If you’re one of those dedicated individuals who works out regularly, you’re probably always on the hunt for new promising products that would enhance your fitness routine.
Even if you’re a beginner, having a product at hand which would shorten your recovery time is definitely of best interest to you as well.
If you can recognize yourself in one of these groups, you might be interested to hear more about the newest wellness fad: cannabidiol or CBD.
Instead of buying into the hype, it is always good to research yourself to understand if the claims are really promising enough.
So let’s dive right into it.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the 113 compounds known as “cannabinoids” that can be found in the plant cannabis. The plant itself is undoubtedly one of the most stigmatised plants worldwide, which is why scientists and researchers are having a hard time defending the benefits of its usage in medicine.
CBD was identified as a compound of cannabis in the 1940s and continued to be studied in a health context. However, discussions about CBD always go hand in hand with the mention of marijuana, making it a frequent target of various misconceptions. In recent years, CBD is being used to treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, epilepsy, and even cancer.
Photograph: CBD Infos/ Unsplash
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
At any time of the day, our body is affected by both internal and external stimuli. To keep all these processes under control, our body needs to be in a state of homeostasis, which is a fancy word for having reached the required balance. This is the job of our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This system was identified in the 1990s by researchers exploring THC, and so far we know it plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes, such as: sleep, appetite, mood, memory, reproduction, and fertility. The ECS consists of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids produced by these enzymes. Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that are produced naturally in our bodies.
This is where CBD steps in. Its role is to maintain high levels of endocannabinoids to keep the ECS running and the body reaching homeostasis.
Cannabidiol helps our body
- reduce acute/chronic pain or inflammation,
- fight nausea and vomiting,
- regulate our appetite,
- and improve our mood.
And some researches show that it might even help us in destroying cancer cells.
CBD for Fitness – Yes or No?
With increasing studies on CBD, the evidence is growing that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. That is why CBD became popular among athletes first who reached for CBD edibles and CBD infused oils to relieve the soreness caused from exercise.
Habitual inflammation can lead to excessive muscle damage and result in poor unsatisfactory workouts. So it makes sense to include anti-inflammatory measures in your fitness routine.
Until now, the most common ones used to be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen which on continual indigestion could cause kidney damage.
Dr. Alan Beyer, Sports Medicine Doctor and Executive Medical Director of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California, told U.S. News and World Report that CBD might be a promising substitute for NSAIDs. “CBD penetrates transdermally to reduce inflammation in the injured tissues.”
Photograph: Danielle Cerullo/ Unsplash
Should You Decide to Give CBD a Shot?
Before you go and purchase products containing CBD such as edibles, tinctures, oils, or salves – you should have a few things in mind:
- Is it legal?
- Health professionals caution you to be very careful since the CBD industry is not yet fully regulated and there are certain products that might not be legal in your state. CBD can be derived from both marijuana and hemp, so for instance, in some states only the one derived from hemp could be legal.
- How to know if the CBD product you want to purchase truly contains the amount of CBD it claims it does?
- You literally can’t know for sure. The only advice is to do thorough research and opt for a high-quality product even if that means emptying your pockets a little bit more. You don’t want to be tricked into buying a product with potentially harmful substances.
- Keep in mind that some CBD products contain higher levels of THC than others.
- If you’re a professional athlete, you really don’t want to consume psychoactive substances which could be risky for your career.
Always consult your primary care physician before deciding to try any CBD product. This is critical, especially if you’re on some other medications as well.