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CBD Oil for Muscle Recovery : Cannabis & Pain Relief

CBD Oil for Muscle Recovery

You have probably heard about CBD or Cannabidiol, which is the non-psychoactive compound found within the cannabis plant.

Lately it has been popping up everywhere. But what benefits will it offer you?

When you train your muscle fibres will develop tiny micro-tears, which when repaired will allow your muscle to grow back stronger than before.

There are those who claim that CBD oil can help with pain relief and will, therefore, aid your own post-recovery routine.

The following article will look at CBD oil in more detail to discover whether using it will aid in your recovery. [toc]

Why Do Your Muscles Fatigue After Working Out?

If you have ever exercised intensely before then you have no doubt encountered DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) the following day and sometimes many days after too.

This fatigue is experienced due to the minuscule tears in your muscle fibres. While the tearing of these muscle fibres causes soreness and fatigue, it is the inflammation within the muscle that causes ongoing fatigue and soreness.

Inflammation is a natural reaction to muscle damage. Luckily CBD oil can help reduce this inflammation.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol has seen a surge in popularity over the past year, with many health shops, both in the high street and online stocking various CBD oil products.

It is a naturally occurring substance, that is extracted from the cannabis plant and then mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed or coconut.

CBD is one of 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. It is not psychoactive, which means that using it won’t make you “high”.

Unlike marijuana, CBD oil is legal across the UK and in most US states for medicinal purposes.

To ensure the legality, the CBD oil must contain very little to no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid). In the UK, CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC.

How Does CBD Oil Aid Muscle Recovery?

When you use CBD oil is will interact with the receptors of your endocannabinoid system. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety and will help promote better sleep.

CBD has been shown to interact with the following receptors of your nervous system:

Vanilloid Receptors

Research [1] has shown that CBD can interact with your TRPV1 (Vanilloid) receptors.

It is these receptors that help regulate pain, inflammation and your body temperature.

When the CBD binds with these receptors your perception of pain can be altered.

GPR55 Receptors

Your GPR55 receptors are involved in a number of physiological processes that include the regulation of your blood pressure, your bone density and pain perception.

Research [2] suggests that blocking these receptors can help reduce pain, and can also improve bone health.

It has been shown that when your GPR55 receptors are overactive increased bone reabsorption is common, which is associated with osteoporosis.

Serotonin 5-HT1A Receptors

CBD can help to activate these receptors, which will help to regulate anxiety, stress and your mood [3].

CBD Oil for Muscle Growth

When you are suffering from DOMS and other pain it can be difficult to find the motivation to train. By reducing this pain you are more likely to get off your butt to train.

Obviously, by training more you are giving your body more opportunity to grow.

Here is how you can use CBD for muscle recovery:

#1: You Can Apply Gels for Chronic Pain

There are gels and topical creams available that can be used to treat chronic pain.

I would suggest searching for topical oil-based products as they are easy to use on your joints and muscles. They can help to speed up recovery from the damage caused by intense workouts.

#2: You Can Stop Using Ibuprofen

Many of you will already be using painkillers like ibuprofen on a regular basis.

Due to the potential side effects of NSAIDs [4][5][6] I would suggest using CBD as an alternative.

Potential side effects of NSAIDs include:

  • Stomach pain and heartburn
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Allergic reactions
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of your legs

#3: Reduce Game-Day Anxiety

Anxiety can have a negative impact on your sporting performance [7].

By using CBD you can help relieve this anxiousness, allowing you to perform to the best of your ability.

How Can CBD Help Build Muscle?

If you are trying to build muscle then you should try and take steps to reduce the levels of cortisol your body produces.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that causes the breakdown of muscle tissue [8][9].

Often it is due to excessive cortisol production that prevents people just like you from achieving their muscle building goals, despite training hard and getting adequate nutrition.

When your cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels will falter. This will have an impact on your ability to build muscle.

Excessive cortisol production can also lead to high blood pressure and lower bone density.

Of course, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from your body producing cortisol. For example, it is used by your liver to remove toxins from your body. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance short-term memory.

By supplementing with CBD oil you are able to maintain healthy cortisol balance, enabling you to experience the benefits without the negative effects.

When consumed CBD oil will engage with the limbic and paralimbic regions of your brain. These are the control centres of the endocannabinoid system that helps to regulate sleep and your mood.

There are many negative health effects caused by a lack of REM sleep [10], for example, an increase in cortisol production. However, by supplementing with CBD regular REM sleep can be achieved.

CBD Oil Health Benefits

As well as its ability to aid in muscle recovery, there are other health benefits to be gained from using CBD oil. These include:

#1: Reduced Risk of Diabetes

There are plenty of studies to support the fact that CBD can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity, with users shown to have lower BMI’s, and smaller waist circumferences [11][12][13].

Research has shown that CBD can help convert white fat into brown fat, which is easily converted into energy.

#2: Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can lead to heart disease and stroke.

It involves the depositing of atherosclerotic plaques, which are caused by injury to your arterial walls due to high blood pressure.

Research has shown that CBD can slow the progression of atherosclerosis [14].

#3: Reduced Risk of Cancer

While research is in its infancy there is promising research that shows that CBD and THC can help reduce the risk of cancer.

A 2012 study on animals found that they were less likely to develop colon cancer after being induced with carcinogens if they had been treated with CBD [15].

#4: Maintain Brain Health

Cannabinoids help to maintain and regulate brain health. They can do this in a number of ways.

For instance, they can help remove damaged cells and help to reduce the toxicity of glutamate. This is important as glutamate stimulates your nerve cells, causing them to become over-stimulated.

When this occurs the cells become damaged and may even die.

Research has also shown that low doses of CBD help to encourage new nerve cell growth [16], this helps to maintain brain health and helps ward off degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

#5: Protection Against Bone Disease

Cannabinoids like CBD can help with bone metabolism, helping to replace the old bone with new bone material. Therefore helping you to maintain healthy and strong bones [17].

CBD has been shown to block an enzyme that destroys bone-building compounds, which will help protect against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

#6: Skin Healing and Protection

CBD oil can help repair the damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants. There are a growing number of topical products being developed to treat various skin conditions, for example, acne and psoriasis.

#7: Reduce Anxiety and Stress

There have been studies that have shown that using CBD can help reduce anxiety, in particular, social anxiety [18][19].

Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil

Although there are certainly benefits to be experienced, there are also potential side effects [20][21] of CBD oil that you should be aware of.

These potential side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

There is also a slight concern that CBD oil can cause liver damage or inflammation.

You should also be aware that CBD oil may interact with certain medications.

If you are pregnant or nursing then using it is also not recommended, with research suggested that its use could lead to possible adverse developmental effects of your baby [22][23].

It is also worth noting that due to the potential THC content that you may encounter short or long term side effects such as loss of memory, attention, mood changes and altered heart rate and mental health. You should start off with a low dosage until you get used to its effect.

Where to Buy CBD Oil for Muscle Recovery

There are various types of CBD oil product available to buy.

These include various oils, pills, pastes and sprays. Many are used for treating localised pain and to help reduce inflammation.

I would suggest trying different products and to see which one suits you best.

In Conclusion: Does CBD Oil Help With Muscle Recovery?

Chances are you are using various supplements to help build muscle and to recover from exercise, for example, whey protein powder and creatine.

CBD oil has been shown to reduce the inflammation that causes those painful DOMS to occur.

With the growing research shown to back up the claimed benefits of CBD oil perhaps it is time you start adding this to your post-workout recovery process.

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