CBD Oil and Bodybuilding – February 2022
Can CBD Oil help with bodybuilding, and if so, how?
Recent studies have examined how CBD oil can benefit bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, and the results are quite promising.
While more research needs to be conducted, current science suggests that CBD oil has properties that may help with bodybuilding.
CBD for Muscle Growth
A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research showed CBD’s anti-catabolic properties that enable it to help regulate hormone levels in the body (1 ) .
By taking CBD oil, cortisol levels are kept at bay, allowing for increased muscle growth and protein synthesis throughout a workout or bodybuilding routine.
CBD’s anti-catabolic properties may also allow for the slow breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle.
In addition to lowering the levels of catabolic hormones, CBD may indirectly boost muscle growth by improving stamina.
When individuals are able to spend more time lifting or bodybuilding without the muscles getting fatigued, they see results from their hard work faster.
CBD for Weight Management
CBD can also be beneficial to people who are trying to lose weight. In a 2008 animal study published in the PLOS One Journal , it was shown that CBD inhibits a receptor in the brain so that ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite, is unable to act (2 ) .
A study published in Nature Journal has shown that CBD could increase the levels of leptin in the brain (3 ) .
Leptin is the hormone that makes an individual feel full or satiated. The reduced cravings for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods may help individuals achieve their weight loss goals fast.
In another study, researchers found that CBD might interfere with the secretion of cortisol, reducing blood levels significantly (4 ) .
Chronic stress and persistently high cortisol levels may be associated with increased appetite and weight gain (5 ) .
CBD for Muscle Recovery
Working out can cause microscopic damage to muscle fibers. Those muscles then become inflamed, which triggers the body to respond and repair, causing muscle soreness or stiffness (6 ) .
Studies have shown that CBD might reduce soreness and swelling by inhibiting inflammation. Also, CBD might help with pain as the body recovers from an intense workout.
CBD’s promising anti-inflammatory properties were also demonstrated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (7 ) .
In addition, CBD may also reduce muscle spasms, a feature of neuropathic damage which often manifests in painful, uncontrolled muscle twitches (8 ) .
CBD for Improved Sleep
The best training routine, diet, and supplement program can never compensate for insufficient rest. Sleep is essential for everyone, especially for active individuals.
Sleep affects almost every tissue in the body, says Dr. Michael Twery, a sleep expert at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It impacts growth and stress hormones, the immune system , appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health (9 ) .
A study published in Pharmaceuticals (Basel) in 2012 compared CBD with a sleep aid called nitrazepam (10 ) . The authors found that high-dose CBD at 160 milligrams increased the subject’s duration of sleep.
Similarly, a 2017 study published in the Current Psychiatry Reports noted that at moderate to high doses, CBD might have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia (11 ) .
CBD for Reduced Stress and Anxiety
In general, training and workouts can reduce stress. Exercise can provide psychological benefits that can help improve physical health. The stress reaction can be a survival tool, helping to keep the body healthy and the mind alert.
On the other hand, chronic stress can bring devastating effects. It can cause the body to produce too much cortisol and adrenaline, resulting in anxiety , poor concentration, irritability, and low self-esteem.
Fortunately, CBD has been shown to possess antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties that may help reduce stress and anxiety.
In a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal , sleep and anxiety scores were measured in human subjects, and the findings showed that CBD could hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders (12 ) .
Meanwhile, researchers of a 2019 study , published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, looked at CBD’s effects on anxiety and stress.
The study demonstrated that CBD might help reduce the response to stre ssful environmental factors when given in the optimal dosage (13 ) .
Using CBD might benefit bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts during high-intensity workouts and recovery periods.
CBD has also been shown to possess therapeutic properties that might help individuals get a restful sleep, reduce anxiety level, manage weight, and recover from soreness and muscle damage.
Still, a consultation with a doctor experienced in cannabis use is essential before using CBD to help with bodybuilding goals.
Why Do Gym-Goers Use CBD?
You may have seen various gym-goers, bodybuilding fanatics, and fitness influencers using CBD all over social media at the moment, not to mention spotting people in the gym with their CBD oil bottles! But why is this compound so popular amongst the fitness community?
