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The Playbook


Both professional athletes and recreational sportsmen recognize the importance of prep work when it comes to exercise routines. Stretching is an essential part of physical activity, but it is just one of the many ways to prepare for, unwind, and repair after an intense workout session. 

When looking for ways to supplement your fitness routines to ease stress and reduce muscle fatigue, CBD oils are a tool worth looking into. 

Just the Facts


Marijuana has a complex past with governing bodies. However, recently the Food and Drug Administration has relaxed on their regulations surrounding cannabis plants. This leafy plant is host to over 100 different substances that can affect cellular receptors known collectively as the endocannabinoid system.

Currently, one-third of US citizens live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal.  

Marijuana is associated with reduced drive, the "munchies," and general intoxicating effects that can vary from person to person. 

However, there is a significant difference in the effects of CBD versus the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the “high” you get from smoking or ingesting cannabis.

CBD is almost identical in structure to THC, the only difference being the placement of a single atom. But that placement actually makes a world of difference.

CBD, while also a cannabis product, is an anti-inflammatory. It soothes and relaxes muscle fibers and muscle tissue. It has no psychoactive effects, regardless of the dose consumed. CBD has proven effective in usage both pre and post-workout recovery in reducing muscle tension, preventing cramps, and more.

Multifaceted Medicine

The effects of CBD products do not end at the physical. In addition to its soothing effects on the body, CBD also has a calming effect on the mind. It eases stress and anxiety (associated with raised cortisol levels). CBD can also improve focus and help athletes better mentally prepare for physical exertion.

When you are starting a working routine, it’s vital that you keep it just that; a routine. Our bodies crave consistency and habit. When using products such as CBD, decide beforehand just how, when, and how much you intend to use it. 

Recharging


The more intense the workout, the more athletes pay attention to their recovery capabilities. Doing lifting without adequate stretching or an intense run without proper hydration leads to potentially decreased mobility, along with a host of other issues. 

CBD is an excellent preventative measure to take post-workout to improve muscle recovery and reduce inflammation. Those on the frontiers of cannabidiol research are specifically interested in how the chemical compounds in CBD affect the nervous system. This system is responsible for alerting the body to pain.

This information has become a hot topic of debate in the athletic world, leading to the World Anti-Doping Agency allowing the use of CBD. Notable athletes like David Ahrens and Riley Cote use CBD as part of their recovery process. 

How To Implement CBD Recovery


There are a variety of methods available for consuming CBD products. Following the recent legalization of hemp-based products and hemp extracts, CBD has become more available all across the US. 

The lack of any significant side effects or maximum dosage makes it a safer, more natural alternative to other anti-inflammatories. Fans of CBD are still very careful about the potencies and milligrams of CBD that they ingest. 

Part of starting CBD is having an honest conversation with a healthcare professional to determine the amount of supplement that would prove beneficial. The general recommendation is to take about one to six mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight, but those numbers are also dependent upon the severity of the individual patient's discomfort.

A doctor will be able to inform their patients if any medication they take is likely to interact with CBD in an adverse way. Those with liver issues will have difficulty processing cannabinoids products. It is unlikely this CBD compound will endanger such individuals, but it will reduce the supplement’s efficacy, effectively rendering it null.

CBD comes in lotions, full-spectrum CBD tinctures. CBD can be mixed with essential oils like peppermint, ginger, and lavender. 

The Effects of CBD


To understand the effects of CBD, it’s important that we first understand the nature of muscle pain. Post-workout soreness can sometimes be a badge of honor. We wear the pain as a sign of our diligence and hard work. It means what we are doing is paying off, and that is a great feeling.

But if that soreness reaches a certain point, it can be harmful, painful, and debilitating, impeding athletes from maintaining their fitness routine. 

Inflammation

Inflammation is commonly seen in overextended muscles and joints. This is not always done through error and is fairly common. Athletes of all levels and ages often experience a fitness-related injury. Although some cases of inflammation are difficult to prevent, they can be painful and distracting. 

Beneath the surface, the pain stems from microscopic damage caused to the proteins in cells. This process is what causes inflammation. The reaction is called D.O.M.S. or “delayed onset muscle soreness.” Those who have completed a tough workout, hit the hay hard that night, and woke up sore the next morning are no stranger to this feeling. 

Inflammation is uncomfortable, certainly, but what's worse is that it can actually slow down the recovery process, causing muscles to heal less efficiently.

In reducing inflammation, CBD could speed up the healing process. That means you can alleviate muscle soreness and bounce back faster to go back to doing what you love.

Beyond the Workout

Muscle soreness and stress are not conditions exclusive to the highly active and the athletic. Any person might be able to benefit from them. That will ultimately be a decision left up to you and your doctor. It’s worth mentioning that these products aren't just for heavy lifters and track stars.

If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk typing all day or are the self-sustaining gardener type, you get aches and pains too. 

Having sore knees from spreading mulch and planting or getting carpal tunnel from your busy workday is no less significant than the pain your neighbor feels from setting his new max on the bench press.

Muscle pain is the great equalizer. No one is immune, and no one deserves to have to sit idly by and bear the discomfort. CBD might be able to help.

A Full Spectrum Recovery Plan


You want to be healthy and happy. That means you try to eat the right foods, get the appropriate amount of exercise and maintain healthy habits to keep you living better longer.

There are countless combinations of diets and exercise regimens to choose from, not to mention supplements, recreational attire, and preventative practices. 

It can be hard to find which products and practices fit your needs, and doing so through the process of elimination often comes with a weighty price tag. CBD might be the next best thing for speeding up and improving post-workout recovery.


Sources:

Survey of Marijuana Law in the United States | University of Georgia

Meet the Pro Athletes Advocating for CBD | Men's Health

Considering CBD For Muscle Recovery? Here's What You Need To Know | Men’s Health

All You Need To Know About CBD For Muscle Recovery | worldhealth.net

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