In the gym, we are always looking to maximise the effects of the work that we put in, to give our fitness a lift and our general health a boost, You might have heard of CBD – or cannabidiol – the compound which is found naturally in the cannabis plant and which has the potential to make your time spent working out even more effective.
There has been a lot of hype around CBD in the past couple of years and we are seeing more and more people experiencing the benefits of the compound, which is safe to use, non-addictive, totally legal and beneficial to your health. CBD can be useful to many people for different reasons, but it is something that we are seeing becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is one of over 100 compounds that are present in the cannabis plant, but when it is taken on its own, it won’t make you high. It is another compound – known as THC which has these effects, but CBD, on the other hand, can interact with the human body in a slightly different way. As long as your CBD contains less than 0.2% THC, it is completely legal, and won’t get you high.
CBD is known as a phyto cannabinoid – a cannabinoid that is made by plants. The body produces cannabinoids naturally (known as endocannabinoids) and these are used by the body in the endocannabinoid system – a system that helps to regulate the body and give it the best environment for it to work well.
The endocannabinoid system helps to keep certain aspects of the body regulated – including mood, the digestive system – and, importantly for athletes, the central nervous system and the immune system.
In short, many people have found that CBD can be useful in managing pain – whether it be muscle or joint pain, and in reducing inflammation.
CBD and Sport
When CBD is taken it will usually pass into the bloodstream and travel to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. It then interacts with these receptors and helps to regulate specific aspects of the body.
There are a number of different ways that CBD can be used by athletes to help them to get the most out of their workout. These include:
- Motivation – many people find that CBD has an anxiolytic effect – meaning that it can reduce anxiety and help to lift depression. This can give you extra motivation and a boost before your workout, meaning that you go in more energised and raring to go.
- Inflammation – CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it could be useful in the management of pain during and after your workout. It is common knowledge that muscle pain after a workout generally comes from inflammation, so by taking CBD, you could reduce inflammation and therefore begin to reduce post-workout pain.
- Rest – Rest is important in your quest for fitness and good health. It is whilst you are sleeping that the body repairs itself and so it is vital that you get enough rest. Many people have trouble relaxing and sleeping after a workout, but CBD can have a calming effect o some people, meaning that it is easier to relax and sleep.
How to Take CBD
There are a number of different ways that you can take CBD, and this depends on which effects that you are hoping for a well as your personal preference. Some of these include:
- CBD Oil – is usually taken sub-lingually. You use a dropper to drip a few drops of CBD under the tongue and hold it there for about 1 minute. The CBD is absorbed through the lining of the mouth, into the bloodstream, and will come into effect within a few minutes. Its effect will also wear off after a short amount of time.
- Vaping – is the quickest way to absorb the CBD into your bloodstream as it goes in through the lungs. Its effect is almost immediate but will also not last for very long.
- CBD Edibles and Capsules – You can also consume CBD through CBD infused food, drink or capsules. You can either buy them ready-made or make your own using CBD oil. In this case, the CBD is absorbed into the body via the digestive system, meaning that it can take up to a couple of hours to come into effect, but will stay in your system for up to about 8 hours.
- Topicals – CBD topicals are a favourite amongst many athletes. It can be bought in creams, gels or balms and instead of going into the bloodstream it can be rubbed into the skin, getting to work only in the places that are problematic. Due to the fact that it doesn’t go into the bloodstream, it means that you can use it as much and as often as you like.
Where to Buy CBD in the UK
Unfortunately, due to the lack of regulation that we currently have in the UK, there can be some unscrupulous CBD producers around. It is important, therefore that when you are buying CBD products, you do your research properly, and ensure that you have a certificate of analysis from a third party, which means that you are getting a legitimate product.
You can try CBD Shopy – a member of the CTA, with over 125 reviews on TrustPilot. They have a wide-range of CBD oils available for sale from world-leading CBD Manufacturers including Cibdol, Love CBD, Canabidol, cbdMD & ZenBears.
CBD is safe to take and non-addictive, but if you are taking medication and thinking about trying CBD it is important that you first discuss it with your doctor. This is because it can affect how your body processes some medications – often making it stronger – or weaker – than calculated by your doctor.
When it comes to using CBD with sport, it is not cheating or getting an unfair advantage. Its properties can be useful in helping your body to repair itself more quickly as well as help you to get better rest. There are many reasons why athletes such as NFL player Derrick Morgan, MMA fighter, Nate Diaz and rugby player Dom Day use CBD, so why not see if it’s useful to you too?