Whether you are a fitness novice or expert, finding the right products to supplement your workout routines is crucial for achieving the best results. If you are looking for a natural, risk-free supplement to help you with muscle gain and recovery, CBD may be the answer.
What is CBD?
CBD is a plant-based supplement gaining a lot of attention in the fitness and sports markets in recent years. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a compound extracted naturally from the hemp plant and formulated into a wide variety of products such as oils, gummies, and even beverages. Even though hemp is related to cannabis, hemp-derived products like CBD are non-psychoactive due to hemp’s low THC content. THC is the compound that causes the psychedelic effects often associated with cannabis.
Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp nationwide. Because CBD is extracted from hemp, CBD products are completely legal at the federal level despite hemp’s close association with marijuana. Additionally, CBD does not show up on any drug test since they check for high concentrations of THC. If you participate in fitness or sports events, you will also be glad to know CBD is legal under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regulations.
Why You Should Be Working Out with CBD
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system of receptors known to regulate sleep, focus, and anxiety, as well as other vital functions. Research done on CBD and the endocannabinoid system shows that CBD may provide significant wellness benefits through its interaction with endocannabinoid receptors. When it comes to exercise and fitness, CBD’s anti-catabolic properties are particularly beneficial as they help build muscle mass and improve muscle tone.
What are Catabolic Hormones?
Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down energy sources in the body like glycogen and protein. While catabolic hormones are an essential part of metabolic processes, overproduction of catabolic hormones especially cortisol can be detrimental to muscle building.
The most common catabolic hormone is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is released from the adrenal gland, and it works with different parts of our brain to balance mood. Cortisol is also notable for initiating your body’s “fight or flight” response and for helping to regulate blood sugar. However, cortisol also breaks down protein in your muscles for energy, so when too much cortisol is released it significantly reduces your system’s ability to build muscle mass and tone. If you are looking to make the most of your training routines, slowing down the production of cortisol is essential for seeing results.
CBD and Cortisol Interaction
Studies suggest CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system to minimize cortisol secretion and prevent overproduction of the hormone. This means a regular CBD regimen can slow down the breakdown of muscle mass and help you gain muscle over time.
CBD can also help manage cortisol and muscle building thanks to its effects on sleep cycles. Cortisol levels are usually at their lowest when we sleep which is why protein synthesis for muscle growth and recovery happens most efficiently at night. CBD is widely known to promote REM sleep through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Thus, by helping to improve REM sleep, CBD can indirectly enhance how our body builds muscle.
CBD for Muscle Recovery
Another way CBD can enhance your workout regimen is by helping with muscle recovery post-workout. CBD can aid with muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and improving how cells react to pain. Even professional athletes like UFC champion TJ Dillashaw have begun to use CBD for muscle pain in their recovery sessions.
CBD Side Effects
In addition to its muscle-building benefits, one of the main reasons CBD has become so popular in the fitness fields is that it is completely natural. Most importantly, CBD produces no side effects, unlike so many other workout supplements out on the market. CBD is also non-addictive and poses no long term health risks.
The Best CBD for Muscle Gain and Recovery
CBD extracts obtained from hemp are extremely versatile which is why you can find CBD products in all different shapes and sizes. The most popular CBD products include oils, gummies, creams, and beverages. Despite their different presentation, all CBD products work the same and provide the same benefits, so ultimately, choosing the best CBD product for your daily routine comes down to your individual needs and preferences.