Is CBD Good Before or After a Workout?
There have been many conversations and discussions about CBD and how it can benefit all kinds of different medical conditions. People who are into fitness and working out are now joining the conversation to see if CBD can help them before engaging in physical activity.
We will most likely see more studies done in the future regarding CBD and workouts, and if there’s proven medical conclusions that can be drawn, but for now, we need to rely on the few that have been already conducted and feedback from people who have experienced it first hand.
Simply put, CBD before a workout can help with several things, including feeling more energized, at ease, and focused - these are some important aspects you want to feel heading into a workout.
Perhaps a good way to put it is that you will be the best version of your regular self, and who wouldn’t want to feel that way during a workout, or at any time really? Some individuals who engage in yoga enjoy CBD as it helps to settle the mind down and essentially turn off the brain’s anxious component so that meditation can be more effectively done.
Some people who have looked at using CBD before a workout but were hesitant as they associated CBD with cannabis and were worried about getting high, shouldn’t have that mindset. Taking CBD doesn’t produce any kind of body or head buzz, and users report not feeling anything along those lines.
CBD can actually aid in a post-workout recovery too, which is certainly a positive for those who go through taxing workouts and are looking for body healing relief after.
CBD and Working Out
A good number of competitive athletes and even casual workout amateurs are using CBD to help them with their workout routines. The World Anti-Doping Agency has lifted its ban on CBD and that has sparked a much higher use of CBD by fitness professionals to boost stamina, and take advantage of other benefits it provides as well.
There has been research done on CBD and what consumption of it does to the body. Findings include engagement of CB2 receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain - these are our sleep and mood regulators. By improving deep sleep and improving one’s mood, these two elements can have a positive influence on working out.
If you feel more rested and are in a good frame of mind, then chances are that working out is more likely to occur and the results will be better from investing more into it. More consistent sleep can augment protein synthesis for building muscle tissue, so as you can see, getting quality sleep with the help of CBD can be beneficial to those looking to add muscle mass to their bodies.
CBD has also been proven (in a preliminary study conducted by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research) that it can slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help bodybuilders to build more muscle in a shorter period of time.
These types of research reports are helping CBD to become more readily used by people who enjoy working out casually or do it for professional reasons and want to see improved results by expelling the same amount of energy and time in a gym.
What Is CBD?
Let’s take a step back and look closer at what CBD actually is. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s essentially a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, one of many that exist within this particular plant - over 100 to date have been identified by scientists.
The substance is a naturally occurring one that is used in products including oils and edible food products. When consumed, it provides the user with a feeling of relaxation and calm throughout the body and mind. Just because it originates from the cannabis plant, doesn’t mean that it’s psychoactive like it’s cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is.
In fact, there’s typically less than one-third of one per cent of THC content in CBD, making it safe for even young children to use for medicinal purposes. Perhaps a good analogy for the difference between CBD and THC is from a “buzz” perspective like the difference between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer. You wouldn’t want your kids drinking beer that contains 5% of alcohol content, but if they have a non-alcoholic version that has little to no alcohol in it, then that likely wouldn’t raise a red flag for you.
CBD is regularly being used by adults and children to alleviate pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression. Some parents have also credited CBD with helping their kids to dramatically improve their epileptic seizures. As you can see, CBD has many different use cases and is certainly gaining significant traction in the workout industry.
There are still some negative public feelings toward CBD and use of the chemical compound, but the critics are slowly being silenced as we gain a better understanding of what it is and its beneficial applications.
Exercise and CBD: Pros and Cons
There are more pros than cons for taking CBD related products for exercising, and we outline a case for each below.
- CBD helps to reduce anxiety and discomfort - There would likely be a lot more people at gyms than there is today but there are various reasons why fewer people go than should. One of these reasons is the fact that some individuals get anxious about going to work out in a public space, whether that’s because of self-image issues or other ones. CBD works with the mind to take away some of those anxious feelings, and as a result, going to the gym isn’t as challenging to do from a mental viewpoint. The body tends to feel better as well when CBD is consumed, so discomforts can be coped with more effectively.
- CBD improves cognitive function - Brain function is enhanced and improved when CBD is being used, this helps to get the endorphins going better for an uplifted feeling during and after working out.
- CBD protects the body - The body is protected from damage in some key ways with help from CBD including inflammation, vascular damage, and other conditions. Working out can cause inflammation and vascular issues in various parts of the body depending on which muscle groups are being targeted on any given day, and CBD helps to deal with these types of concerns.
- CBD helps with pain relief - CBD inhibits neurotransmission and influences pain pathways, helping the body cope with sensations of pain, especially if an injury occurs.
- Cannabis-based CBD is not fully legal federally - Commercial products that use CBD isolate from hemp which contain less than 0.3% THC are said to be federally legal. However, the reality is a little bit hazier. State by state, CBD regulation is different. In some places, CBD is still frowned upon and even illegal, meaning you may have issues with the local government.
- CBD products can contain THC - Not every CBD product, such as CBD vape juice has 0% THC in it, some have trace amounts which could be enough to potentially fail a drug test. Athletes who are tested for drugs in their system should proceed with caution, as industry standards are still in their infancy.
