The cannabis product is said to help inflammation. So… can it? CBD offers a variety of potential health benefits, from restoring calm and improving sleep to alleviating a range of symptoms associated with chronic conditions, such as pain relief and inflammation reduction. CBD (Cannabidiol) has been used to treat medical conditions like cancer and epilepsy. Learn about its powerful benefits for athletes and professional football players to recover from intense workouts and injuries.
Considering CBD For Muscle Recovery? Here’s What You Need To Know.
Cannabidiol is having a moment. Though you may not recognize its scientific moniker, you’ve probably seen it referred to by its buzzy nickname: CBD.
CBD is everywhere these days, and in a variety of forms. You can find it in capsules, gummies, tinctures, oils, balms, cocktails, cookies—even coffee sold at small-town bakeries. Its market share in the health and wellness space will likely only continue to grow, with some analysts estimating its value will hit $2 billion by 2022.
CBD has a lot of purported benefits with a lot of anecdotal (and some scientific) evidence to back those claims. Everything from helping cancer patients fight nausea, to acting as a sleep aid for people with insomnia, to reducing seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome.
While those seem like potentially huge breakthroughs, CBD is also said to help with smaller stuff, like helping you recover faster from workouts thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Before you dive into a pool of CBD oil, here’s everything you need to know.
Why are we sore after a workout anyway?
No matter how fit you are, sometimes you just feel it after a workout. Some workouts can leave you sore for days. That’s because, as the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) explains, working out causes microscopic damage to muscle fibers. Those muscles then become inflamed, which triggers the body to respond and repair, causing muscle soreness or stiffness.
Cool. So, what exactly is CBD again?
CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, which include both marijuana and industrial hemp. CBD is a close chemical cousin to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound found in marijuana that causes a psychoactive effect (AKA, the stuff that gets you high).
Though CBD is just one atom arrangement away from becoming THC, that microscopic difference is actually huge. No matter how much CBD oil you consume or how much CBD balm you rub on your body, you cannot get high from it. Which means.
I can legally buy CBD?
Yes. In December, President Donald Trump signed a new Farm Bill, which, among other things, legalized the growth, distribution, and sale of industrialized hemp, allowing it to be “cultivated for any use”—including the production and extraction of CBD.
There are a few caveats to the bill, but generally you’re now safe to buy CBD across the United States. Even professional athletes can use CBD, as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed it from its prohibited substance list in 2018. So relax, your gold medals are safe.
“Broadly speaking, CBD does decrease inflammation when it’s rubbed on muscles as an ointment or taken orally.”
Can CBD really help fight post-workout inflammation?
“As a personal trainer and someone that works out every day and really pushes myself a lot, I noticed the biggest difference in inflammation and stress after a workout,” Tara Laferrara, a former sprinter and a NASM certified personal trainer, told MensHealth.com about her personal use of CBD.
Laferrara was introduced to CBD via friends in the fitness industry who tried it after cannabis was legalized in Colorado in 2014. Now, she’s a devoted user. (A CBDevotee?) “It basically manages and prevents my joint inflammation, that aching kind of feeling, that I’d get after a heavy lift day,” she says.
Is there scientific proof?
While Laferrara’s anecdotal experience is intriguing, you might remain skeptical. Perhaps the scientific findings will squash some of your CBDoubts.
According to a 2018 review of 132 original studies published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD can indeed reduce inflammation in the body and help improve pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” the review study’s authors wrote.
“Broadly speaking, it does decrease inflammation when it’s rubbed on muscles as an ointment or taken orally,” Dr. Perry Solomon, previous chief medical officer and founding member of HelloMD, told MensHealth.com.
However, we can’t conclusively say that CBD will, without question, reduce inflammation—and in turn reduce muscle soreness—after another Eb & Swole workout. The empirical data just isn’t there yet.
But I’m good to start a CBD regimen?
CBD is commonly regarded as safe to use. Even the doctors published in Frontiers in Neurology said: “High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.” You shouldn’t need that much, though figuring out how much you do need can be tricky, as there is no “standard” dose.
One rule of thumb is 1-6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight based on pain levels. Another is to start with 5-10mg per day and increase by 5-10mg until you feel relief. This isn’t perfect and requires trial and error, but it’ll help you find a starting point.
As with anything you plan to put into your body, discuss CBD with your doctor first, particularly if you take other medications. They can help you make sure your liver will have enough room to metabolize it all so as not to diminish the effects of either.
How should I use CBD for recovery?
Beyond CBD oils and tinctures, CBD is often sold in infused balms, lotions, capsules, edibles, vape pens, and more. Basically, you just need to decide if you’d like to ingest it or rub it on for relief.
Again, you’re mostly on your own to determine exactly how much CBD you should take to feel its effects. The dosing guidelines above should give you a good jumping-off point, but CBD is a subjective chemical that reacts differently in every body. Once you feel the desired effect, though, you won’t have to up the dose. Which means if you use CBD oil for recovery, you can just fill the pipette to the same spot every time.
