CBD has been in the media a lot recently as legalization gathers pace and the scientific evidence supporting medical cannabis and CBD as a treatment for various problems grows. Cannabidiol is one of the most promising cannabinoids: it is not psychoactive (it does not get you high), it is very safe, tolerable, and works on a lot of different conditions. However, there are some dubious claims for CBD, one of which is that it could help with recovery from a physical injury.
CBD Recovery from Physical Injury
The endocannabinoid system is what CBD interacts with. It is a system of receptors and ligands that are involved in many different metabolic and physical processes in our bodies, including exercise and physical activities. The ECS is very much involved with the immune system and is therefore one of the inflammatory regulators that are involved in physical recovery.
Injury and Inflammation
The body responds to injury with inflammation. Blood flow increases, immune cells flock to the area, and repair factors and cells flood the affected area to promote healing. This is the best way the body can deal with it, but in many cases the inflammation can be too much and lower the healing capacity of the body. It is also very itchy, swollen, and painful. Using anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin during injury is popular because it reduces this response. However, these drugs are not as safe as people thought, and can be very dangerous in the long term, so alternatives are being sought.
One possible alternative is CBD. It is safe and tolerable even at high doses, does not produce any psychoactive effects, and is not addictive. Its long term safety profile is looking good but still has yet to be adequately established. Regardless, it might be a very effective tool for helping recover from physical injury.
Cannabinoids are naturally produced in the body and it knows how to digest them properly. This is probably the reason that it has such a good safety profile.
Cannabidiol as an Anti-inflammatory
Cannabidiol is one of the most effective safe anti-inflammatories known. It has similar analgesic and anti-inflammatory abilities as many of the best non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and has a better safety profile than most of them. It works by modulating the endocannabinoid system’s two receptors, CB1 and CB2, to change their responsivity. Even small amounts of cannabidiol can significantly reduce inflammation around the body, and if applied topically can be very effective.
Using Cannabidiol after Physical Injury
Using a CBD recovery from physical injury plan could be effective. Where it is legal (and indeed, where it is illegal), it is commonly used by athletes as a way of reducing inflammation after workouts, reducing the pain after exercise, and to combat the nausea of intense exercise. For purely the medicinal effects, it is recommended that you use either pure CBD or a THC-free spectrum oil. THC is the chemical in cannabis that gets people high, which might not be what you want. A THC-free spectrum oil will contain all the other cannabinoids from the source plant but no THC, so you will get most of the benefits of cannabis without the paranoia and munchies.
CBD is an effective analgesic, targeting neuropathic pain and reducing the inflammation in nerves. This can help with pain from nerve damage that might otherwise prevent proper exercising. Another use is for the inevitable pain from an intense workout. Fitness requires hard work and that can be painful. Reducing pain and inflammation could help your fitness and improve recovery times.
Relaxing with CBD
Cannabidiol has a mood stabilizing effect, so it can help some people relax. While many people will happily puff on a cannabis cigarette for relaxing effects, this might be incompatible with your lifestyle or sporting discipline. Regular use of cannabis is not a good idea, it can adversely affect memory, functioning, and even physical coordination, so it does not mix well with sports. This is due to THC, however, so if you can get some without THC or a low concentration, it might work for you.
Where is the Science?
So far, there have been no studies into the use of CBD with physical exercise. This is not because CBD is a no-hope drug, it is because historically, cannabis has been illegal and very difficult to study. People who want to use cannabis because it is safer and more tolerable than other drugs can find that there is not enough information to make proper choices. The endocannabinoid system is complicated and poorly understood. Using CBD could be useful in the short term but have long-term implications for fitness and health that are not yet understood.
Because of this difficulty and the lack of good guidance, it is impossible to make reliable recommendations for using CBD for recovery from physical injury. It is likely that it will be useful and safe but nobody quite knows yet whether CBD recovery from physical injury helps. Check whether you will be drug tested before you use CBD recovery from physical injury.