by, Tracey Roizman, DC
Many athletes find their bliss in long-distance running. It could be the hours of solitude if you’re a solitary runner, or you might prefer the comradery of running with friends. Maybe you run for the advanced level of fitness it provides or perhaps your reward is the runner’s high that sets in after many miles. And who doesn’t love the extra calories burned through long-distance running?
Whatever motivates you as a distance runner and keeps you going through the weather and the seasons you’ve undoubtedly also learned firsthand that long-distance running is not without its health challenges, namely runner’s injuries. Logging many miles often leads to overuse syndromes. Trail running around roots and rocks, or, potholes and other urban obstacles can result in twisted ankles or knees.
CBD offers supplemental support for a trove of runner’s woes. Literally, everything from pain relief to improving your speed and endurance to extinguishing performance-busting anxiety can be found in CBD oil. Is there another supplement that offers as wide a range of benefits as CBD? Not that we know of! Following are a few of the potential health benefits of CBD that you can enjoy as a long-distance runner.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
It’s rare for any runner, and virtually unheard of for long-distance runners, to completely avoid injuries. Whether sidelined with an acute sprain and strain or nursing a chronic overuse injury, healing and rehabilitation are facts of life in the running world. One of the keys to effective healing is reducing inflammation and pain. CBD has shown itself to be a remarkably powerful and safe ally in this regard. In fact, pain relief is one of the main reasons athletes and non-athletes alike use CBD.
Maintains Regular Heart Rhythm
For endurance athletes, CBD may provide an edge when it comes to the stresses placed on the heart that occur with running long distances. CBD helps the heart maintain a steady rhythm and in controlled laboratory experiments, has been found to correct arrhythmias.
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Improves Motor Coordination
Cannabinoid receptors have been found to influence motor coordination, which means that CBD may provide a performance and injury prevention edge for many endurance athletes. Since long-distance running is all about methodical, repetitive motion, the smoother and more coordinated your gait is the easier it is on your joints. Motor coordination becomes particularly important after long hours when fatigue sets in and the perfect form you had at the beginning of your workout starts to break down.
Preliminary research has shown that activation of the CB2 receptor may improve muscle strength under certain conditions.
Supports Healthy Metabolism
For long-distance runners, maintaining steady blood sugar levels through hours of training or racing is vital. CBD offers benefits for improving the efficiency of energy production at the cellular level. It can also improve the ability of cells to use glucose, thereby preventing insulin resistance and type II diabetes.
CBD can increase the amount of total sleep you get as well as the amount of REM sleep, which is when the majority of your post-workout recovery happens. Good quality sleep can’t be overemphasized for long-distance runners or anyone who trains hard and demands a lot from their body.
Works as a Mood Lifter
Running and other forms of exercise are, by themselves, great mood lifters. However, some people who struggle with anxiety may find that this affects their motivation to exercise. And for those who compete, which can include all levels of competition from recreational to elite, anxiety can interfere with race day performance and detract from your enjoyment and sense of accomplishment. CBD has been found to be helpful at repatterning anxious memories from the past, allowing you to move forward with confidence. It also acts as an antidepressant, possibly by activating receptors for serotonin, one of your brain’s calming, feel-good neurotransmitters.
Responsible for the Runner’s High
CBD facilitates the famous “runner’s high” by inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide, an endocannabinoid the brain produces that is largely responsible for the feelings of relaxation, elation, and contentment that people who experience this phenomenon describe.
How and When to Use CBD
The easiest way to use CBD oil is to take it in a few divided doses throughout the day so that you will always have some CBD circulating en route to where your body needs it the most. You might find that taking a dose an hour or so before and after a workout can help with your warmup and recovery periods. A variety of convenient CBD products is available to satisfy your individual needs and preferences. CBD tinctures are quick and easy to take. Place a few drops under your tongue or in your morning smoothie or your post-run recovery beverage. Tinctures are available flavored or unflavored. CBD capsules are another great option and are great for taking with you to work or in your purse or pocket when you are on-the-go. And, for quick, targeted relief for sore muscles and joints CBD gel is an effective and safe option.
Pharmacology of cannabinoids.
Targeting the cannabinoid CB2 receptor to attenuate the progression of motor deficits in LRRK2-transgenic mice.
Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats.
Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons.
The effect of cannabidiol on ischemia/reperfusion-induced ventricular arrhythmias: the role of adenosine A1 receptors.
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol alone and combined with cannabidiol mitigate fear memory through reconsolidation disruption.
Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis.
Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.
Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.
Antidepressant-like effect of cannabidiol injection into the ventral medial prefrontal cortex-Possible involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors.