The increasing popularity of CBD use in the athletic community sparks many questions for runners. Check out these 11 CBD Tips all Runners Should Know to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
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With CBD (cannabidiol) popping up in all sorts of places, the accessibility to CBD products has never been higher. With so much available right at our fingertips, whether it be in your local grocery store, health food store, or CBD for sale online, there are several things all customers should be aware of before buying. Athletic and active individuals make up a large portion of those who find great benefits from CBD use. The number of professional athletes in several sports like the NFL, MMA, NHL, and MLB, who use CBD as part of their wellness routine has been increasing in recent years. Runners, cyclists, workout enthusiasts and even casual gym goers can all find the same benefits CBD offers those professional athletes.
Running, even casually, can take a toll on your leg muscles and joints. It is important to give your body the proper care to maintain a level of wellness. Here are 11 tips about CBD that can help all runners find their perfect CBD product and use it to the maximum potential.
11 CBD Tips all Runners Should Know
CBD is Legal in the United States
That’s right! CBD was made legal in the U.S. with the passing of the Farm Bill (2018). The law requires that CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. THC is the compound found in cannabis that produces the feeling of being “high”.
There are two varieties of the cannabis plant, Hemp and Marijuana. Hemp contains higher levels of CBD while marijuana contains higher levels of THC. Since marijuana remains federally illegal, all CBD products need to be derived from Hemp.
CBD does not Show up on Drug Tests
If you were to take a drug test looking for marijuana, what the drug-testing lab is actually testing for is a molecule left behind when your body consumes THC. This ‘metabolite’ of THC that is left behind in the body would never be produced if you consumed a CBD product because CBD does not produce the metabolite of THC (Quest Diagnostics). So in short, YES, you will pass a drug test if all you have consumed is CBD and below the legal limit of THC (0.3%).
There is a danger in that if your CBD product contains above the legal limit of 0.3% THC, that you may fail a drug test. Knowing your source is very important and we will get into how to find a trustworthy source a bit later.
CBD has a Natural Fit in the Body- The ECS
CBD is considered a cannabinoid. A cannabinoid is a molecular compound with a similar makeup to that of the cannabis plant. The two most abundant cannabinoids are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). There are even cannabinoids found within the body, these are called endocannabinoids. The prefix, endo, means “within”, so endocannabinoids are cannabinoids from within the body.
Cannabinoids interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is composed of the cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and metabolic enzymes that will eventually break down the cannabinoids. Two main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 & CB2, interact with cannabinoids to help your body maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is a balanced state of being between all your body’s systems, response, and functions. The interactions between cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, metabolic enzymes creates responses and functions throughout the rest of the body to help maintain homeostasis and keep you well.
There are Several Ways to take CBD
The way you take your CBD products can have influence on how the body responds and how much CBD actually gets into your system. Personal preference also plays an important role in how you take CBD. Some prefer the on-the-spot relief topicals can provide. Some love the taste of the wide variety of edibles available. Drops that go right under your tongue or on your favorite food are also a big hit. Even smoking hemp flower or vapes with CBD is popular.
When you have figured out how you might feel comfortable taking CBD, you can now consider how much CBD your body will actually be getting. Here is more detailed information on how much CBD your body will absorb per application method. This is called bio-availability.
- Topicals such as CBD Lotion, while great for on-the-spot relief of local cannabinoid receptors, are not the best method for getting CBD into the bloodstream. This is because the skin does not let much pass through it.
- Edibles need to pass through the digestive system so they may take a bit longer to set in. They may also last a bit longer than some of the other application methods. Because the CBD needs to pass through the digestive system, the amount of CBD eventually absorbed into the bloodstream is less than what you consumed.
- Tincture (Oil Drops) are placed under your tongue and left to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucus membrane. Because of this direct access to the bloodstream, tinctures have a relatively high absorption rate.
- Inhalation of either smoke from the hemp flower or vapor from a vape pen containing CBD has the highest bio-availability of the application methods. The large surface area of your lungs provides ample direct access to the bloodstream.
CBD can Reduce Inflammation
One of the top reasons athletes and active people turn to CBD is its effectiveness in fighting unwanted inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s immune system’s response to injuries and harmful agents that may enter the body. Inflammation can also occur when you push a little too hard at your sport or working out. Studies on CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have found quite promising results. CBD has been described as a potent anti-inflammatory agent and can be a suitable replacement for pills such as Ibuprofen (Nagarkatti, et al).
When CBD enters the body, several things happen that give CBD such potent anti-inflammatory properties. Levels of T-regulatory cells increase while levels of cytokines decrease. T-regulatory cells work to suppress inflammation and cytokines are pro-inflammatory. Muscle inflammation as well as joint inflammation (such as in your knees) can both be aided by CBD use. For on-the-spot relief, a CBD Muscle Gel might be just what those sore legs and feet need after a long run.
CBD can Reduce Pain
Pain can be caused by any number of things, but many have some relation to inflammation. CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory properties in turn can help reduce pain. Maybe it is the pain of sore muscles or the pain of a cramp or joint pain, inflammation plays a role in them all, therefore CBD can help. Studies conducted on CBD’s efficiency in reducing pain have shown promising results (Russo). A CBD Pain Relief Rub can help your body recover from a rugged run and get you ready for the next outing.
CBD can Reduce Anxiety
If you ever feel unmotivated or down about your workout efforts, you are not alone. The stress and anxiety of working out in front of people to be your best self is a very real obstacle to overcome. Taking a dose of CBD before your run can help your mind and body relax, making you ready for your workout and making your workout more fun and efficient for you. CBD has been found to have powerful anti-anxiety effects for social and other anxiety-prone situations (Blessing, et al).
Knowing your Source is Important
Much of the CBD market is unfortunately filled with low quality products, sometimes containing no CBD at all and sometimes containing more than the legal amount of THC. Certificates of Analysis (COAs), otherwise known as lab test reports, should be easily found and accessible for the customer. The reports should also be up-to-date. At the minimum, make sure to check that the levels of CBD are what are advertised and that the levels of THC are below the legal limit.
Even with what seem to be a passing lab report, some products and companies still might not be all they seem to be. It is truly unfortunate that so many potential CBD users are not getting the wellness they paid for. Developing a relationship with your trusted CBD brand, asking them in-depth questions, and having lab reports reading made available to you are important factors when choosing a CBD company you can trust. Many products have scannable QR codes on them which usually take you straight to a company’s lab report testing page.
Dosing is Personal and Takes Time
Finding the perfect dose of CBD for you has many factors including the type of product used, gender, weight, age, metabolism, severity of affliction, if you recently ate, etc. To find the dose of CBD that works best for you takes a bit of experimentation.
It is suggested you begin with a low dose, maybe 5mg, and slowly build up your dose if you feel like you need more. Each dose of CBD generally lasts about 4-8 hours so do not take more until at least the 6 hour mark. This slow build up will help you better understand how a particular dose of CBD affects you. If you go too quickly, you may not be able to take as much notice of the particular effects. Below is a chart of recommended dosing for weights and severity of pain and anxiety. Again, these are just recommendations. Take time to hone in on your perfect dose.
CBD is NOT a Cure-All, but it can Help
CBD is by no means a cure-all. CBD cannot cure specific illness or heal injuries. What CBD can do is help give your body the tools to help yourself heal by working with your ECS to reduce inflammation, pain, and anxiety.
Ask your Doctor Before Taking Additional Supplements with any Medications
*It is recommended that you speak with your doctor or physician before adding CBD to existing medications.