Running is the most common workout activity in the U.S. because of its simplicity and numerous health benefits like combating heart disease, boosting metabolism, and strengthening the brain. As CBD’s popularity continues to climb, runners are experimenting with the compound as a part of their daily wellness routine. While additional research needs to be conducted to establish a firm link between CBD and athletic performance, CBD has displayed benefits that could aid runners in performance, as well as recovery from sore muscles and joint pain. Read on to learn more about CBD, its potential benefits for runners, and which CBD product may be best for your wellness needs.

What Is CBD?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a compound that comes from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants. It reacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help the body do its job more efficiently. CBD has been linked to improved general wellness and can help fight conditions, such as anxiety, epilepsy, and migraines. It affects each individual differently, as weight and body chemistry influence how much a person should take and how long they need to wait to experience CBD’s effects.

CBD is also commonly associated with marijuana, but the two are vastly different. CBD contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound THC, so it can’t get you high. In fact, CBD is legal in 47 states, and the FDA recognizes the positive impacts CBD can have. It typically won’t affect eligibility if you run competitively, as both the World Anti-Doping Agency and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency permit its use.

Studies have found that athletes who use CBD have seen positive results, and there’s zero evidence that CBD negatively affects performance.

CBD Benefits for Athletes

CBD is not a wonder-drug. Taking it will not magically alleviate ailments, nor will it completely prevent future injuries. But there are reasons why professional athletes are beginning to embrace CBD. Champion golfers like Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson use it to fight inflammation and sleep better. MMA fighter Nate Diaz believes CBD helps him recover more quickly, and former NFL players Derrick Morgan and Eugene Monroe take CBD to deal with lingering pain and CTE issues from their careers.

Gets You “In the Zone”

Some runners experience a feeling of euphoria while working out, commonly referred to as a “runner’s high.” Endorphins have long been credited for bringing about this state, but new research suggests the ECS may play a role as well. When the body is placed in stressful situations, such as an intense workout, it produces more anandamide—a cannabinoid that lessens pain—to bring itself back to homeostasis. CBD can amplify the effects of anandamide, potentially increasing the runner’s high and making workouts more enjoyable.

Pain & Inflammation

Mild injuries and sore muscles are a daily nuisance for runners. CBD can help soothe achy joints and lingering soreness. Studies have indicated that the ECS plays a vital part in helping the body process pain signals. In fact, CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system to regulate pain, appetite, and inflammation. It has also been used to develop an anti-epilepsy drug, so it could potentially decrease muscle spasms in runners.

Recovery

CBD can have a calming effect that helps the body recover from the mental and physical stress of a run. Muscles are broken down at the cellular level during intense workouts, only to be rebuilt stronger during recovery. Inflammation slows this process. By reducing inflammation, CBD can help jumpstart recovery and strengthen critical muscles.

Sleep & Relaxation

During sleep, the body naturally produces human growth hormone (HGH), the main hormone responsible for recovery, rebuilding damaged tissue, and helping develop stronger bones and muscles. Getting a good night’s rest is critical to recover from a long run. CBD even promotes better sleep because it calms the body and mind and provides relief from pain that causes fitful sleep. In addition, CBD contains terpenes that have been shown to relieve stress and boost moods, easing the brain into peaceful rest.

Long-Term Side Effects

Extended use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids can cause stomach and liver damage, as well as ulcers, high blood pressure, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. CBD presents an all-natural alternative to pain relief without the lasting risks. Though scientists continue to research the effects of CBD, there is currently no link between CBD and any adverse long-term side effects.

How to Use CBD

There are multiple ways to use CBD, each with unique benefits. CBD can be used to treat specific issues/injuries and promote overall wellness. Here are a few ways to take CBD, including how and when to administer CBD.

CBD Oil

Ingesting CBD oil is among the fastest and most effective ways to experience CBD’s effects. For the best results, ingest the oil sublingually by placing the oil under the tongue and keeping it there for 60-120 seconds before swallowing. This allows the CBD to be immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, shortening the time it takes to start working. CBD oil can also be ingested as a liquid. Using this method enters the CBD into the digestive system, so it won’t take effect as quickly, but its benefits tend to last longer. Many people use CBD oil for pain relief, as it works quickly and can offer full-body relief.

CBD Topical Cream

If you want to target a specific area, such as a balky knee or sore quad, a CBD topical is your ideal solution. Apply the cream or salve to the hurting area, where it can be absorbed into the skin, muscles, and nerves for targeted relief. The rate of absorption is slower, as the CBD can take up to an hour to take effect. But CBD topicals allow you to address the root issue rather than rely on a full-body option.

CBD Edibles/Gummies

Like CBD oil, CBD edibles, gummies, and capsules can provide full-body relief. Your metabolism determines how long digested CBD takes to work, but you should generally allow 20-30 minutes to experience the effects. Most people find the taste of CBD gummies, honey sticks, gum, and drinks more pleasing than the oil itself. And because they’re digested, these products can provide long-lasting effects.

All of these products can provide relief when the need arises. But for best results, we recommend consistently using CBD. Using CBD daily keeps an established level of CBD in your system, maximizing the compound’s natural balancing properties and keeping your body at homeostasis.

Whether you’re an avid runner or someone just looking to get started, Frontier Jackson has the CBD solutions you’re looking for. We offer oils, tinctures, creams, and edibles to help provide relief for existing pain and inflammation, establish a better sleep schedule, and help you find your perfect zone mid-run. Check out our wide array of products to see which one is right for you.

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