As an athlete, you may already know that the recovery process is vital in reducing muscle fatigue and increasing athletic performance. But our minds need recovery, too. Millions of Americans struggle with a stress disorder or anxiety disorder every year.
Feelings of unease or panic can significantly affect your performance—especially before a big competition. Picture it: It’s the morning of the marathon you’ve spent six months training for. It’s huge, gigantic, and your mind starts racing even before your body can.
Luckily, that’s why we have CBD.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the hemp plant that can make you feel calm and relaxed and provide some anxiety relief, even with 26 miles ahead of you. That’s why more and more athletes are turning to CBD as a natural (and effective) way to reduce pre-performance jitters and increase their holistic health.
- CBD can help regulate your mood, energy levels, and appetite—and soothe post-exercise-induced inflammation.
- There are numerous CBD brands available on the market to help with feelings of nervousness and uncertainty, including CBD oil, CBD gummies, CBD bath bombs, and CBD soft gels.
- CBD is generally safe to take, but it’s important to consider your body weight and composition when using CBD for anxiety.
Relaxing Benefits of CBD for Athletes
Is CBD good for anxiety symptoms? Many signs point to this answer being a resounding yes!
Whether you’re a marathon runner or a swimmer, maintaining holistic health is vital when improving your athletic performance and achieving sought-after results. Yes, you need the discipline to train your muscles, but you need mental endurance, too.
And that’s where CBD comes in. To that end, a few common benefits of CBD include:
- Helping reduce stress – Too much stress, especially bad stress, can significantly impact your athletic performance, which hurts your overall health and disrupts your focus and confidence in the face of competition. When your body experiences apprehension, it’ll tighten up—almost freeze—which definitely won’t help you sink the game-winning basket in tomorrow’s big showdown. CBD products can help reduce nervousness, so that you can keep your head fully in the game.
- Decreasing tension – Much like our muscles, which may experience strains when overworked, our minds can feel fatigued too after too much use. If you’re already prone to feelings of unease, you know what it’s like to experience mental or emotional strain—a constant feeling of alertness that can’t even be solved by an endorphin-boosting run around the block. CBD can help resolve those feelings, allowing you to seize each day with clarity, focus, and natural drive.
- Easing aches and discomfort – As you train your body, your muscles will inevitably experience a few aches along the way. Years of strenuous exercise may negatively impact your joints or knees—you’re putting them to work, after all! But, with CBD, you can support your joint health and ease your mind in the process—the days of agonizing rise-and-whines will be far behind you.
- Supporting sleep – After a long day of exercise, eating healthy, and staying mentally fit, you’re bound to have a good night’s sleep, right? Not necessarily. For a number of reasons, people may struggle to fall into a deep and restful sleep, bound to count sheep until the sun rises. CBD supports a healthy sleeping schedule that’ll have you dreaming of CBD-infused sugar plums all night long.
- Supporting healthy digestion – A digestive system that can adequately absorb nutrients is a digestive system that’ll fuel you even through the most grueling of workouts. Poor digestion may cause you to feel sluggish, bloated, and just plain grumpy. Thankfully, CBD supports digestion and promotes a healthy appetite, too.
What is CBD, Exactly? A Quick 101
For those of you new to the world of CBD, the three-letter abbreviation stands for cannabidiol. Simply put, CBD is a natural chemical substance derived from the hemp cannabis plant, which is a cousin to the marijuana plant. It’s an excellent supplement for regulating your mood, appetite, and energy levels.
Is CBD the Same Thing as Hemp Oil?
In short, no. Hemp oil is actually just a beauty product and has little to no cannabinoid (the most common being THC vs CBD). Instead, the hemp seed derivative is rich in omega, making it a great moisturizer for your skin or hair!
Is CBD the Same Thing as Marijuana?
Also, no. Unlike the marijuana plant, CBD contains very little THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid of marijuana)—no more than 0.3 percent, to be exact. By federal law, CBD products cannot surpass this amount. Anything above 0.3 percent is technically classified as marijuana.
CBD products that contain different kinds of cannabis plant extracts and contain a small amount of THC are known as full spectrum CBD. However, for those who are sensitive to THC or don’t want to use a product with any THC, there are also CBD isolate products which is a form of pure CBD with no THC.
Because CBD contains only a fractional amount of THC, there is little potential for dependence or mind-altering psychoactive effects.
That’s great news for athletes.
CBD can be taken safely no matter the activity—whether it’s an enthusiastic lifting session or a strenuous bike ride on packed city streets.
How Does CBD Work?
