Runners are always on the lookout for ways to get faster and more effective. When you first start running, you’re obsessed with distance. And once you’ve mastered distance, you become preoccupied with speed. It’s a relentless journey of self-improvement.
This is why we are quick to pick up on new trends and fads that promise to give us an edge. Some trends have stuck with us (hello, energy gels) while others have fallen to the back of the pack. CBD oil is fairly new on the scene, but early evidence suggests it has a lot to offer the running community.
What is CBD oil? – Source
CBD stands for cannabidiol, it is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Another more famous cannabis compound is THC, which is the psychoactive element which is responsible for getting users high. CBD has no THC and does not make you feel high. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body, which is linked to everything from pain perception to appetite.
Here are just some of the reasons the experts are excited about this 3-letter oil.
When you’re in an intense training routine, recovery is essential. If you could recover faster, then you could train more often. This is where CBD oil comes in. Early studies have shown that CBD oil is effective in reducing inflammation. In a 2007 study in rats, CBD was found to reduce inflammation and reduce sciatica pain. At the moment, your go-to routine for reducing inflammation probably involves hot and cold therapy and myofascial release. By adding CBD oil to your recovery routine, you could get back on the running track much faster.
The same study in rats not only looked at the inflammatory response but also pain response. It found that rats given an oral solution of CBD experienced less pain. Other studies found pain from surgery was also reduced when CBD was administered. If you find yourself skipping running days because of sore muscles and joints, CBD oil may help.
Help aid recovery
The benefits outlined above all contribute to a common goal: reducing your recovery times. When you’re training for a race, recovery times can hold you back from achieving your goals.
And even if you aren’t training for anything, reducing your pain and inflammation during recovery could help novice runners to keep going. Pain is often a common reason for quitting running. CBD oil treats the underlying cause and the symptoms, so you aren’t just masking your pain and doing more damage to your body, you are helping it to heal faster.
Getting enough sleep every night is essential when you are training. When we sleep, the body has a chance to repair itself, so it’s important that we get enough restful sleep every night. While running is a great stress reliever, modern life may leave you lying awake at night staring at the ceiling. The good news is that CBD oil has been proven to help relieve anxiety and depression, both of which may leave you unable to sleep at night.
CBD could help you to break the cycle of being unable to sleep, and then not wanting to go out running because you didn’t get enough sleep. CBD interacts with the body’s serotonin production which helps to promote restful sleep. But unlike some sleep aids, it is not addictive, so there is no risk of becoming dependent on the substance.
Relax before a race
The night before a big race is usually fraught with nerves. When you’ve been training for a long time for an event, it can lead to sleepless nights and undue worrying. CBD oil has been proven to help promote restful sleep. In a study published in 2019, 72 people were involved in a sleep study testing the benefits of CBD oil. Of the 72 subjects, 47 suffered from anxiety and 25 experienced poor sleep. They were each given 25mg of CBD in a capsule each day. After the first month, 79.2% of the patients reported less anxiety and 66.7% said they enjoyed better sleep.
Studies into CBD oil are still ongoing, but the early evidence seems promising for runners. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, it’s important to choose a reputable supplier. The supplier should always provide a certificate of analysis so you know what you are getting and so you know it is legal. For CBD oil to be legal in the UK, it must contain less than 0.3% THC.