CBD Effects on Bodybuilding
Posted on August 13th, 2020
The history of bodybuilding dates back to the 1890s. Of course, plenty of people want to have fit bodies and chiseled muscles, but you can’t achieve those results without hard work and a lot of physical training. Plus, all of those training sessions put stress on your body, which is why so many of us look for ways to maximize the results of each training session. In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as a useful product in the fitness space. This is because many of its potential benefits could improve the results of your workout. In this piece, we are going to look at the effects of CBD on bodybuilding, and how adding this supplement to your routine may help you reach your workout goals.
What Is CBD Oil?
Before you decide to add CBD to your workout program, you need to know more about this natural supplement. CBD is a compound that exists in all varieties of the cannabis plant, but most legal CBD is derived from industrial hemp strains. When extracted from hemp plants with THC concentrations below 0.3%, CBD is legal in most states and it does not produce the ‘high’ feeling associated with marijuana use.
Now, CBD is just one of many compounds, called cannabinoids, that we find in cannabis plants. The two most prominent ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both these compounds may produce an abundance of benefits within the human body. Still, THC also produces a mind-altering effect and is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. THC is also the reason cannabis products were banned for a long time in the United States.
As scientific evidence uncovered the potential benefits of these cannabinoids, legislators moved to make room for their legality. So, in 2018, the law changed: today, it is federally legal to use CBD which contains less than 0.3% concentrations of THC.
This was great news for so many people. And especially for athletes, since CBD may have a wide variety of effects that are beneficial for bodybuilders. Why is that the case? CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vital part of the human body that is responsible for maintaining balance in many of your body’s natural processes. While your body naturally produces endocannabinoids to maintain balance, sometimes production falls short. And that’s where CBD may be able to help, by expediting the balancing process.
What Are the Effects of CBD on Bodybuilding?
CBD May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a common condition in your body; it can develop due to illness, stress, or from several other triggers. Bodybuilders who engage in strenuous exercises are especially vulnerable to inflammation. The effects of CBD may reduce inflammation and help bodybuilders remain in top condition.
CBD may provide a potent anti-inflammatory effect by starting a process known as apoptosis. Apoptosis reduces cell divisions and suppresses cytokine production. (Cytokines are a type of protein that can address inflammation.) Aside from bodybuilding, CBD has shown promising results for people with rheumatoid arthritis who suffer because of inflammation. For individuals with certain chronic diseases, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could offer relief. And, for bodybuilders, they could help remove any roadblocks to weight training.
CBD for Stress and Symptoms of Anxiety
You might wonder how stress and anxiety come into the bodybuilding space. Well, these professionals have goals to reach. If they don’t meet their targets, this could cause stress and feelings of anxiety. Also, professional weightlifters may feel anxious before a competition, and that could derail their performances.
Studies show that CBD may alleviate stress and symptoms of anxiety. This is important, because the effects of stress, such as increased heart rate and increased cortisol levels, can lead to muscle breakdown. And that is the opposite of what bodybuilders want to see.
Can CBD Improve Digestion?
Most people relate cannabis use with getting the “munchies”. But did you know that CBD may go that extra step and improve digestion? To start, it may improve your appetite, but research shows that it may have various additional applications in our digestive system. We think that CBD addresses multiple digestive issues because of its interactions with cannabinoids throughout your body. Some of these receptors regulate nausea and stomach acid production, thus enhancing your digestion process.
How might this CBD effect help bodybuilders? Bodybuilders, like all athletes, need to eat well so they can build and maintain muscle mass. But at times, our digestive system struggles to digest certain foods. This may lead to stomach pain, bloating, and inflammation. Poor digestion can also interfere with nutrient absorption, meaning you won’t benefit from all the nutrients in your food. It is important for bodybuilders to consume and absorb enough nutrients to support muscle growth, and CBD may help with that process.
CBD for Increased Metabolism
CBD may increase the concentration and activity of mitochondria in your cells. While more research is needed, studies suggest that this can accelerate your fat burning fat process. This also may affect your appetite, meaning you need fewer calories to feel fuller.
Additionally, CBD seems to trigger a process called fat browning, that transforms white adipose tissues in your body into brown adipose tissues. Brown tissues burn more energy than white ones, which can help you build lean muscle in place of body fat.
CBD for Better Sleep
We’ve seen that CBD may help reduce anxiety and stress, which can improve your sleeping patterns. As a bodybuilder, you need quality sleep so your body can recover. CBD appears to improve sleep length and quality. It can also reduce insomnia, especially for those who are kept up by pain after a rigorous workout session.
It is also important to note that you build muscle while you sleep, making each night a vital part of the bodybuilding equation. This is the time when your body repairs its muscles. If you don’t sleep enough, it will be hard to make any meaningful bodybuilding progress.
CBD for Joint Aches
CBD may enhance the functioning of your immune system, which could be why it appears to alleviate symptoms of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise can help alleviate certain types of arthritis, but joint pain makes it hard to move.
Even for healthy people, workout sessions can be stressful on joints, leading to pain and inflammation. Using CBD oil regularly could go a long way towards reducing these joint aches and allowing you to stick to your workout schedule.
Why Choose CBD?
So many of the issues we discussed have challenged bodybuilders for years. Pain and joint inflammation are common, and many bodybuilders address this problem with chemical medications. However, many of these medications mask the problem, offering a false sense of well being rather than an underlying cure.
In contrast, CBD oil is a natural substance that interacts with your ECS to trigger a host of effects that may be beneficial for bodybuilding. It prompts your body to initiate a natural healing process, without the wide variety of side effects that are common with various over the counter drugs.
CBD has very few side effects. Those that do appear are typically mild, and only show up when you take higher than recommended doses. Still, you must remember that your body needs time to adapt to external cannabinoids. So, if you start experiencing minor headaches or drowsiness, speak with your physician for help finding a dose that’s right for you. Over time, your body should adjust to CBD and you may no longer experience these side effects.
The effects of CBD can be a great asset for those interested in bodybuilding. It has a wide array of potential health benefits that may improve the results of your workout sessions. Especially since it can help you recover from one training session and prepare for your next workout. Be sure to clear CBD use with your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you take any other supplements or medications. Once you’re cleared to use CBD, start with a low dose, explore the variety of delivery methods, and find the perfect form of CBD for you!