You might have heard people talking about their great experiences with CBD (cannabidiol), which is thought by many to have potential benefits for physical and mental health and wellness. But, should runners be using CBD? We take a look at some of the existing research and thoughts around why CBD might be helpful if you’re a keen runner.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant family. It is one of many cannabinoids, which refers to a group of closely related compounds found in cannabis. However, unlike one of its infamous counterparts THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not ‘get you high’.
Why might runners use CBD?
CBD is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why many have stated that it can help with muscle recovery. After intense exercise such as running, most people experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) to a certain extent. The inflamed area can often occur in a larger group of muscles than necessary, meaning it takes longer for you to recover before your next session.
However, research suggests that CBD can help with pain and inflammation, meaning it could reduce the impact of your sore muscles and speed up recovery time between runs.
As well as more common muscle soreness that is experienced between runs, many runners will experience more serious kinds of pain on a long-term basis. Whether it’s a knee injury or issues with tight calf muscles, it can be hard to keep up with running when you are in pain.
It’s important to note that many injuries require rest to recover first of all and you shouldn’t ‘run through the pain’. If you have an injury like this it is, of course, important that you seek help from a medical professional and engage in things like physical therapy before attempting running again.
However, anecdotal evidence and some medical research shows that CBD could be used in a supplementary way at a later stage of recovery to help runners maintain an active lifestyle.
CBD does not mask pain in the way that a painkiller might, but it is instead thought that it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) to maintain balance in the body, therefore offering natural pain relief.
As well as its potential to help with pain relief, many also say that CBD helps them to feel more relaxed and focused, which can certainly help when embarking on a run. This is especially true if you are taking part in a particular event or competition, as you want to be in the best possible ‘zone’.
What formats of CBD can runners use?
One of the most popular formats is CBD oil which is taken orally and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is a good option if you are wanting more general effects such as relaxation and focus, and to help with overall muscle soreness.
CBD creams and lotions
Runners might also find creams, lotions or balms an appealing option for more specific areas of soreness, pain or discomfort. You apply these topically to a particular area and they are intended to soothe and provide relief to muscles.
Hopefully, you have found this insight into the world of CBD and running useful!
This article was written by Jan Bo Jensen Timming, CEO & Founder of Swiss Original Cannabis, who stock high-quality, Swiss-made CBD products. They produce, test and package their products under one roof to monitor and quality-control every aspect.