First things first, let’s clarify what CBD and CBD oil actually are.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is probably the most well-known component of cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. This means it doesn’t get you high.
What CBD does do, though, is offer a variety of health benefits, including the following:
- Reduces and relieves pain and inflammation
- Has antipsychotic effects to treat people with schizophrenia and other disorders
- Reduces symptoms of various anxiety disorders
- Fights cancer
- Treats nausea and vomiting
- Treats epilepsy and other neurological disorders
- Lowers the incidence of diabetes
- Promotes good cardiovascular health
With so many major benefits, it’s no wonder people are praising CBD left and right.
But, how does it help people who might not have a specific illness but just want to improve their performance on the field or in the gym?
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What Is Its Role in the Fitness Industry?
Several recent studies have taken a look at the way CBD oil can benefit bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, and the results are quite promising.
Some of the potential benefits specific to people in the fitness industry include:
Fitness-conscious individuals are always trying to figure out how they can grow more muscle.
Research shows that CBD has anti-catabolic properties. This means that it can slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle. It does this by decreasing the number of catabolic hormones (such as cortisol) that are present in the body.
In addition to lowering your levels of catabolic hormones, CBD can indirectly boost muscle growth by improving your stamina. When you’re able to spend more time lifting without your muscles getting fatigued, you’ll see results from your hard work faster.
Studies suggest that CBD will work best for those who want to build muscle if they consume while also avoiding caffeine in all forms, including pre-workout supplements. This is because caffeine increases cortisol levels.
CBD can also be beneficial to people who are trying to lose weight.
It’s been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is regulated, the pancreas produces fewer fat-storing hormones. This also improves the body’s ability to burn off fat as energy.
CBD also helps lower cortisol levels. When cortisol levels aren’t regulated, your chances of gaining weight and storing fat increase.
Finally, CBD can help suppress the appetite. Many people associate cannabis with junk food cravings (better known as the “munchies”). This may be true for THC, but CBD has the opposite effect.
By reducing your cravings for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods, you’ll be able to reach your weight loss goals much faster with the help of CBD oil.
Better Muscle Recovery
Who doesn’t want to recover faster from a killer workout?
CBD might be just the thing you need after an intense gym session. This is because it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Natural anti-inflammatory products were all the rage in 2017, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. But, why should you take CBD for inflammation instead of an over-the-counter drug like ibuprofen?
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories have been shown to cause serious damage to the liver and digestive organs when taken in excess. CBD, though, has none of these dangerous side-effects.
Sleep is essential for everyone, but especially active individuals. In fact, it’s when we’re sleeping that our bodies do most of their recovering.
If you’re not getting a sufficient amount of sleep, you’re going to see slower muscle recovery and slower muscle growth. Insufficient sleep has also been linked to weight gain.
CBD can help you get your sleep back on track because it helps the body regulate the hormones that signal time for sleep and wakefulness. CBD also does this without any of the habit-forming properties that come with traditional sleep aids.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
CBD also helps improve sleep quality because it can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, two serious conditions that often wreak havoc on people’s sleep schedules.
CBD can also be used to help naturally relieve pre-game or pre-competition anxiety for bodybuilders and other athletes.
Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, nerves will show up and throw you off your game. Luckily CBD, with its anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic properties, is there to help.
It’s also a great alternative for people who don’t want to take dangerous, habit-forming anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Prozac.
Treat and Prevent Brain Injuries
Finally, CBD has also been shown to have the potential to treat and prevent traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). This is groundbreaking, especially for athletes who are involved in contact sports like football or boxing.
A three-year study found that, out of 446 people who had suffered a TBI in their lifetime, approximately 97 percent of the ones who used cannabis prior to the event survived. Of those who did not use cannabis, nearly 10 percent less — 88 percent — did die from their injuries.
Other studies have also looked at CBD specifically. They’ve found that its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties may have the potential to help reduce the swelling caused by TBIs while also protecting the brain from suffering severe injuries.