CBD and Running: What You Need To Know
You may know it by its ubiquitous acronym, CBD, but cannabidiol is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends in wellness today. It's found in everything from shampoos to bath bombs, as well as the more standard tinctures and various salves, balms and creams -- and even athletes are starting to get in on the CBD craze.
But what about CBD and running?
If you're a runner, you know that managing inflammation and pain is a crucial part of any exercise regimen. After all, if you're challenging your body in your workouts, you'll inadvertently be dealing with inflammation and soreness at some point, and maybe even an injury or two. But while CBD won't magically heal your body regardless of what's going on, it may help you manage pain and inflammation so that you can get back out there.
I tried CBD for running - here’s what happened.
I had just recently got back into running. As you could imagine, right away, I was beginning to feel that familiar pain - achy knees and sore muscles. This is a huge turn off for people just getting back into it. Recovery is imperative, for all levels of experience. Proper recovery will prevent injuries and fatigue, so it only made sense that I wanted to find a natural way to aid in recovery to keep the momentum going. I tried CBD topically first. I applied the Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle Cream, 2000mg, which is about 20mg of CBD per pump application. I started applying it after running on my knees and hamstrings to help with the early pain. Since this is more of a localized approach, it helped ease the pain instantly, but needed to be applied more frequently (especially on day 2).
After thinking more about CBD and how it works for inflammation, I thought I should try taking a more systematic approach and introduce the Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 1200mg, which is 40mg per 1mL. I took this product 30 minutes before a run for a week and what I found was quite interesting. I felt more energized and focused, which made it much easier to get up and do it again the next day. I am not an ultra-runner by any means, but I felt like I could go longer and faster, which felt great. I was also able to experience that “runner’s high” that everyone talks about. I still applied the topical after for further recovery.
This experience is anecdotal and everyone will have a different experience, due to different metabolisms. Maybe you already use CBD products and are finding relief with other use cases? Maybe it’s worth a shot trying if you are a runner.
Here's more of what you need to know.
First, the research on CBD is ongoing.
Unlike common pain pills and other ways of managing exercise-induced pain, CBD and running just hasn't been studied that much. While there are certain studies that tout the promising benefits of CBD, its effects on running in particular is still being studied and understood. That means things like dosing can be complicated, especially if you're going with an unknown brand or product that has no dosing recommendations. This can be mitigated somewhat by opting for CBD products that have proper dosing guidelines, though the jury's still out as to the optimal dosing (and even application) for runners and athletes. Especially because everyone’s so different.
Second, legality can be an issue.
Depending on where you live or who you work for, the consumption of CBD products can be an issue. Unlike THC, CBD is legal at the federal level, but there's still a state or two that have contravening laws that prevent any CBD usage or the purchase of CBD products, even if you can obtain it by mail or out of state. Furthermore, some CBD products actually contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gets you "high," so it's important to make a distinction between CBD-specific products and products where CBD is just another ingredient. When in doubt, consult the laws of your state or ask your employer if taking CBD could be a problem.
Third, CBD isn't a magical cure.
While some swear by the use of CBD for running, using CBD won't magically cure any injuries that you've developed. Just like popping pain pills to manage your pain before that big run, CBD isn't some panacea that can cure whatever ails you. It might reduce pain, inflammation and swelling, but you'll still have that underlying runner's knee or that low-level sprain. If you choose to run through an injury, you could be doing long-term damage to your body. Realistically, the only thing that can cure an injury is rest -- you'll have to take some time off from running for that injury to heal.
Fourth, CBD may reduce inflammation.
For all the things that CBD could be, one thing that has been proven time and again is that CBD reduces inflammation. For athletes and runners, that means CBD is a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals and OTC pain meds that have been used to fight inflammation and pain issues for years. But unlike the usual suspects, CBD doesn't leave you feeling groggy or overmedicated -- in fact, CBD and running goes hand in hand, and more than a few professional level athletes have jumped on the CBD bandwagon, touting it as one of the best alternatives to traditional pharmaceuticals.
Fifth, CBD may reduce pain.
Along with its inflammation benefits, CBD can also help reduce pain associated with running or any other type of physical activity. But the best part is that unlike popping pain pills, you won't be putting yourself at risk for kidney or liver damage. Instead of opting for those pills before or after a run, you might be able to get by with some CBD taken sublingually or as a cream applied directly to the offending area. By interacting with our brain's serotonin and vanilloid receptors, CBD can boost your mood and reduce your pain, even in tricky instances such as in the case of arthritis.
Sixth, only buy from reputable brands and sellers.
Sure, you can probably find CBD products sold by street vendors or even in your local drug store, but since CBD isn't fully regulated, you might end up with a product that's not exactly what it says on the packaging. Some so-called CBD products may contain no CBD at all, and other unscrupulous sellers may even throw in harmful ingredients. That's why it's important to buy CBD products from dispensaries or known brands and producers. That way you'll be able to trust that what you're getting is safe and good for regular use. Always check the COA’s (3rd party lab reports).
Seventh, CBD is ideal for post-run recovery.
While we're not quite at the point where CBD is an integral part of running, it can form the basis for your post-run recovery. After that grueling run or workout, CBD may help you recover by reducing inflammation and muscle soreness. Some like to mix CBD in their protein drink along with BCAAs, but you can do whatever you'd like. If you already have a post-workout regimen, a CBD tincture or dropper makes it easy to add CBD without skipping a beat. But if you have localized pain, a cream or balm could be a better fit, as well as providing relief directly to the source.
CBD and running? Start with Naternal.
Whether you're looking to start a new CBD regimen or you're interested in CBD for running and recovery, Naternal has the right CBD products for you. From full-spectrum CBD oils and extracts that you can easily mix into your post-workout smoothie to CBD topicals that provide immediate, localized relief wherever it hurts, you can find the right CBD products for your specific needs here at Naternal. Even old sports injuries may even be better managed with CBD instead of those heavy-handed pharmaceuticals, and there's no time like the present to get started. Shop all of our CBD products now.