CBD for Recovery
If you’ve ever heard about CBD, you may know that it’s one of the most exciting and truly interesting products on the health and wellness market at the moment. It conquers more and more areas, offers more benefits, and opens up more opportunities how it can be used.
Of course, the most important discovery is its positive effect and how it can help in coping with various health problems. There are plenty of tests that prove it, however, a lot of evidence is informal. From what we know, cannabidiol does wonder in solving such issues as seizures, psychosis or mental disorders, nausea, migraines, depression, and anxiety. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, it also helps in recovering from a workout. How? Let’s look at this question from all sides and find out.
Why do we suffer after a workout anyway?
We all know working out is good for our health and it’s essential for those who care about their physique in general. But in everything you do, it’s always important to keep a balance and not to go into extremes.
After intense training, all of us have felt tension and muscle ache, and of course, perceived it as a norm. In fact, such workouts cause microscopic damage to our muscle fibers. It’s no surprise that muscles get inflamed as a result. Having had such damage, our body finds ways to heal itself. It manifests when everything starts to hurt as well as when you feel lethargy and in some cases, exhaustion.
Some people prefer to take different pills to prevent it from happening. No doubt, there are medications and supplements that are able to relieve pain, but are you sure they are harmless?
We are happy to tell you that you have another option. A lot of people that had either examined CBD in labs or people that picked up CBD infused products and gave them a try, belief in genuinely amazing properties of CBD. There are several pieces of evidence that CBD influences suppressing cytokine, chemokine, and T-regulatory cell production, which in turn affects the acceleration of the recovery process.
What is even CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, produced from hemp or marijuana seeds. From these plants, you get the oils and various products that you see almost everywhere. Components in the composition of CBD has relaxing properties, but at the same time, they won’t get you high. All due to the low content (less than 0.3%) of the element Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD with higher levels of THC induces what’s known as the entourage effect.
How does it work?
Cannabinoids trigger processes in our body as they bind to receptor cells known as cannabinoid receptors.
When CBD enters the body, it initiates the pharmacological characteristics of the receptor response, starting a chain of intracellular biochemical processes in the body.
Thus, thanks to this compound, the entire neural network is protected, and processes such as homeostasis, immune balance, and recovery from stress occur.
Various tests are carried out regularly, that allows us to receive more information about Cannabidiol and how it affects a human’s body. Scientists confirm more positive effects that CBD has on our bodies. Consumption of CBD has an influence on vanilloid receptors that are responsible for pain regulation, adenosine, that also deal with pain regulation and sleep cycle, and serotonin levels that aim to balance our stress and mood.
How much CBD to use
You can be sure that CBD is safe to use. However, how much oil to use is a tricky question. Lots of tests show that even high doses of up to 1.500 mg per day and chronic use are not harmful for people’s health.
Of course, you don’t need to consume that much oil, but figuring out what is the right amount for you specifically is difficult.
However, we do know that 1–6 milligrams of CBD must be taken for every 10 pounds of body weight based on pain levels. Another hypothesis is to start with 5–10 mg per day and increase the quantity from 5 to 10 mg until you feel relief.
Make sure you monitor your condition while taking this product, and don’t forget to discuss your decision to take CBD with your doctor first. Then you will be 100% sure you are making everything right without causing hard to your body.
Forms of using CBD
There are a few different ways to take CBD, and they all have various effects. Now let’s talk about each of them in more detail.
- Edibles. This type of a CBD infused product might be anything from gummies to brownies. It’s an easy (and delicious!) way to get your daily dose of cannabidiol.
- Tinctures. Probably the most convenient format, because in this way you can control the dosage of the drug, and it’s also very easy to use.
- Balms. There are plenty of beauty products containing CBD. To achieve the desired effect, they are usually applied directly to the skin.
- Vape. This method involves smoking a vape juice or a cartridge.
Experimenting with all forms can help you understand which option is the most suitable for you.
Can I legally buy CBD?
According to the Farm Act of 2018, medical cannabis and its derivative CBD is legal across all 50 states of America. This product recognized as class A drug federally, but if you own it, you are an offender. There are a few caveats like this, nevertheless, you’re safe to buy CBD across the United States.
However, recreational/medicinal marijuana and CBD produced from marijuana plants are still subject to state laws.
As for European laws, they differ from country to country. The general EU law permits taking CBD products that contain no more than 0.2% THC, and there are a few exceptions, such as Croatia, Slovenia, etc.
Is CBD also legal for athletes?
If you are a professional athlete or take sport seriously and you are considering to try CBD, you should know whether this product is allowed for athletes.
The use of cannabis is not a new thing in sport. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed it from its prohibited substance list in 2018, so CBD is permitted in competition, and your medals will stay with you.
However, you should be 100% of what you are buying. CBD is the only cannabinoid that is legal in applicable sports. If a product contains any other cannabinoids, such as THC, you could be disqualified or get other penalties.
After we found out that CBD is allowed according to various regulations, let’s discuss CBD benefits for athletes, and how such a drug can enhance muscle recovery.
