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The Runner's Toolbox

Excellent posture, loosely curled hands, body tilted forward at the ankle: mastering the art of running can take years of practice and hours of hard work. An intensive and physically taxing form of exercise, it’s common for runners (novice and seasoned) to experience all manner of aches and pains. Runners are also some of the most susceptible athletes to soft tissue injuries such as muscle strain and joint pain, and stand to reap a lot of benefits when it comes to integrating tools to help manage into their training program.

Although ibuprofen and acetaminophen are popular pain relievers, taking too much too often can have negative effects on the digestive system or liver, especially over the long term or when combined with other medications. Thus, for professional runners and committed hobbyists who run often and require regular pain and muscle relief, the frequent use of ibuprofen has the potential to be problematic. For some, simply gritting their teeth and working through the pain is possible, but for most, inadequate pain relief for their workouts means putting their fitness dreams on hold and delaying their progress. Although foam rolling is a popular option for improving recovery times in runners, it can be difficult to do properly and is time consuming if you’re on a tight schedule or on the go. So what else can runners do to improve their recovery time?

Chances are you’ve heard of CBD by now. Derived from the hemp plant, this supplement is being looked at by health and fitness industries as a natural alternative to ibuprofen, an anxiety reliever, a post-workout recovery hack, and sleep aid. Whether you’re a runner and athlete interested in integrating this supplement into your workout routine or just discovering the benefits of legal CBD products for the first time, here’s what you need to know.

What Is It?

CBD stands for cannabidiol and is one of many classes of chemical compounds found in hemp and cannabis. Known for their effects on cannabinoid receptors (the cells that control neurotransmitter release), cannabinoids are most easily understood as the class of compounds that affect the brain.

However, cannabinoids also occur naturally in the body in a system many runners are likely familiar with, known as the endocannabinoid system. The same substance responsible for a marijuana high, endocannabinoids help to regulate several physiological and cognitive processes and are notable for the prevailing theory that heightened levels of endocannabinoids like those caused by running, are in part responsible for runner’s high and its mood-boosting properties.

How and Why to Take CBD

Legal CBD products are available in a wide variety or forms, ranging from CBD oil tinctures to capsules, creams, balms and gummies. What you take, be it an indigestible or topical, really depends on what you’re using it for. For anxiety and sleep, CBD tinctures and capsules are popular methods, while acute pain and muscle recovery are often addressed with topical applications. Look for products from reputable manufactures that are independently tested and verified for purity and quality.

Although CBD doesn’t get you high it’s best to start with a low dosage to give your body a chance to adjust. Once you’ve found the right routine for you, you’ll be able to integrate with your daily training regimen. Notice a difference? We’re here to make sure you have a variety of ways to incorporate CBD seamlessly into your workouts and lifestyle.

Who’s Using It?

Since its approval by the World Anti-Doping Agency and removal from its banned substance list, CBD has been gaining popularity in the professional, as well as amateur athletic community. Today, many pro-athletes including NHL and NFL stars are advocating for more research and acceptance surrounding CBD, particularly as mounting evidence suggests the widespread use pharmaceutical pain killers has created a cultural crisis.

Whether you run marathons professionally or suffer from chronic pain, individuals with all different backgrounds and injuries are incorporating CBD into their daily routines and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.