A Different Kind of Workout High

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By: Christian Clarke

By: Christian Clarke

Competitive Athlete, Health/Fitness Writer, and Data Analyst

The New Frontier

As time progresses, so does the way we workout and recover. Ash and cinder tracks have given way to synthetic rubber upgrades. Heavy, clunky, all-purpose shoes have faded to the back ground as light-weight, exercise specific ones have taken over. Believe it or not, there was a time when athletes drank alcohol as a workout supplement; insane but true. As laws and regulations begin to change, the next big transformation is coming in the form of CBD oil. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis plant, whose household name is marijuana. As the legal landscape is shifting, people are finding more uses for marijuana in its many forms. The great thing about CBD, is that it can be extracted and used without the hallucinogenic compound THC. In fact, it is even believed that CBD can counteract the hallucinogenic properties of THC.

 

The Science Talk

It is believed that the CBD extract can be used to treat many things that ail athletes, including: pain, anxiety, sleep issues, and inflammation. The inflammation piece, is where most people who are backing this new wave are hanging their hats. When you workout your body breaks down the muscle in order to build it back up bigger and stronger. When this happens, inflammation receptors go off like alarms, telling your body that it needs to heal; this triggers the rebuilding process. Unfortunately for many, the receptors push further than need be, leading to sore and aching muscles. It is believed that the CBD extract can work to ease those receptors, hence getting rid of the aches and pain that come with recovery. Scientists knew about the makeup of cannabis, before they knew about the inflammation process in our own bodies, and actually named our receptors after the ones in the cannabis plant. The added benefit here is that since it works to ease inflammation it can also aid in injury recovery. If you’ve had to deal with your fair share of injuries like I have, then you know that inflammation is at the root of most of them. A key component of the recovery cycle that the oil can also help with, is sleep. Getting the right amount of rest is key, but most people struggle getting to sleep or staying asleep. People interacting with the extract have, claimed to see significant improvement in the quality of their sleep. Recovery starts with catching the effective amount of z’s.

 

Carful What You Wish For

The CBD extract can actually be taken through an array of different methods. It can be made into an edible form, smoked, or the most common way it is being used now is as an oil. This way it can be readily applied directly to the afflicted area. One issue that will come up in your search for the right CBD oil is that the potency written on the label may not be accurate. The laws have changed, but there is very little regulation happening in this area now, so companies do not have to hold as tightly to their labels as they do in other categories. Some, may even slip extracts other than CBD into their product. If you’re a professional athlete, or get tested regularly for work you know how important it is to know exactly what is in what you use. Even if the previous doesn’t apply to you, still be very cautious with what you put into your body. Be careful and make sure you go to a reputable business.

 

Time Will Tell

At this point clinical trials for CBD effectiveness are still going on, so the results we’re seeing are anecdotal. The most concrete research has been on its use for chronic pain, and that research said its performance was adequate but not extraordinary. In a few places people are replacing over the counter pain relief with CBD treatments. There is definitely something to be said for the base science behind the inflammation and sleep portion of it, and I am very excited to get my hands on the research when the results are all published. As with anything new, be cautious when adding this to your recovery arsenal. With this one in particular ensure that your local laws and regulations permit you to use the CBD extract in this format.

 

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