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Exercise and intense workouts often require at least a brief recovery period, and some who adhere to a rigorous fitness regime have considered the benefits of CBD to relieve post-workout pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Some have also considered whether it may have a positive impact on workouts if it is taken beforehand. There has been only a limited amount of definitive clinical research at this early stage on how CBD may impact fitness workouts, although anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be beneficial. Some studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation in the body, and that it does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
So far, the FDA has not yet reviewed or approved CBD for specific purposes or therapies, although the agency does have an agenda to issue regulations and guidance in the future.
There is, however, plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it can be very useful for athletes, those who suffer from post-workout muscle strain, or those who may be suffering from injuries related to workout or athletic activity.
Using CBD to up your game
Because CBD functions as a vasorelaxant, which reduces vascular tension and allows blood to flow more freely, it may contribute to a better, more satisfying and longer-lasting workout. CBD also reduces blood pressure and heart rate, which may also be a positive factor.
Most professional treadmills for example, include heart rate monitors on the handle, and this allows you to see if you need to stop at any given time. By reducing blood pressure and heart rate, you may be able to enjoy a longer workout than you would otherwise have, and because CBD does remain in the body for several hours, taking it before the workout may also relieve the post-workout soreness one typically must endure after a rigorous session.
Still, others have cited CBD is a useful treatment for professional athletes who may suffer from occasional bouts of performance anxiety or common game-day jitters. A concern professional athletes may have is testing, although last year the US Anti-Doping Agency issued a statement allowing the use of CBD.
The agency still bans THC, although using a reputable CBD product that adheres to the legal standard of having less than 0.3 percent THC will avoid any possibility of a false positive test. Professional athletes who are concerned about testing may wish to use a CBD isolate product rather than a full-spectrum CBD product since the isolates contain pure cannabidiol and no THC at all.
CBD treatments for workout pain and injuries
A strenuous workout can cause some microscopic damage to muscle fibers which causes muscles to become inflamed, and some soreness or stiffness will result. This is usually minor and can be easily remedied with standard over-the-counter treatments, including CBD.
Besides ordinary post-workout soreness, those who do strenuous exercise or participate in aggressive sports will inevitably sustain an injury, sprained ankle or knee, or exercise-induced irritation of muscles, and the analgesic quality of CBD has proven useful in this regard, with many professional athletes and trainers attributing their ability to heal more quickly, or at least to reduce the pain associated with the injury, to CBD.
CBD may also be more desirable as a therapy for more serious exercise-related pain than THC or addictive opioids, because CBD is not psychoactive like cannabis, and does not carry the same risk of dependence or addiction as do opioids.
A major question for athletes is the format for taking CBD
The market has plenty of CBD edibles, although oral consumption has a much lower percent bioavailability of about 20 percent, meaning that when consuming CBD in the form of an edible, the body uses less of each dose. A tincture or spray under the tongue will deliver better bioavailability as well as faster results.
Those considering using CBD in pre- or post-workout regimens should begin with a smaller dosage and carefully gauge the results on duration, pain and stress on the body, and overall quality of the workout, and adjust as needed. Studies have shown that dosages of as much as 1500 mg/day are well tolerated, although starting lower and gradually raising the level while observing results is recommended.
While the potential benefit is significant, there may be some very minor side effects which athletes should watch for, including changes in weight and appetite or fatigue.
Of course, at the same time continue eating a healthy diet to meet your nutritional requirements, stay hydrated during the workout, and manage your stress levels.