Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming popular amongst athletes of all abilities for its many healing benefits. While CBD promotes better sleep, boosts energy levels and sharpens mental focus, perhaps most important for those in training is its ability to aid recovery.
Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness journey or are ramping up your training in preparation for a marathon, there is always a risk of injury. Boasting anti-inflammatory properties and a strong analgesic effect, CBD is proving to be a smart (and safe) choice for those recovering from everything from strains and sprains to pulled muscles.
Regardless of the intensity of your workout, any physical activity results in microscopic damage to your tissue fibres. While it may sound like a bad thing, this actually serves to build even stronger muscles. Why? The damage to the tissue fibres triggers your immune system’s inflammatory response, which encourages the necessary healing so that your body can repair and rebuild. But, as with anything, too much inflammation, particularly if it goes unchecked, can lead to more serious injuries and leave you with debilitating pain, which can quickly derail your training.
By working with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates a number of physiological processes, including immune function, CBD helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Research shows CBD elevates levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines while reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which helps to regulate our immune response an ultimately speed up recovery. Unlike over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, CBD delivers these benefits without the unpleasant side-effects – no drowsiness, stomach pain or headaches.
Pain management is also important when it comes to nursing an injury – and CBD is proving to be a potent alternative to mainstream pain medication. Aside from reducing inflammation, which in turn alleviates pain, CBD is also shown to suppress pain by activating particular receptors in the immune system.
Another big benefit of CBD for those recovering from an injury is its impact on our sleep cycle. While you may associate sleep with rest, it’s actually the time when your body works the hardest repairing and rebuilding. Sleep is arguably the key to quick recovery. Whether you battle to fall asleep because of pain associated with an injury or increased levels of anxiety, CBD helps to promote relaxation to not only encourage better sleep, but more of it too.
While there are a number of ways to administer CBD, topical treatments are the most widely used for the treatment of injuries. In fact studies show that the topical application of CBD to areas of inflammation not only reduces swelling, but also helps to improve pain.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or an amateur, using CBD to treat those post-workout niggles will help you on the road to recovery so you can perform at your best.