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Can CBD Improve Your Exercise Performance? It’s complicated



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Could CBD Be A Tool For Better Workouts?

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A growing number of athletes and fitness enthusiasts are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) as a quasi-performance-enhancing supplement for its many purported therapeutic properties, such as faster muscle recovery, pain relief and improved sleep. For now, CBD is still considered A-OK by the US Anti-Doping Agency, so you wonder if product claims that CBD improves performance are true.

While most studies on CBD have promising results, the findings are still mixed and there are not many high-quality studies to date. In addition, the hype surrounding CBD overestimates its benefits, and there are many concerns about the purity of CBD products. In any case, it’s worth looking at the available evidence to determine if CBD can actually boost your workouts, or if you shouldn’t stick with it.

Read more: Active clothing with CBD has no science on its side yet

How CBD Can Potentially Improve Your Workouts

A growing body of evidence points to possible links between CBD and physical performance, although these possible links are indirect. This is what science is currently saying about CBD and its properties that may be related to fitness.

CBD could relieve pain and inflammation

Studies show that CBD has a positive effect on physical inflammation. According to a 2020 study, CBD has direct anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and fear, and reduced inflammation usually equates to less pain. Studies on the direct relationship between CBD and pain fall short.

Also in 2020, researchers concluded that while CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties that could be useful in the treatment of joint disease, “there is a lack of high-quality, new research on the use of CBD in human musculoskeletal diseases.”

A large-scale review of 2018 studies looked at research from 1975 to 2018 and concluded that the evidence for CBD as a pain reliever is generally promising. However, most research on this topic concludes with the feeling that more research in humans is needed to determine the effects of CBD on pain and inflammation.

CBD can help you sleep better

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Like research on CBD and pain, research on CBD and sleep has shown mixed results. A 2017 review found that CBD may be helpful in treating sleep disorders, such as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition that causes people to fulfill their dreams while asleep.

Since CBD can lower cortisol levels, it can help people with anxiety fall asleep and fall asleep at night. Raw cannabis flower has been shown to induce sleep, but raw cannabis contains THC, so CBD alone is unlikely to have the same effect.

Read more: Edibles vs. Topical Products vs. Vapes vs. Oils: CBD Products, Explained

CBD can promote muscle recovery

Since CBD can help you sleep better and reduce inflammation, it can also aid in muscle recovery. Most of the tissue repair process takes place during sleep, so more sleep coupled with the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD make this cannabis-derived compound a strong competitor for a muscle recovery supplement.

CBD can reduce stress and anxiety

If you tend to get anxious about games or competitions, going for a new one-rep max, or embarking on a black diamond bike path, CBD can help calm your nerves and give you the confidence you need to your next tackle Big challenge.

While more research is needed (no surprise here), a 2019 case series concluded that CBD has potential as a treatment for anxiety. Lots of other research confirms this finding, and it’s worth trying if you feel like your nerves are holding you back from your greatest athletic potential.

Read more: CBD in food: what is legal and what is safe

Can CBD Actually Improve Exercise Performance?

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There is a lot we don’t yet understand about CBD and its relationship to athletic performance.

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This is where things get a little weird. While there is growing evidence to support the four potential CBD benefits above, there is little scientific evidence to support the claim that CBD directly improves fitness performance or athletic skills.

Because CBD has been legalized so recently (federal – many states still have some way to go), it has been challenging for scientists to research and study CBD. Even now, nearly three years after the government removed CBD’s Schedule 1 label, it hasn’t been extensively studied for its performance-enhancing properties. In fact, “comprehensive” is a stretch to describe the evidence we have on other aspects of CBD, such as its effects on sleep or pain.

The thing is, there isn’t enough research to say outright that CBD improves fitness or athletic performance.

Be skeptical of CBD products that claim to improve athletic performance. Do your research on CBD products you are interested in to make sure you buy a pure and potent product as diluted CBD is a waste of money and impurities can get you in trouble for failing a drug test. Also, keep in mind that clinical trials often use higher doses of CBD than what you can find in the market, so products you buy may not have the same effects as the findings you see in research studies.

Overall, CBD has been proven to be safe, but not necessarily effective, as a fitness supplement. If you believe that CBD improves your performance and you are not experiencing any adverse effects, it can be a valuable aid to your health and fitness.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.




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