It seems like CBD is everywhere you look these days, and the world of fitness is no exception. The hemp-derived compound has made its way into just about every type of product, including muscle salves and protein powders. So what’s the deal with CBD? Does it really help, and what’s the best CBD to use for workout recovery? Keep reading to find out.
What is CBD?
If you’re not already familiar with the hemp extract, CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids, or substances found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of the most dominant compounds in both hemp and marijuana, right alongside the infamous THC – but unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. Rather, it produces a variety of beneficial health effects. These benefits are the result of CBD’s interactions with the endocannabinoid system, a network that regulates different physiological processes in the body.
As a part of the endocannabinoid system, we produce neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids. These neurotransmitters can become unbalanced, contributing to health problems such as fibromyalgia and chronic migraine.
How Does CBD Help with Workout Recovery?
While it’s important to schedule time in between workouts for the most efficient recovery, pain can sometimes prevent you from being as active as you’d like.
Take DOMS, for example. Anyone who has spent time exercising has likely experienced it: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which refers to severe muscle pain and weakness following an unfamiliar or intense workout. As its name implies, DOMS usually doesn’t show up until a day or two after exercise. You’ll know it’s DOMS if you feel pain only when using (or stretching) the muscle in question, and no pain at rest.
Scientists used to think DOMS was the result of lactic acid buildup, but this theory has been largely disproven. Current theories suggest that the pain is due to microscopic tears in the muscle, but the process is not well understood. Regardless, DOMS can last as long as a week, making it difficult to stick to high-intensity workouts, or get into a new fitness routine. CBD may be able to help with both DOMS and your typical post-workout sore muscles, thanks to its pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties.
Research supports CBD’s powerful ability to calm the mind and body, treat anxiety disorders, and lengthen restorative sleep time. That means CBD can improve your workout recovery by helping you relax and fall asleep, which is prime time for your muscles to repair themselves.
Best CBD Products for Workout Recovery
There’s a ton of CBD products on the market these days, so how do you know which one is right for you? With so many options – edibles, tinctures, topicals, vape liquids – you might feel like you need to do research before you can make up your mind. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s what you need to know.
For the fastest-acting relief, look to topicals, tinctures, and vaping. Topicals are not digested, but instead provide soothing pain relief to aching and tired muscles directly through the skin. Tinctures, ingested under the tongue, take effect within up to 15-30 minutes, while vaporized CBD is absorbed through the lungs and works within minutes.
Tinctures are especially popular for newcomers to CBD, because the built-in dropper makes it easy to adjust the dose. The downside to these 3 product types is that they aren’t exactly subtle, so if you’re interested in using CBD at the gym or at the office and want to avoid curious stares, they may not be right for you.
On the other hand, edibles like gummies and capsules provide a more inconspicuous way to take CBD no matter where you are; these look like any other supplement, snack, or gummy vitamin. The tradeoff is that edibles need to pass through the digestive system before taking effect, which can take as long as an hour. They’re also in fixed dosage amounts, which could be a positive or a negative, depending on your needs.
At the end of the day, all CBD products can be effective for workout recovery and other benefits, so choosing a product mostly comes down to preference and lifestyle.
How to Use CBD for Workout Recovery
If opting for topicals, simply rub CBD salve or lotion into sore muscles after your workout. For edibles or tinctures, you can take them immediately before you work out for added focus and endurance, or following exercise to minimize aches and pains. For best results, take CBD right after your workout.
Since there are many factors that can affect absorption – like weight, metabolism, age, and pain severity – it’s best to start with a low dosage, such as 10-20mg, and only increase if needed.
Is CBD Legal? Where to Find It
Concerned about legality? Not to worry. Hemp-derived CBD containing less than 0.3% THC is federally legal, with restrictions in certain states. You can purchase CBD easily online directly from manufacturers, or in person at dispensaries and brick-and-mortar shops. But choose wisely; the brand you select can make a big difference. Why? One word: quality. CBD’s skyrocketed in popularity. There is also a lack of oversight leading to a market flooded with mislabeled and poor quality CBD products.
Fortunately, high-quality brands, like Every Day Optimal, set themselves apart by being transparent about the manufacturing process. At Every Day Optimal, our products are made using the highest standards, including:
Organic growing practices. Hemp absorbs toxins from the soil, so it’s essential that the plants used for CBD are grown in clean conditions.
CO2 extraction methods. It costs more to extract CBD this way. Using cheap solvents can lead to impurities and toxins in the final product.
Independent lab testing with published results that show product quality, potency, and purity.
Whether you’re interested in topical CBD, like our $32.99 CBD Pain Cream, or you’d like to choose from over half a dozen tincture options, we’ve got you covered at Every Day Optimal. Interested in another option? We offer a huge variety of pure and high-quality CBD products to enhance your workout recovery and support good health.
The use of CBD in workout recovery hasn’t been well-studied yet. You’ll find answers supporting both options based on anecdotal evidence. For better focus and endurance, you can take CBD before exercising. For pain relief and muscle recovery, taking CBD after your workout seems to be more beneficial.
There is evidence that CBD can help reduce muscle aches and pains, as well as lowering inflammation. CBD can also improve sleep, which is an important component in workout recovery.
Any type of CBD can help with muscle recovery, including topical CBD and edible CBD. However, topical CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream, so its effects may not be as powerful as CBD ingested through vaping, tinctures, or the digestive system.
CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that are supported by research.
CBD may be able to improve energy levels and focus, but at higher doses, it can cause drowsiness. Ultimately, more research is needed to determine whether CBD can help with fatigue.
CBD can help with muscle recovery by lowering inflammation and pain, as well as by improving sleep.
CBD can take as little as 5 minutes, or as long as an hour to start working; it depends on how it’s ingested. Vaping, tinctures, and topically applied CBD are the fastest to work. They don’t have to go through the digestive system first, while edibles can take significantly longer to kick in.