How to Use Cannabis for Recovery
If you’re arching your eyebrows in confusion from the very title, then you are most likely having a hard time conjuring up the image of a brawny athlete consuming any form of cannabis for the sake of improved performance. In fact, you’d rather see them stretching, jogging on a treadmill, vigorously shaking their protein mix, and eating unbelievable amounts of food to keep fit. However, recovery is indeed a complex process, and science keeps coming up with ideas to improve the many ways in which we can help our bodies heal from grueling workouts.
That being said, yes, cannabis is becoming a widely embraced, and a safe, healthy method to speed up recuperation. Let’s see how you can make the most of this approach, provided that it’s legal in your country to begin with.
The first and the most widespread myth regarding the consumption of cannabis is that it will cause you to “get high”. However, among numerous kinds of cannabinoids, or compounds found in cannabis plants, there are two that are present in highest quantities. The first one is known as THC, and it’s the one that leads to the aforementioned “buzz”, so there are specific strains that are grown for that purpose. The other one, CBD, or cannabidiol, is the one with the pain-relieving properties that doesn’t have any psychoactive effects – and this is the one athletes need in order to reap the rewards.
Before you randomly choose your source of CBD, it’s best to consult your physician and look for a trustworthy source where you can get the right concentrate or flower.
Improve quality of sleep
Every athlete knows that it’s the down-time that counts the most when it comes to earning those gains, since muscle protein synthesis and other relevant metabolic processes for repairing and building muscle happen when we sleep. CBD may not have a highly sedative effect like THC, which means that you don’t get the sluggish, drowsy side-effect, but it does help improve the consistency of your sleep cycle.
CBD has a calming effect on your mind and body, thus reducing anxiety and helping you improve your quality of sleep. In general, it promotes alertness during the day, and consequently helps prevent and treat insomnia by regulating your sleep patterns.
While some amount of inflammation is not just considered normal, but necessary in order to reach your fitness goals, chronic inflammation is at the core of many modern-day health issues and diseases. Most athletes who train vigorously put their bodies through immense amounts of inflammation daily, which can hinder proper muscle recovery and impede your performance the next day.
This is where CBD steps in to save the day, as it’s been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body and effectively aid in muscle recovery, even more so than you regular dose of aspirin.
Keep sore muscles at bay
If you have ever tried to hit two consecutive days at the gym and give it your absolute best, you know that the sore muscles from the day before make it close to impossible to actually reach your maximum both in volume and intensity. Due to its analgesic properties, CBD helps reduce muscle soreness as well as a myriad of other aches and pains that may be associated with training, such as an old injury acting up.
As of 2018, WADA removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for athletes, thus recognizing it as a powerful solution for treating inflammation, pain, and allowing top performance. However, it’s still important to note that THC remains on this list – making it all the more relevant to find concentrates that contain legal amounts of THC, or none at all, which is even more preferable for athletes.