Should CBD be your new post-workout?

Published by Veronica An on

Why does everyone hate leg day? Muscle-soreness and post-workout stiffness is no joke for frequent gym-goers or intramural athlete. CBD, cannabidiol, and marijuana seem to offer an easy solution for pain and recovery but there’s more you should know before lighting up post-workout.

With a growing number of states legalizing weed – 33 states allow some form of medical cannabis and 11 states allow recreational use for adults over 21. And CBD, the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, is available with a medical rec in 13 states.

In states that allow recreational marijuana, CBD shouldn’t be an issue for adult-use. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which regulates the Olympics among other professional sporting events allows for CBD and a small amount of THC –  less than 150 nanograms per milliliter of carboxy-THC, a cannabis metabolite, in competitive athletes’ urine samples.

Notably former NFL players like Eben Britton have advocated using CBD for pain management. A study by McGill University backs up players’ claim that CBD provides effective pain-relief for chronic pain with minimal side effects. Many people claim CBD is also effective for acute pain and can be used the same way you’d pop an aspirin but the research is inconclusive. Still, multiple studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation which leads to soreness and slows down recovery time and helps combat muscle tension.

But what’s the best way to tap into this plant-based powerhouse?

Experts agree that CBD (and THC) products are most beneficial after the gym. Although CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive compounds it still can make you feel sleepy or woozy  – not the best state to be in when you’re getting ready to crush it at the gym.

CBD will affect everyone differently and, just as with alcohol, youre post-workout tolerance will be different. Start slow until you find the perfect amount that sends your muscles into workout bliss without putting your down for a nap.

The quickest way to get CBD into your system is by smoking or vaping. Look for Indica-rich strains of cannabis or CBD-only options, which are ideal for post-workout relaxation and muscle recovery. Indica strains can still get you high so they might not be the best choice if you hit the gym before work.

Topicals are the easiest way to relieve specific pain, such as a muscle cramp or strains, plus they’re easy to apply and can be used pretty much anywhere.. CBD patches like the Trokie CBD patch are available with a medical recommendation and can provide long-lasting relief for injured areas.

Although the research on CBD and athletic performance is seems to be mostly positive, there isn’t a huge body of research out there on the effects of cannabis or CBD. Universities and research centers are beginning to open up to the possibility of studying the effects of pot in people and new data is becoming more readily available. Until then, it doesn’t hurt to experiment with a little post-workout CBD but pot probably shouldn’t replace your protein shake.


Veronica An

Veronica enjoys good food, good company, and good music. She pens poems, short stories, op-ed articles, and non-fiction pieces. Her favorite place to write is under the California sunshine.

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