To sum it up, if your doctor says it’s OK and you’re game to try CBD instead of popping traditional anti-inflammatories, go for it. Try it for a few weeks while varying the delivery method and dose to find what works best for you. Who knows? By tomorrow, you could be recovering faster from your workout and have one less excuse to skip leg day.
Stacey Leasca is a journalist from Rhode Island. She’s a connoisseur of high-fives.
CBD For Recovery and Relief
Cannabidiol (CBD) products are growing in popularity – and it’s easy to see why. CBD offers a variety of potential health benefits, from restoring calm and improving sleep to alleviating a range of symptoms associated with chronic conditions , such as pain relief and inflammation reduction.
Cannabis has been used as pain relief for centuries. In fact, chronic pain was one of the first indications to qualify for medical cannabis use. It’s no surprise, considering its impressive anti-inflammatory profile and that inflammation itself is the catalyst behind many painful conditions.
New, promising research is emerging surrounding the benefits of CBD oil for pain and inflammation specifically associated with muscle recovery following exercise. But before we dive deeper into the evidence regarding CBD for recovery, let’s take a look at what happens after you exercise.
Why Is Post-Workout Recovery So Painful?
Most of us are familiar with the aches associated with workout recovery and may have made peace with the phrase “no pain, no gain”. What you may not realise however, is that there is a medical name for this phenomenon- delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). For some of us, DOMS occurs when we exercise after a long period of time; but even seasoned athletes who perform extreme, regular exercise are prone to these unpleasant sensations. Anyone, regardless of fitness level, can experience DOMS and here’s why.
When we work our muscles more intensely, for a longer time or in a different way than they are used to, it is thought to cause microscopic damage to the proteins that make up the individual muscle fibres. The damage triggers inflammation of the affected muscle as the body works to repair it, resulting in the characteristic aches, stiffness and pain we feel after a workout. Since it takes some time for the inflammation to build up, the pain typically starts a day or two following exercise and lasts anywhere from three to five days.
While muscle soreness recovery is unpleasant, it is a normal part of the adaptive process that precedes improved strength and stamina. Over time, these muscles become stronger and more resistant to similar levels of physical exertion, resulting in less DOMS.
The problem arises when we don’t have the luxury of ‘waiting out’ the pain, delaying our next workout or, in the case of professional athletes, postponing a game. It can be difficult to move past the pain, and for some people, this can be a major hindrance to realising the full extent of their physical capabilities.
Although there are many home remedies and anti-inflammatory drugs that are useful for DOMS, CBD oils are gaining traction for their anti-inflammatory effects.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of over 100 naturally occurring chemicals (called cannabinoids) derived from cannabis plants. Some reluctance surrounding the use of CBD products seems to stem from the confusion over legality or stigma associated with cannabis or ‘marijuana’.
Unlike other cannabinoids such as the well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is devoid of psychotropic effects or euphoric ‘highs’ but packs a punch in medicinal effects. While both cannabis and hemp plants can produce CBD, hemp-derived CBD naturally contains less than 0.3% THC (compared to up to 30% found in marijuana cannabis plants) making it legal in many countries. APOTHEM’s range of CBD products use the purest form of CBD isolate to ensure there is 0% THC.
CBD is similar to the endocannabinoids produced naturally by our bodies and can be utilised to enhance their soothing effects. As more people contemplate using CBD oil for inflammation associated with DOMS, it is important to consider both the anecdotal and scientific data.
CBD For Recovery
One such study is the RECHARGE CBD Cream Clinical Trial , which assessed 52 participants in a controlled clinical environment. Participants were asked to work out at least three times a week for 14 days and use a CBD cream afterwards. The results revealed that CBD was effective at relieving post-exercise joint stiffness and muscle tension in over 97% of participants. Another 2020 study showed that CBD use significantly reduced muscle aches and improved the rate of muscle recovery, compared to no intervention.
Such trials have laid the groundwork for further research into how CBD anti-inflammatory effects benefit regular gym-goers and athletes. Despite research into this specific area being in the preliminary stages, several professional athletes have come forward, advocating the benefits of this natural product for muscle recovery.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
The human body is composed of countless cells that need to work together. They achieve communication through the use of electrical impulses and chemical messengers, which transmit signals throughout the body. The process of inflammation is one such process that is dependent on chemical messengers travelling through the blood, alerting our immune system to react at the site of damage.
CBD targets a subsystem in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for producing, receiving and translating endocannabinoids of its own. This complex system runs throughout the human body to regulate functions, including pain and inflammation, in order to maintain a healthy state of balance or homeostasis. (You can learn more about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our recent blog post).
Put simply, the way to reduce inflammation is by blocking the transmission of one or more of these chemical messengers, so that cells cannot communicate with each other. CBD does just that. It interacts with our body’s ECS, regulating a series of complex processes, resulting in an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) effect.
