If you are a fitness aficionado, you are probably always in search of ways how you can take your workouts to the next level. In addition to wearing the right clothes and warming up correctly, you are probably looking into various supplements that can help you perform at a high level. One supplement that has been receiving a lot of attention is CBD.
CBD products are becoming more and more popular but what are they exactly? Are they safe and do they come with side effects? Can they be beneficial for your exercise routine and should you be using them before and after a workout? Keep on reading to learn more about CBD.
What is CBD?
So, what is CBD? To keep it brief, CBD is short for cannabidiol – one of the many chemicals that can be found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Another active compound of the plant is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. While THC is known for its psychoactive properties, CBD is a non-psychoactive substance that has the same benefits without leaving users with the “stoned” feeling that usually accompanies THC. CBD is often derived from industrial hemp, a plant that is produced for its edible seeds but it can also be derived from marijuana and contain THC as well.
CBD is available in many forms. For instance, you can opt for capsules and pills, creams and lotions, oils and tinctures, edibles, or vape pens. Before you start using CBD products, however, you should read everything on CBD you can find online and perhaps even consult your physician to see the dosage they recommend.
While the use of CBD is legal in many places, there is still not enough research to conclude with certainty that it is effective in providing relief from various conditions. However, many people have reported that CBD helps with anxiety disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, Crohn’s disease, side effects of cancer treatments, pain relief and sleep.
How can CBD help before a workout?
When it comes to taking CBD prior to exercising, we can only talk about preliminary research. However, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that blood pressure response to stress was lowered among participants who were given CBD when compared to those who were administered a placebo during exercise.
Seeing as how CBD is often used to ease anxiety symptoms, many people believe that it can also help them focus better during a workout.
Furthermore, while there is no hard evidence that supports these claims, individuals are reporting that CBD helps with pain management as it can aid with inflammation.
Capsules, gummies, oil added to shakes and smoothies, and other types of edibles usually take effect after around one to two hours, while tinctures taken sublingually start kicking in after 30 minutes to an hour.
How can CBD help after a workout?
On the other hand, CBD can also be used after a workout. While further research is necessary, there is slightly more anecdotal evidence that CBD has benefits when used post-workout. Seeing as how CBD is not considered a performance-enhancing substance, many athletes admit to using it for sleep, pain relief and muscle recovery.
In terms of recovery, CBD is thought to soften the delayed onset muscle soreness and the accompanying pain and immobility. This is thanks to its ability to help with inflammation that is sometimes the body’s response to exercise.
Additionally, there is research looking into the connection between CBD and sleep. A review of various studies concluded that two-thirds of participants reported improved sleep when taking CBD. Another review found that CBD has the potential to treat insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness. As sleep is vital for muscle recovery and having enough energy for the next day, it’s easy to see how improved sleep can help you maximize your performance. However, the research in this field is still in its infancy.
If you want to make the most of edibles for post-workout recovery, take them right before you start exercising and you will get to experience the benefits once you’re done as your body will have enough time to digest them. Tinctures are best taken after the workout while there are also various topicals that you can apply when in pain.
While there is not enough research to say for sure that CBD will improve your workout efforts, there is no harm in using it as it has shown to be safe and well-tolerated by most people. Consult your physician if you are having doubts and start with a small dose to see how your body will react