CBD & Recovery: A Fitness Game-Changer
Whether you’re a fitness buff or new to the exercise game, post-workout recovery is an important part of your fitness journey. The pursuit of new and better recovery strategies has led many individuals to explore alternative approaches, and one such avenue gaining attention is the use of CBD. As fitness enthusiasts increasingly seek natural and holistic methods to enhance recovery, the role of CBD in mitigating exercise-induced fatigue, muscle soreness, and promoting overall well-being has become a subject of curiosity. In this exploration, we delve into the emerging research surrounding CBD’s potential benefits for workout recovery.
What Is Workout Recovery?
Before talking about CBD for muscle recovery, let’s take a look at the recovery process as a whole. Workout recovery is an integral and often underestimated component of any effective fitness regimen. After engaging in physical exercise, the body undergoes stress and fatigue, causing microscopic damage to muscle fibers and depleting energy stores. Proper recovery is crucial to allow the body to repair and adapt, leading to increased strength, endurance, and overall fitness.
One key aspect of recovery is rest, which allows the body to divert energy towards repairing tissues and replenishing glycogen stores. Quality sleep is particularly vital during this phase, as it promotes the release of growth hormones and facilitates the repair of damaged cells. Additionally, hydration plays a pivotal role in recovery by replenishing lost fluids and aiding in nutrient transport to cells, promoting optimal physiological function. Nutrition is another fundamental element of effective workout recovery. Including anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can also aid in reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.
Incorporating recovery strategies into a fitness routine not only accelerates recovery but also helps prevent burnout, enhances performance, and contributes to the overall well-being of individuals committed to their fitness journey.
Can CBD Help With Recovery?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has gained popularity for its potential therapeutic benefits, including its role in workout recovery. While research on CBD is still in its early stages, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest several ways in which CBD may contribute to improved recovery after exercise:
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Intense workouts can lead to inflammation and muscle soreness. CBD may help mitigate inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, potentially reducing pain and promoting faster recovery.
Pain Relief: CBD may act as a natural analgesic, and some people find that it possibly helps to alleviate pain associated with muscle soreness and exercise-related injuries. This can be particularly beneficial for athletes or individuals engaged in high-intensity training.
Stress and Relaxation: Regular exercise can be physically demanding and may induce stress on the body. CBD has been studied for its potential to reduce stress and improve relaxation, which could contribute to an overall sense of well-being during recovery periods.
Improved Sleep Quality: Quality sleep is crucial for effective recovery. CBD has been reported by some users to have a calming effect that promotes better sleep. By supporting a restful night’s sleep, CBD may enhance the body’s natural recovery processes.
Muscle Relaxation: CBD may have muscle-relaxant properties, potentially aiding in the relaxation of tense muscles. This could be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with muscle spasms or tightness after intense workouts.
However, while all of these properties could contribute to improved post-exercise recovery, only recently has research directly addressed the potential benefits of cannabinoid use during recovery. Currently, two major studies have explored this potential use of CBD for muscle recovery: one published in 2021, and one that came out recently in 2023.
The original investigation of CBD for recovery was primarily a literature review. It examined available evidence indicating that CBD might have the potential to be included in recovery strategies for addressing fatigue and muscle damage resulting from both physical and cognitive efforts in physical activity. The review article pointed out that our understanding of how CBD influences the body during physical activity is not complete, leaving notable gaps in knowledge.
The more recent 2023 study on cannabis for recovery aimed to change that. Let’s take a closer look at its findings!
THC and CBD for Muscle Recovery
This study looked at both CBD and THC together for muscle recovery. CBD and THC, found in cannabis, could potentially aid in recovering from both aerobic and resistance exercise. Some studies show that cannabis users, including athletes, use these compounds to assist with exercise recovery, alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and enhance sleep. Survey data also suggests that cannabis users feel that THC and CBD contribute to relaxation and well-being with minimal perceived negative effects.
While various recovery methods like stretching, heat therapy, foam rolling, and others are known to enhance exercise recovery, there is limited research on the direct impact of cannabis, CBD, or THC on muscle soreness and recovery after aerobic or resistance exercise. This study aims to investigate whether individuals who regularly use cannabis and engage in exercise perceive benefits in terms of recovery. The hypothesis was that regular cannabis users would report positive effects on recovery from both aerobic and resistance exercise, attributing motives such as pain management, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep to their cannabis use.
The study surveyed cannabinoid users who regularly exercise about their recovery techniques. The responses demonstrated that a significant portion of participants, around 20% for CBD and 61% for THC, reported using cannabis products to aid in recovery after both aerobic and resistance exercises. When asked about the effectiveness, the majority believed that both CBD and THC contributed positively to their recovery, with 93% affirming CBD and 87% affirming THC.
Results indicated that a significant number of participants use CBD and/or THC to aid recovery from both aerobic and resistance exercise. Interestingly, men using CBD reported higher exercise intensity than those using THC, and a similar pattern was observed for women in aerobic activity. Despite limited conclusive data on cannabis and exercise recovery, the study revealed that a majority of participants believed CBD and THC positively influenced their recovery.
Reasons for using CBD and THC included pain management, inflammation reduction, and improved sleep, aligning with the proposed roles of these substances in recovery. The study also highlighted that cannabis users often combine these products with traditional recovery methods, such as stretching and supplements. However, the study had limitations, including its small sample size and reliance on self-reported data, and further research is needed to better understand the relationship between cannabis use and exercise recovery.
Taking CBD For Recovery
If you want to try CBD for recovery, the easiest way to take it is by using a tincture made with lab-tested, high-quality CBD. Tinctures are easy to dose, and the doses are easy to customize. All of our tinctures at Myriam’s Hope are made with all-natural, lab-tested full-spectrum CBD, using only organic carrier oils. We know that you have a lot of options when it comes to your wellness, and we want everybody to have access to the information they need to make their own decisions about their well-being. Contact us today with any questions you may have!
- Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research
- Cannabidiol as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain: an exploratory cross-sectional study
- Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
- Cannabis use for exercise recovery in trained individuals: a survey study
- Efficacy, Safety, and Regulation of Cannabidiol on Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review
- Enhancing Endocannabinoid Control of Stress with Cannabidiol
- Evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of THC-CBD oromucosal spray in symptom management of patients with spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
- Potential Role of Cannabidiol on Sports Recovery: A Narrative Review
FDA Disclaimer: The claims in this blog post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any CBD product.