CBD – What it is? Can it help with health or athletic performance?
CBD is a type of cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound found in cannabis, CBD does not produce a “high” or psychoactive effects, and is legal in many countries (1). CBD can be found as capsules, as well as in muscle balms, pre-workout drinks and CBD coffees.
CBD has gained popularity in recent years as a potential treatment for a variety of health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and seizures. While research is still ongoing, here are some potential health benefits of CBD (1).
- Pain Relief: CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it a potential treatment for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Anxiety and Depression: CBD has been shown to have anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, making it a potential treatment for anxiety and depression.
- Epilepsy: CBD has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are difficult to control with conventional medications.
- Sleep and insomnia: CBD has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia in people with chronic pain and other conditions, by influencing the receptors in the brain.
- Neuroprotective Properties: CBD has been shown to have neuroprotective properties, which may be beneficial for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
What about CBD and exercise?
There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may have potential benefits for workouts and athletic performance (2). Some of the ways that CBD may affect workouts and performance are pain relief, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep, which is important for athletes to recover and perform at their best. The reduction in inflammation is important to allow proper recovery from the muscle tears that occur during training. CBD appears to alter some key physiological and psychological responses to aerobic exercise without impairing performance (3). Though, there are some reported side effects with CBD use in athletes, including fatigue, bowel changes and reduction in appetite.
Overall, although the research into CBD is still limited, there are some promising influences on areas such as athetic performance when it comes to inflammation, joint pain, muscle soreness and recovery.
However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of CBD for workouts and athletic performance. Additionally, CBD may interact with other medications and how the body breaks down other medications, so it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before using CBD if you are taking any medications.
It’s also important to choose a reputable CBD product and follow the dosing instructions carefully. Some CBD products may contain THC or other contaminants that could affect athletic performance or lead to a positive drug test.
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