Don’t know when to take CBD oil for workouts? Our team can help! Read on to find out now. There are ways for athletes to leverage CBD and THC for recovery. Here are the benefits of each compound, and how to use them post-workout.
Should You Take CBD Oil Before or After a Workout?
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CBD is an ally to athletes, helping them push harder during workouts and recover quicker after meeting their goals.
Once you understand the beautiful relationship between CBD and exercise , it is then time to start adding it to your routine. But is it better to take CBD oil before or after you exercise?
The short answer is that CBD oil is effective both before and after workouts. Before your workout, it can help to boost your energy and relax your muscles. Afterward, it can help soothe post-exercise inflammation.
Whether to take CBD oil before or after workout to experience its best effects for your specific body depends on your exercise challenges and goals. In this short guide, we’ll go over your options.
- CBD can help boost performance during a workout, then soothe post-exercise inflammation after one is completed.
- When you should take CBD oil for working out largely depends on the issues you’re facing throughout your fitness journey.
- Many athletes use CBD topicals to target specific areas that experience soreness after a long workout.
Assessing Your Workout Challenges
What keeps you from achieving your personal best during your workouts? Typically, there’s a range of issues that can keep you from meeting your full potential at the gym-or even getting there in the first place.
So, which set of these challenges best describe your fitness obstacles?
- I feel low-energy before my workouts
- I skip warming up or warming up takes longer than I want it too
- I start to feel sore before I reach my goal
- I have pre-event or pre-workout jitters
- I experience muscle soreness, burning, and discomfort after my workouts
- My long muscle recovery time keeps me from hitting the gym again as soon as I want to
- My physical discomfort impacts my sleep and energy levels
If the statements in Set A describe your issues to a T, you could benefit from taking CBD oil before your workouts. If those in Set B are closer to your experience, CBD oil could lend a helping hand as you recover. Whether you prefer a CBD tincture, a CBD capsule , or a daily CBD gummy , there are many ways to get your daily CBD oil dosage before gym time.
Do all of these statements apply to you? You’re not alone!
Many people benefit from incorporating CBD into their pre- and post-workout rituals and routines to help support muscle recovery. Next, we’ll take a closer look at how and why CBD can benefit you before and after you hit the gym.
Taking CBD Before a Workout
To get in a serious workout, you need to be in the right mindset and at the right physical energy level. If you’re looking for that extra edge before you get going, taking CBD oil beforehand could potentially help.
Let’s take a look at the problems we outlined above under Set A.
A CBD dietary supplement can potentially help with the following issues:
- Low energy – Some people drink coffee before a workout to get revved up. However, there are potential drawbacks like dehydration and a post-caffeine crash! In contrast, a CBD dietary supplement can support your body holistically, leading to increased energy throughout the day.
- Warming up – You know it’s helpful to stretch and warm-up before your workout. What causes sore muscles in the first place? In many cases, tension plays a significant role. CBD is thought to help reduce muscular tension and support healthy blood flow, which can reduce the time it takes to get warmed up before your workout.
- Delaying soreness – Sometimes, you’re only a few minutes into a workout when your body starts to protest. It’s important to listen to those signals. However, CBD for athletes can potentially help delay their onset. How? CBD helps the body return to its baseline state (homeostasis). With your internal systems communicating well, your body may not react so strongly to the first signs of stress and fatigue. That way, you can get in more reps or more seconds of your workout.
- Reducing pre-workout jitters – Some athletes are worried about achieving their personal best during a particular training session. Others simply want to avoid looking unpracticed on a new weight machine. If stress keeps you from achieving your goals, CBD for your pre-workout routine could potentially help soothe your nerves.
How to Use CBD Before Your Workout
After reading through these potential benefits, you might be eager to start using CBD as part of your pump-up routine.
To that end, consider trying out one of the following techniques:
- 1-2 hours before your workout, drink a smoothie of fruits, greens, protein, and CBD oil. This can ensure you have the fuel you need to get going. You should start to experience the beneficial effects of CBD oil during your workout.
- Just before warming up, take CBD oil sublingually. While many people prefer to chew (gummies) or drink their CBD (oil), holding it under your tongue is the fastest way to feel its effects. Simply hold your CBD oil under your tongue for thirty seconds, then swallow any remaining liquid.
