Training and CBD: The Benefits
In case you haven’t explored much of the CBD world yet, here’s a quick recap: CBD is one of the more than 100 compounds found in the Cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, however, CBD won’t get you high. This is because although CBD comes from the same plant family, it is an isolated compound that doesn’t contain THC, which is the molecule that has psychoactive, high-inducing effects.
CBD is blowing up the health sphere as we speak for its seemingly endless benefits, from reducing stress and alleviating pain to reducing seizure frequency in patients with epilepsy. Recently, it’s also been considered for its ability to help benefit training … so you know I had to dive in and see what the hype was about.
Here we’ll discuss how CBD might benefit your training, and how you can use it.
1. Can Ease Soreness
That feeling of not being able to roll out of bed (or even think about squatting) the day after a killer session is something most of us have experienced. This usually isn’t a problem if you’re only working out 3-4 days a week; however, when you’re really busting it out training for a competition, or just going all out in general to reach your goals, being sore for an extended period can interfere with daily training, even if you are working on a separate body part.
If you’re dealing with excessive soreness, CBD may be able to kick it, or at least take the edge off. Plenty of research shows CBD can help reduce widespread pain, even chronic types of hard-to-treat pain like that from multiple sclerosis and arthritis. [*]
The great thing about CBD for soreness is that it’s extremely versatile. You can either take the oil as a tincture or through a vape pen, or you can grab a cream infused with CBD that can be rubbed on a specific area. Creams are excellent for pain in your joints and muscles that may have been strained as well because you can apply them locally for quick relief.
2. Can Improve Recovery
Along with relieving pain (which is a bonus when you’re trying to recover) CBD can also help fight inflammation. We often downplay recovery time, but in reality, our recovery is when muscle growth actually occurs. During training, microscopic tears are formed in our muscle fibers (which creates a light but positive inflammation response in itself as they heal) which only begin to mend into stronger, larger muscles AFTER they have healed.
CBD may reduce any excess inflammation during this process, and also reduce inflammation in our joints if they’ve taken a beating. Less swelling can allow more circulation and nutrient-rich blood to flow to these areas, which, in theory, could help with healing. [*]
3. May Increase Energy
While research on this is still pretty new, studies have mentioned using CBD oil as a “wake-inducing” agent by helping to regulate our circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles. One animal study also showed it was able to influence areas of the brain that cause alertness. [*] Again, while research is limited, studies do show that CBD can help improve sleep, which is not only excellent for recovery, but is also crucial for getting the most out of your workouts. If you’re consistently running on low sleep, your gains will suffer due to not being able to put as much energy into your sessions.
4. May Improve Gut Health
You might be wondering what gut health has to do with training specifically, but in reality, if your gut isn’t healthy, you simply won’t be absorbing nutrients at maximum efficiency. Why does this matter? Think protein, fats, and carbs: when you’re training to build and cut, nutrients become super important for muscle growth and making sure you don’t burn out or become nutrient deficient.
CBD has shown promising effects for gut health, such as helping to reduce inflammation in your gut lining and improve digestion. [*] This could help improve digestion and absorption of all your necessary vitamins and macros, which always benefits gains. After all, you can eat the greatest diet in the world, but if you aren’t absorbing it, it’s not necessarily working for you.
How to Use CBD and Which Brand to Try
Another awesome thing about CBD is that you have virtually endless options when it comes to taking it. These include:
• Inhaling using a vape pen
• Topically by applying a cream or lotion
• As a tincture under your tongue
• Infused into food, such as CBD gummies or chocolate
• As capsules or tablets
What method is best for you usually requires some experimentation. For instance, even though both vaping and using a tincture are both ways to experience the effects of CBD throughout your entire body (versus rubbing on a cream locally), many people prefer one over the other or find one works faster than the other.
For me, Pure Kana CBD oil taken as a tincture has been my go-to. Pure Kana is, well, PURE CBD that is harvested organically in America (extremely important to ensure quality control), and I find my body responds extremely well to the tincture. However, if you’re curious, they also offer other edibles and versions like gummies.
If you want to give them a try, add in my discount code MICHAELPK for a percentage off at checkout.
Also, keep in mind that there is no set dosage for CBD and even high dosages have been deemed safe. Generally, start with a lower dose recommended on your label and work up until you find your sweet spot.
Have you ever tried CBD? How did it impact your training?