CBD and muscles
A breaking down of muscle fibers after an intense workout is important for their growth, however, the excess inflammation can cause changes in the body.
Excess inflammation interferes with muscle recovery, which increases the risk of run down and injuries. Professional athletes can even become ill due to the slower response of the immune system.
In some cases, athletes can be faced with awful diseases: kidney problems and muscle death. All due to serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels increase, which is also caused by excess inflammation.
Natural anti-inflammatory properties of CBD is a perfect solution to help in muscle recovery. Test results show us that antioxidant effects decrease inflammation and contribute to faster muscle recovery by reducing spasticity.
CBD also has shown its participation in reducing excess urea nitrogen and creatinine levels, which aid in avoiding severe complications for athletes.
CBD and muscle growth
If you pay special attention to muscle strengthening and want to achieve the best effect, then CBD can also help here.
Yes, most athletes prefer to use various supplements, pharmacy drugs, and products for muscle growth. Cannabidiol likewise has useful properties applicable to this task.
As you know, anti-catabolic supplements reduce the production of catabolic hormones, which contribute to muscle loss.
CBD promotes such an anti-catabolic response by intensifying the endocannabinoid receptors. When the endocannabinoid system is activated, it prevents the body from losing muscle mass, which subsequently helps muscles recover and grow much faster.
CBD and sprains/athletic injuries
Training, competitions, heavy sports equipment — it’s not surprising that athletes are subject to lots of injuries.
The first thing that comes to mind in such cases is various painkillers, but we have a different option for you.
CBD can be not only a very effective product for pain relief, but it can also reduce the recovery time by decreasing inflammation and helping in muscle recovery. Faster recovery is often vital for athletes not to lose form. Nobody wants to miss out on training or prolong their sufferings, right?
We feel pain due to neurons in our central nervous system that have a reaction in case of injuries. Painkilling is one of the most known and useful properties of CBD that has been discovered so far. CBD makes endocannabinoid receptors slow down neurons, which helps us not to feel pain anymore. CBD works like ordinary pain relievers, but, without numerous side effects.
CBD and endurance
Strength, speed, and endurance are quite essential qualities for athletes. They determine the results you achieve and “who gets the gold”.
If we are talking about long-distance runners, to them the question of endurance is always relevant. So what generally affects stamina?
Turns out a high level of running and excretion of endorphins directly related to the endocannabinoid system.
Another discovery made by scientists about the properties of CBD showed that it contributes to the development of endurance since it helps balance and activate the endocannabinoid system.
Now let’s sum up all the information and highlight the main benefits of using CBD for athletes.
Advantages for athletes:
Cannabis is an effective way of reducing pain from different injuries, including musculoskeletal pain from workouts and stiff joints.
Alternative to NSAIDs.
Many athletes prefer to take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but they are not always safe for your health.
Such medications can increase the risk of renal damage, heart attack, and stroke if you are taking them frequently or on in a long-term period.
There are some cases of athletes taking CBD, who saw the results and didn’t experience any side effects as opposed to NSAIDs.
Alternative to opioids.
Opioid medications are highly effective for pain management, but carry a significant risk of addiction, which can result in overdose or even be fatal.
Compare to opioids, cannabinoids are not so active but may be useful for long-term pain management. This can be a reasonable advantage case taking CBD causes far less dependency risk or death.
Inflammation may have one of two effects: permissible level of inflammation can either be useful for helping stimulate positive training adaptations or case of excess inflammation, it discourages recovery.
Cannabinoids have a significant anti-inflammatory effect and reduce cytokine (substance that increases inflammation), so they help your body to recover faster.
Small and large intestines inflammation is the reason for discomfort for the sportsmen, and especially GI distress, which is the leading cause of athletes drop out of races. Of course, CBD won’t solve stomach problems, but if you have inflammation issues that contribute to gut problems, CBD may be a practical solution. This applies both during or after workouts.
Lack of sleep improver.
Sleeping has always been, still is, and will be the best remedy for human health. But what should you do in a situation when you are an athlete, you need to restore energy, and yet you have problems with sleep? Just keep calm, we have a way out of this situation.
People who take CBD noted the ease and speed of falling asleep, as well as more restful sleep.
CBD products for athletic
What is best for athletes: cream or oil? Is vaping will give the desired results? Are there any other options? Let’s get the answers to all the questions and find out together.
There is a variety of options for athletes which product to use. And it’s good to know the features of each of them.
Edibles. The easiest and most convenient way to get your CBD norm is trying CBD infused food. Nowadays you can find a large assortment of such products on the market. Furthermore, athletes can even find protein bars and powders that contain CBD.
Tinctures. It’s a form that takes the least amount of time to be absorbed by our system and have an effect. Tinctures are great to be paired with other supplements an athlete can be taking.
Capsules. Aside from convenience of taking a capsule, it is also great because you can be sure of the dosage. Tablets can be taken regularly for maintenance or treatment of chronic pain, and also for long-term muscle recovery and effectiveness improvement.