Essentially, CBD interacts with the body to produce many therapeutic benefits, including:
- Improving energy levels
- Encouraging restful sleep
- Reducing post-exercise induced inflammation
- Boosting mood
- Aiding the digestive system
- Promoting wellness and vitality
But there’s a lot more to it than that—CBD works hand in hand with a receptor system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS is mainly responsible for maintaining the body’s homeostasis or keeping the body’s systems balanced and working harmoniously.
The network is vast—the system’s receptors form the largest cellular communication system in the body, stretching throughout the brain, nervous system, and gut.
The Endocannabinoid system network includes three main components:
- Endocannabinoids – These are the natural cannabinoids made by your body that regulate your internal functions, including your stress responses. Normally, the body will produce endocannabinoids to regulate an imbalance in one of the systems controlled by the ECS network. They interact with ECS receptors just like CBD to influence mood, appetite, sleep, and energy.
- Receptors – Cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors to relieve aches and reduce post-exercise induced inflammation. There are two main types of receptors that bind to cannabinoids: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, which are found in the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as the immune system.
- Enzymes – After the endocannabinoids deliver their chemical messages, enzymes act to break down the endocannabinoids. This stops the chemical messages, giving the ECS a bit of recovery time, too.
Unlike THC, which binds directly to the CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor, CBD works indirectly with the receptors, promoting an overall sense of well-being.
What Types of CBD Work For Anxiety?
All types! There are many different forms, so it is important to choose a CBD product that is right for you. You’ve certainly walked into a coffee shop and seen “CBD Latte” printed beautifully on the menu board—and while that’s a delicious (and energizing) way to add CBD to your lifestyle, there’s plenty of at-home varieties you can try, too:
- CBD Oil – Arguably the most popular, CBD oil products are great to incorporate into a holistic lifestyle and reduce stress. It’s both effective and easy: It can be taken directly—with just a few drops under your tongue—or infused into energy drinks, green smoothies, or protein shakes.
- CBD Edibles – If you’re looking for a special cheat-day treat, CBD gummies are great for a quick snack before or after a workout. They’re sure to bring about a bit of sugar-coated happiness to your day, too.
- CBD Topical – After a long workout, your body inevitably experiences a bit of soreness—especially on leg day. Well, CBD comes to the rescue again. In its topical form, CBD can be applied directly to the skin and absorbed through the pores. Apply CBD to your temples, too, to reduce any feelings of mental unease.
- CBD Soft Gels – Much like oil, soft gels are an ingestible type of CBD capsules you can easily pop in your mouth before an especially stressful competition. Most are fast-acting and a great supplement to incorporate into your recovery routine, too.
- CBD Bath Bombs – Just imagine: After a long and stressful day of meetings and way too many people at the gym, you sink into a hot bath brimming with comforting CBD. The CBD then works to relieve your muscle and mental fatigue.
How Much CBD Do You Need To Feel Relaxed?
So, we’ve got the function and purpose of CBD down. But how much CBD do you need to take to feel fully relaxed (and we’re talking about blissfully sipping on a fruity cocktail on a sunny beach type of relaxed)?
Well, that’s also complicated.
Similar to embarking on a new exercise routine, it’s important to consider how your body will adjust to a new supplement.
The general rule of thumb?
Like exercise, start slow and build up gradually.
Luckily, there’s no potential for overdosing on CBD. But adults should generally intake about 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. When determining the CBD dosage you want to incorporate into your lifestyle, consider the following:
- Your body weight
- The concentration of each drop, pill, or gummy
- Possible allergies
- Any medications you may be taking
- How your body has responded to cannabinoids in the past
Finding the right CBD dose is going to be different for everyone.
Relax with Resilience CBD
So, does CBD work for anxiety? Yes, maybe. CBD’s effect is largely dependent on each person’s body processes, but it’s also a fantastic tool in athletic recovery.
You see, reducing stress is a recovery process in and of itself.
At Resilience CBD, we’ve formulated our supplements to support athlete’s mental, emotional, and physical rest and recovery. Equip your workout routine with Resilience CBD to help you rebound from the most sweat-worthy performances and lifestyles.
With the addition of CBD oil and your already active lifestyle, you’ll help quell some of the unease that might be affecting your daily life. And remember, a happy you is a healthy you.
Harvard Health Publishing. Cannabidiol (CBD) — What We Know and What We Don’t. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Project CBD. CBD Dosing. https://psychiatry.uchicago.edu/news/what-are-benefits-cbd-dr-de-wit
National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol. https://archives.drugabuse.gov/testimonies/2015/biology-potential-therapeutic-effects-cannabidiol
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Sport-related anxiety: current insights. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5667788/