Updated: Feb 1
Just like pre-workout, whey protein, and probiotics were once considered the newest trend in the fitness world we can now add CBD as the newest favorite dietary supplement for fitness fanatics. CBD can be found in everything from water and gummies to salves and bath bombs. But is CBD the dietary supplement that everyone is raving over or is it just another gimmick product to cheat you out of your money by focusing on fixing your insecurities? Before we can say confidently that CBD aids in a successful workout we must first understand what CBD is and how it helps our bodies.
What is CBD and Is CBD Legal?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the hundreds of medicinally beneficial compounds found within the cannabis sativa plant or more commonly known as hemp. A cannabis plant is considered to be hemp when the plant contains less than 3% THC. CBD should not be confused with the cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that causes a person to feel euphoric effects, as CBD will not cause any feelings of euphoria no matter how much you may consume.
CBD has a laundry list of health benefits but is most commonly known for improving anxiety, depression, cancer, and epilepsy and has recently been removed from the federal drug schedule with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Donald Trump. CBD rich hemp is now legal in all 50 states for cultivation and distribution including production and extraction of CBD, however, there are a handful of states that prohibit the use of hemp.
How Does CBD Help Build Muscle?
In order to understand how CBD helps build muscle you first have to know how the human body builds and breakdown muscle. In order to optimally build muscle, maintaining a regular work out regime that keeps a balance between catabolic (aerobics & cardio) and anabolic (strength training) workout routines combined with a healthy diet is king.
Catabolic hormones, like cortisol, are known to break down muscle tissue within the human body. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone so anyone who is dedicating hour(s) a day to the build-up of muscle mass and increased muscle tone needs to keep their cortisol levels low. High levels of cortisol are one of the leading problems for those who work out regularly but are struggling to tone or build muscle.
Cortisol levels are at their lowest while the human body is sleeping, and guess what CBD does? It helps the human body achieve higher rates of REM sleep, which is how CBD indirectly aids in building muscle and aids in the fight against muscle breakdown. This is important because intense and heavy workouts cause an increase in the release of cortisol.
Can CBD Help with Muscle Recovery?
Just about every healthy human has experienced sore muscles and muscle fatigue at some point in their life whether from a workout, playing as a child, or from doing hard labor. When we work out microscopic tears occur in the muscle tissue that helps aid in muscle growth however these tears to the muscle tissue also cause fatigue, inflammation, and muscle soreness.
Some people choose to use alcohol, over the counter pain relievers, or prescription pain drugs to numb the muscle pain after a strenuous workout or day of work. CBD has wonderful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can replace the need for the use of pain killers and/ or alcohol. Relaxing in a hot bath with a CBD bath bomb can loosen and relieve sore muscles while decreasing the recovery time after each workout. Not into baths? Try massaging CBD menthol + camphor salve deep into your sore muscles for nearly instant pain relief.
What is the Best Method for CBD Use?
There are so many different ways to use CBD from pre-rolls to salves and mani-pedi fizzies. CBD can even be consumed in food and drink form or as capsules and tinctures. There's no right way to take CBD, but you can take CBD in a way that works best for you! Just another benefit to using CBD :)