CBD is the current buzzword in nutritional supplements. Across the UK people of all ages are taking CBD as part of their daily health regime. Increasingly though, sportsmen and women are turning to CBD to get the most out of their workout. Let’s take a look at why CBD for sport ticks all the boxes as a pro-fitness health supplement.
Whether we do sport or not, most of us know that regular exercise is key to maintaining our bodies and minds in optimum shape. While many people begin regular exercise as a way to shed a few pounds, the benefits are far reaching. Fitting into last year’s size ten little black dress are small fry when you consider how regular exercise can strengthen our heart, lower blood pressure, fight of dementia by creating new brain cells, boost our immune system, promote bone strength, and shift depression.
Endocannabinoids responsible for ‘runner’s high’
For any fans of cardiovascular exercise, you will probably be familiar with the pleasant ‘high’ feeling that follows a few kilometres on the treadmill. In the past, this was associated with endorphins - our body’s own opioids - flooding our bodies.
Turns out this feeling of profound wellbeing actually comes from some other natural chemicals produced by the body called endocannabinoids - which are similar to compounds found in cannabis. In fact, we’re actually talking one endocannabinoid in particular called anandamide, named after ananda, the Sanskrit word for bliss.
Studies show that after intense cardiovascular exercise, anandamide levels are elevated, and unlike endorphins, the compound actually crosses the blood brain barrier, making it the most likely culprit for the ‘runner’s high’ many people experience. Not only does anandamide make us feel good, it is also anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. A bit like certain compounds found in cannabis and hemp.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is the most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp plant. Over the few decades, scientists have been uncovering the myriad of ways CBD affects the body. They discovered that CBD is what’s known as a pleiotropic compound, meaning it activates many pathways in the body at once. We know that CBD interacts with receptors related to mood, inflammation, bone density, cell proliferation, and the immune system, but scientists are still unsure how CBD affects endocannabinoid production.
So far, it would seem that CBD doesn’t exactly increase anandamide production, but it does allow anandamide to hang out in our bodies for longer doing its pain relieving, anti-inflammatory work, which is very much of interest if you’re doing regular sport.
CBD and Sport
Like all things cannabis and hemp, if we take a look across the pond to the United States, athletes have been combining CBD with their pre and post competition training regime for a while.
NFL footballers were the first to come out of the cannabis closet, with many choosing to vape CBD after a football game instead of taking the addictive prescription meds prescribed by their team doctors. Mixed martial arts fighters have also been quick to adopt CBD oil as a key tool to fighting success. They cite CBD as helping to promote sleep prior to a competition and speeding up the recovery process between training sessions as reasons why they find CBD so helpful.
While most people taking CBD oil are not professional athletes, for those that are, some good news came in 2018 when the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances. THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for the high in recreational use, is still prohibited. So for any pro-athletes out there, make sure you choose a THC free CBD product like our broad spectrum CBD oils.
What about CBD and sport in the UK? Right now, many gyms stock CBD oils alongside their protein supplements and isotonic drinks as a way for their members to get the most out of their training session. There aren’t sufficient scientific studies to say for sure how CBD affects sport, but anecdotal accounts that CBD can improve focus during training sessions and competitions, as well as taking the sting out those painful DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).
If you are considering combining CBD oil with your exercise regime, we recommend opting for a 100% THC free oil. We’re not talking CBD isolate here, but broad spectrum CBD containing the whole hemp plant (CBD, plus minor cannabinoids, terpenes etc) which are more effective than CBD in isolation.
Good Remedy stocks a full range of THC free CBD products for every training need. Just take a look at our website or speak to our customer service team who can advise you on which CBD product is right for you