By Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in cannabis, an active compound derived from the hemp plant. There are many potential uses for CBD, with a common use being to treat muscle discomfort and exercise-induced inflammation. Many are turning to CBD in hopes of managing their symptoms with fewer side effects.
Fitness enthusiasts have become interested in CBD to relieve daily muscle pain and inflammation related to exercise, or to manage aches and discomfort related to a past injury. CBD may also help speed up recovery after exercise, so you can get back to the gym faster.
CBD and Muscle Aches
CBD has the potential to ease several types of discomfort, including muscle soreness or pain from injury. CBD stimulates 2 specific brain receptors called CB1 and CB2. These 2 receptors, when activated, can reduce inflammation and the perception of discomfort.If you are a fitness enthusiast, you may experience regular soreness during or after your workouts or favorite physical activities. Sometimes, this may be related to a past injury, or it could be associated with pushing yourself too far. Either way, it could render your workouts less effective if not addressed. Due to its role in reducing soreness, CBD may be a great addition to your exercise routine.
CBD and Muscle Recovery
If you’ve ever overdone it during a workout, you know it can be an unpleasant experience. It may sap your motivation to work out again the next day if you’re extremely sore. It’s normal to have some level of pain, swelling and muscle spasms after intense exercise, but CBD may help to reduce its severity.
CBD may play a role in reducing discomforting signals in the brain, calming an overactive sensory system through its action on CB1 and CB2 brain receptors. If you are often having a tough time recovering and want to be able to bounce back more quickly, CBD may help.
Forms and Dosing of CBD
CBD comes in many forms – such as CBD oils, rubs, balms and on-the spot applications. It’s all a matter of what works best for you and what you’re using it for. For example, when using CBD to reduce pain from sore muscles, you may want to try rubbing a CBD-infused rub or balm on the affected area.
CBD may expedite recovery after intense exercise, which can get you back to working out again sooner. If you're looking for a natural way to manage exercise-related pain without side effects, you may want to consider CBD.