Creams and lotions. A well-known way for a temporary pain relief effect. Creams and lotions that contain CBD can influence the source of pain and inflammation, providing faster and more effective relief.
Vape pen. Vaping can provide an almost instant effect. But at the same time, such a method has a lousy side effect: it might have a negative effect on lung functions.
There are always new CBD infused products that appear on the market. These are just a few options that are best for athletes.
What form of a CBD product would be best for you? There is no universal advice because what works for one might not be right for another. Perhaps the only way to find out if a product works for you and gives you the desired effect is to try it. However, make sure always to research all the products that you wish to try.
How to use CBD?
A variety of CBD contained products provides an opportunity to get needed CBD through capsules, pills, and other forms from oils to creams. Also, there are many sports beverages, such as recovery drinks with CBD. It’s important to understand some nuances about CBD consumption because they may affect how slowly or quickly you get the results.
Capsules, oil, and edibles are for internal use. Such products have to be digested that’s why their effect may take a bit longer. Sublingual drops/tinctures are considered the fastest way to achieve a result.
Creams and lotions should be applied directly to the body. This method of using the product allows topical creams to work quicker than edibles. As opposed to internal use, creams that directly sink in through the skin layers, make their way to our system faster, whereas digestion takes a little bit longer.
But what about drug tests?
This test usually involves urinalysis or another drug test to find out the THC amount in a human body. Even though CBD contains a small amount of THC, they are different metabolites, and drug tests can’t be positive.
CBD is available as “full-spectrum” or “isolate”. Full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other compounds found in the original cannabis plant, which could include small amounts of THC. CBD isolate, and CBD produced from hemp would be a better choice, from an anti-doping standpoint.
It’s also important to note that some companies may add extra THC into a product to increase the effect. If your CBD comes from hemp seed, it should contain 0.3% THC or less, which is within a norm and won’t show on a test.
However, some consumers noted that after a daily use of a CBD product for a long time, the THC amount rose above average. But in reality, if you buy products from verified and reliable companies, CBD won’t cause an increase of THC amount in the body.
As well as other pills or medicaments, CBD oil has its side effects. In some cases, it can cause dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, or fatigue. It’s also essential to mention that CBD can not be compatible with other medications you’re taking.
Therefore, always take this fact into account, and don’t forget to consult a doctor before using CBD.
Is CBD oil addictive?
Since numerous CBD products contain different levels of THC, you might be wondering if CBD is addictive.
Why should it be? At the molecular level, CBD is not addictive and doesn’t produce an effect that THC does.
It’s important to know that even THC doesn’t induce the same degree of physical withdrawal symptoms that opiates or alcohol do. Though cannabis use can often cause a cannabis use disorder. This condition leads to cannabis withdrawal symptoms that can be compared to growing a dependency. However, there is no evidence of CBD being addictive.
Things to pay attention to before buying:
Certificate of Analysis. Obviously, you should only buy certified products. A COA provides complete transparency about the ingredients that have been used to produce a product, and you can be confident that there won’t be anything you don’t wish to have in a composition. Be it nasty chemicals that you want to avoid, or if you have an allergy to something, a COA can help you figure out if a product is worth trying.
Make sure to ask for a COA if it doesn’t come with the product in a store or is not listed on the website. You can either contact the seller or a company directly and request this information.
THC. Keep it in mind: 0.3% is the right amount of THC that CBD product is allowed to have. Excess consumption of THC will give you a high and will show on a drug test.
Test date. When you analyse COA, pay close attention to the date, lot number, and an image of the packaging. If the test date was a long time ago, the lot number doesn’t match it, or the product packaging has changed, these are signs that COA may be invalid.
Recovery is a very individual process. There will never be a straightforward answer to questions such as how much CBD to take, whether it will work on you or not, or what form of CBD to choose. The effect will always depend on various factors.
But, as we have seen, CBD is helping with athletic recovery and could be a great addition to your recovery routine. CBD products can solve a lot of problems and can be especially helpful for those who experience a lot of tension after intense physical activity.
No doubt, there are a lot of painkillers, however, they can result in building a dependency or addiction. Obviously, there is a much better and more convenient way to manage the recovery process, allowing athletes to train hard yet minimizing the health damages. Using CBD products improves recovery time and quality due to its effectiveness. Many argue that it is a lot healthier and more effective compared to traditional pain management drugs.
According to studies, there are plenty of benefits in using CBD oil, especially for muscle recovery,. Still, there are also a few risks and possible side effects to consider as well. Our aim was to inform you about this possibility, and now it is up to you to decide whether you want to give it a try.
Verified by a Healthcare Professional
Anastasiia Myronenko is a Medical Physicist actively practicing in one of the leading cancer centers in Kyiv, Ukraine. She received her master’s degree in Medical Physics at Karazin Kharkiv National University and completed Biological Physics internship at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Germany. Anastasiia Myronenko specializes in radiation therapy and is a fellow of Ukrainian Association of Medical Physicists.
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If you’ve ever heard about CBD, you may know that it’s one of the most exciting and truly interesting products on the health and wellness market at the moment. It conquers more and more areas, offers…