I tried CBD...
Its all the rage right now. CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an extract from the cannabis (marijuana) plant that acts in similar ways but lacks the components that get you high (thats from the THC part). This substance has been adopted quickly by athletes hoping it will improve sleep, ease stress, and act as an anti-inflammation agent; basically promote faster recovery.
So does it?
Maybe. It is thought that the compound interacts with serotonin and vanilloid receptors which play a role in mood and pain perception. For athletes not wanting to take Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS, CBD might be a good alternative. However, response to CBD is highly individual, very subjective, and difficult to define.
Little is known about the long term effects and possibility of athletic improvements of CBD oil as it is technically an illegal drug and only legal in some states where marijuana is legal for medical and/or recreational use. This makes it difficult to get funding for and ethically study for scientific research. Yet it hasn’t done much to stop the sale or distribution of the compound nationwide. So far, the only documented scientific benefit of CBD oil is on epilepsy (coincidentally epilepsy was also the start of the KETO diet…). Although largely recognized as an illegal drug, it is no longer on the list of WADA banned substances. Athletes, you may use without risk of positive drug test! Yay! Kind of… Since this is an illegal supplement, there is no regulatory body governing the sale or production of CBD oil, meaning you might be consuming olive oil or CBD laced with THC (the part of cannabis that will get you high and a positive drug test). So make sure to talk to your supplier and opt for a trusted source if you are going to experiment.
The first day I took 3 sublingual drops of CBD in the afternoon and instantly felt wiped out. I wanted nothing more than to take a nap. Bad timing on my part. It felt like such a struggle to get through the work day. The next few days I tried it before bed, hoping it would have the same super fatiguing effect and help me sleep. While it did improve my sleep onset, it did not help my quality of sleep overall. I know this because I wear my Garmin Forerunner at night and it tracks light, deep and REM sleep. On the nights I took CBD, my time of deep sleep was decreased. I went on to take the oil orally several more times, but without a clear benefit noticed, I opted to quit it. It tastes terrible and I’d rather rely on things that I can see an actual improvement from, like eating well, stretching, and taking rest days.
While taking oral CBD didn’t work for me, I do find it beneficial topically. I mix the oil with lotion and rub into my muscles to ease soreness.
So thats the quick basics of CBD and my experience with it. Do you take it? Share your experience in the comments!