As CBD becomes more mainstream and widely available, people are starting to use the substance for a wide range of applications. Fortunately, CBD seems to have many health benefits, particularly when it comes to muscle recovery.
If you’re physically active, CBD products can help you recover faster and prevent soreness and fatigue. But, how does this process work? Also, which products are best for muscle recovery? Let’s find out.
How Does CBD Help With Muscle Recovery?
There are actually a few ways that adding CBD to your workout routine can benefit your body. Let’s break them down, one by one.
Your body uses complex biomechanical systems to react to various external stresses. When working out, you’re tearing your muscle fibers, which is why you can feel sore afterward. As your body heals those tears, the areas get inflamed.
While we won’t dive too deep into the science behind it, CBD interacts with elements called GABA receptors in your body. These receptors help your muscles relax and not feel as sore. Medications like Valium use chemicals to interact with these receptors, but these drugs often have undesirable side effects.
Fortunately, CBD offers similar effects without the downsides. So, taking a CBD supplement can help relieve muscle tension and allow the fibers to relax more easily.
One of the primary benefits of CBD is how it reduces inflammation within the body. As we mentioned, working out tears your muscles, making them inflamed. Best of all, CBD can reduce swelling and pain without interfering with your body’s natural healing methods.
Inflammation occurs because the body sends blood and vital nutrients to the affected areas, which creates swelling. The other benefit of inflammation is that the blood can remove damaged cells and other byproducts, such as lactic acid. So CBD allows your muscles to still recover and get stronger, all without causing excessive soreness.
The two benefits we listed above contribute to less pain and soreness after a workout. Sometimes while using CBD you can push yourself harder and get back to normal that much faster because you’re not hurting as much. If you’re a serious athlete or training for a specific reason, pain relief can be hugely beneficial, otherwise you might get sidelined after an intense workout, which can inhibit your momentum.
Improved Sleep Cycle
Your body has an endocannabinoid system that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Fortunately, CBD ensures that your internal systems work well, enabling you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. That said, you need relatively high doses of CBD to experience the full effects. Research indicates that you need at least 160 mg. Less than that, and you’ll actually feel more awake, not tired.
Since your body does most of its repairs while you’re asleep, improving your sleep cycle can help with muscle recovery. Overall, you’ll feel more rested and less sore the morning after a workout.
CBD Options for Muscle Recovery
Fortunately, because CBD is becoming more widespread, there are many ways to incorporate it into your workout routine. Let’s look at some of the top methods for taking CBD.
- Tincture – A tincture is a liquid containing CBD. To use this product, just put a few drops underneath your tongue. Since there is a blood vessel underneath your tongue, doing this ensures that you’ll get more CBD into your system much faster. Otherwise, the tincture has to get absorbed into your body through your digestive tract.
- Muscle Cream – You don’t have to ingest CBD to feel its effects. In fact, you can rub CBD-infused creams directly onto your muscles. Doing this helps relieve inflammation and soreness faster because the cannabidiol doesn’t have to move through your body.
- Gummies – CBD oils and tinctures can sometimes have an off-putting flavor. Thankfully, you have other, tastier options. CBD gummies can give you all the same benefits with a delicious delivery method. Just make sure that you don’t eat too many in one sitting.
- Strips – If putting an eyedropper under your tongue doesn’t sound appealing, you can use a CBD strip instead. These strips work the same way, but they taste better and dissolve almost instantly. You can also get strips that give you minty fresh breath for two benefits in one.
FAQs About CBD and Muscle Recovery
Should I take CBD before or after my workout?
If you’re mainly focused on muscle recovery and pain relief, the best time to take CBD is after a workout. That said, if you take it before a workout, you can feel more relaxed and focused on your exercises. Preliminary evidence also suggests that CBD can help alleviate high blood pressure brought on by intense exercise, so there’s that as well.
How much CBD should I take for muscle recovery?
One of the primary issues with CBD is that it affects everyone differently. Some users can take a few milligrams and feel immediate effects, while others may need more CBD to get the same results. Realistically, there will be a bit of trial and error involved with using CBD for muscle recovery. We recommend starting with a relatively low dosage (i.e., 50 mg) and bumping it up from there if you don’t notice any effects.
Does CBD affect testosterone levels?
Some research has suggested that CBD can lower the body’s testosterone levels. However, it’s unclear whether this effect is significant or long-lasting. Overall, the impact of CBD and testosterone doesn’t seem to be very noticeable, so it shouldn’t affect whether or not you use these products.
Does CBD help build muscle?
No, it does not. However, CBD can indirectly help you build more muscle mass. First, it can reduce your cortisol levels while you sleep, allowing your body to repair muscle tissue more rapidly. Second, since you don’t have to worry as much about pain and soreness, you can push yourself harder during your workouts.