Cannabidiol, often referred to as CBD, is permeating the fitness world. More and more athletes and fitness enthusiasts are coming forward with testimonials about how CBD has helped their workout plans, from Mike Tyson to this summer’s football star Megan Rapinoe. “I wanted a healthier, more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, relaxation while flying, and general recovery,” explained Rapinoe.
For those unfamiliar with CBD, the naturally occurring compound, known as a cannabinoid, is found and extracted from hemp, a member of the cannabis family. People are generally more well acquainted with marijuana, another member of the cannabis family. However, a key difference between CBD products and marijuana is the presence of the psychoactive cannabidiol tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana. This is the element which provides the ‘high’, but it is almost untraceable or absent in CBD products, meaning there are no mind altering side effects.
Cannabinoids impact the human body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes which breakdown and synthesize cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced within the human body, whereas plants produce phytocannabinoids (like CBD and THC). CBD has been found to be a natural anti-inflammatory, which is crucial for the body’s recovery after strenuous exercise.
When you overwork your body during exercise, your muscles will rub together making them inflamed and potentially sore for the next few days. If you don’t take proper care of your body after exercise, this can make the recovery process longer and harder. As a natural anti-inflammatory, taking CBD orally and into the bloodstream can help calm the inflammation and encourage cell regeneration. Additionally, CBD oil has the capability to promote better sleep quality, which is when our body does most of its healing. Consequently, this is a crucial part of the recovery process, which can be prompted by CBD.
CBD cream is the newly popular alternative for post workout recovery. Researchers have also found that endocannabinoid receptors exist in the skin and in nerve fibres, meaning that transdermal application allows for the source of the pain to be directly targeted and soothed – rather than the CBD travelling through absorption in the bloodstream. CBD enthusiasts are also keen to opt for CBD creams as not only do they soothe pain and inflammation, but also the antioxidants in cannabidiol keep skin moisturised, healthy, and glowing.