When it comes to working out, taking care of our bodies before and after exercise is so important—arguably just as important as the workout itself. This means eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, stretching, getting enough sleep, and, of course, resting and recovering after working out.
Dealing with sore, achy muscles during the post-workout recovery process can be frustrating and, frankly, a pain in the butt—literally. Luckily, there’s plenty we can do to support the recovery process between workouts. From bodybuilders to runners to CrossFitters, many are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) for muscle recovery.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for muscle recovery, including how CBD may support the recovery process, how to integrate it into your post-workout routine, and other helpful recovery tips.
Before we jump into why people are using CBD for muscle recovery, it’s important to understand why you experience aches and pains after a workout during the muscle recovery process. When you have an intense workout or use different muscles than you usually do, it causes microscopic damage to the proteins that make up muscle fibers. This minor damage triggers inflammation of the muscles as your body works to repair itself. This inflammation is often the cause of the stiffness, aches, and soreness we feel the day after a tough workout.
That’s where CBD comes in. While CBD isn’t a magical potion that directly reduces inflammation and eliminates pain, it does have the potential to promote a normal inflammatory response in the body. According to emerging research, it might promote mobility too.
CBD experts and researchers believe that the potential pain-alleviating effects of CBD are provided through several interactions and modulation of your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a cell-signaling system of receptors that plays a vital role in regulating mood, inflammatory response and pain, sleep, and memory, among other things. The interaction between CBD and your body’s endocannabinoid system may promote a normal inflammatory response through two potential mechanisms:
The ECS can regulate feelings of pain and the inflammatory response, so, as CBD can act as a weak activator of endocannabinoid type II receptors (CB2), it affects the inflammatory response.
CBD can increase anandamide levels, enhancing CB2 action and therefore reducing the inflammatory response
Whether you’re using CBD oil or CBD edibles, we recommend taking your CBD immediately after you workout and using it as needed over the next few days. If you’re using CBD oil, simply put it under your tongue, hold it there for 30 seconds, then swallow it. This allows CBD to be quickly absorbed underneath the tongue through small capillaries in the oral mucosa, or mucous membrane, allowing it to directly enter the bloodstream. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste, you can always just put the CBD oil drops into your post-workout protein shake.
As far as how much CBD to take, this typically depends as CBD is known to affect everyone differently. Ailments like mild anxiety typically require smaller amounts to be effective compared to sleep—doses for minor aches and pains tend to fall somewhere in between the two.
For minor aches and pains, a CBD dose can range anywhere from 20 to 120 mg. We usually recommend starting with 30 mg then assessing how you’re feeling and increasing or decreasing the dose until you feel the desired effects.
Make time to warm up and cool down: In addition to reducing your risk of injury, warming up before your workout and cooling down after your workout can help reduce post-workout muscle soreness, improve mobility and flexibility, and support muscle recovery.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workouts is crucial. Water regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, and helps transport nutrients.
Get enough sleep: Sleep is such an important part of overall health and wellbeing and is essential for muscle recovery. Sleep helps to release growth hormones during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which aids in muscle repair. The CDC recommends adults aged 18-60 get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Pro tip: you can also use CBD to promote restful sleep.
Don’t skip rest days: No matter how experienced an athlete you are, your body needs rest days. Our muscles need this downtime to rebuild and grow. The American Council on Exercise recommends scheduling a rest day every seven to 10 days.
At Feals, we’re dedicated to providing you with a better way to feel better. Our full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD mints are made with only the purest ingredients and are designed to help you find balance and feel at your best.
If you still have questions about CBD for muscle recovery—or just need a bit of guidance on your wellness journey—our customer service team would love to help. Just give them a ring.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.