About a year ago, I discovered the incredible benefits of cannabidiol, known simply as CBD. My trainer introduced me to the compound after he got some samples in the mail from a reputable CBD brand. At the time, I honestly had no idea what CBD was all about, and I certainly had no clue that it could help with sports recovery or living a healthier lifestyle.
What I did know was that CBD was closely related to cannabis, and I was surprised to think that anyone seriously engaged in sports and fitness would endorse smoking weed. Wouldn’t that take away from the overall objective of being healthy? Don’t get me wrong—I am not fundamentally opposed to marijuana; I was just confused about the idea that getting stoned could have anything to do with marathon performance.
As it turns out, I had a lot of misconceptions about CBD.
CBD vs. THC
My original skepticism about CBD was because I was relating it THC—the active ingredient in cannabis that causes users to get high when smoking or ingesting it. Once I did a little more research on this beneficial compound, I discovered it is entirely different from the cannabis we associate with old Cheech and Chong movies.
Sourced from the industrial hemp plant, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that carries many of the same therapeutic benefits as medical cannabis without the associated high.
The more I learned about this trending supplement, the more fascinated I became.
I found out that as CBD becomes more popular in the fitness community, the number ofathletes using the compound grows daily. Everyone from retired NFL players to former Olympic gold-medalists are promoting the benefits of cannabidiol.
To say that CBD has changed my fitness regimen would be an understatement. As an avid runner, I can say first-hand it has been one of the best supplements I have come across for pre and post-marathon care. It carries with it several specific benefits that are superior to most other remedies I have tried.
If you’ve ever prepared for a marathon, you know the grueling training involved in this activity. You spend months preparing for the event—finding remedies for the pain and pushing your body to stretch beyond its limits while still avoiding injury.
Most athletes have tried dozens of treatments— from the conventional to the more bizarre—to improve their performance. It would be safe to say that anyone serious about competitive running has tried dozens of lotions, salves, protein powders, dietary changes, massage, moist heat, ice, and more.
Out of all these, CBD has been the most effective by far for me. My first marathon took place in 2012 in Rome. I have always liked Chinese and ayurvedic remedies to reduce pain and help with post-recovery after a run. But after this marathon, my usual go-to solutions were not working, and I was in pretty bad shape. My friends plied me with various potions and remedies that simply did not work. Just writing about it now brings back memories of how miserable I was.
Fast forward seven years. For me, CBD means I will likely never have to deal with this intense scenario again.
How Does CBD Work for Marathon Runners?
Let’s face it. Runners abuse their bodies and push them beyond normal limits. While it is always a good thing to stay healthy, too much stress on the joints, muscles, and bones of the body is not always a good thing.
While most athletes try hard to take care of themselves with proper hydration, a healthy diet, smart lifestyle choices, and vitamins and minerals, at times it’s just not enough.
CBD works with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote homeostasis in the body. This vital system controls the most basic functions necessary to life. Temperature, appetite, sleep, mood, memory, reproduction, and more are all controlled through the ECS.
Notably, the ECS also controls pain perception and inflammation. For serious performance athletes, this is a vital component of sports recovery. Our bodies naturally make the chemicals associated with the corresponding receptor cells of the ECS. They are called endocannabinoids. Usually, this is not a problem. However, push the body too far, and an imbalance can occur.
Remarkably, if the body is depleted of endocannabinoids, compounds found in nature called phytocannabinoids can stand in as a suitable substitute. That is where CBD comes in.
As one of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the natural world, one can utilize CBD to jumpstart the ECS and bring it back into homeostasis.
If that does not convince you of its benefits, consider this: Up until a few short years ago, researchers believed that the euphoric feeling known as “runner’s high” was caused by an interaction in the brain related to endorphins and neurotransmitters. We now know that this phenomenon is the result of a highly functioning endocannabinoid system and its vast network of chemicals and corresponding receptors.
The uplifted mood you experience after vigorous exercise (or, in this case, running) is more closely related to your body’s own internal cannabinoid production than any other chemical interaction that takes place. This truly gives new meaning to the term “runners high.”
Finding The Best CBD Product for Marathon Performance
The amount of CBD products on the market is enormous, making it difficult for consumers to find the right product for them. There are hundreds of reputable suppliers and hundreds more that are out to make a quick buck. Consumers need to be aware that hemp is still unregulated, and standards for ingredients, labeling, and dosing are still not set in place.
One way to ensure you are getting the best hemp-based CBD oil or topical for you is to utilize a non-biased review site that evaluates CBD brands for potency, quality, and the presence of any contaminants. It can take many hours of research to wade through all the information available on each company offering CBD, let alone evaluate each product offered. Fortunately, sites likeCBD Best Review make it their business to ensure a safe and straightforward experience when searching for the right product to meet your needs.
It has been over a year since I began using CBD daily as part of my competitive running protocol. The older you get, the harder it is to prepare and recover from a marathon, but I feel like having CBD on my side has given me back a lot of the enjoyment I thought I had lost after that 2012 event in Rome. Thanks to the numerous benefits of the humble hemp plant, I am looking forward to many more marathons to come.