CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the active plant compounds (called cannabinoids) found in hemp—and it’s all anyone can talk about right now!
The buzz around CBD stems from its support of general well-being. But now, CBD is being explored as an effective fitness booster.
How CBD Supports Fitness
Go ahead and throw some CBD into your gym bag; in addition to supporting our bodies and minds in a number of ways, this plant compound can level up your gym time, too.
1. Hormonal Balance
Consistent exercise benefits your health in a number of ways, from helping you maintain a healthy weight and boosting your muscle mass, to increasing your energy and supporting your overall health long-term.
Regular exercise has a positive effect on all of our organ systems. The frequent surges of blood to the brain it provides, for example, boost brain cell function and are thought to be neuro-protective.
Consistent exercise also promotes the body’s natural production of ‘feel-good’ hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, which we typically associate with that euphoric ‘runners high’ feeling we experience during a good sweat.
However, the body also produces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline during exercise in order to make stored energy available for us to use. Though increased production of these hormones is helpful during exercise, prolonged circulation is not.
Early research suggests that cannabinoids may help the body prolong the circulation of feel-good hormones and decrease circulation of stress hormones. Together, these actions may benefit our recovery post-workout.
2. Sleep Quality
Getting more (and better) sleep is one of the most effective ways athletes and fitness enthusiasts can achieve greater strength and power gains. After all, sleep is when the majority of muscle recovery occurs.
To maximize your fitness, you must prioritize winding down at the end of the day and getting restful sleep. Cannabinoids, like CBD, may help promote balance in the body, so you feel calm and relaxed come bedtime.
3. Cellular Health
During strenuous exercise, our body undergoes many changes at a cellular level. In fact, exercise has been shown to be crucial in cellular renewal, which contributes to our overall health and longevity.
How does this happen? When you exercise at a challenging intensity, you cause microscopic damage to your muscle fibers. Those muscles then become inflamed, triggering the body to respond and repair them—and you often experience muscle soreness or stiffness in the process. Challenging exercise also has a similar effect on the cushioning tissue in your joints, called cartilage.
Research suggests that cannabinoids, like CBD, may support the body’s natural immune response to these cellular impacts of exercise. The more efficiently you recover from exercise, the greater the benefits (and gains) you can reap from your exercise routine.
Dr. Jacqueline Montoya, M.D., is a double board-certified emergency medicine and critical care physician who serves as the medical adviser for CBDfit, a brand of hemp-derived CBD products designed to support recovery, body, mind, and soul. She spends her time traveling the world to learn and educate about natural health solutions.