The long days of summer are finally coming to a close, bringing the crisp temperature of fall weather and autumnal delights like pumpkin spice and apple cider. “Hibernation season” can bring more than just the re-introduction of baggy sweatshirts and bulky clothing; it can encourage those to get in shape throughout the colder months to prepare for the skin-baring months. But if it’s been a while since you’ve lifted weights or worked out in general, you might be concerned with feeling the pains of your gains. This poses an interesting question: can CBD help with the gym? In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the unique ways that CBD can assist with a variety of ailments relating to gym workouts, both before and after your workout. Let’s begin!
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in great abundance in the hemp plant. The compounds found in the hemp plant are called cannabinoids, and there are currently over 100 cannabinoids that have been recognized by scientists throughout the world. CBD contains extremely low amounts of THC, less than 0.3% THC, and therefore is considered legal by the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD works naturally with your body’s endocannabinoid system in many ways to restore balance in response to the daily stresses of life. One of the most attractive benefits of CBD is that it will not get the user high, and is therefore regarded as a more holistic approach to modern medicine. Keeping that in mind, it’s always a good idea to speak with your primary care physician before consuming any CBD products for the first time. Now that you have a general working knowledge of how this compound came to be, it’s time to see how CBD can make an improvement in your daily routine, but most importantly, how it can help with exercise and recovery.
CBD and Exercise: Where To Start
A true gym rat will tell you that there are three phases of working out: pre-workout, the actual workout, and post workout. Most of us only consider the heavy weights and multiple reps as the most important part of going to the gym, but the two other phases are equally important. The next time you wistfully look at your gym membership and lament the lack of progress you’re making, consider what you do before and after your workouts. These little tweaks to your lifestyle may very well improve your overall workout results.
How Much Sleep Are You Getting?
It’s been drilled into our heads since childhood that a good night’s sleep consists of eight hours. Unfortunately, adulthood rarely allows us this amount. With constant stress and activities that take place at all hours of the day and night, sleep is more of an afterthought than an eagerly anticipated time to reset. But aside from being a way to enter Dreamland and forget about the day, sleep is critical to help your body repair itself. Your skeletal, immune, nervous, and muscular system are responsible for your memory, cognitive functions, mood, and much more. All of these functions are reset and repaired while you sleep, which is why you often feel refreshed and ready to start the day after a good night’s sleep.
If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, CBD might be able to help. When consumed consistently, CBD has been proven to limit the amount of sleeping time spent in the REM stage. This might seem like a bad thing, but less time in REM sleep means more time in the NREM Stage 3, the sleep stage most commonly referred to as “deep sleep.” In this stage, the heart rate, overall body temperature, and brain activity are drastically reduced, which allows your brain to use less energy. More time in deep sleep will result in feeling refreshed upon waking. Getting restful sleep may also help give you enough energy to tackle your first gym session in months, resulting in a strong and satisfied workout.
Overcoming the Mental Battle To Actually Go To The Gym
The biggest problem with a gym membership is actually using it. Many users who have access to gyms make up a variety of excuses why they can’t go, but keep their memberships in case they actually feel like going. Common excuses for not going include not having enough time, feeling too tired to go (regardless of the time of day/night), or feeling uneasy amongst current gymgoers. Yet you might be surprised to learn that once you finally settle into your gym routine, all the stress melts away and you’re eager to continue and finish your workout.
Using CBD before you ever set foot in a gym can help in a variety of ways. If you’re struggling with time, try taking a step back from everything and analyze where your time goes. Most people don’t realize little pockets of time that go into doing unimportant things; once you pinpoint where your time waste goes, you may be able to substitute a gym session in its place. If you feel too tired to go to the gym, consistent CBD consumption can help motivate you throughout the day. While CBD won’t give you a burst of energy, it can evenly distribute extra energy from a good night’s sleep or accomplishing tasks throughout the day to help you squeeze in a short workout. Lastly, if you feel overwhelmed by the amount of gymgoers, CBD can help you fight off any feelings of uneasiness. Most of the people in the gym aren’t concerned with who else is there; they’re simply there to do their workout and head home. If you can adopt this mentality as well, you may be surprised to find you actually look forward to going to the gym!
Using CBD Once Your Workout Is Complete
The important thing to remember when getting back into a gym routine is that you’re trying to be consistent rather than sporadic. Obviously, you won’t be burning fat and building muscles instantly, so try to keep that in mind as you rack up the weights or force yourself to complete once last set. Instead, remind yourself that you’re trying to establish a routine, like taking a shower in the morning or brushing your teeth before bed. With that mindset, you may be able to get into a gym routine more naturally. However, there are some ways that CBD can help once you’ve completed your sweaty and satisfying workout.
The Inevitability of Sore Muscles
Once you finally complete your highly anticipated workout, no doubt you’ll be expecting to feel some muscle discomfort. Sore muscles and joints are common for those who haven’t been to the gym in a while, especially if you go too hard with reps or weights your first time back. You may not even feel sore for the first day or so, which might fool you into thinking you need to go harder. Unfortunately, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short) can throw a wrench in your plans to the point where you swear off going to the gym ever again. It’s crucial to start off slowly with your weight and reps. Try to find a balance where you can gradually increase with each session. After the first day or so, you may notice some soreness and inflammation in your muscles and joints. This is where CBD truly shines.
When you work out, tiny tears form in your muscles. The body works to repair the tiny tears, which is why you feel the “pain” from your “gains.” CBD, oils and tinctures specifically, have been proven to alleviate discomfort from DOMS and muscle inflammation. CBD also works to soothe muscle soreness, inflammation, and other common body aches. Many CBD topicals are formulated with menthol to help you feel a cooling sensation on your swollen muscles, making them ideal if you’re feeling intense discomfort in a specific area. However, CBD topicals will not penetrate past the dermis and thus won’t even enter your bloodstream. For this reason, consider taking some form of oral CBD, such as softgels, oils, or CBD inhalables like CBD vape juice, pre-rolls, or flowers.
One particular advantage of CBD consumption is more of an honorable mention rather than a for-sure benefit, but it’s still worth talking about. Certain studies have proven that CBD can help increase your mobility, specifically those with multiple sclerosis. MS, as it is more commonly called, can severely limit your mobility and ability to perform physical activities. CBD has been praised for its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antioxidative, antiemetic, and antipsychotic properties. When it comes to working out, you may feel more stiff and limited when it comes to physical exertion. Consistent consumption of CBD may help you recover more quickly, thus allowing you to continue your gym efforts more effectively.
CBD continues to impress and progress as time goes on, with more and more people realizing its many benefits. One such benefit can help motivate you to go to the gym and keep going, whether it be the mental battle before going or the physical restrictions afterwards. CBD isn’t a magic potion that will eliminate muscle soreness or give you a burst of energy to complete a quick workout. Rather, it is a vital compound that can help you rest better (resulting in better sleep and increased energy throughout the day), eradicate any social uneasiness that comes with actually going, and can aid in a speedy recovery of sore joints and muscles once your workout is complete.
Here at Erth Hemp, we offer a variety of CBD-infused products, ranging from flavorless and odorless softgels and silky tinctures (either flavored or unflavored) to CBD vape juice and pre-rolls. Our products have been thoroughly tested by independent third-party labs to ensure purity and potency. Each of the test results are proudly displayed on each product’s label as well as the product description on our website. If you’re not sure which CBD product is right for you, we encourage you to reach out to us! Our knowledgeable team can help you figure out a product that suits your needs. You can select from our sample sizes or grab a full-size bottle; whatever you decide to snag, you can be sure that CBD will make a noticeable improvement in your gym sessions. So what are you waiting for? Grab a CBD-infused product and commit to heading back to the gym today!