CBD Helps Runners
CBD is considered one of the fastest growing trends the health and wellness sector has ever seen.
In 2017, US hemp-derived CBD sales hit close to $190 million. By 2020, annual CBD sales are projected to be $2.1 billion, with $450 million in sales from hemp-derived CBD products. To say the industry is booming is putting it mildly.
Over the past few years, CBD has gained attention across the globe. It’s known to be awesome at reducing anxiety. Using CBD for pain has become almost as common as popping an Advil. CBD has even shown to be effective at helping with more serious conditions such as seizures, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. From celebrities and renowned physicians to world-class athletes and everyday people, CBD has truly taken the world by storm.
CBD for Runners: How Does it Help?
Although CBD has only been in the spotlight for a few short years, its already being used widely amongst those in the running community. Whether running city streets or taking it off the beaten path and onto the trail or up in the hills, training for a marathon or simply running for pleasure, CBD has become a standard staple for many people who run on the reg.
The benefits of CBD stem from the way cannabidiol brings balance to the body’s endocannabinoid system. If you’re a runner, you’re likely familiar with the endocannabinoid system without even knowing it. “Runner’s high” just like the high from THC are both considered to be directly connected to the endocannabinoid system.
Running for a long period triggers the release of the anandamide (aka the “bliss molecule”), a neurotransmitter and cannabinoid produced in the brain that binds to cannabinoid receptors and has a very similar structure to THC. It’s the chemical responsible for putting you in “the zone”, as well as for producing the high cannabis is known for.
But what about cannabis without the high for people who like to run? Specifically, CBD. While CBD doesn’t activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it has shown to moderately inhibit the degradation of anandamide by working against the enzyme responsible for breaking down the bliss molecule. What this means for you as a runner is an increase in the runner’s high you experience.
Runners who use CBD, however, aren’t exactly doing it to increase the natural high they experience. CBD is commonly used to regulate pain, soothe sore muscles, and reduce inflammation, and it’s these reasons CBD for runners is something that makes sense.
Endurance athlete Avery Collins is one of them. With over 11,000 followers his Instagram accounts (@runninhigh), Collins doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a big fan of cannabis. While the Colorado-based runner says THC might not be for everyone, he does take CBD every day. “CBD use,” says Collins, “is more for health-minded people.” He also indicates that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid is part of his daily routine.
Why exactly does Collins dose with CBD on the daily? He says CBD products not only boost his energy levels, but also help speed up recovery time from long runs and are excellent for improving sleep.
CBD for Runner’s Aches and Pains: Why More Athletes are Ditching Advil for CBD
For decades, the common go-to for any athlete in pain was over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen, Advil, and Tylenol. As a runner and cyclist myself, I used Advil for years before making the switch to CBD. It’s affordable, accessible, and works great for managing pain. But these OTC medications can come at a cost.
The use of ibuprofen (the generic form of Advil) has shown to contain some potentially serious side effects. The major adverse reactions of this wildly-popular pain killer include negative effects on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), the kidney, and blood clotting system. Serious effects of ibuprofen include GI bleeding, increased risk of ulcers, kidney failure, heart failure, cell death, nosebleeds, and abnormally high potassium levels (aka hyperkalemia). Research indicates that one in five chronic use of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs will go on to develop gastric damage.