Discover how hemp CBD can optimize our fitness routines and keep our bodies in balance daily.
Nutrition and exercise are the foundations to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to exercise however, we all know that “no pain, no gain” feeling after a long and intense workout.This is where the combination of nutrition and exercise becomes critical and finding the right post workout routine can be a challenge. Balancing the right food, fluids, and supplements can be difficult to optimize our wellness routines.
One supplement has been gaining much attention among athletes and in the medical community. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the hemp plant that provides many health benefits with none of the intoxicating effects normally associated with cannabis use1. It is widely available for purchase as a supplement online and in numerous health food stores across the nation, flying off the shelves and into the hands of customers from all different walks of life.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
While CBD may be a popular nutritional supplement, many are unaware that the human body produces its own cannabis-like compounds called, endocannabinoids. They are part of a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). While there is still much to be learned about the ECS, research has shown that the ECS influences how we think, feel, and react2. Proper care of the ECS through nutrition and exercise promotes a happy, healthy way of living and both endogenous cannabinoids and plant-derived cannabinoids can be used to modulate it.
The ECS, CBD, andOptimizing Your Routine
How does this all fit together? CBD, endocannabinoids, and fitness?A recent study done3 at the University of Oxford determined that endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) in particular, are responsible for what is known as the “runner’s high,” which helps in reducing anxiety and pain associated with exercise, showing a direct link between the ECS and our post-workout processes.
During most fitness routines, small tears are formed in our muscles and tissues, resulting in inflammation, which can cause muscle soreness and pain in some cases. The body will naturally respond and repair this tissue, allowing it to grow back stronger if attended to properly. To optimize this process, many exercise enthusiasts will incorporate antioxidants or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs).
CBD derived from hemp helps reduce inflammation4, is a powerful antioxidant5 and promotes relaxation making it a prime candidate for optimizing the post-workout recovery. CBD also enhances your body’s ability to produce endocannabinoids6, like AEA, and optimizing the ECS’s ability to achieve balance. CBD can provide anti-inflammatory relief with no kidney damage or other harmful side effects7.
Changing Regulations on Hemp CBD
With all that hemp CBD has to offer, it is no surprise that professional athletes have started to incorporate hemp CBD to optimize their wellness regimen. Since Nate Diaz openly used his CBD oil8 during a press conference after a fight, perceptions on the hemp plant and CBD extracts derived from it have changed, leading to milestone changes in regulations:
- World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD off its prohibited list9 as of January1st, 2018.
- BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league, allows their players to use CBD10.
There also are many who advocate the use of CBD in the National Football League (NFL)11 for managing pain and combating opiate addiction. Its neuroprotective properties should be explored to address concussions and brain injury as well. The possibilities seem to be endless, yet access is still denied.
Before you go off on a run to your nearest local health food store to buy all the CBD in stock, it is important to speak with your doctor regarding CBD use, especially if you are taking other medications and supplements to optimize your fitness routine. Although the power of CBD has shown itself in anecdotal reports, there is still much research to be done to help us understand how and when to use CBD to reach our full fitness potential.
- Russo, E. B. Cannabidiol Claims and Misconceptions. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2017, Vol. 38. Issue 5, pp 499.
- Russo, E. B. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research [ahead of print]. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0009. Published Online: July 28, 2016. (accessed July 11, 2018)
- Fuss, J. ;Steinle, J. ;Bindila, L. ; Auer, M. K. ;Kirchherr, H. ; Lutz, B. ; et al. ; A runner’s high depends on cannabinoid receptors in mice. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.2015, 112, pp 13105–13108.
- Izzo, A.a.; Borrelli, F.; Capasso, R.; Di Marzo, V.; Mechoulam, R.; Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunites from an ancient herb. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2009, Vol. 30, Issue 10, pp515-527.
- Hampson, A. J.; Grimaldi; M., Axelrod, J.; Wink, D.; Cannabidiol and (-)D9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA1998. Vol. 95, pp 8268-8273.
- Leweke, F. M.; Piomelli, D.; Pahlisch, F.; Gerth, C. W.; et al.; Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Psychiatry2012, 94.
- Mechulam, R.; Parker, L. A.; Gallily, R.; Cannabidiol: An Overview of Some Pharmacological Aspects. J. of Clin. Pharm. 2014. Vol 42, Issue S1, pp 11s-19s
- MMA Weekly. https://www.mmaweekly.com/nate-diaz-ufc-202-full-post-fight-press-conference-video (accessed July 11, 2018).
- WADA-AMA. https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/prohibited_list_2018_summary_of_modifications_en.pdf (accessed July 11, 2018)
- Peter, J. (2018, June 5). BIG3 becomes first U.S. pro sports league to permit use of marijuana ingredient. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/basketball/2018/06/27/big-3-becomes-first-pro-league-permit-use-marijuana-ingredient/738878002/
Conway, T. DeAndre Hopkins on NFL Allowing CBD Medication: ‘I Only Think It Would Help’. Bleacher Report 2018 https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2784108-deandre-hopkins-on-nfl-allowing-cbd-medication-i-only-think-it-would-help