can cbd help with post workout recovery?

16th October 20

Photo credit: Alicia Tatone

Feeling slightly achy and sore after your workout? We’ve all been there, the struggle to walk down the stairs to what seems an impossible task of picking up your cup of coffee. But why do we feel pain or soreness sometimes after exercise? Experiencing sore muscles a day or two after exercising is not dependent on your fitness level, it can happen to anyone and is completely normal. In fact, according to the NHS it is actually a sign of your improving fitness. Delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS, can occur when you decide to change up your exercise regime, begin a new fitness programme or increase the intensity or duration of your regular workout. It is believed this soreness or stiffness is due to microscopic damage caused to the muscle fibres when the muscles are required to work harder or in a different way than they’re used to.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple quick fix to treat DOMS as nothing is proven 100% effective. There are, however, various things you could try to help ease the soreness, such as:

o Having a rest

o Ice the area of soreness to reduce inflammation

o Take pain relief medicines

o Light stretching

o Massage therapy

If the above things don’t seem to be working for you and your post workout recovery, perhaps it could be a good idea to incorporate CBD into your routine. With an increased number of athletes turning to CBD to help relieve sore or injured muscles, we’re taking a look into how CBD could help you recover.

What exactly is CBD again? Here’s a little refresher.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Despite it originating from here, it won’t get you high. CBD is actually a non-toxic, natural compound with no psychoactive properties and could in fact have many benefits for both your physical and mental health.

So how could CBD help with post workout recovery?

Reduce inflammation

CBD has been reported as a highly effective anti-inflammatory, as it acts similarly to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in the way it inhibits the prostaglandin-producing enzyme in your body. Injuries or intense workouts can lead to your muscles becoming inflamed, which then causes them to release chemicals to increase blood flow in order to help them recover. Inflammation can however, slow the healing process by spreading to nearby tissues. This is where CBD comes in. It is suggested that using CBD for inflammation should allow you to treat the injury directly without causing any damage to surrounding areas.


Natural pain relief

The endocannabinoid system is a molecular system that plays an essential role in the human body, maintaining its internal balance by regulating our physiology, mood and overall health and wellness. Through the interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, research suggests that CBD may be able to offer pain relief. By stimulating the body’s receptors, it is suggested that CBD could help to restore stability, whilst decreasing inflammation and reducing pain. Using CBD as a natural source of pain relief may therefore allow you to target specific problem areas and hopefully speed up the recovery process.


Aid relaxation

Getting plenty of rest is such an important part of recovery. Not only is CBD potentially aiding you as an anti-inflammatory, it’s also linked to both muscular and vascular relaxation. Cannabinoids’ wide recognition as a relaxant means the use of CBD products can help your muscle tissue relax and ultimately help bring that pain level down. As the muscles relax, CBD can also pump up your blood flow helping to provide relief to your muscles.

Improve sleep

Throughout your sleep, the brain releases hormones to target damaged muscles, making a good night sleep an essential part of post workout recovery. Allowing yourself to relax and encouraging your body to sleep better should hopefully help tired or injured muscles to heal. Using CBD before bed may allow you to relax both your body and mind, hopefully enabling you to improve both your quality and quantity of sleep.