CBD: A Runner's Path to Happier Trails
Running on Empty
For me, like many others, running was a byproduct of my athletic career. One day I woke up and the inevitable had happened: life evolved. Running became one of the only ways to achieve overall health while squeezing in life’s many other responsibilities.
The Rocky Road
I began by jogging on the road and entering local races until a move to Colorado opened my eyes to trail running. What I love most about running on the trails is the sense of adventure and freedom it renders, while still providing an incredible workout.
However, the physical challenge of climbing a mountain and the strength required to slow my inertia on the descent left my body sore, and I began using CBD products to help rest and recover so I could enjoy the adventure again the next day. As a teacher, the analytical side of me wanted to learn the science behind CBD, and I was intrigued by a study that examined CBD and its role in recovery, as well as its effectiveness at managing inflammation post-exercise.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant of the more than 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp plants. CBD has shown to interact with the human body through our endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating an array of physiological functions in an effort to maintain homeostasis. One of the many amazing characteristics of CBD is its ability to be enjoyed without the side effects that come from THC, a psychoactive substance present in the cannabis plant.
The Natural Science Of CBD
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that helps regulate functions such as sleep, immune-system responses, and pain. Current studies have shown that upon consumption, CBD interacts with compounds present in the endocannabinoid system to enhance their functionality. One example is CBD’s interaction with anandamide, a homeostatic regulator. CBD’s interaction with anandamide is thought to help optimally balances both mind and body, and in so doing, enhance mood, decrease anxiety and lessen physical and mental stress.
Additionally, a study by the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health showed that CBD, “has the ability to suppress inflammatory responses by targeting certain receptors.”
Powered by Plants?
Hemp seeds, from which CBD is derived, are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6, omega-3 and insoluble fiber which can help to increase immunity, counteract aging skin and improve cardiovascular health. They’re also packed with minerals.
Full-Spectrum or Isolate: What’s the Difference?
Full spectrum CBD products contain additional, naturally occurring cannabinoids that are believed to enhance the benefits of CBD in a phenomenon called the “Entourage Effect.” CBD isolate has been processed to remove additional compounds, including trace amounts of THC, thus making it THC-free and advisable for people who do not want to consume any THC or that work in a field that requires drug testing.
Ditching the Pharmaceuticals
Before discovering CBD I used to reach for the bottle of Ibuprofen or another type of NSAID to reduce the pain from a run, or long day at work. Many people do not realize that habitual use of these pain relievers can lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeds, heart attacks and kidney disease. In contrast, studies are showing that not only can CBD help with pain, but doses of up to 1,500 mg/day are reportedly well tolerated without any known side effects or health risks.
So, next time you lace up your shoes or feel yourself reaching for the bottle of ibuprofen, consider inserting a regular dose of CBD to your routine. Athletes are increasingly adding it to their toolbox for quicker recovery and pain reduction, and other health benefits that research is continuing to rapidly uncover.
Author: Kari Bell
Prior to moving to Colorado Kari Bell spent 10 years teaching Health and Physical Education and coaching lacrosse in Northern New Jersey. She has completed three ½ marathons, a plethora of 5ks and played Division II collegiate women’s lacrosse.
- Risk of acute myocardial infarction with NSAIDs in real world use: bayesian meta-analysis of individual patient data https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423546/
- Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/221293
- Does CBD oil work for chronic pain management? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php
- Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/
Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of Floyd’s of Leadville have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not dietary supplements or intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.