If you follow wellness trends closely, you’ve probably either considered trying CBD or are in a full-blown love affair with it. But how much do you really know about how and when to take it?
First thing’s first: CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of compound called a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant and naturally produced within the body.
“Our bodies make and circulate CBD and other cannabinoids through the endocannabinoid system,” explains Dr. Jacky Montoya, M.D., member of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council. “This system helps keep the internal environment stabilized despite external insults like emotional stress and exercise.”
There are all sorts of reasons to add CBD to your routine—and plenty of ways to do it. But how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of your gummies, oils, capsules, or topicals? Well, when it comes to reaping the benefits of CBD, timing is everything.
CBD for Focus & Stress Management
If your goal is to support focus and stress management, take your CBD first thing in the morning, suggests Montoya. (She personally adds CBD oil to her cup of coffee when she wakes up.)
“CBD in your morning coffee can help those looking towards a hectic day who need a boost of energy but want to remain calm and ready for any challenges that come their way,” she says. “I normally take CBD in coffee or a hot beverage to allow the fat-soluble oil carriers to be activated and amplified by the heat. The advantage is that I get the calming effects and focused energy, without the agitation that caffeine can sometimes cause.”
CBD For Recovery
After a tough workout, CBD can support your muscle, joint, and cell recovery processes.
“Cannabinoids like CBD have been studied for their ability to support the body’s natural immune response,” Montoya says. Since this immune response is triggered after strenuous exercise, CBD can be a helpful part of your post-workout supplement plan—especially if you’re experiencing soreness.
In this case, Montoya suggests using a topical CBD product in order to pinpoint the areas that feel tense and need extra relief. She suggests using a balm, lotion, or massage oil that contains CBD immediately after your workout or whenever you notice that soreness kick in. Massage it into the area to boost circulation and relief.
CBD for Relaxation & Sleep Support
If you’re hoping CBD’s balancing effects will come in handy when you try to doze off, nighttime use is your best bet. “You can take larger amounts and not have to worry about sedative effects,” Montoya says.
“At night, CBD can encourage relaxation and help you get ready for bed,” Montoya adds. “CBD has calming effects and promotes more restful sleep.” Remember, CBD supports the endocannabinoid system—and that system plays an important role in maintaining and regulating sleep.
Not to mention, CBD’s relaxing effect can also help put your mind at ease and help you avoid racing thoughts that can prevent you from falling asleep. This can support getting the seven-to-nine hours of sleep needed for optimal recovery, she says.
Montoya suggests reaching for topical CBD that includes lavender or chamomile (which also support sleep) or an oil about 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
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