While CBD oil is a highly effective way to consume CBD, there are some potential drawbacks. If you’d prefer a more discreet, non-liquid option, consider the following:
- CBD capsules – Take one hour before working out
- CBD gummies – Take 1-2 hours before working out
CBD After Exercise
In other cases, the issue isn’t completing your workout-it’s going too hard!
Testing your personal limits is an essential part of growth. At the same time, excessive burning, stiffness, and discomfort after exercise can actually hinder your progress. When you’re tired and sore, it’s that much harder to meet your goals the next time around.
If you’re determined to push through the physical unease, it can have other negative results as you begin to rely on compensatory muscles.
Have you been looking for a way to recover faster?
In most cases, rest, hydration, and property nutrition are key to recovery. However, CBD could also help accelerate the timeline to relief.
CBD is thought to help with the following issues:
- Post-exercise inflammation – What causes soreness and burning? Modern science suggests that post-exercise inflammation plays a significant role. When we work out, we create microscopic tears across our muscles. The body perceives these tears as injuries and mounts an immune system response to hasten repair. The only problem is the resulting discomfort. By reducing inflammation, CBD can help the body heal itself with less discomfort.
- Tension – When one muscle is exhausted or sore, the others around it can stiffen up, acting like a protective shield. However, the overall stiffness can reduce your mobility and even lead to injury. CBD can help your whole body relax and recover.
- Response to discomfort – As we’ve noted, CBD can help your body return to its baseline state more quickly. In particular, it can help your Endocannabinoid System
(ECS) function better, letting your body know when more resources are needed and when it’s okay to calm down. This holistic support can help reduce your feeling of distress and discomfort.
How to Use CBD Post-Workout
CBD oil can be a great post-workout ally. Many people find that post-exercise inflammation sets in between twelve and thirty-six hours after they’ve worked out.
CBD oil helps you get ahead of the curve by addressing post-exercise inflammation before it reaches its peak. To that end, try out the following ideas:
- CBD oil self-massage – After a day of vigorous exercise, it can be incredibly soothing to give yourself a massage. Communicate love and care to the affected muscles, moisturize your skin, and experience the soothing effects of CBD all at once!
- CBD oil when issues arise – As we’ve discussed, CBD oil can take effect quickly when consumed sublingually. Just be sure to take it as soon as the first sign of post-exercise soreness arises, rather than waiting for a peak of your symptoms.
Besides CBD oil, numerous other products can support your holistic health.
For example, a CBD Bath Bomb can help you unwind your muscles and achieve full relaxation. We recommend getting in the tub before bed! In contrast, CBD Sports Cream is useful any time, day or night.
Apply it wherever you’re experiencing soreness.
CBD for Holistic Health
So far, we’ve discussed the benefits of taking CBD just before or after your workouts, and whenever specific issues arise. However, another option is taking a CBD supplement daily.
As we’ve noted, CBD has the potential to support your overall health in terms of:
- Maintaining homeostasis
- Stress response
- Energy levels
- Sensations of discomfort
- Post-exercise inflammation
Besides these benefits, it can also help to improve your sleep cycles.
It goes without saying that sleep plays an important role in your overall health. Our bodies conduct important repair work as we sleep. Likewise, getting enough shut-eye ensures we have adequate energy to conquer each day.
Many people find that taking CBD as a daily supplement leads to increased vitality over time. Of course, you can always take a dose of CBD oil daily and double up with gummies, sports creams, or other CBD products for any specific symptoms that arise throughout your fitness journey.
Choosing Your CBD Product
Now that you know when to take CBD , the only step left is choosing the right product. As you shop for CBD products, look for high-quality products from naturally derived ingredients. Fantastic options for athletes include:
- Full-Spectrum CBD – This type of CBD contains other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant including CBG, CBN, and THC. In line with legal requirements, hemp-derived CBD contains little to no THC and does not have psychoactive effects.
- CBD isolate – Some people find that pure CBD provides a sufficient boost without the presence of other cannabinoids. CBD isolate is another potent option.
Finding the best CBD product for you is important to experience its benefits in full. Whether you opt for CBD capsules, topical CBD, CBD tincture, there are numerous ways to consume and enjoy CBD.
Boost Your Performance With Resilience CBD
Whether you are looking for ways to ease soreness, support immunity, or boost athletic performance, CBD is a great product, offering many health benefits. At Resilience CBD, we formulate products with athletes’ needs in mind. Reaching your goals and surpassing your personal limits requires mental and physical strength. And CBD’s soothing properties can help provide the support you need to rest, recover, and thrive in your fitness routine.
