Whether you’ve been in and out of the gym for years or just getting started, chances are you’ve noticed an increasing number of professional athletes endorsing the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Particularly notable standouts such as Kevin Moran, Rob Gronkowski and Matt Lombardi credit CBD with its ability to keep them in peak form. They have also partnered with CBD companies to start businesses of their own.
It’s worth noting that it isn’t just athletes who are going all in on CBD. The non-psychoactive cannabis compound is now one of the most common ingredients in the sports medicine industry, where it’s incorporated into recovery balms, roll-ons, hot-cold patches and even massage oils. But what exactly is so special about it? Why are so many people talking about it?
What Is CBD?
One of the active cannabis compounds or cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana is cannabidiol (CBD). Amongst the cannabinoids, CBD is thought to provide symptom relief or some therapeutic effects. CBD won’t make you psychedelic, “high,” couched lock, or euphoric. Instead, you’ll feel a subtle effect of relaxation after 15 to 45 minutes. If you want to know more about What is CBD, you can read this guide.
Types Of CBD
Cannabidiol undergoes different extraction processes, resulting in different types, including the following:
- Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD should be chosen by athletes, as it contains 0% THC levels and won’t fail a UK drugs test. This oil is lightly golden. It retains several plant compounds, such as cannabinol, terpenes (responsible for aroma and flavor), and cannabichromene (CBC). If you aim to boost your health with CBD but don’t like to deal with THC, broad-spectrum CBD oil is your best bet.
- Full Spectrum CBD
This CBD oil contains several cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and trace THC (0.3%). Full spectrum CBD oil is golden to dark brown. The color is darker when the hemp extract is more concentrated. If you want to maximize your CBD oil benefits and don’t mind THC, then full-spectrum CBD is the best option.
- CBD Isolate
This CBD oil is clear because it’s the purest or most refined. It doesn’t contain any plant compound. If you want to try cannabidiol but don’t want to deal with THC and plant compounds, CBD isolate is your best choice.
Benefits Of CBD For Gym Goers
CBD is typically sourced from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant grown for its agricultural and industrial utility rather than its THC content or narcotic properties (e.g. marijuana). CBD is a cannabinoid that is actively studied for its medicinal and therapeutic potential, affecting physiological responses in the body by regulating hormone and neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
Both full-time bodybuilders and fitness hobbyists can benefit from CBD’s effect on the recovery, growth and rest periods following an intense workout at the gym. In this post, we go over what gym-goers of all levels can get out of supplementing with CBD, whether in full-spectrum products or some of the most potent on the market.
CBD’s Effect on Pain from Workout-Related Injuries
Powerlifters, bodybuilders and endurance athletes are prime examples of individuals who commonly pull muscles or tear ligaments at the gym. This is due to the particulars of their specific training styles. It can include high intensity interval training (HIIT). Pushing sets to failure and constantly looking to increase their one-rep max on the bench or Smith machine.
In the event of a strained bicep or MCL, you can expect significant pain and discomfort in the following days. Or even weeks as the body goes through its healing process. Where CBD comes in is its ability to reduce the body’s sensitivity to prostaglandins, which have aptly been nicknamed “pain hormones” in gym-going circles. CBD’s analgesic potential is well documented. Which is why high-CBD strains of medical marijuana are very popular among patients suffering from chronic pain. Often with conditions like gout or arthritis. Many seeds, like ones at happyseedbank.com, can be beneficial as well.
CBD’s Effect on Chronic & Sporadic Inflammatory Disorders
Anyone who’s ever dabbled in combat sports can tell you wrestlers, kickboxers and practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are the single most susceptible group to injuries characterized by inflammation. These include anything from welts and hematomas to bursa sacs forming in the arms and legs. Or even hands after long periods on the heavy bag.
CBD controls swelling and inflammation by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes, which are responsible for breaking down and processing eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are signaling molecules that trigger the body’s inflammatory response at sites of injury. This is part of the body’s natural healing process. By inhibiting COX-2, CBD can reduce or ameliorate symptoms of many conditions characterized by abnormal inflammation.
MMA fighters Bas Rutten and Nate Diaz openly discuss the benefits of CBD oil for martial arts practitioners. They often note that it provides many of the benefits of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But without any of their known side effects.
Normalizing Sleep Cycles & Restoring Homeostasis with CBD Supplementation
Muscles are damaged in the gym, fed in the kitchen and grow in bed. In order to make optimal post-workout gains, athletes must get no less than eight hours of sleep a day. Because of this, sleep disorders such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome (RLS) have the potential to seriously undermine work put in at the gym if left unchecked.
While CBD is not a viable nighttime sleep aid, it can increase wakefulness and focus throughout the day in order to treat conditions like daytime drowsiness and narcolepsy, thereby normalizing evening sleep cycles and restoring a healthy balance of hormones. This ability to promote homeostasis has drawn the attention of professional athletes and performers alike, ameliorating the side effects of unusually active, on-the-go lifestyles.