CBD and Fitness - Can Hemp Really Up Your Gains?
CBD and Fitness - Can Hemp Really Up Your Gains?
The entire CBD market has been enjoying an upward trajectory with the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Today, hemp is one of the hottest agricultural commodities, opening the flood gates for a plethora of products across the CBD market. Most of these are advertised and used for their alleged health benefits. Sure, the FDA has yet to approve any of them for medical use, but strong anecdotal evidence suggests that CBDs benefits for health and wellness are more fact than fiction.
With such aggressive research attempting to explain the advantages of hemp, the extensive applications of the miracle herb have become even wider. Back in the day, hemp would have been used for a headache or a bout of nausea. But today, even the fitness industry is taking a slice of the CBD cake. But the question stands - can CBD really help improve your workout gains?
To fully understand the potential benefits of CBD and hemp when it comes to fitness, its important to first take a look at how the plant works. One way to fully appreciate that would be to check how its presently used by most of those who patronize it. According to statistics, pain is the most common reason why people use hemp and its derivatives. Although it isnt approved for such uses just yet, those who suffer from conditions that produce pain as a symptom have found that it can significantly reduce the subjective experience of pain.
When you workout, you subject your muscles to rigorous use that could cause micro-tearing. This is absolutely normal and is all part of the growing and muscle building-process. But of course, it comes at the price of pain. Studies have found that CBDs pain-relieving effects can be beneficial for muscle pain just as it is for headaches. For workouts, the best methods of delivery would have to be topical, infused in a warm bath, or orally with a tincture or oil.
The endocannabinoid system is an area in the brain that interacts specifically with cannabinoids, including CBD. The system is involved in a range of bodily functions, including the management and perception of pain, hunger, metabolism, stress, immunity, and even reproductive functioning. When an endocannabinoid system is properly regulated, then all of these functions are also somehow efficiently managed.
One study found however that the endocannabinoid system might be involved in much more than just those functions previously mentioned. It stated that an intact endocannabinoid system is what makes the feeling of a runners high possible. This feeling is induced after a stable period of working out - typically like a run - when a person is imbued with a sense of well-being and euphoria. Along with the good juju, the risk of both anxiety and pain are also significantly reduced.
When the runners high is activated, the positive feelings of well-being make it easier to power through longer workout routines, resulting in an extended endurance. To achieve this, experts recommend the regular maintenance of the endocannabinoid system by feeding it with the substances that interact with its receptors. When left without stimulation, the endocannabinoid system could struggle to regulate the various functions its responsible for, making you feel tired faster after beginning a workout routine.
Another one of the most common reasons for people using CBD is its ability to address inflammation. Some studies have found that CBD can be effective in treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even Alzheimers. Certainly, the herb is yet to be declared a full-fledged treatment, but overwhelming anecdotal evidence would suggest that it might not be too far from approval.
That said, CBDs anti-inflammatory properties has also found some recognition in the fitness industry. Research suggests that taking CBD after a workout could speed up the recovery process as it reduces the inflammation of your muscles. For you, that means a lesser feeling of soreness post-workout, letting you establish routines faster and hit the gym more regularly.
Where Do We Draw the Line?
Yes, CBD can be an intuitive, all-natural way to assist in your workout performance. But there are a bunch of beliefs that people hold on to that might be more fiction than fact. One such claim is that hemp and its derivatives can completely eliminate the need for recovery, which just isnt the case.
While it can help with soreness, making you feel more capable of working out sooner, it will not entirely eliminate the recovery process. During exercise, your muscles are torn which paves the way for new growth. Thats why muscles gain mass the more that you workout. Without this pivotal function, muscle growth would be impossible.
Industrial hemp farms can only help with the extent of soreness, but there will always be some feeling of discomfort after a workout because of the tearing. Whats more, experts advise that individuals continue to take breaks between workouts to allow the muscle to grow. Just because you feel less sore with CBD, doesnt mean you should push your body to the limit. Recovery is just as important as the workout itself.
Another thing that people tend to think is that taking CBD puts a person in a state of super energy, because of the alleged high; that it might cause. But the truth is that hemp doesnt contain any THC - the psychoactive compound found in its sister herb, marijuana. So there wont be a sense of high, or that feeling of supercharged, out of control energy and power that people tend to associate with it.
The Final Word
While it is true that CBD and hemp could potentially help with the gains you get out of the gym, the studies are still pretty blurry. Nonetheless, strong anecdotal evidence supports the benefits of hemp for working out, and for most of us, that might be more than enough to give it a shot. Sure, its not going to entirely change the way you experience the gym. But by targeting certain aspects of your perception of pain, and your process of endurance and recovery, then you stand the chance to improve your overall performance for more fruitful gym visits.