Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for both your body and your mind but for serious athletes who train hard, it can also take quite a toll. Intense exercise can take a lot out of you and your body can be left feeling sore, tired, and completely depleted. Letting your muscles heal and getting enough sleep is vital when you’re putting yourself through a heavy workout and there are several ways CBD can help athletes to rest, rebuild, and recover.
1. Muscle Recovery
As many athletes are well aware, intense exercise and training is going push your muscles to their limits. You’ll damage and rebuild new muscle over and over when you’re constantly improving your workout routine. Sometimes this process can be painful and leave you with sore muscles and stiff joints. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help to relieve some of this soreness.
CBD can be ingested orally to help with these issues or can be applied topically to the areas that require the most attention. Many athletes use both methods in unison to provide maximum relief. Topical CBD creams and salves will not enter the bloodstream and may be a more suitable option for those looking for only the localized effects of CBD.
2. Injuries and Pain
Injuries can occur often with both sports and exercise and the analgesic properties of CBD can help to reduce the pain these injuries can bring. Painkillers may come with undesirable side effects or addictive properties that a lot of athletes would like to avoid. As with muscle soreness, CBD can help to reduce the inflammation of injuries, ease the pain in your muscles and joints, and allow you to fully heal so you can get back to your routine more quickly.
This review discusses the analgesic effects of cannabinoids when used to manage difficult to treat pain.
It references multiple randomized controlled trials and the documented improvements in regards to pain levels in each trial. It concludes with the sentiment that cannabinoid therapeutics are promising for the treatment and management of pain.
3. Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that can help to regulate blood sugar and metabolism, and can reduce inflammation when present in healthy levels. Elevated levels of cortisol, however, can have many negative effects, including a reduction of protein synthesis and the prevention of new muscle growth. Cortisol levels are raised during times of stress and this can include the stress of an intense workout. CBD can interfere with cortisol secretion which allows your cortisol levels to be effectively managed and new muscle growth not be impeded.
4. Resting Your Muscles
When you sleep, your body releases growth hormones that allow your muscles to rebuild and grow larger. Ample sleep, around 8 hours a night, is required for this to happen but many people have trouble falling asleep or sleeping the whole night through. CBD has been very helpful for those who have trouble getting to sleep and sleeping until morning. Because CBD can help reduce stress and anxiety, it can calm your mind and allow you to maintain a deep, restful sleep throughout the night which will help with muscle growth. Healthy amounts of sleep can also help to elevate mood and to keep you feeling fresh and ready for your next big workout.
5. Weight Management
Your endocannabinoid system is essentially responsible for keeping your body in a state of balance, or homeostasis. CBD in a cannabinoid that can affect your endocannabinoid system in a wide variety of ways which include increasing your metabolism, regulating your appetite, and your helping your body to burn fat.
The feelings of hunger, or “the munchies” associated with marijuana are caused by the cannabinoid THC. When CBD is taken without the presence of THC it can actually have the opposite effect, either suppressing or at least modulating your appetite rather than enhacinging it. This can be very helpful when attempting to keep an overactive appetite in check.
Studies have also shown that CBD can help to convert white adipose tissue (bad fat) into brown adipose tissue (good fat). Brown fat contains more mitochondria than white fat allows your body to burn more calories. Having higher levels of this brown fat can also assist in controlling blood sugar levels, which can help to prevent diabetes.
This scientific abstract discusses the connection between CBD and the browning of adipose tissue. It suggests that CBD plays a role in both activating the browning process and encouraging lipid metabolism. These results put CBD in a promising position for the prevention and treatment of obesity.
6. Energy Boost
CBD can help you have a better sleep but this does not at all mean that it acts as a sedative. In high doses, CBD can help you relax and can increase your time spent in a deep sleep. In lower doses, however, it can actually help to give you more energy and improve your focus. CBD has biphasic properties, meaning that at different levels it can have very different effects. Starting your day with a low dose of CBD could definitely give you the kick start you need and help you to get motivated before a workout.
7. Mood and State of Mind
A big part of your ability to have a great workout is your emotional well being and your state of mind. Stress can affect your ability to focus on your goals and can impact your performance as an athlete. Depression can create a sense of lethargy and cause a lack of motivation. CBD’s effects on serotonin production, reception, and reabsorption make it useful for treating both anxiety and depression. A positive, calm state of mind is incredibly valuable for anyone who is working hard to meet their workout goals.
CBD has the ability to affect and maintain balance in so many different physiological systems in your body. The combined effects that CBD can have throughout these various systems can even have the same results as multiple drugs meant to treat different issues. It can help to energize you, reduce pain, help you get the proper rest, and keep you in the right frame of mind to meet your goals. It’s possible that you may experience side effects from CBD such as nausea, dizziness, changes in mood or appetite, and anxiety but adjusting your dose may eliminate these side effects.