- Long-term effects still unknown - CBD can be an excellent solution for working out in the short-term, but the long-term effects of use may not be completely known for many years yet.
Note: if you are looking for CBD products, such as CBD vape juice, which is derived from 100% legal hemp plants -- check out our products on hot juice!
CBD Before Workout
Athletes have reported that CBD pre-workout helps their body to efficiently function, especially around the halfway point when the body starts feeling taxed. Performance is elevated as some workout enthusiasts have communicated via their blogs and social media profiles, but results do vary from individual to individual depending on many factors.
CBD supports the endocannabinoid system - a major regulatory network that is always working to ensure functions such as coordination, energy, immune system, and metabolism are balanced. With all of these important bodily functions being stimulated and enhanced by CBD, it’s no wonder that many people who workout enjoy taking some before heading to the gym.
Some people have described taking CBD pre-workout helps them to “find their flow” or “get into the zone” or “find their sense of calm.” Every CBD product is different than the next, and they can be taken in many different ways, but each one should provide some level of value before a workout begins. Some individuals who workout actually prefer CBD post-workout as opposed to before a workout, to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits it offers as the muscles seek help to repair themselves and grow. In some ways, by repairing the body before the next workout and bringing the body to full capacity, this repairing function also means that CBD is both a pre-workout and post-workout substance.
A common question that comes up regarding taking CBD before a workout is how many minutes or hours should this be done prior. CBD gets to the bloodstream at different times according to if it’s taken by inhalation via dabbing or vaping (the fastest delivery method), sublingually by placing it under the tongue and absorbing it (the second quickest way), or ingestion via the mouth (the slowest). Inhalation works almost immediately, sublingually goes into effect a few minutes after consumption, while ingesting it can take around an hour or more before delivering its benefits.
How Long Before a Workout Should You Take CBD?
Above, we briefly touched on timing with regards to when CBD should be taken before a workout. We didn’t mention that it also depends on other factors besides just the method of consuming CBD.
Everyone is unique and is a different age, weight, metabolisms fluctuate from person to person, genetics play a factor, physical condition matters, and cannabinoid tolerance and product potency go into when to take CBD before a workout.
Some people like to be feeling the effects of CBD for a good hour or so before getting to the gym, so the body and mind are feeling good and ready to go. Others want to feel the CBD benefits just when getting to their first machine so the feeling is fresh.
Expanding on the ways to consume CBD:
- Inhalation - CBD vaping or dabbing allows the effects to take hold almost immediately, or within just a couple of minutes. An ideal use would be taking CBD this way just before leaving home or just prior to walking into the gym to workout.
- Sublingually - CBD consumed this way involves placing it in the mouth, ideally under the tongue, and holding it in your mouth for a minute or so before swallowing. This method takes around 15 minutes before taking effect and should be taken at least 20 to 25 minutes before beginning a workout.
- Ingesting - When eating a CBD edible you should expect an hour or more wait before feeling it kick in. This method can be good if you enjoy post-work exercise, but it won’t be so good if you enjoy working out a few minutes after rolling out of bed in the morning.
Should You Take CBD More Than Once?
Consuming CBD and learning how much you need to feel the effect you want is a lot about experimenting until you learn what your body likes. Sticking with just one CBD product early on is a good idea so that your body can adjust to getting it in a consistent way, and after a few days, you should know what’s the ideal amount and how far in advance of workout to take it.
It’s advised to speak to your doctor before taking CBD to get his or her thoughts on the topic and explain what your goals are for using it. Your doctor will recommend what amount to take in the form of milligrams (mg) per day, and you can decide when and how many times to consume it. Starting with less early on is a good way to approach it, so that could be 20-40mg per day for the first week, then it can be increased by 5mg per day to find the optimal amount.
Tracking how much you’re taking and what you’re feeling along the way is good information to have as a guide. Once you determine what amount of milligrams works well for your body, you can then experiment some more with other methods of consumption, and other brands of products if desired.
Be sure to look closely on every CBD product you get, so for example, if you are using capsules and each one is 5mg then taking 4 to 8 per day initially is a good starting point. Some people who work out like to take some CBD before a workout, and then more after a workout for its body healing properties. Listen to your body to understand what it likes, and then adapt your CBD consumption accordingly to operate at peak performance.
An increasing number of bodybuilders are taking to CBD for its muscle growth and recovery benefits to ease inflammation and reduce pain in between workouts. For bodybuilders, the quicker their muscles recover and repair themselves, the more they can workout and build muscle mass in a shorter period of time.
In order for muscles to grow, the fibres need to be stimulated and damaged and then repair themselves to become bigger. This process can be painful, especially depending on how fast you want to build up your body, and CBD is a handy substance to use to heal the muscles in a safe way.
CBD can also help to regulate your catabolic hormones, this is important because improper amounts of this type of hormone can result in too much cortisol in your body - making it more challenging for your muscles to grow. Muscle spasming is a common concern of bodybuilders, but using CBD is helpful for alleviating this problem as it contains antispasmodic properties. It’s no wonder that word of mouth about CBD is getting around the gyms, and bodybuilders are really taking to it to give their bodies the best opportunity to build muscle and sustain their rigorous routines.