Shop our line of CBD oils for daily use and explore our CBD topicals for targeting post-exercise inflammation. After all, we’re called Resilience for a reason.
Written by: Michael Tatz | Linkedin
Michael Tatz is the Co-Founder of Resilience CBD, and a passionate leader in the health & fitness world helping others rise to and crush their wildest goals. A former Division 1 college wrestler, Army Officer, and investment manager at Goldman Sachs, he has pushed his body and mind to the limits on the mats, dressed in camo, and in the boardroom.
Today, he spends his time leading Resilience CBD to develop the absolute best recovery products for athletes everywhere. Resilience was founded after CBD personally impacted Michael’s life, and the brand was built to partner with everyday athletes in pursuit of conquering their most difficult challenges, rebounding after their toughest performances, and rising to their goals that once seemed impossible.
The Best Ways to Work Weed Into Your Workout
The newest workout booster isn’t a powder or a drink—it’s a flower. Nearly 82 percent of people who partake in legal cannabis light up before or after exercise (most often both), largely because they say it makes their sweat session more enjoyable and helps them recover faster, reports a new study out of University of Colorado Boulder.
This isn’t that surprising: Among athletes, marijuana was the second most widely used drug after alcohol, per a 2016 study in the American Journal of Addictions. What’s more, a 2012 study found 23 percent of college athletes smoke—and that was before it was legal and far, far more accessible.
Now, getting high probably won’t make you stronger or faster. We have no scientific evidence THC actually improves aerobic performance, according to a 2017 study analysis out of Australia. The majority of people in the UC Boulder study felt smoking had a neutral effect on their athletic abilities.
9 Things Smoking Weed Does to Your Body
But it may help with more nuanced aspects of your workout: “Both THC and CBD, the main compounds found in the cannabis plant, have anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing, and pain-relieving effects, which alleviate muscle soreness, muscle spasms, and arthritic joint pain. Athletes may be able to return to intense workouts faster because they feel better faster,” says cannabis clinician Patricia Frye, M.D., chief medical officer at HelloMD, a startup focused on educating people about marijuana.
Confused? Quick science lesson: There are hundreds of cannabinoids and compounds in marijuana plants, but the two main ones are THC and CBD, which act completely different. Namely, THC gets you high but CBD doesn’t. They’re each helpful for different things, and THC is more high-risk. But there are ways for athletes to leverage each compound for their unique benefits, says Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., professor and researcher of cannabis and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Here, the best ways to work weed into your workout.
Use it if You’re Thinking of Skipping Today’s Training
That new study from UC Boulder reports that nearly 50 percent of pre-workout smokers felt getting high helped increase their motivation to exercise. Bonn-Miller says that aligns with what he hears: “Anecdotally, THC seems to help most before and during endurance exercise.”
It sounds counterintuitive thanks to the lazy stoner stereotype, but THC might activate that runner’s high feeling, the researchers say. It works like this: Exercise creates that euphoric feeling by activating your endocannabinoid receptors that are connected to the reward and dopamine pathways in the brain. Since the cannabinoids of pot also activate these receptors, ingesting THC might create an artificial runner’s high, making you crave more of the feeling by way of getting out for a run.
Turn to THC for Repetitive, Long Workouts
Bonn-Miller says he hears about athletes lighting up most to help with endurance. (For what it’s worth, that’s a colloquial liberty: Many athletes ingest their cannabis via an extract or edible, not just smoking or vaping.) That’s partially thanks to the artificial runner’s high—you’re amplifying the feeling by combining both exercise and THC—but also the cannabinoid’s pain-relieving abilities. After all, it’s a lot easier to keep running if your bad knee isn’t aching and your muscles aren’t screaming to stop.
The Weed Revolution Has Begun. Here’s What That Means for You
Physiologically, some research also suggests cannabis causes bronchodilation and may help with exercise-induced asthma.
Marijuana also helps enhance muscle relaxation, increases focus, and alters your perception of time, which can help you get through, say, a dull stationary bike session, Frye adds.
Stay Sober for Heavy or Complicated Workouts
THC definitely has its downsides: Studies show the cannabinoid diminishes strength and speed and likely affects coordination, judgement, spatial perception, and risk assessment—really not ideal for judging how heavy you should load the bar or whether you can clear that box jump. Plus, side effects include poor coordination, slowed reaction time, and poor balance, Frye points out.
