If you’re serious about fitness you’re likely always hunting for the next way to gain a competitive edge - new diets, supplements, workout routines, etc. As many States in the USA have legalized recreational cannabis, more and more people have become intrigued by the potential for the plant, specifically cannabidiol (CBD), to increase athletic performance and help athletes recover faster from the stress of intense training.
Naturally occurring within the plant of cannabis are over 100 cannabinoid molecules, named as such chiefly for their ability to act on our cannabinoid receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system.
THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is most widely known of these cannabinoids. This is partially due to its numerous demonstrable medical benefits, and partially because it is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
CBD (or cannabidiol), however, is another cannabinoid, which notably produces no psychoactive or intoxicating response, while simultaneously harboring a broad swath of therapeutic applications. These range from subduing convulsions related to epilepsy to treating schizophrenia, or even soothing anxiety (including anxiety as a side-effect of THC), and much more.
So how does CBD tie in with training?
In this article, we will cover CBD’s potential training benefits in three domains – muscle building, reducing pain and inflammation, and improving your sleep cycles.
To achieve the perfect body composition we all know it’s a game of building muscle and burning fat. CBD is a unique chemical that can help you accomplish both. As studies have shown, CBD can drastically reduce cortisol in the body. If you’re not familiar, cortisol is the hormone your body produces to manage stress and is responsible for hindering muscle growth. By using CBD you can help lower cortisol levels, which can increase the flow of energy throughout your body, improve your stamina and give you the extra endurance to train harder during those intense workouts.
Studies have also shown CBD can also play a big role in helping burn fat as it regulates blood sugar levels. When your body produces less insulin, less glucose is converted in to fat and is instead burned as energy.
As athletes we all push ourselves to the extreme and CBD can greatly help reduce the resulting pain and inflammation. While many will look to mask the pain with over the counter medication CBD is a highly effective all-natural alternative that can get you back to in to your training regimen without damaging other parts of your body.
Improving Sleep Cycles
As referenced in one of our previous blogs, sleep is where a bulk of your workout recovery takes place. As have shown CBD influences dopamine levels in your bloodstream during sleep and naturally decreases anxiety levels (the number on cause of sleep problems) CBD is a great way to ensure you stay on track with your sleep pattern and improve your REM sleep.
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