HereвЂ™s What Happened When I Used CBD Before & After Working Out For A Month
I’m a skeptic when it comes to fads: Coconut oil in everything, charcoal masks, avocado toast, and most recently, CBD. However, with all the hype surrounding CBD (aka, cannabidiol) and the emerging research, I was interested to see how CBD affects exercise. I workout on the regular, and I’m always on the hunt for new products that will make enhance my fitness routine, and shorten my recovery time. Though I don’t typically buy into the hype, the research surrounding CBD has been promising enough that I wanted to give it a shot.
The demand for CBD products has grown rapidly (like, a lot) over the past year, and for good reason: On top of anecdotal evidence, studies have found this hemp-derived compound has a ton of potential health benefits. As Krista Whitley, CEO of Altitude Products, told Bustle last spring, CBD is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and may provide relief from anxiety, pain, nausea, migraines, and insomnia. A 2017 study also revealed CBD lowered blood pressure in volunteers. Specifically, a 2018 report found that, because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, it may be an effective way to relieve the soreness exercise can cause, as well as shorten recovery time following a workout. However, much of benefits that CBD may have on exercise performance and recovery are not confirmed.
“There is a huge void of research in terms of confirming most effective dosing [of CBD] for various symptoms,” Dr. Eric Baron, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told Vox in November 2018. вЂњUnfortunately, we are nowhere near close to having any definitive trials on effectiveness for most symptoms claimed to benefit from CBD with trials that are scientifically relevant, such as prospective randomized placebo-controlled trials.вЂќ A bipartisan farm bill signed into law this past December legalized industrial hemp, and it will most certainly lead to a boost in the CBD industry вЂ” and hopefully a boost in research surrounding this compound вЂ” in 2019. But for now, its impact on exercise (among other things) relies on anecdotal evidence.
My weekly fitness routine can be pretty rigorous. It typically consists of two to three weightlifting sessions, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, and cardio a few times a week. So, I tried to keep my expectations about CBD вЂ” and what it could actually do for my workout performance and recovery time вЂ” realistic, despite research showing the benefits.
I wanted to use an array of CBD products formulated to help with health and exercise recovery, so I opted to try three different products: an edible, an oral spray, and a topical formula. Though edibles вЂ” aka CBD-infused snacks вЂ” are probably one of the most popular kinds of CBD products on the market, a 2009 study estimated that oral consumption of CBD only has a 4 to 20 percent rate of bioavailability. Meaning, your body can only use a small portion of each dose of CBD. The spray is delivered through a spritz under your tongue for faster results than having it absorbed through your digestive system. As for CBD-infused balms, you simply use them as you would any lotion or cream. As a promising study from 2015 found, transdermal (aka, topical) CBD reduced inflammation, swelling, and arthritis-related pain in rats вЂ” and many folks believe this method could bear similar results for people.
One of the products I was sent was the Sigur RГіs and Lord Jones Limited Edition CBD Gumdrops, which cost $60 on their site. Each berry-flavored gumdrop contains 20 mg of broad spectrum CBD extract. I was also provided the Life Bloom Organics premium nano wellness spray, which delivers 1.2 mg of hemp per spray and rings in at $34.95. I also received Hempure’s Relief and Recovery Balm. It is the most expensive product of the three I tried, at $129.99, but it is also packed with 1400 mg of CBD. As Hempure’s site explains, the salve is formulated with CBD, MCT oil, essential oils, and beeswax, and is an “ideal choice for those seeking quick relief in muscles and joints.”
I began by using the gumdrops and oral spray about 30 minutes before I hit the gym, and used the balm following my exercise routine. I tracked my progress and workout performance of my workouts on my phone вЂ” particularly noting how strenuous my runs and resistance training felt, compared to the prior weeks.
To be honest, I noticed only a slight difference in my workout performance when it came to the gumdrops and spray, and it very well may have been a placebo effect. However, I felt the positive effects of the balm almost immediately. I wouldn’t say it took away my post-workout pain, but it definitely soothed my muscles. In addition to CBD oil, the balm contains eucalyptus oil and lavender oil вЂ” which, in some studies, Healthline reported, have both been shown to also ease pain. Not only did it smell wonderful, but it created a tingling sensation (probably due to the eucalyptus oil) that was relaxing.
After about seven days of alternating between the gumdrops and spray before right after my workout, I decided to try the CBD products right after I got back to my apartment from the gym to see if they felt more effective. As Verywell Health reported, muscle soreness after workouts, in large part, is caused by microscopic tears that lead to inflammation. Since CBD has been found in some studies to have those anti-inflammatory and analgesic (aka, painkilling) effects, I thought it may be helpful for my achy muscles. As before, I continued to use the ointment on my muscles and joints that felt tender.
After about another seven days вЂ” again, alternating between the gumdrops and spray вЂ” I felt using CBD products after my workout was much more beneficial than prior to exercising. Usually, my recovery time after resistance training can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours, depending on the length of the workout, the intensity, and the heaviness of the weights IвЂ™ve used. However, taking CBD following my exercise routine seemed to slightly decrease my recovery time.
I work out at night, and when I wake up, I tend to be somewhat stiff despite of stretching before and after hitting the gym and icing my muscles. After I began taking the CBD gumdrops or spray post-workout, in combination with Hempure’s salve, I found I felt a little less like a plank of wood in the morning. It definitely didnвЂ™t get rid of my muscle aches completely, but it alleviated some of my discomfort and soreness.
CBD is definitely not a miracle cure for health and wellness-related issues вЂ” including when it comes to exercise вЂ” but it does have the potential to help reduce inflammation and soreness. I’ll definitely keep CBD products in my own post-workout routine, and would recommend it to people looking to make their fitness routine a little more enjoyable.
Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding marijuana, CBD, and other related products are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.I’m a skeptic when it comes to fads: Coconut oil in everything, charcoal masks, avocado toast, and most recently, CBD. However, with all the hype surrounding CBD (aka, cannabidiol) and the emerging research, I was interested to see how CBD affectsвЂ¦
Is CBD effective for pre- and post-workout?
While CBD oil for athletes is not classified as a health supplement by the FDA, people far and wide are taking CBD products to promote exercise performance, enhance muscle building, and to speed recovery after intense workouts.
However, it’s unclear if CBD is as effective for these uses as some people claim. This article breaks down the latest science and explains how the benefits of CBD for those looking to elevate their fitness routine.
Using CBD Before Exercising
Research shows that CBD has relaxation-promoting and anti-anxiety effects, which is why many people take CBD as a natural way to encourage restful sleep and reduce anxiety symptoms.
However, the stimulating potential of this compound is too often overlooked. CBD with THC has been shown to increase wakefulness and alertness when administered in lower doses, while the sedating effects are typically associated with higher doses. For those looking to increase focus and energy by introducing CBD into their active lifestyle, this is a plus.
But before you try CBD as a pre-workout booster, first consider what results you are hoping to achieve. The type of delivery method and when you choose to take CBD can play an important role in how you respond to the hemp extract. For instance, your body will absorb CBD more slowly if you ingest a capsule or edible when compared to other application styles, like inhalation or sublingual drops, which take effect much more quickly .
You can choose a product that you like, and adjust the time at which you take it depending on when you hope to see the CBD take effect. Additionally, you’ll want to start with small doses of CBD if using it before a workout, especially since too much of the compound may hamper your motivation to exercise.
CBD for Post-Workout Recovery
The phrase “no pain, no gain” comes to mind when we think of building muscle, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the common culprit. The aches and pains that follow an intense workout are caused by the body’s response to heal microtears in the muscle fibers, which are a result of muscle tension and strain. While this sensation may be uncomfortable, it’s a good sign that your muscles are recovering and building stronger fibers that are more resistant to damage.
But it’s not always easy to move past the joint pain, muscle soreness, and old injury flare-ups that can hinder many people from reaching the full scope of their physical capabilities.
As CBD becomes more widely recognized as a pain-relieving substance, more people are starting to use CBD oil for inflammation after physical activity to counteract exercise-induced muscle soreness . This is often done to help reduce some of the painful side effects caused by muscle recovery, without inhibiting the ability of the muscle fibers to heal themselves. Although CBD holds promise as a muscle pain-relieving natural remedy, more research on the potential ability to ease pain and promote muscle recovery after exercise is needed.
Moreover, CBD appeals to a variety of consumers since there are a wide range of different application methods. CBD-infused lotions and creams can be applied topically for targeting localized pain, or sublingual tinctures or ingestible capsules can be of use when seeking whole-body effects.
Best CBD for Recovery
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Why Athletes are Increasingly Turning to CBD
Professional athletes like UFC fighter Nate Diaz and former NFL offensive tackle Eugene Monroe are known to promote the use of CBD, as they’ve personally experienced benefits from using the compound for pain management and muscle recovery.
In comparison to other common substances used to help people cope with pain, chronic use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Aspirin can have damaging long term effects , such as:
- Development of kidney damage and progression of kidney disease
- Increased risk for heart problems
- Gastrointestinal damage, including ulcers and internal bleeding
- High blood pressure
Not only can NSAIDs have these potentially harmful consequences, but your body can build up a tolerance to these drugs and reduce their effectiveness—and ultimately make it more challenging to deal with inflammation.
As one study published by the Annals of Long Term Care noted, “The NSAID should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.” Essentially highlighting that these substances may be helpful but are not a solution to chronic pain issues.
Why This Matters
As more and more people grow curious about using CBD to promote exercise performance and workout recovery, it’s important to analyze both the scientific and anecdotal evidence that supports this idea. Although some research suggests that the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD—along with its potential ability to enhance alertness—more research on the effects of CBD on exercise performance is needed to fully understand how this compound may benefit both elite athletes and everyday gym-goers.
Scientific research has been able to lay the groundwork for outlining possible benefits that CBD may have to offer, but more clinical studies are necessary to fill in additional blanks. Yet even with a lack of evidence, we’ve seen the emergence of several advocates who regularly use CBD to aid in the various side effects of muscle growth and recovery.
If you’re interested in learning more about the best CBD for pre- and post-workout, check out Remedy Review’s guide to best CBD for athletes.Ever considered trying CBD for a workout session? Find out how CBD may enhance your exercise routine, or help you wind down after an intense workout. ]]>