Making Exercise Recovery Easier With CBD
Exercise is hard work, and those who stretch their bodies to the max several times a week need to make sure they carry out regular self-care to protect physical and mental health as much as possible. However, it’s not necessary to numb out the pains and aches from working out with pharmaceutical painkillers – whether they’re over-the-counter-drugs or high-strength opioids – when cannabidiol (CBD) products can be just as effective, sans the harmful side effects.
A total of 113 cannabinoids have been found in the cannabis plant, but CBD appears to be the most prominent and therapeutic non-psychoactive cannabinoid. The comprehensive range of mental and physical benefits come mostly from CBD’s interactions with the endocannabinoid system.
This article will concentrate on how CBD can make the exercise process easier by regulating the endocannabinoid system – and also the importance of taking care of this system for good, overall health. We’ll also look at the different CBD products on the market, and the specifics of how they help with pain.
Key Facts About CBD
Acceptance of medical cannabis has risen a lot in recent years, as the public have become better acquainted with non-intoxicating, non-psychoactive products, rich in CBD. While medical cannabis legislation did progress in some US states largely off the back of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the medicinal effects of this cannabinoid are somewhat controversial because of the psychoactive effects induced. Unfortunately, a lot of the media coverage surrounding cannabis and THC has been misinformed, with oversimplifications and scare stories commonplace.
CBD is not an agonist of the CB1 receptor, and therefore cannot induce a high – and as a non-psychoactive substance, patients are more open to giving CBD a go. The anti-inflammatory benefits of the compound are of significant interest to seniors with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis; this demographic may also be aided by CBD’s neuroprotective properties. The reduction in inflammation brought about by CBD comes from interacting with the CB2 receptor, which influences immune system response.
The progression of CBD science is having a real impact for patients with life-threatening conditions in America and the rest of the world. While some states have permitted CBD for years, states traditionally hesitant to cannabis are steadily introducing legislation to allow CBD treatment for approved cases. CBD has helped cannabis to get a foot in the door in regions and among demographics where the herb’s potential would typically be disregarded.
CBD is ending the cannabis stigma slowly but surely, and as research into cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system starts to come thick and fast, the plant will likely become even more widely used.
Regulating The Endocannabinoid System With CBD
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) remained hidden from researchers until the 1990s, but now that we’ve established the networks where cannabinoids have the biggest effect on the body, we have learned more about the intricate reactions these compounds make. The ECS consists of multiple types of neurotransmitters and receptors.
The receptors are activated by cannabinoids from cannabis and also these neurotransmitters, which are referred to as endocannabinoids, since they are cannabinoid-like substances produced endogenously. Cannabinoid receptors are the gateway to mood, appetite, immune system response, stress and several other physiological and mental variables, which are regulated or otherwise influenced by cannabinoids and endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system could be very important in developing effective treatments for illnesses and diseases that are not being managed sufficiently by current prescription medication. For instance, the United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis at present, accounting for more than 40,000 lives each year – many of these deaths are coming from overdoses on prescribed opioid-based painkillers. In addition to having a high overdose risk, opioids are addictive and can cause mood swings, nausea and constipation.
If the endocannabinoid system can interfere with the pleasure-reward mechanisms associated with addiction, and also reduce pain sensitivity, then patients not only have an alternative to opioid medicine in CBD, but a way to get off the addictive drugs.
CBD has also shown intriguing potential in combatting mood disorders, by indirectly increasing concentrations of anandamide in the brain, an endocannabinoid that latches onto the CB1 receptor.
The endocannabinoid system could even help scientists to identify a whole new disease that’s responsible for conditions that we haven’t yet found out causes for (e.g. fibromyalgia). Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is a concept that neurologist Dr Ethan Russo has proposed and developed since the early 2000s, in an attempt to work out why cannabinoids are particularly effective against fibromyalgia, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
But we now know with certainty that plant-derived cannabinoids hold some stunning and seemingly unique therapeutic effects, that are giving patients relief from illnesses that have been ineffectively managed by existing treatments.
Many endocannabinoid system issues can be fixed by taking CBD, as the cannabinoid is versatile and able to solve several types of dysregulation. However, CBD still holds a lot of secrets, with indications that it stimulates a receptor in the serotonin system, subtly influences the vanilloid receptor and exerts anti-addiction properties via the opioid system.
Talking of opioids, these drugs are dished out regularly to athletes, and American footballers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in particular, who go through severe physical punishment each time they’re in competitive action, and also while training. But opioid painkillers are a slippery slope, and the pain relief and slight euphoria can be very addictive. This is made more dangerous by the body acquiring a tolerance to opioids, meaning ever-stronger medication is necessary to reduce pain.
In contrasts, the risks with CBD usage – even around-the-clock, heavy usage – are minimal. And in December 2017, the World Health Organization gave special consideration to CBD after reviewing the substance, noting the cannabinoid has “no abuse potential.” Furthermore, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has decided to lay off CBD users, removing the compound from the list of banned substances for athletes, effective January 2018.
Taking CBD To Improve Post-Exercise Recovery
For those who exercise a lot, having a healthy sleep pattern maybe extra important. Research shows that CBD helps to manage sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia, but the cannabinoid’s sedative properties are equally useful as a natural sleeping aid. CBD’s regulation of the sleep-wake cycle substitutes rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep for additional deep sleep, where the muscles and body tissue can be regenerated.
There’s also neuroprotective value in forming better and more consistent sleep habits. In deep sleep, the brain expels neurotoxins as cerebrospinal fluid cleans the brain.
Athletes in many sports are prone to muscle spasms that are the result of muscle strains, nerve damage and even dehydration. However, CBD’s antispasmodic effects provides a natural treatment to these spasms, speeding up recovery time.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects can be very beneficial if experiencing any swelling, or if trying to heal a graze or wound.
Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties coincide with brain inflammation, which CBD efficiently reduces, limiting the neurological damage from head traumas such as concussion.
To exercise for long hours at an intense level, a lot of fuel is needed. Food is fuel, and CBD can stimulate appetite by increasing the presence of hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin in the body.
In the next section, we’ll look at the best methods of CBD consumption to harness the aforementioned benefits.
Vaporizing, Edibles And Topicals
Vaping, orally-consumed edibles and externally-applied topicals are the three most distinct ways of taking CBD, and each product type has advantages in helping with the recovery process.
Let’s start with vaping. Aches and pains will begin to subside just a minute or two after drawing on vapor from CBD vape oil and e-liquid. The therapeutic effects of CBD are felt all over the body, due to the expression of cannabinoid receptors in all regions and the transportation of cannabinoids through the bloodstream.
Vaporizing CBD as soon as you’ve finished exercising or come off the field is the perfect time to do it, as this helps to suppress pain before it has chance to strike. Full-spectrum CBD e-juices could be more effective than other CBD vape products, as terpenes and additional cannabinoids are also found in the cannabis extract.
CBD gummy bears and other edibles are better if the pain you experience is nagging and sticks with you morning, noon and night. While edibles don’t provide instantaneous relief, once the CBD starts to be released following metabolization in the gut and liver, the effects can last for six or seven hours. For extra potency, eat an edible and then vape around 45 minutes later, so the effects hit at the same time.
Suffering from a dodgy knee or bad back? The localized pain relief offered by CBD topicals (creams, balms, ointments) may be just what you’re looking for. The CBD interacts mostly with CB2 receptors to ease inflammation, and the effects tend to be powerful, as the cannabinoids are contained within the skin, instead of travelling all over the body.
CBD is a must-have health aid for athletes and anyone who exercises, simply because of its wide-range of positive effects.