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Can CBD make you a better runner?



The energy boost CBD can give you can help improve your running performance
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With gyms and leisure centres closed, and a number of outdoor pursuits restricted under current lockdown guidelines, more and more of us have turned to running during lockdown. 

Both amateurs and long-time runners are regularly searching for the perfect supplement – could CBD be the right choice?

Here, Cannabis Health News explains how CBD can make you a better runner. 

Putting it simply, CBD acts as a booster to your body’s endocannabinoid system. If regular, or new, exercise is putting your body under increased stress – more stress than your system can cope with – topping up your cannabinoids via CBD can provide extra firepower in maintaining your balance, good recovery and all-round health in your body. 

It has been well documented that CBD can help with chronic pain, but what many people don’t realise is that it can also be beneficial for smaller niggles such as aching muscles and joint pain. 

The remedy has direct effects on the endocannabinoid system in the brain, meaning it enhances the effects of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin, to reduce pain perception. It is also an antioxidant, which causes an anti-inflammatory effect on joints, improving feelings of stiffness and aching, and aiding muscle repair – the ideal remedy for regular runners.  

How quickly CBD works for pain management depends entirely on the delivery of the method – while capsules typically have a slow action and can take 20 minutes to an hour to produce the desired effect, oral sprays and liquid drops are absorbed much quicker through the mouth, meaning you may notice an effect within just a few minutes. 

A good night’s sleep is vital for good recovery after exercise, giving our body the chance to repair and recuperate. If you’re struggling to nod off, CBD could be the answer – early studies have indicated that high dosages of the remedy may support sleep quality, duration, and insomnia.

One investigation found that, compared with a placebo, a CBD dosage of 160 milligrams (mg) increased sleep duration, while the placebo, 5mg of the insomnia drug nitrazepam, and 40, 80 and 160mg of CBD helped the participants fall asleep. Taking a recommended dose of CBD oil before bed could therefore be hugely beneficial to your running journey.

We’re sure new runners (and even seasoned pros) would agree that one of the most difficult parts of running is finding the motivation to get up and go – luckily, this is yet another area where CBD can help. 

A recent study found that CBD may reduce motivational dysfunction through activation of the 5-HT1A receptor (a serotonin receptor in the brain), boosting impetus and making the process between thinking of going for a run and actually going much smoother. 

While it’s important to remember to follow recommended guidelines and dosages, it would appear that CBD can contribute significantly to making you a better runner. Much like protein and other popular supplements, the remedy is now widely available in a range of products, from oils and topicals to drinks and gummies. Once you’ve found the right dosage and application for your needs, the only thing left to do is pull on those running shoes and enjoy the benefits.  

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health.Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained.She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa.Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag