CBD is one of the fitness world’s trendiest terms currently, and if you’re not familiar with it yet, it won’t be long before you see this ingredient popping up in everything from bottled water to skincare products. Derived from the cannabis or hemp plant, but without any of the psychoactive properties of THC, CBD (or cannabidiol) are being touted as a potential cure for a laundry list of ailments including autoimmune diseases, neurological problems, digestive issues, skin conditions, stress, and pain. And due to its promises to assist in the latter of the these, CBD for fitness recovery is one of the most exciting and promising new uses for this trendy plant extract.
The fitness market is full of new things that can help you step up your workout game, including post-workout drinks, supplements, and mobility devices, so it’s no surprise that a ton of CBD products are now being specifically marketed to help recover from sports-related injury or reduce pain. But with so much to choose from, how can you tell which is right for you? Not to mention whether or not you might be a good candidate to try it in the first place?
CBD can be especially good for fitness related aches and pains, its anti-inflammatory properties attributes to fitness greatly, so although it’s not a cure-all for everyone, some conditions might be able to benefit. The two most common conditions I see that hinder most athlete’s ability to recover are delayed onset soreness (DOMS) and chronic and acute inflammation related to injury. Since CBD has little to no psychoactive effects, it does little when it comes to the pain or discomfort caused from DOMS. However, when it comes to inflammation, it really helps.
We believe that one condition in particular can experience some amazing results with the use of CBD. One of the worst possible inflammation-related conditions is arthritis. This is something one cannot simply massage, ice or stretch away. Desperate and wanting to help clients, I implemented topical & supplemental CBD usage and in a matter of three to five weeks it has greatly reduced or completely removed arthritis related symptom. In fact, the we have treated a total of 24 clients suffering with arthritis — including my own mother over the past year and found it to help tremendously.
The Science; How can CBD Help With Inflammation
CBD is associated with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive qualities, and the availability of this cannabinoid has increased significantly since the FDA has allowed it to be marketed as a food supplement.
The two main cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system are CB1 and CB2. THC is more effective when dealing with CB1 (controls perception, mood, sleep, memory, and appetite), while CBD has a greater impact on the CB2 receptor (affects the immune system).
Inflammation is an ‘immune response,’ it is important for any compound to focus on the CB2 receptor to reduce inflammation. CBD is not the only known cannabis compound to activate the CB2 receptor, it is the most abundant.
Arguably the most promising studies relating to CBD and inflammation have shown that it is the strongest of all anti-inflammatory options, beating out stiff competition from Omega-3, vitamin C, and various antioxidants.
Other compounds in marijuana help reduce inflammation, but CBD is arguably the most effective. One significant study was performed on mice at the Imperial College London and showed that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Researchers found when the mice received 5mg/kg of CBD, their inflammation was reduced by up to 50%.
Curiously, the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD were negligible when the mice received 25mg/kg. (Possibly dosage dependent)
A 2011 study for the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine examined the impact of CBD on the inflammation caused by oxidative stress and they concluded that cannabidiol were effective and reduced the risk of organ damage and dysfunction.
A 2015 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence studied the levels of inflammation in people who smoked marijuana and compared them to those who didn’t. They observed 1,115 people who recently smoked marijuana, and 8,041 non-smokers with the goal being to examine the influence of the plant on C-reactive protein (CRP) – an inflammation marker that is often linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Results of the study found that people who had smoked marijuana within the previous 30 days had lower CRP levels than non-smokers.
Our Conclusion on CBD for Inflammation
Even if you don’t suffer from such an extreme case of inflammation as arthritis, you might still benefit from use of CBD. If CBD helps one of the worst physical inflammatory conditions, it can help less severe conditions such as minor muscle injuries from overuse — and it has. So just in case you happen to overdo it at your next weightlifting session, boxing class or HIIT workout, it’s helpful to know that this over-the-counter solution might just help you recover from minor wear-and-tear a little more quickly.
Inflammation is extremely painful and inconvenient at best. At worst, it can be a sign that you’re suffering from a serious medical condition. NSAIDs can provide fast-acting relief, the positive effects are only temporary, and are often accompanied by long-term side effects.
In contrast, CBD is all-natural and comes in a variety of forms, including oils, gummies, edibles, tinctures, topical ointments, and more.
The best CBD sellers ensure that their products contain little or no THC with a COA (Certificate Of Authenticity), no additives, and no GMOs. If inflammation is causing you hell, take some time and do quality research, as there are many reputable brands out there that offer legal, high-grade hemp CBD products to soothe your pain.