cbd oil for runners

I’m Not a Runner, but in the Spirit of Marathon Season I Tried CBD-Fueled Runs—Here’s What Happened

It’s not that I don’t enjoy exercising. I’ve played soccer my whole life, and I take part in group workout classes regularly. But setting out on the open pavement just to run? Doesn’t exactly strike my fancy.

But, after spending a recent afternoon getting lost in an internet wormhole of inspirational running stories related to the upcoming Los Angeles Marathon, I somehow found myself lacing up my sneakers and jogging down to the path near my apartment. (If you’re ever lacking in workout motivation, I highly recommend this tactic, because clearly it worked on me.)

One unpleasant element of running I was quickly reminded of by my sore calves and tight hamstrings? The importance of recovery. Determined not to let soreness get in the way of my new workout of choice (the inspo was real, y’all), I decided to dabble in a new trend I’d been hearing about: Topical CBD for running.

I’m no stranger to CBD skin care, but for more intel on its connection to workout recovery, I asked Kerrigan Behrens—co-founder and co-CEO at Sagely Naturals—for her take on how to use CBD to keep my muscles happy after pounding the pavement for several miles.

“Recovery is imperative for runners, regardless of their level, [because] allowing your body proper recovery time helps eliminate injuries, burnout, and overall exhaustion,” Behrens says. “CBD is a powerful plant-based ally that helps keep your body in balance so you can perform at your optimal level.”

Now, I don’t expect myself to go run a marathon any time soon, but since my previous attempts at getting into a running rhythm have definitely ended in burnout and exhaustion, I decided to give the CBD approach a try. So I slathered on Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery Cream and Spray, and with that, I was off.

Keep scrolling to find out how I used CBD for running, and see if I became an official convert.

Photo: Sagely Naturals

How I prepped

Like I mentioned earlier, I play soccer, and during a game you run an average of five to seven miles. Having just signed up for a new league, this self-imposed running challenge came at a great time to help build up my endurance. However, my knees have been bothering me lately, so I gave them extra attention with Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery Spray prior to my running sessions.

Spritzing it on pre-run was an intentional recommendation from Behrens, as the ingredients in the spray (hemp-derived broad spectrum CBD grown in the United States and peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils) work together to provide a cooling sensation that’s designed to warm up your body (or in my case, my wonky knee) before getting your sweat on.

“For a lot of people, it can take a few minutes—or even a few miles!—to really feel like their body is warmed up and ready to perform,” Behrens says. “Our Relief & Recovery Cream and Spray provide an instant cooling sensation that helps rejuvenate your body and helps you reach that warmed-up sweet spot much faster.”

How I recovered

At the end of my next few runs, my knees felt so much better than they normally would after jogging in the freezing cold, which I attributed to the recovery spray. However, my quads and ankles were still feeling achy from the frigid air and the sudden bursts of movement. That’s when my (second) ultimate recovery tool entered the scene: Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery Cream.

The cream is applied like a moisturizer, so post-run I rubbed it onto my sore spots, and quickly became a firm believer that everyone should get on board with post-workout mini massages (it felt that good). Not only did it fill my nostrils with a delightful peppermint scent, but it also left a refreshing sensation from quads to toes—making me feel like I was beginning the recovery process on demand.

Like the spray, the cream contains hemp-derived CBD and peppermint oil, but the differentiating ingredient is the soothing argan oil (hence the massage-like element). “Argan oil is rich in vitamins that help moisturize your skin, which is especially wonderful in the dry winter months,” Behrens adds. Confirmed: Using CBD for running has helped convert me into a person who chooses to run.

Up Your ‘Runners High’ Naturally with CBD

Whether you enjoy a quick jog around the neighborhood with your dog, a trail run through in the hills or you are preparing for a marathon, running can take a major toll on the body. Many runners enjoy the exhilaration of running, conquering a trail or a new mile marker. But with the glory can come some potential for pain and runner’s ailments. Enter CBD: a natural alternative to pain killers that can additionally act as a sleep aid, stress reliver and recovery tool.

What Is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of many naturally occurring compounds in hemp and marijuana plants. Sometimes confused with its mind-alerting cousin THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that could have a range of benefits to users. CBD interacts directly with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, responsible for bodily functions like pain management, appetite, mood and more. For a growing number of runners, CBD can act as a natural alternative to opioid painkillers and a great addition to recovery regimens.

As CBD is slowly separated from the stigmas of recreational marijuana and the “high” that accompanies it, the world of sports and active lifestyle begins to adopt it more and more. CBD is thought to have the ability to help lower stress levels, manage or mitigate pain and inflammation, and aid in sleep, among other benefits. CBD for runners, who could have ailments directly related to hitting the trail, cannabinoid could be a great natural alternative to put to use.

CBD For Runners

Though research is still early surrounding CBD, anecdotal evidence and the limited studies available look promising. CBD can be used in a variety of forms, many having their benefits for runners, whether applied topically or consumed orally.

CBD For Pain

CBD can be useful for runners who are looking to manage their pain and recovery. Running can take a toll on the body, from the impact of the motions itself to the post-workout recovery. CBD contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful for managing the soreness following a run. A great way to utilize CBD for pain is through a topical, applied directly to the problem area. CBD topicals are perfect for targeting specific ailments or areas and are ideal for those who don’t wish to consume CBD orally. Though studies are limited and still emerging, there is even evidence from a 2016 study that points to CBD as useful treatment for arthritic pain, reducing joint pain and inflammation effectively.

CBD For Stress

Utilizing CBD as a stress management tool can be highly useful for runners. Because CBD is not psychoactive, it can even be consumed prior to a run, getting you in the right mindset to hit the trail. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoids system to block or transmit messages to and from the brain, enabling it to aid in a state of calm and focus. CBD can also be great for the winding down process post-run. Consuming CBD sublingually is one of the fastest acting forms and CBD oils can be ideal for runners before and after a workout.

CBD For Sleep

One of the most important factors to a successful run is the recovery process after, setting you up for the next one. Sleep is one of our greatest recovery tools, but insomnia or bad sleep habits could stump your next run. Consuming CBD has the ability to calm, which can aid in the direction of a good night’s sleep. CBD is thought to interact directly with receptors that contribute to the sleep/wake cycle, making it a great addition to a restless sleepers’ nightly routine.

CBD For Runners: Key Takeaways

CBD for runners is on the rise in popularity, and rightly so. CBD could have beneficial impacts on a runner’s pain management and inflammation reduction, mindset and stress levels, recovery regimen and more. Though studies on CBD are still in the early stages, there is promising evidence to point more runners in the direction of CBD. As a runner, you may have experienced ailments like shin splints or plantar fasciitis and could potentially benefit from CBD.

There are even brands like Tribe CBD who crafted their high-quality CBD products with the active lifestyle in mind, with all products being full-spectrum CBD and completely THC-free. From Cold Therapy CBD Cream to CBD Sleep Shots, Tribe CBD has created products that can up the ante of your active lifestyle and keep all future trails, happy ones. For more information about Tribe CBD, check out their pledge to high-quality CBD here.