The challenge is that there are different types of inflammation, for example, allergic reactions versus autoimmune versus injury, and many anti-inflammatory medicines will inhibit a select pathway. The benefit of CBD is that it is thought to regulate multiple pathways, hence interfering with the inflammatory process at various stages and making them effective for different types of inflammation. This allows CBD to affect a number of organs throughout the body, including the muscular system.
CBD is a worthwhile muscle recovery supplement, which works by regulating pain signals through the ECS. Here’s why many people choose CBD for recovery and relief:
- Relaxes muscles, which alleviates muscle tension and spasm
- Reduces mild inflammation, preventing damage to surrounding healthy muscle
- Supports sleep, which aids muscle fibre regeneration
- Helps prevent DOMS and associated pain
- Supports faster recovery between workouts or following injury
- Improves consistency with training routines due to reduced pain and downtime
How To Use CBD
In order to see tangible benefits, it is important to use the most effective CBD oil for your body and specific needs.
CBD is available in many different forms, including creams, gels, drops, vapours, edibles, and bath salts, amongst others. The choice is personal but for the purposes of post-workout recovery, topical CBD is great for providing targeted relief, as the effects are more concentrated on the inflamed local tissue.
Oral CBD oil drops will get to work directly on the ECS, providing relief for deep muscle tissues as well as additional systemic benefits, which include sleep quality. Combining oral CBD drops with a topical CBD recovery cream is an effective way to holistically support the body.
CBD comes in various strengths dependent on the route of administration. It also reacts differently in every person, making the dose requirements largely subjective. Depending on the severity of your pain or injury, as well as the location, you may need to adjust your dose in order to achieve the desired effect. Although dose requirements differ from person to person, it is generally recommended that you start low and titrate up until you find the right balance for your body and needs.
Combine CBD Products With Other Measures
It is important to bear in mind that CBD is not a magic pill and should be used in conjunction with other conservative measures to maximise its effects. Using CBD for recovery is intended to complement other pain-relief measures such as stretching, eating a balanced diet, rest, massage and ice packs.
It can be challenging to find the right CBD balance for your body at first, but remember to be consistent and patient. Follow a set routine and stick to it for a few weeks. Before you know it, you may have one less reason to skip the gym.
We recommend consulting your doctor if you’re unsure whether CBD is right for you and always if you’re taking any existing medications.
CBD for Muscle Recovery and Improved Performance for Pro Football Players
CBD (Cannabidiol) has been used to treat medical conditions like cancer and epilepsy. Learn about its powerful benefits for athletes and professional football players to recover from intense workouts and injuries.
Feb 8, 2022 12:08 PM EST
If you’re a pro football player, you’re at serious risk of injury every time you step onto the field. It’s a fast-paced, high-impact sport, and the slightest misstep can mean a serious injury—or even worse. This article highlights the benefits of CBD oil for muscle recovery among pro football players, including how CBD oil works to repair damaged muscles and decrease inflammation, how it accelerates the healing process, and how it improves overall performance and recovery time while reducing pain.
Why CBD for Muscle Recovery?
In any competitive sport, injuries are common, so pain management is usually the first concern in many cases. CBD can be used for the typical football injuries such as sprains, strains, Rotator cuff injuries, Achilles’ tendon injuries, Runner’s knee and other injuries.
The anti-inflammatory properties within this natural substance assist in getting rid of swelling and stiffness in muscles. By bringing down pain and inflammation, athletes will be able to recover faster and feel better overall. It’s no gainsaying that Pro football players and athletes treat their bodies like finely tuned machines, so it’s clear why they would be interested in CBD for muscle recovery.
Treating an Injury with CBD Oil
Once an injury takes place, your body releases endocannabinoids as part of your natural response system. The endocannabinoids attach themselves to CB1 receptors located throughout the body, including on nerve cells, immune cells and other cells involved in tissue regeneration. By attaching themselves to these receptors, they trigger various reactions that start up the healing process while reducing muscle spasms and pain.
CBD oil can be ingested, inhaled, applied topically or smoked. The method used depends on the desired effect and an athlete’s personal preference. Ingesting CBD oil orally allows for quick reaction, while smoking produces effects almost instantly but will wear off more quickly than oral ingestion or topical application. A typical dose is anywhere from 10 to 25 mg of CBD per day (though this will vary depending on ailments).
Benefits of CBD for Athlete Players
There are three main reasons why pro athletes use CBD oil: pain management, muscle recovery and muscle development. However, there are other benefits of CBD that improve athlete performance and long-term health.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain, swelling and the severity of joint damage caused by injuries
Improves Sleep Quality
Studies show that CBD oil provides relief from insomnia and other sleep disorders by boosting overall relaxation, reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality. This can speed up the healing process by allowing you to recover faster
Promotes Cell Regeneration
CBD oil also has neuroprotective properties that can help repair nerve tissues damaged during an injury or surgery. This can lead to faster wound healing, reduced scarring and improved muscle development over time.