At Honest Hemp, we create a wide range of CBD oils, CBD topicals, and CBD edibles, as well as our Organic Hemp Protein Powder. We’ve found that many bodybuilders, yogis, and athletes use our products to help assist their active lifestyles. This is why we wanted to explore and share the top 5 benefits of CBD for bodybuilding and fitness.
1. Post-Workout Pain
First and foremost, CBD is thought to help relieve post-workout pain. This essentially means you are able to get back to moving sooner, and you will experience less discomfort.
Exercise – especially weight training – causes microscopic damage to our muscles in the form of small tears. This damage is what allows our muscles to grow. However, it can also cause pain & inflammation which may inhibit our ability to carry on training in the following days.
CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties – plus, it’s thought to be one of the safest ways to provide such effects. This means it may be able to reduce inflammation in the muscles which would reduce pain and improve recovery.
In addition to this, CBD is thought to have separate pain-killing abilities. Many people use CBD for pain relief – whether this is for headaches, chronic pain, arthritis, or whatever else. So, CBD may be able to relieve the post-workout muscle pain associated with bodybuilding in this way too.
2. Improved Sleep
You may be wondering; “What does sleep have to do with bodybuilding – surely sleep is the exact opposite to being active?!” Well, sleep is absolutely vital for proper recovery after working out.
As we mentioned before, we experience microscopic damage to our muscles when we exercise. A huge amount of the recovery to this muscle damage occurs whilst the body is asleep – the body rebuilds and repairs the muscle tears to improve both strength and muscle mass.
So, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body will struggle to synthesize protein into muscle and – essentially – recover.
CBD is thought to help improve our quality of sleep. Research suggests that it helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and also decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. This means you may fall asleep more easily, stay asleep throughout the night, sleep more deeply, and feel more awake and refreshed during the day.
As a result, this improved sleep would help you to be more successful in muscle building and recovery – not to mention feeling more motivated and energised for your workout.
3. Improved energy
One of the hardest things about working out is getting to the gym in the first place! And no, we don’t mean travel arrangements! The energy and motivation required to get to the gym and begin your workout is half the struggle – that’s why sufficient energy levels are crucial.
It’s thought that CBD may regulate our blood sugar levels which regulates the level of insulin that the body produces. If we are able to maintain lower insulin levels, then the body will burn more glucose into energy rather than fat. So, CBD could help to boost our energy levels and help us to burn fat more effectively. CBD could help us to improve the quality and frequency of our workouts, meaning more successful bodybuilding results.
4. Boosted Metabolism
If CBD can help to boost the metabolism, this would be a great application for those looking to lose fat. Metabolising is the process of the body converting food into energy rather than fat – a slower metabolism will be less successful at this, meaning less energy and more body fat.
The Mitochondria is the part of the cell that converts sugars, fats, and protein from food into energy. Imbalances with the Mitochondria can affect this process, slowing down the metabolism and making it harder to lose weight.
CBD is said to help regulate mitochondrial activity which would help us to achieve metabolic balance. Therefore, if you suffer from a slower metabolism, CBD may be able to help boost this. As a result, CBD could make it easier to burn fat and lose weight meaning the muscle gained from bodybuilding becomes more prominent.
5. Reduced Stress
Did you know that when we produce too much cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – it can slow muscle growth?
Not only this, but reduced stress can improve our ability to stay motivated, focus in the gym, and balance our lives. A good life balance means you are able to dedicate time to your fitness without feeling as though you don’t have enough hours in the day.
So overall, reduced stress can improve our ability to work out more effectively & consistently, and prevent slowed muscle growth!
Many people use CBD for stress-relief and anxiety-relief, and research has supported that CBD can be effective for these uses. This is thought to be due to the way CBD can balance the endocannabinoid system and the production of endocannabinoids in the body. Endocannabinoids are a special type of neurotransmitter responsible for regulating many bodily functions, including our stress response.
If you’d like to try CBD to help improve your fitness, there are a few different product choices you can make. Things like CBD oils and CBD capsules are best if you’re looking for a solution to internal issues – such as stress, sleep, energy, or metabolism.
Alternatively, CBD topicals – such as creams, balms, and gels – are best if you’re looking for a solution to more surface-level problems. By this, we mean things like muscle pain, soreness, and inflammation. CBD topicals are excellent for site-specific discomfort as you can apply the product directly to the area that needs help.