals, you can increase the number of endocannabinoids present in the gut, and promote a nausea-free post workout state.
If you have achy muscles after an intense run, CBD may be the perfect solution. In an interview with KeyToCannabis.com, Olympian Ross Rebagliati mentioned:
“After a 60 mile bike ride, I would use a high CBD strain of flower or extract to conquer achy, inflamed muscles.”3
CBD For Weightlifting: Benefiting Sleep
Sleep is one of the most essential parts of a good recovery. Sleep allows your body to load up on human growth hormone. When you do not get enough sleep, your body does not produce enough of this vital hormone. This compound is essential for muscle recovery or development. Whether you’re lifting weights or running marathons, good muscle recovery is essential.
One study found that a lack of sleep resulted in a decrease in muscle mass and encouraged injuries and various other problems associated with muscle atrophy.4 If you’re into any type of fitness, good sleep is key if you’d like to continue experiencing muscle growth and development. Many athletes use CBD for weightlifting because of the way in which it promotes sleep.
Some studies indicate CBD can promote healthy sleep through the ways in which it interacts with the endocannabinoid system and 5-HT1A receptors. One study discovered that CBD helped people that were having trouble falling asleep to stay asleep longer throughout the night.5
Many athletes have trouble falling asleep after an intense workout. Using CBD for fitness can help you improve your sleep. When you feel revved up after a workout session, take CBD to balance your ECS and relax. It can also improve in sleep and with that, an increase in muscle recovery and growth.
CBD Can Reduce Stress and Nervousness on the Day Of A Competition
Many athletes feel nervous on the day of a big run or competition. All of these nerves can come from the release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in the adrenal gland. It is released during periods of high-stress like an intense argument, extreme exercise, or any sort of traumatizing event.
When the body releases cortisol, it encourages the use of muscle proteins. These proteins are then sent to the liver to be used to create glucose. This glucose is then used as energy which results in a higher blood sugar level. The body carries out this process to ensure it is ready to deal with stressors. During this action, muscles cannot grow. Cortisol actually prevents any tissue growth. This is not good news if you are a weightlifter hoping to consistently build muscle mass.
Elevated cortisol levels also have an impact on other functions. Those include: ability to learn, immune function, metabolism, and more.6 All of these issues can have a detrimental impact on performance in any type of competition.
In a study published by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, scientists discovered that subjects that took CBD experienced a reduction in cortisol levels.7 High cortisol may create negative health effects. Thus, by taking CBD and lowering cortisol, you can achieve a mental state that is more equipped to handle the stressors of competition.
CBD offers many benefits for all different types of athletes. It shows promise because of the ways in which it benefits the recovery process, aids sleep, and impacts cortisol levels. As a result, it can help you feel better while working out and in day to day life. Athletes looking to incorporate a natural product into their workout routines should consider CBD.
- ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1724924/pdf/v038p00536.pdf ).
- ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17159985 ).
- ( https://keytocannabis.com/blogs/cannabis/olympian-ross-rebagliati-on-unlocking-your-full-potential-with-cannabis ).
- ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550729 ).
- ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7028792?dopt=Abstrac ).
- ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1 ).
- ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8257923 ).