Pass on puffing before lifting, HIIT, rock climbing, outdoor cycling—anything requiring motor control and mental acuity.
Save it for Your Long Runs or Rides
THC may help with low-risk endurance exercise, but don’t light up before every workout. “If you use THC every day and in high quantities, it can lead to dependence or full-blown addiction,” Bonn-Miller warns.
Even if you aren’t prone to addiction, you will build a tolerance to the cannabinoid, so using it more often means you’ll have to use more to reach the same effect. (That also increases your chances of dependence, just FYI.)
6 Weed Myths Fit Guys Can Ignore
Plus, athletes need to protect their lungs: While science hasn’t shown a link between smoking weed and lung cancer, marijuana smoke does still contain a number of carcinogens, says research out of UCLA, and studies link regular weed smoking with chronic bronchitis and respiratory issues like coughing and phlegm production. (We know vaping is safer, but it’s certainly not risk-free.)
Minimize your risk by saving it for days you really need the boost in motivation and pain management, Bonn-Miller advises.
Start Low and Slow
If you want to try getting high pre-workout, do so on a low-risk training day: A 2017 study review in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found some people couldn’t complete their workout after getting high. And keep in mind everyone responds to cannabis’ hundreds of compounds differently thanks to their own unique endocannabinoid system, Frye points out.
Most important to keep in mind: Your goal is to enhance your workout, not get high. “You want to use the least amount of cannabis necessary to achieve the desired effects,” Frye says.
Look for a strain with low THC (below 15 percent), Bonn-Miller says. And, if possible, higher levels of CBD (1:1 to THC would be most ideal) since the cannabinoids work together and the CBD can help offset the negative effects of too much THC, Frye says.
Then, opt for vaping—it’s safer than smoking, faster-acting than edibles, and will only last a few hours. Most importantly: “You feel the effects of vaping almost immediately, so it’s easier to control your dose,” Bonn-Miller says. Your strategy: Take one puff and wait five minutes to see how you feel. If you need more of an enhancement, take another puff.
Take CBD ASAP for Recovery
While we don’t have any studies looking specifically at cannabis and the pain and inflammation of a hard workout, preliminary research does suggest cannabinoids reduce general pain, muscle spasms, stiffness, and inflammation in humans. And there’s some science to support the idea that the compounds reduce some of the pro-inflammatory cytokines specifically released in exercise, like IL-6 and TNF.
CBD is probably the most helpful compound for recovery since it helps reduce inflammation, which can allow you to get up and moving again faster, Bonn-Miller says. We don’t really know how it works—CBD acts through so many avenues and we haven’t been researching it long enough—but studies have found it helps with inflammatory pains like osteoarthritis in animals and IBS in humans.
Pretty much all our research is on pure CBD with max 0.3% THC. Frye points out that both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory, soreness-easing effects, so CBD with a small amount of active THC, like a 15:1 or 20:1, may help an athlete return to intense workouts faster.
In short: Reaching for a CBD isolate or a 20:1 formula is the athlete’s choice.
Cannabidiol: Marijuana’s Other Magic Ingredient
But get it in your system ASAP, Bonn-Miller says. You want the anti-inflammatory compounds in your body as close to the time you injure or stress yourself as possible, and most CBD comes in an extract, which takes some time to get to circulate, he explains.
Dosing is hard—most products recommend somewhere around 10 to 25 mg, while science uses upwards of 50 mg at a time, typically more in the 250 range (of pure CBD). The good news: You can’t really overdose on CBD (studies have shown minimal side effects up to 1,000 mg), so you just risk not taking enough for effect, Bonn-Miller says.
Skip gummies and sports topicals—the CBD takes too long to reach inflammation, and science says the CBD variety isn’t much more effective than the regular topical pain relievers.
Bonn-Miller recommends starting with 25 to 50 mg of CBD, then work your way up, especially if you’re using a formula with THC (which will add up with every dropper you take) or don’t know the quality of your extract. (Considering there’s no federal oversight on product quality and efficacy right now, that pretty much applies to everything: An often-cited 2017 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 70 percent of the CBD products tested didn’t contain the amount of cannabidiol indicated on the label.)
The best you can do right now is reach for brands with solid reputations, which for CBD extracts includes Charlotte’s Web, Elixinol, Lazarus Natural, and Medterra.
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