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CBD's Role in Muscle Recovery

Updated: Sep 30

Background


Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (also known as hemp), and is a colorless crystalline solid at room temperature. Extensive research has gone into this compound and its use as a medicine. It has already been medically used since 2017 for various medical conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, insomnia, and other psychological conditions. Other medical uses include pain relief, prevention of obesity, antihypertensive effects, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and faster healing. CBD has certain neuroprotective mechanisms and also has anti-cancer properties.


Breaking the Myth


Most people think of cannabis as a recreational drug that people only use to get high but this is inaccurate. The psychoactive or “recreational” effects of cannabis are due to a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in the marijuana plant. However, CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD products have very little to no THC present, thus they can be used freely with no mind altering or intoxicating effects and can be used to treat many conditions.

Recently CBD has caught a lot of attention, after the US government approved the Farm Bill 2018, which allows for the use of cannabis products with only one major stipulation: the CBD product cannot contain more than 0.3 percent of THC, and thus cannot get the user "high." This has opened gates to extensive medical research and a major increase in use of CBD for medical conditions.


Why You Feel Tired After a Workout


The muscles undergo a lot of strain during extensive workouts. The friction between the individual muscle fibers and the bearing of weight or force during a workout causes microscopic damage to muscle tissue. No matter how strong your muscles are, a heavy workout can still leave your body sore. This results in a condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which is not, as previously thought, due to the accumulation of lactic acid in muscles.



The traditional approach to treating DOMS is fairly flawed. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, given to improve this condition are not as efficacious and bring a lot of side effects with them, including gastric erosions, liver and kidney damage, bleeding, allergic reactions and the list goes on. By restricting blood flow, these NSAIDs also don’t allow muscles to develop properly after damage from heavy workouts, resulting in a loss of growth that is the main objective in the first place. Nutritional supplements such as caffeine, omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, and polyphenols can also be used to treat DOMS.


Sleep is nature's way to repair the body and regenerate chemicals that have been used during the daily grind. The deeper the sleep, the more energetic and refreshing one feels after waking up. Generalized body soreness after a workout makes it difficult to achieve a sound sleep and impairs the body's ability to heal. This starts a vicious cycle of continuous body aches and insomnia through the days following a heavy workout.


Benefits of CBD for Weight Training and Heavy Workers


CBD oil has been well known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The inflammation that sets in after microscopic injury to muscle fibers not only hampers the repair process but also delays recovery. The ingestion or application of CBD soothes the inflammation and accelerates the repair process. The subsiding inflammation at the site of muscle damage decreases the amount to prostaglandins (chemicals that activate pain receptors) which contributes to the pain-relieving properties of CBD oil. CBD significantly reduces the level of inflammatory cytokines and other immune products that promote the process of inflammation.


CBD also promotes sleep, which helps the body heal faster. By binding to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, it helps relieve stress and anxiety leading to a deeper, higher quality sleep.


All these effects lead to a faster healing process and provide a morning energy boost that eventually aids in doing heavy workouts or other physically demanding daily work, tirelessly!


Research Data on CBD


The research evidence on the benefits of CBD is compelling. A study published in Future Medicinal Chemistry Journal labels CBD as a novel anti-inflammatory drug. The research concluded that CBD causes a marked decrease in T-cells count, resulting in immunosuppression. They also decrease cytokine and chemokine production as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses. Thus they’re a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.


Also, according to a review of 132 studies published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD reduces inflammation in the body and help reduce pain and improve mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Conclusion


CBD is a drug of the modern era, with researchers just beginning to explore and discover all of its useful applications for many different problems of life. It promotes healing of the muscles by multiple methods, making it an essential formula for every fitness enthusiast and hard worker. With the recent recognition of CBD as a legal product, the list of its benefits will only grow longer and longer.

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