CBD for Runners
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/23/2018 in CBD Resources
Updated on December 6, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Runners and other athletes have special needs. The intense daily workout puts a strain on various muscle groups in the body while preparing for a major race or competition. CBD for runners can help improve recovery from pain and other effects of intense physical training.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the more than 85 cannabinoids found in marijuana. With the legalization of medical marijuana in more than half of the states in the U.S., more and more evidence is emerging about the benefits of CBD for runners.
Here are 10 reasons runners should use CBD products during their training.
1. To Enjoy Relief From Pain
Cannabis is commonly used as a pain reliever. It’s mainly helpful when runners need quick relief from pain during or immediately after a workout.
CBD binds to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors in various parts of the body, resulting in a reduction in the sensation of pain in the brain and muscles. Endocannabinoid receptors also increase anandamide levels, which, in turn, produce a pain killing effect.
2. To Prevent Inflammation
Runners face the problem of inflammation almost every day they practice or do strenuous exercise. Instead of using well-known creams that have a burning sensation, CBD topical creams can provide fast, soothing relief.
CBD oil works as an anti-inflammatory agent. Using CBD cream or oil can prevent joint injury while runners train and reduce pain associated with swelling if they have a sprain. CBD can suppress swelling by decreasing the rate at which specific skin cells multiply. The cannabinoids in CBD can also inhibit the production of cytokine and induce T-regulatory cells.
3. To Sleep and Relax for Full Muscle Recovery
Cannabinoids in cannabis have a sedative effect on users. One of the most potent cannabinoids is cannabinol (CBN). CBN forms when THC oxidizes due to prolonged atmospheric exposure. CBN doesn’t make the user feel high like THC.
Indica strains usually have higher concentrations of CBN than sativa strains. Taking cannabis with a 1% CBN can provide a better sedative effect than popular sedative drugs. Athletes who enjoy the deep sleep from marijuana will experience better muscle recovery and faster muscle growth.
4. To Eliminate Nausea
After training hard for hours, athletes could feel a nauseating sensation coming from their stomach. Cannabis has well known anti-emetic effects that can prevent vomiting.
The gastrointestinal tract has its own endocannabinoid receptors that bind to the cannabinoids in marijuana, such as THC and CBD. The fastest relief usually comes by vaping or smoking. Runners may also use tinctures to avoid the irritating effect of inhaling cannabis. Some of the best strains for treating nausea or vomiting include Sour Diesel, Durban Poison, Sensi Star and Blackwater.
5. To Reduce Cramps and Muscle Spasms
Athletes can experience muscle spasms and cramps due to repeated use of the same muscles. Muscle spasms are contractions that take place suddenly without the control of the person involved. They could last for a short time or be long and crippling.
Applying medical marijuana to the affected muscles can provide pain relief. Cannabis oil or topical creams can cut the pain and make the muscles relax.
Cannabis topicals work on virtually all muscle groups including the neck, arms, glutes, legs and other parts of the body. Marijuana diminishes cramps and spasms by reducing the inflammation that occurs around strained or injured muscles.
The cannabinoids in marijuana connect the endocannabinoid receptors and alter the body’s inflammatory response. This provides an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents any further damage to the muscles and surrounding tissues.
6. To Boost Appetite
Marijuana is a well-known appetite booster, which can help athletes who need to eat a high-calorie diet. Cannabis allows powerlifters, bodybuilders, boxers, wrestlers and other athletes who must eat a certain number of calories daily to feel hungry enough to maintain their weight.
It can also help runners who must eat more food to get the stamina for long distance races. Taking cannabis helps raise the levels of various hormones in the blood. Marijuana increases two hunger-inducing hormones, leptin and ghrelin.
7. To Protect the Brain From Damage
In addition to reducing inflammation around muscles, CBD can also reduce inflammation in vital organs such as the brain, heart and lungs. Athletes who take CBD before having a traumatic brain injury are more likely to survive than those who don’t. Any athlete who suffers a severe brain injury can avoid a severe concussion by using a cannabis product like CBD oil.
8. To Recover Faster From Injuries
When an athlete is injured, their instinct is to reach for over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen or Methadone. Such painkillers may provide temporary relief from pain, but they have no impact on the time it takes to recover.
Taking CBD products not only stops the pain, but it helps the body recover faster. CBD can improve the healing of virtually all tissues in the body because of its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. CBD has also helped people with degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, so it can help heal other less severe injuries or conditions.
9. To Boost the Immune System
During the weeks before a major competition, most athletes go through intense training. Practicing for a long time can have specific side effects on the body including weakening the immune system. CBD products can help boost the immune system. Cannabis is rich in antioxidants, which can help the body fight infection. The antioxidants also improve heart health, so athletes can withstand the strain of training and still perform well.
10. To Prevent Game Day Anxiety
As game day draws closer, it’s common for athletes to get a bit nervous. But they can reduce this anxiety by taking CBD, which is also a potent anti-depressant.
Taking a cannabis product or strain that’s high in CBD and low in THC will help reduce the anxiety that naturally comes before a major sporting event.
Indica strains typically provide better relief from anxiety than sativa strains. Strains such as Granddaddy Purple, Amnesia Haze, Harlequin, Girl Scout Cookies and Chocolate Chunk can help runners relax and feel great before a big race or competition.
Learn More About CBD for Runners From a Marijuana Doctor
Taking CBD is an effective way to enjoy faster recovery from pain due to intense training. It also protects athletes from severe injury and enables them to relax after prolonged workouts. Contact a reliable cannabis doctor to learn more about CBD for runners.