With the new year so comes those resolutions! Whether you are simply resolving to take longer walks or beginning to train for a marathon, Hemp CBD can provide aid across the board. Hemp CBD has been growing in popularity among professional athletes for sports recovery. There are many ways that this powerhouse plant holds potential — with muscle relief, soothing tension, reducing inflammation and pain, and inducing better sleep. In this blog, we’ll dive into: how exercise benefits our overall health, how our muscles grow when we work out and the many ways that Hemp CBD products can aid both of these things.
It’s certainly no secret that regular exercise benefits our bodies. It can be one of the most important choices in reclaiming one’s body, especially in the face of disease, chronic conditions and mental health issues. According to a report from the US Department for Health and Human Services, regular physical activity decreased mortality rates by up to 30%. As little as 15 minutes of activity per day can reduce mortality rates by 14% — adding three extra years to a person’s life. Evidence also supports that 2-2.5 hours of moderate to more strenuous physical activity a week can reduce one’s risk for chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and anxiety, dementia, and many types of cancers.
Check out these top 10 benefits of regular exercise from Healthline:
- Increased mood, decreased depression and anxiety
- Losing weight. (This is a very subjective element of exercise, every body is incredible different and will require different routines, foods and energy expenditures)
- A vital way to build and maintain strong muscles and bones
- Elevates energy levels
- Reduces risk of chronic disease
- Clears skin and improves general skin health
- Benefits brain function and memory
- Promotes relaxation and deeper sleep
- Diminishes pain levels in the body
- Has potential to boost libido
The American Journal of Medicine states that exercise does need to be included in a daily routine to reap the benefits, but can come in increments as low as 20-30 minutes. Research shows that moderate exercise for more than 45 minutes a day seems to reach a “plateau” when it comes to bodily benefits. This means that strenuous daily exercise for more than an hour may not actually be helping the body in significant and sustainable ways. As aforementioned, exercise can come in very short time allotments to affect the body in positive ways.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that exercise can and should be accessible for all ages and types of bodies. Aerobic activity includes anything that raises the heart rate and makes breathing heavier, this can be anything from dancing to jogging to gardening. Strength training is another type of exercise that usually includes major muscle groups in the body — legs, hips, back, arms and shoulders. This kind of training has more structure in weight lifting, squats and crunches, and resistance bands. Of course, there is nuance to every kind of exercise routine, especially if you’ve been working out for awhile!
Strength building, or muscle building — called hypertrophy — occurs when the muscles are first broken down and then rebuilt over time. With more intense training, muscle fibers undergo trauma in the form of micro tears. When in this state of stress, cell organelles stop functioning normally and neighbor cells will instead begin the work of rebuilding the muscle damage. This “teamwork” of sorts is what causes the muscles to grow. Most important to remember is that it takes time to build muscle.
As those muscles are working to rebuild and grow, the body tends to experience pain. You know the type — sore hamstrings, sore abs, sore pecs, sore… everywhere? Maybe it was that intense yoga class, new weight lifting routine, or simply a strenuous day at work that felt so challenging. Waking up the next day you crawl out of bed so sore! If you are beginning to work out for the first time, or starting a new routine, this pain is inevitable.
After working out or working hard, there are two types of muscle pain our bodies experience – acute muscle soreness (AMS) and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). AMS occurs in the moment of activity or right after and is that burning fatigue that comes on. It usually does not inhibit post-workout activities or the rest of one’s day. DOMS is the soreness we were talking about earlier. The one that happens the day after or two days after activity, and can last for awhile. DOMS can be intense. There are other factors that impact exercise recovery, strength building and minimizing the DOMS – this is where CBD (cannabidiol) comes in.
CBD is a compound found within the cannabis plant, alongside the other compounds you have probably heard of, THC, CBG, CBN. When you purchase CBD as a full spectrum hemp product, it must have less than 0.3% THC to be in federal compliance. A Full Spectrum Hemp CBD product contains all the magic of cannabis without getting you high. For sports recovery in particular, CBD can be a game changer in relieving pain.
The body has a complex network of endocannabinoids that play a part in most of our bodies’ vital functions including, digestion, immune system responses, sleep, cardiovascular functioning, hormone regulation and many others. The endocannabinoid system also plays a huge part in regulating, you guessed it, acute and chronic pain responses. It’s no secret that CBD relieves pain. The Arthritis Foundation reported that 79% of respondents in a 2,600 person survey reported pain relief with CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) reacts with the human body in ways that are just beginning to be understood by science. There is speculation between CBD being a promoter of endocannabinoids, allowing them to function fully in the body, and binding to a receptor that has not yet been discovered. Either way, what we do know is that CBD tends to relieve pain in many people!
When it comes to sports recovery and pain relief, CBD is often used as a topical cream, salve or ointment. As a topical, one can apply the CBD medicine directly to where they need it most, those aching muscles! When absorbed by the skin, CBD does not enter the bloodstream as it does when ingested. Instead the CBD engages with cannabinoid receptors on the skin surface and gets to work. In a study published by Neurology CBD is shown to “bind and desensitize the receptors, which mediate pain perception and inflammation.” There is research showing that CBD also suppresses cells that normally slow down muscle recovery meaning it may be helpful in actually speeding up the muscle growth/recovery process. Many topicals are blended with other oils that interact with the body in anti-inflammatory ways, such as peppermint and menthol. As a topical, CBD can be a powerful aid in relieving sore and painful muscles and other minor exercise-induced injuries including sprains.
When ingested orally in a tincture or capsule form, CBD can have other benefits that relate to the sports recovery process. There are a growing number of professional athletes supporting CBD as part of their routine. In order to heal the body and support its best functioning we all need plenty of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things we do as humans. With enough sleep, our bodies experience healing all over. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night for this deep restoration to occur. Unfortunately, a third of US adults get less than 6 hours per night!
According to the American Sleep Association, our endocannabinoid system plays a large role in regulating circadian rhythms. In a study of 409 people that experience insomnia, CBD reported a decrease in the severity of their sleepless symptoms by 2.2 points. In another study, participants with sleep issues began taking 25mg of CBD in capsule form before going to bed. In the course of one month, 66% of participant’s sleep scores improved. These results are promising for CBD’s effect on sleep, though scientists are still wary to back cannabis without more research.
With proper sleep, the body is able to nurture those connective tissues that grow muscles, heal other injuries and promote overall health so we can keep running, hiking, biking, farming, and doing all the other things we love to do! CBD as a sleep aid may be one of the best ways to support your workout routine. There are sports scientists that “call sleep the ultimate performance enhancer.”
There are many ways to take CBD and our products make it so easy. Our capsules can be added to a daily vitamin regimen. Our tincture can be ingested upon waking or before sleep for more directed medicine (or any other time!) Topically, our tincture may also be applied for direct relief of sore or tight muscles and joints. As farmers, we need that anti-inflammatory oil every single morning to ensure we can keep doing what we love most!
Here at North Field Farmacy, we see everything as a cycle. The more your body is active, the more it will need and desire sleep. The more activity and sleep you are able to experience, the more ability you will have to complete other activities. As your muscles grow and recover in that beautiful sleep state, your body will be ready to exercise harder or farm harder! As hemp is integrated into the cycle, we’ve found that everything finds equilibrium. The aches and pains are reduced, the sleep is better, the anxiety is lower, and life feels more grounded.
But don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself!