CBD Oil for Bodybuilding & Recovery
A Look into the Pros & Cons
If you’ve walked into a health shop, a vape store, or you follow too many Instagram influencers, then chances are you’ve heard about the wonderful world of CBD oil.
But did you know that many gym and fitness enthusiasts are using CBD oil for weightlifting? Let’s take a look at why.
And no, you won’t be stoned at the gym.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD Oil comes from marijuana and hemp plants, specifically the sativa version of the plants. These are the same plants that are often used for recreational/medical marijuana and hemp products.
These plants produce compounds called “cannabinoids” – 2 of which are very popular. The first type is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive part of marijuana that gets you “high” or “stoned” depending on your choice of lingo. (1)
However, the second type is called CBD (cannabidiol), and this does not have any “high” effects.
In fact, it’s usually extracted from hemp plants which are bred to have a THC content of less than 0.3%.
In other words, you could get a tiny, tiny bit high from using CBD oils, but nowhere near enough to get your feet off the ground.
Is CBD Oil Good For Bodybuilding?
CBD oil is good for bodybuilding and muscle growth in the sense that it eases inflammation, helps with muscle recovery, and reduces pain after workouts.
This makes it easier for you to increase your muscle mass without putting your body under too much stress. The naturally relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD help your muscles to recover more quickly, thus promoting steady muscle growth.
When you get home after your session at the gym, CBD products also help with sleep and reduce anxiety levels, so you can rest more easily. (2)
Essentially, CBD products have many of the “chill out” effects associated with recreational and medical marijuana, but without the high. This means that you can use them throughout the day as it suits your plans.
How Does CBD Help With Muscle Recovery?
During a weightlifting session, if you push yourself and try to increase your muscle mass, you may notice muscle soreness and pain.
This is caused by microscopic damage to your muscle fibers which needs to be repaired.
Recent studies have found that those who use CBD can reduce inflammation following exercise and even improve mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. (3) It also helps to reduce pain following exercise and it’s anti-catabolic properties ensure you can build muscle more steadily.
Moreover, CBD can help to regulate your catabolic hormones, as incorrect amounts of catabolic hormones can lead to too much cortisol in your body, making it harder for your muscle mass to increase.
Furthermore, research has shown that cannabinoids have antispasmodic properties, meaning that they reduce muscle spasms following a painful new workout at the gym.
Personal Trainer Tara Laferrara also noticed a “big difference in infalmmation and stress” after her workouts when taking this supplement. At first, taking CBD to lower cortisol levels sounded nice only on paper, but I needed more convincing. That’s until I saw this video about how CBD oil helps in muscle recovery and pain relief according to expert opinion.
Can CBD Help With Weight Loss Too?
Unless you can’t stave off the munchies, CBD can help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism and reducing your appetite in the long term.
It also encourages more “brown fat” within your body. This refers to the type of fat that our bodies use for heat energy. Essentially, it’s fat which is quite healthy and good for us. (4)
Results from new studies also suggest that marijuana users tend to weigh less than non-marijuana users.
When you think about people who partake in the smoking of the cannabis plant (i.e. stoners), you probably picture them eating 50 bags of Doritos a night, but alas they are defying the clichés.
Of course, CBD oil is not the same as marijuana, but CBD is still present in regular weed, so it’s likely to play a part in this weight loss relationship, whether it’s due to behavioral factors or chemical factors.
We found that [marijuana] users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight. Only 15% of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20% of non-users.
– Omayma Alshaarawy, Fitness Author
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD Oil?
There are many benefits of CBD oil aside from bodybuilding, whether you’re trying to regulate your blood sugar levels or improve your sleep and diet. Let’s look at some of the main health benefits in more detail.
1. Pain Relief – Similarly to medical marijuana, it’s thought that CBD supplements can help to reduce chronic pain. Current evidence is quite anecdotal, but it seems promising and researchers are optimistic. Using CBD oil for muscle building can potentially reduce post-workout pain significantly.
2. Anti-Inflammatory – It appears that CBD products can have significant anti-inflammatory effects, helping bodybuilders and fitness fans to exercise their socks off without suffering from too much inflammation afterward.
3. Reduce Depression And Anxiety – Research has shown that CBD can help to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, hence calming the minds of people with these conditions. As an anxiety sufferer myself, I noticed a huge difference when I started putting CBD oil in my vape. I also weaned myself off of nicotine addiction, which was an added bonus in the health department.
4. Improved Heart Health – Due largely to its relaxing effects which reduce stress and anxiety, CBD could help to reduce high blood pressure and therefore improve heart health. Stress is intrinsically linked to high blood pressure, so bringing down stress has positive physical effects on the body.
5. Neurological Treatment – Along with medical cannabis, CBD is thought to be able to assist people with neurological conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
6. Acne Reduction – Because of CBD’s ability to better regulate the sebum levels that our skin naturally produces, it can help to reduce skin conditions like acne, eczema, and sensitive skin. (5)
7. May Reduce Cancer – Just to be clear, there is no conclusive evidence that CBD definitely reduces cancer. However, there are some studies that are pointing in the right direction. For example, one study indicated that cannabis users had a 45% less chance of developing bladder cancer than non-smokers. It’s not a smoking gun, but it’s optimistic.
Many gym and fitness enthusiasts are using CBD oil for weightlifting and muscle recovery. But does it really help? We reveal the science-based truth here… as well as…
CBD Improves Muscle Gain and Workout Recovery
By Evelyn Valdez
January 27, 2019 in CBD Blog
Table of Contents:
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound that has many health benefits but does not make people feel “high”. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are starting to incorporate CBD supplements into their daily routine.
In regards to fitness, it helps with muscle growth, quality sleep, and recovery. In this article, we are going to fully breakdown cannabidiol and its effects on the human body in regards to fitness.
Building muscle and improving protein synthesis
CBD aids in muscle building and recovery by regulating homeostasis in the human body. It has anti-catabolic properties that regulate cortisol levels which leads to an increase in muscle growth and protein synthesis.
Reducing catabolic hormones
Hormones, known as catabolic hormones, cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. Cortisol is the hormone that is the culprit of breaking down muscle tissue because it reduces protein synthesis actively prevents tissue growth.
Cortisol can have a negative impact on muscles, but it does provide some important benefits. Cortisol helps the liver remove toxins from the body, and help regulate blood sugar levels in the immune system. So at natural levels, cortisol is beneficial which is why CBD comes into play. CBD can help maintain a healthy cortisol balance.
Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, and they’re typically at their highest when stressed. High intensity workouts cause a lot of physical stress which increases the cortisol levels. The high amount of catabolic hormone can cause high blood pressure and eat up muscle tissue which negates the purpose of working out and building muscle.
Heightened cortisol limits muscle growth and reduces protein synthesis. CBD promotes muscle growth by interfering with cortisol secretion in the human body  .
The key to muscle building is to keep your cortisol levels balanced before and during a workout. Drinking pre-workout or taking a caffeine supplement can spike your cortisol levels before a workout.
CBD is caffeine free, and a natural supplement that can help people build more muscle by slowing down the breakdown of muscle.
Relaxing muscles and building stamina
Everyone is familiar with the term “runner’s high” that occur from long workouts. It is said that this feeling comes from endorphins, but a recent study shows that the endocannabinoid system is actually the one to thank.
The endocannabinoid system is crucial for two main aspects of a runner’s high  . So that euphoric sensation that gives you the stamina to get through your cardio focused workout is actually a rush of anandamide, the natural endocannabinoid compound regulated by CBD.
Taking CBD before a long cardio workout can help put your body and mind at ease. It works with the human body to increase energy levels, regulate breathing, relax muscles, reduce cramps (anti-inflammatory), and balance dopamine levels resulting in smoother movement. This is all important for someone trying to get a good pump in or for someone doing long periods of cardiovascular activity.
Improved workout recovery
CBD aids in workout recovery. It also improves quality of sleep and aids in inflammation which makes it a perfect post workout supplement.
Why you should take CBD after a workout
Body builders, athletes, fitness junkies, all need to recover after a long difficult workout. They may even take anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen to speed up the process. Although it is suggested to let your body recover on its own, some people like athletes and bodybuilders may not have a choice. CBD is widely known for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects which is why it is now being used as a supplement for post-workout.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties
Rigorous workouts like weight training, HIIT, or long cardio workouts take a toll on a person’s body. They cause damage to the body’s muscles and tissues, then inflammation occurs and triggers the repairing process.
Too much inflammation can occur when there is not enough rest in between workouts and leads to excessive muscle damage and poor workouts. It can also lead to exercise injuries.
Athletes and bodybuilders turn to many solutions like ice baths, eating antioxidant-containing foods, and supplements like CBD. It is known to reduce inflammation and has become a common post-workout supplement to aid recovery.
Improving quality of sleep
Research suggests that CBD has potential for the treatment of insomnia  . Although the research is not sports or exercise related, many people already use CBD as a sleeping aid. A good night sleep is important for everyone, but it is crucial for the fitness community. Sleep helps a person build muscle, a person’s body needs enough rest in order to work properly.
When a person doesn’t get enough rest then their body cannot burn off energy the right way. There are sleep medications out in the market, but some may have addictive effects. CBD is a natural supplement that works with the body’s endocannabinoid system and regulates its own natural chemicals. Urbul’s vegan hemp gummies with melatonin contain CBD and melatonin to improve your quality of sleep tremendously.
CBD has amazing potential fitness/health benefits and is recommended for pre and post workout. Anyone looking to build muscle, get better sleep, and have better workouts should look into the benefits of cannabinoids as a dietary supplement.
CBD is still new, but it is gaining popularity every day, so consult with your doctor to see if cannabinoid supplementation is a good option for you.
How to include CBD in your daily routine
CBD binds to receptors in the human body’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS). To reach these receptors, CBD is often infused in food, oil, creams, or in vape juice. For a full breakdown of the pros and cons of each ingestion method, read our “Best ways to take CBD” article. We recommend adding CBD to your post workout stack to aid with recovery. Our tinctures provide a quick and easy way to ingest CBD while our pod system allows you to vape CBD on the go.
As you can see, supplementing with CBD is perfect if your goals are to build muscle, improve sleep, and ultimately live a healthier life. To start, cannabidiol lowers cortisol levels in your body essentially aiding with protein synthesis and muscle growth. Supplementing CBD also helps improve quality of sleep which is an often overlooked factor in proper recovery.
Cannabinoids have taken the health and wellness market by storm as of recent and we’re glad to see other industries incorporate CBD. You can read our “What is CBD?” article if you want to learn more and to give it a try yourself.
CBD as a dietary supplement helps with protein synthesis and prevents muscle breakdown. See how CBD can help empower your workouts.