How You Can Use CBD to Grow Muscle
In the above section, we touched on how CBD helps muscles to grow. CBD is a more natural alternative to anabolic supplements and delivers many of the same benefits plus even more. CBD helps to raise the anabolic hormone production, and that promotes fast muscle growth thanks to the elevation of protein synthesis. CBD actively works by establishing a connection with receptorsthroughout the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating one’s appetite and metabolism.
CBD then attaches to the receptors within the body, and the benefits are delivered so bodybuilders can train more often while safely adding to their results. Energy is a key component that’s necessary for bodybuilders to have so they can effectively get through taxing workouts on a regular basis, and CBD helps with that so that muscles can be pushed to their limits and then grow upon recovery.
Energy is supplied by CBD because it regulates blood sugar levels, which affects how much insulin your body manufactures. A lower level of insulin means your body burns more glucose into energy as opposed to converting it into fat. This helps bodybuilders to power through their workouts more seamlessly and completely, and the muscles get to enjoy an optimal workout so they can effectively get stronger and larger as the bodybuilder initially planned.
Proper sleep for bodybuilders can’t be understated, as a body needs it to heal its minor muscle tears properly so protein can be sufficiently harnessed to build muscle. CBD can produce a sleepy effect when someone is in a relaxed state, to help not only to fall asleep but to stay asleep longer as well.
CBD Muscle Recovery
Even the fittest bodybuilders still suffer from muscle fatigue and pain, and this can linger for a period of days after a workout. Fibers are damaged on a microscopic level and they become inflamed. The body responds by working to repair these damages and this leads to muscle soreness and stiffness, especially when sitting or lying down for a while.
CBD for recovery works to manage and even prevent joint inflammation so that the aching feeling after a heavy lift day is minimized. Rubbing CBD oil directly onto sore muscles can provide a wonderful sense of relief in a short time frame, as can other delivery methods. Every body’s muscles will respond differently to CBD for muscle recovery as they go through their own process, so it’s a good idea to play around with different products and consumption strategies over time to see what soothes the body the best.
You should speak with your doctor to get their insights into traditional anti-inflammatory pills for muscle recovery, as opposed to CBD. Keep in mind though that CBD and muscle recovery is a much newer concept, so many doctors are still likely to recommend going with more traditional treatments as opposed to CBD with it being a more modern product with less scientific research supporting its use and benefits.
However, studies have shown that CBD plays an integral role with regards to suppressing cytokine and chemokine production while helping to increase a body’s T-regulatory cell production, and that in turn helps with a body’s anti-inflammatory mechanism and muscle recovery efforts.
Can CBD Help Fight Post-Workout Inflammation?
Throughout this article, we have touched on how CBD helps people who workout deal with inflammation and pain after their gym visits have wrapped up. From our research, we have read many stories from bodybuilders who prefer using CBD for their post-workout healing efforts over using CBD pre-workout.
If you are someone who currently does just fine with working out on a regular basis and performs well at the gym, but are sore after, then using CBD for your inflammation and discomfort while your muscles are healing could be very beneficial. Those who workout are motivated to learn how they can make the most of their time at the gym, and how they can quickly recoup to get back to the gym and exercise with minimal pain.
After reading through many CBD weight lifting case studies, we heard time and time again that individuals were sceptics about CBD’s benefits for working out, but they decided to give it a try to see if it would work for them. It was intriguing how many of those people really enjoyed what it did for their inflamed muscles, as recovering from bodybuilding efforts can actually be tougher than the workouts themselves.
Some of these same people talked about how having a sore body was affecting their jobs and were reluctant to continue the same workout routine that they enjoyed so much. With the help of CBD though, a good number of their post-workout recoveries are better than ever, and this has helped with not only their aches and pains but benefited their lives away from the gym as well at work and with their children.
Is CBD Good Before a Workout?
We have talked about many different elements in this article, but most everything mentioned has revolved around the question of is CBD good before a workout? Based on our research and findings, we can conclusively say that the vast majority of people who workout and use CBD to either enhance the level of performance at the gym, or for post-gym pain relief, believe in its benefits.
There are likely more people who would tell you from personal experience that they appreciate the value of CBD more when used after a workout, but many also really liked using CBD prior to a workout as well. There were very few cases where someone who has tried CBD for improving their workout said that it either did nothing for them or it produced a negative effect.
Some talked about the cost being a potential factor in whether they would continue using CBD before a workout going forward, but a good number of individuals believed that the value of CBD for working out purposes exceeded the cost and they would continue purchasing CBD products as a result. Now that you are enamoured with all of this information regarding CBD and how it can factor into a workout, you are likely curious to give it a try for yourself.
There is a very low-risk investment from financial and health perspectives, and if you have been considering taking something to complement your workouts, then CBD is a relatively safe way to go. If you could use more energy, have a keener sense of focus, or feel more at ease while at the gym, then give CBD a try.
Feed your curiosity and see if CBD has a place in your life before or after workouts - you will never know unless you experience it firsthand for yourself. And if you do, then please share your story with others so they can learn how CBD can have a positive impact on their lives as well.
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