If you’ve been hitting the gym too hard or find that it takes you a few too many days to recover from an intense workout (but you want to keep going), consider adding CBD for muscle recovery. This newly Canadian approved supplement is part of the cannabis and hemp plant, but don’t worry it’s not going to get you high, but it may help you recover faster.
CBD, more formerly known as “cannabidiol”, is one of the active ingredients in cannabis (the other being THC or “tetrahydrocannabinol”). Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high since it doesn’t have any psychoactive components, which makes this product a safe alternative to pharmaceutical options when it comes to inflammation and pain relief. And because it’s THC-less, it also makes it so much more accessible. CBD is legal in both Canada (as of October 2019) and the US—even the World Anti-Doping Agency has removed it from its list of prohibited cannabinoid substances.
In the past few years, CBD has garnered a lot of attention for its therapeutic benefits because of how it communicates with our endocannabinoid system. This system has a special ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors located in the body. When we stimulate this system via CBD-based products, we reduce inflammation associated with many chronic conditions, like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, anxiety, and depression. While most of the studies showcasing the therapeutic effects of CBD focus on these and other chronic conditions, there is an ever-growing body of evidence showing how supportive CBD can be for anyone suffering from muscle soreness.
Exercise induces tiny micro-tears in the skeletal muscle fibres—a naturally inflammatory reaction when we utilize our muscles during exercise. The inflammatory process is ultimately what helps the muscles grow back stronger. But in the meantime, we will likely experience pain. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce muscle spasms and pain by suppressing the inflammatory and neuropathic responses as a result from intense exercise, like weight-lifting and HIIT training.
We of course already know that muscle recovery also relies on good quality sleep—after all, sleep is when our body does most of its repair work. Luckily, another benefit of CBD is its ability to regulate serotonin and adenosine which help control our mood and sleep cycle, ultimately helping to induce a better quality sleep-state for better, faster recovery.
Before shopping online for the top-hit CBD oil, we think you should consider a few things first:
You may see “hemp seed oil” and CBD oil and be wondering, what is the difference? Afterall, they both come from the same plant. The difference lies in how they are extracted: hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of hemp plants, whereas CBD oil is extracted from the flower or bud of the plant. They also differ in their benefit: hemp seed oil is used in cooking, offering healthy fats to a meal, whereas CBD oil is used therapeutically for medicinal benefit. Neither oils contain THC and neither one of them are considered addictive.
Since becoming more popular (and legal), CBD-containing products have boomed across North America. If you’re a first time CBD-buyer, try not to get overwhelmed with all the products you see on the market and instead, choose a product that’s right for you and your preferences. CBD oil and CBD tinctures are most popular and can easily be taken orally, offering the quickest effect on the body since it will be absorbed from the mouth into the bloodstream the fastest. If you don’t like the taste, try CBD capsules, which offer convenience as well as standardized dosages. Some users have supplemented with CBD capsules prior to their workout to prevent acute and delayed muscle soreness. Others have seen great effects from applying it topically using a balm or spray, or inhaling it, using a vape pen post-workout. And if you’re not a fan of these types of CBD products but still want to give CBD a try, look out for CBD-infused collagen, protein powder and juices which have hit the market recently. Either way, CBD is a great alternative to over-the-counter pain relievers that have known long-term health consequences.
Depending on the product you’re purchasing, the ingredients will vary. But one thing is for sure, the packaging of the product should indicate how much CBD it contains and more specifically, should indicate how much CBD you’re getting per dose. This should be labeled in milligrams (mg) and you should always start off by taking a relatively low dose. You will also want to make sure that the “cannabidiol” is distinctly listed as the ingredients, and that the product doesn’t simply contain “cannabinoids”, in which case it could contain CBD, THC, as well as many other related compounds. And as with any product on the market, be sure to look out for harmful ingredients like propylene glycol added to vape pens, or additives and preservatives, amonst other things.
As with any new supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether or not CBD is right for you. Although it’s considered safe for use, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for you. For example, CBD products have been shown to interact with the liver’s detoxification pathway, so depending on what pharmaceutical drug you may be taking, CBD may not be for you.
If you’ve started to use CBD to aid in muscle recovery, let us know if you’ve found it’s helped you by tagging us @reflexsupplements on Instagram and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ReflexNation to keep us in the know.
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