The stigma surrounding marijuana is quickly disappearing. What once was considered a schedule I drug, marijuana is now legal for recreational and medicinal use in several states in the US.
Research shows that it has a wide range of benefits, including helping out in workout recovery. Still, when you think about weed, the image that comes to mind is a giggly reggae addict, not a robust athletic person.
Already, there are cannabis-based products for recovery in gyms and workout stores in marijuana-friendly states. Read on to find out if you should consider marijuana for workout recovery.
The Miracle Compound: CBD
Marijuana has more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids. The most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana – it causes the high. The compound with health benefits is CBD.
Cannabinoids bind with cannabinoid receptor cells in your body. These receptors are heavily prevalent in the central nervous system. When the binding happens, the cannabinoids influence the neurotransmitter system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has different roles in the ECS, including protecting the neural network, immune balance, stress recovery, and homeostasis.
CBD and Workout Recovery
You can use CBD for fitness workout recovery because:
- It increases the levels of adenosine and anandamide. These two neurotransmitters are cannabinoids naturally produced in the body. Both reduce pain and inflammation. Since CBD activates their production, it will help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by an intense workout.
- CBD activates the vanilloid receptor, which controls inflammation and the body’s sensitivity to pain.
- Blocking of the GPR55 receptor. The receptor influences nociception, which refers to the central nervous system’s response to harmful stimuli that manifests as pain.
- CBD improves sleep and stimulates appetite, both of which indirectly help in workout recovery.
- CBD assists the body in accelerating the natural recovery time of your body. This is effected by enhancing the process of your body recovering its tissues.
- CBD also reduces the adverse effects brought about by working out. Such negative effect is preventing the occurrence of a joint injury or swelling.
- CBD improves insulin sensitivity. You could be on a healthy diet and a strict workout program, and you are still not losing weight. The problem could be your insulin sensitivity. Insulin helps store excess glucose as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is a carbohydrate form that can easily be broken down. Low sensitivity to insulin causes the storage of glucose as fat. So, by improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin, CBD helps improves the results of your workout program.
- CBD eradicates fear and depression that is brought about starting a new workout routine.
The truth is, CBD is a promising post-workout supplement. Scientific studies have consistently demonstrated that it can help with pain relief. However, studies on most of the other individual benefits, such as easing anxiety, are not conclusive as they have only been tested on animals.
What's the Best CBD Dosage?
Currently, there are four FDA-approved drugs. Three of them are manufactured from synthetic cannabinoids and are for the treatment of nausea, chemotherapy, and anorexia. Epidiolex, an epilepsy treatment from natural cannabis, was approved in 2018.
The point is, there are no FDA-approved CBD-based workout recovery supplements. The supplements industry is highly unregulated. So, the dosage on the label of a CBD extract is based on the research of the manufacturer. Even the level of CBD in the supplement is not tested by a reliable third-party such as the FDA.
That said, we recommend starting with a small dose (20 to 25 mg) and increase depending on your needs. But, remember, your body needs only a small amount of CBD for an optimally functioning ECS. Also, the mode of administration determines the effectiveness of CBD. For instance, sublingual CBD tales about 15 minutes to kick in. Smoking or vaping takes a shorter time, while edibles can take up to two hours to take effect.
Note that, for fitness, you do not require the psychoactive effects for marijuana. So, you should go for products with THC levels as low as 0.3%. Marijuana is no longer a thing for hippies and teenagers looking to let loose. Considering the health benefits and its non-addictive nature, it is worth to try CBD for fitness workout recovery.
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