CBD for Fitness

cbd for fitness

Exercise puts a considerable amount of stress on our bodies, in both positive and negative ways. This type of stress leads to adaptation and increased physical performance (such as lifting heavier weights) but physical trauma and prolonged wear and tear can lead to injuries and pain. Athletes are turning to CBD for a source of natural pain relief and effective sports recovery.

What is CBD?

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. CBD can be taken orally (as a capsule, tablet, or gummy), sublingually (under the tongue as a tincture), or topically (applied directly to the skin) to deliver a variety of benefits. 

CBD is legal in the UK, so long as it comes from an EU-approved industrial hemp strain and does not contain THC. It is important to ensure you are getting CBD from a trusted source. HempWell grows an EU-certified organic hemp plant on our farm, which is then processed and tested in our laboratory to make sure it is pure and correctly dosed. We control the process from seed to shelf, so our customers can be certain they are getting a high-quality and fully traceable product. For more information on CBD legislation in the UK, read our Is CBD legal? post in the Knowledge Centre

The human body contains a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Research suggests that cannabinoids and the ECS play a role in many bodily functions. Even the skin contains cannabinoid receptors!

What are the Potential Benefits to Athletes?

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on the use and testing of cannabis, there are very few human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil. Currently, there are over 30 clinical trials being done in Europe, so hopefully more evidence will be available soon. 

Pain relief. Anyone who regularly exercises has most likely needed pain relief, whether due to injury or training-based soreness. Both preclinical and clinical studies have shown the benefits of using CBD for chronic pain. Over-the-counter painkillers, called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs e.g. ibuprofen), can be dangerous to athletes, especially ultra-distance athletes. This is because there is a higher risk of gastric trauma, particularly if taken as a prophylactic. This can range from benign dyspepsia to life-threatening upper GI bleeding. Therefore, it is unsurprising that athletes are looking for alternative, safer, and more natural treatments.

Anti-inflammation. Cannabinoids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, so could benefit athletes looking to relieve inflammation, swelling, and pain, especially if recovering from an injury. With both pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD could provide a safer alternative to NSAIDs for some. 

Sleep aid. Athletes are aware of how crucial sleep is to aid recovery and allow the body to repair itself. If you are pushing your body during training, then you will likely need more and better quality sleep. The Health Harvard website states: ‘studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep’ which could help athletes recover. 

Is it legal for athletes? What about drug testing? CBD is available as an ‘isolate’ or ‘broad spectrum’. Broad spectrum contains CBD and other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, which could potentially include trade amounts of THC. If the CBD was derived from an EU-certified industrial hemp (such as our Cannabis sativa plants), the THC content is legally required to be less than 0.3%. Some CBD users prefer broad spectrum due to a reported ‘entourage effect’ of all the cannabinoids together. CBD isolate only contains CBD without any other cannabinoids. From an anti-doping standpoint, CBD isolate would be the best option for anyone undergoing zero-tolerance drug testing. 

Whilst CBD is not a banned substance for athletes in or out of competition, there is a risk if the product does not contain what it says on the label. For example, if a product contained a significant amount of THC, there would be a risk of a doping violation if drug tested. It is your responsibility to research and choose a reputable brand with lab analyses of their products readily available. 

CBD Products for Fitness

HempWell has a substantial range of CBD products which provide effective pre- and post-workout treatments. CBD creams can be used to soothe aching muscles by gently massaging into the skin to work the CBD right into where it is needed. The pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD work quickly and the massaging action aids circulation to promote recovery and muscle growth. Alternatively, CBD drops are an incredibly popular way to take a daily supplement of CBD. At HempWell, we have a range in potency from 500mg to 4000mg of CBD per bottle. These oils are in glass bottles with a fixed pipette to make measuring and dosing easy. Most people drop the oil under their tongue, however, the oil can be added to smoothies, protein shakes or even night-time cocoa.

FAQs: CBD for Fitness

Can you workout on CBD?

CBD is safe and shouldn’t interfere with a workout. That being said, at very high doses some report CBD causing drowsiness, so it would be advised to take a lower dose before, or save a higher dose for after. The FSA recommends a maximum daily dosage of 70mg.

Can CBD help muscle growth?

While there is no evidence yet to suggest CBD supports muscle growth, it’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective option for post-workout muscle recovery. Why not check out our CBD Knowledge Centre to learn more.

What CBD products are best for fitness?

If you’re looking for targeted muscle or joint relief, a topical cream would be a good choice. These are absorbed by the skin to deliver the CBD to the targeted area. However, CBD oil drops are great supplement to a diet as they can easily be added to shakes or smoothies, or taken directly. Our CBD Oils use MCT oil as a carrier, which are easily absorbed by the body and have only 7 calories per ml of heart-health fats.

Is CBD legal in Ireland?

CBD is legal in Ireland. Irish regulations state that CBD oil is legal so long as it contains no THC. Our CBD is regularly checked by third party labs to make sure our products are safe and legal. These reports are always available to view on our website, and we’re proud to be one of the first companies to have their products listed on the FSA’s new approved CBD products list. When you buy CBD from HempWell, you can rest assured that you’re receiving high quality, ethical CBD products.

Is CBD safe to use?

CBD is completely safe.Our CBD isolate has a guaranteed purity of at least 99.9%. We extract our CBD from hemp we grow ourselves, so we know exactly what it’s made of! We regularly have our oils tested by third-party labs to make sure there’s quality in every bottle. You can check out our lab reports here to see results from these tests.

Can I take CBD for fitness while on medication?

Consult your doctor if you’re thinking of taking CBD while on medication.

How long does CBD take to work?

CBD has short and long term effects. In the short term, depending on how you choose to take CBD, you will begin to feel effects from anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours. However, CBD can also have a longer term effect on you and your body. As you continue to take CBD, some will stay in your body, and slowly build up to further help your endocannabinoid system. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you use CBD consistently for at least 2 weeks to begin to see the full effects of our products.