Although CBD has become popular only in recent years, its use among running community is already widespread in multiple domains such as running in cities, nature, trail running, intense marathon training or just relaxed afternoon runs. There is no doubt running is very beneficial for human health. However, we must understand how our body works as well, as professional sports or regular workout can lead to injuries or a negative body response. In this article you can read about the connection between running and CBD use and how you can benefit from CBD.
CBD AND HUMAN BODY INTERACTION
Advantages of CBD use result in cannabidiol restoring balance in the human endocannabinoid system. If you are a runner as well, you are already familiar with the endocannabinoid system and you just might not be aware of it.
Runners’ high is directly connected to the endocannabinoid system like psychoactive THC. If you are running for longer periods of time, your body releases anandamide (happiness or bliss molecule), neurotransmitter and cannabinoid produced in the brain, which binds to the cannabinoid receptors. It has a similar structure as THC. This Is an element that puts you In a flow state. Psychologically, runners can feel euphoric, invincible, reduced feeling of discomfort and pain, and can even loose their sense of time while running. To reach this state, CBD can help us as well.
What CBD Offers?
While CBD does not activate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it limits anandamide decomposition as it works contrary to the enzyme responsible for molecule decomposition. For you as a runner, this means an increase in the feeling of runners’ high.
However, runners do not usually consume CBD products to increase the natural high feeling. CBD is commonly used for pain mitigation, muscle soreness, and inflammation mitigation. Due to these properties, running and CBD use are a perfect combination.
One of many athletes using CBD is an endurance athlete Avery Collins. He does not hide his support towards cannabis. Although, he thinks THC is not for everyone, he uses CBD every day. He claims CBD is meant for people directed towards healthy living. Additionally, he states this non-psychoactive cannabinoid is a part of his daily routine. Avery thinks that not only do CBD products increase his energy levels, but they also help with speeding up body regeneration after intensive physical challenges. Furthermore, CBD is exceptional for increasing sleep quality.
CBD FOR PAIN MITIGATION: MORE AND MORE ATHLETES SWITCHING TO CBD?
For decades, standard pain mitigating solution for athletes such as Ibuprofen, Advil and Tylenol have dominated the market. They are relatively cheap, accessible, and effective for pain mitigation. But these kinds of medication take their toll as well. The use of Ibuprofen (generic form of Advil) showed that it has some potentially very serious side effects. The main side effect of this very popular painkiller are negative effects on gastrointestinal tract, kidneys heart failure, cell decay, nose bleeds and extremely high levels of potassium (hyperkalemia). Research show that every fifth user of Ibuprofen or similar medication experiences stomach damage. Side effects of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication are far from harmless. That is why many professional and amateur athletes are thankful for discovering CBD and other cannabinoids in cannabis.
CBD EFFECT ON PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
There are more than 3 million pain receptors in our bodies. When we fell pain, cells that release pain generating compounds are activated. They travel to the spine through which pain information is transferred to our brain.
For example, painkillers block the production of prostaglandin (compound released by the body as a response to an injury or infection). Prostaglandins are responsible for pain, inflammation or swelling which are very common with individuals that commonly perform long distance running. Although, painkillers are effective at what they are meant for, every person would like to avoid the potentially very dangerous side effects.
On the other hand, CBD works with our bodies endocannabinoid system. CBD does not bind directly to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). It binds to TRPV-1 receptor, which regulates perception of pain, inflammation, and body temperature.
In larger doses, CBD can also activate the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, which is strongly linked to anti-depressive effects which it is known for. Alongside, well being effect, serotonin is also responsible for other bodies biological processes including addiction, appetite, anxiety, sleep and pain perception.
CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects. During inflammation, immune cells synthesize, and release signal protein called cytokines. Cytokines help balance and eliminate the inflammation. One of the reasons CBD is used against inflammation is due to suppression of cytokines release, which do not help eliminate inflammation.
RUNNING AND USE OF CBD FOR POST WORKOUT RECOVERY
Pain and inflammation are not the only problems runners and other athletes use CBD for. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is also exceptional with body regeneration after a run or workout. After intensive running, we often feel very tired and achy. Some runners also feel very sick (they might vomit). That is why it is important to relax the body after a run and let it regenerate.
CBD also helps with muscle cramps for people with multiple sclerosis, although combination of CBD and THC turned out as a much better solution compared to CBD alone. Multiple studies have shown that CBD has positive effects on our mood, stress, and sleep. If you are looking to relax after a long run, CBD offers the calming effects that you require, when deep relaxation is needed.
With some people THC can worsen anxiety, while CBD has an opposite effect and works as a relaxant. It reduces the physiological changes in the body during “fight or flee” moments. CBD is also effective in relaxation stimulation and prevention of paranoia and anxiety, which can sometimes be caused by a too large dose of THC.
CANNABIS FOR IMPROVING SLEEP QUALITY
Running and CBD use are not limited to physical activity. CBD proved to be a great help in improving sleep quality, which is one of the most important factors of post workout regeneration. Lack of sleep after a run or workout can not only increase injury probability but can stop the progress made while working out. To improve results in any discipline, you need to have enough of quality sleep. The longer and more quality sleep you have after a run, the more you body and mind regenerate. Central nervous system requires a lot of high-quality rest if we do not want to suffer every time we go running. Central nervous system is responsible for pain response, reaction time and muscle contraction. If we do not let it regenerate, we can never achieve the peak of our performance. Without the needed rest, degradation of our muscle regeneration and muscle growth begins. The central nervous system stops “charging our batteries”.
If you have too little or low-quality sleep after a run, you will most probably feel unmotivated and tired with the next physical challenge you take. Sleep also helps your body repair the damaged tissue. In case of too little and low-quality sleep, it can also affect your bodies self-healing abilities.
CBD is not a solution for all the problems runners are facing, but it efficiently helps with some of them. It not only mitigates pain and inflammation, it is also a safe alternative to painkillers. More intensive runners require higher dosages of CBD every day compared to the ones that run a few days a week. Every person responds differently and the best way to find the best dosage for yourselves is to start with a small dose and slowly increase It until you achieve the best one.
As always, to stay in great body and mind shape take care of your diet, mental state and maintain a healthy level of stress in your life.
G. D. C.
15. 07. 2021
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