Muscle recovery is a fundamental part of the routine of any athlete. Whether you’re running or bodybuilding, you need a way to alleviate the aches and pains your body experiences after an intense training session. Many medications are meant to offer immediate relief, but they also have unpleasant side effects and possible long-term damage to your health. However, there is also an alternative that many experts have been researching as the new solution and this is cannabidiol.
CBD and Muscle Recovery
CBD is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids that the cannabis plant contains, just like the mythical THC. However, unlike the latter, CBD is non-high and offers a number of potential therapeutic benefits. When CBD reaches the body, it indirectly interacts with our endocannabinoid system through the inhibition of an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a cannabinoid that our body produces. This substance, also known as the "happiness molecule", binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system and manages aspects of our lives such as our mood, appetite, perception of pain, and fertility.
When it comes to pain management, researchers have found that CBD could go a long way in mitigating inflammation. What makes it effective is its relationship with the cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid system? Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it is believed to bind to TRPV1 receptors, responsible for regulating body temperature, pain perception, and inflammation.
As we’ve already mentioned, CBD has also been shown to prevent the breakdown of anandamide, which is a great help for people in managing pain. Once cannabidiol begins to work with CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, it has been shown to reduce the production of cytokines, also known as inflammatory proteins that are activated when the body senses danger exists. CBD also appears to reduce the body’s response to pain at normal levels. CBD could help to increase an athlete’s pain threshold and also reduce muscle cramps and pain after training. This is one of the reasons why CBD for athletes could be the best alternative to opioids. For one, it is not addictive, thus significantly reducing the likelihood of abuse and misuse. That also means that there is a much lower chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which CBD is not associated with.
However, there is a slight downside that CBD may not have the ability to provide immediate relief from acute and high-intensity pain. Still, experts consider it better suited for long-term pain management than anything else. It has become one of the valid treatment options for many athletes across the board.