While it seems as though humans are on a never-ending quest for the latest health-related tips and tricks, there are several components that remain consistent even as trends come and go. From placing an emphasis on the importance of recovery to working to manage pain, the incorporation of CBD is becoming more of a permanent fixture in the wellness industry, especially as we collectively learn more about how to yield its many benefits.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid naturally found in the cannabis plant that provides medicinal benefits without accompanying psychoactive effects. It can be consumed in a variety of ways, such as through sublingual tinctures, topical applications, vaping and ingestion, among others.
As the plant medicine revolution continues, there are multiple trends emerging regarding how to use CBD to aid in your physical and mental health. Let's take a look at five potential benefits surrounding the glorious intersection of CBD and exercise.
1. Incorporating CBD to kickstart your workout
While many users commonly turn to CBD after subjecting their body to strenuous physical activity, research has found that incorporating CBD into your pre-workout routine can also be beneficial. In a 2014 study, researchers found that "CBD has promising pharmacological properties as a wake-inducing drug." In other words, it could serve as an energy boost that could help kickstart your workout and help you ease into it.
2. Utilizing CBD for its anti-inflammatory benefits
One of the most common desired effects of utilizing CBD is for its anti-inflammatory properties. In a 2015 study, researchers found that CBD showcased "therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects." Meaning, CBD can help reduce inflammation and therefore relieve pain as a result, making it an influential component to introduce into one's workout regime. Whether you suffer from chronic pain, joint pain, muscle stiffness or other ailments, incorporating CBD can help play a role in how your body feels physically. Additionally, when utilizing a topical CBD product, such as in the form of a balm or lotion, it is important to apply the product liberally and apply pressure, in order to help the body absorb it quickly.
3. Taking CBD to potentially alleviate stress and anxiety
Early research shows that CBD is a promising agent to alleviate stress and anxiety. While there is an increasing need for additional studies to be conducted, especially with humans specifically, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found CBD to have shown therapeutic efficacy in reducing signifiers of stress and anxiety. While this may be dependent upon the experiences of an individual user, helping the mind relax is a great way to prepare for an effective workout as well.
4. Using CBD to counter the natural effects of cortisol
In addition to CBD helping to alleviate stress, it can also help the body to counter the effects of cortisol, which is a hormone that can be released during exercise. While cortisol is vital for several bodily functions, such as controlling blood sugar or regulating metabolism, it can also halt tissue growth or break down your muscles. Fitness activities such as weight lifting, intense running or overheating can cause cortisol levels in the body to rise; this is where CBD can possibly come into play. Several studies have shown that CBD can counteract the negative effects of cortisol, and therefore help you to retain muscle mass while working out.
5. Taking CBD after a workout to replenish, rebuild and nurture the body
There are multiple benefits to taking CBD after you are finished exercising. For one, utilizing CBD to alleviate feelings of soreness instead of taking Ibuprofen, for example, can potentially make a big difference in the long run. Studies show that utilizing drugs such as Ibuprofen and other similar pain relievers can have long-term health consequences, such as damage to the liver. CBD, however, is a natural analgesic (or pain-reliever) that can effectively help stop pain following a strenuous workout. Additionally, it has antiemetic properties, which can help relieve or eliminate any feelings of nausea, as well as help with muscle cramps or spasms. Overall, consuming CBD after a workout is a great way to help you get the most out of your daily or weekly exercise regime, as well as give back to your body.