As a generally healthy person and active athlete, using cannabis—medical or otherwise— has never really been on my radar. But approximately a year ago, my fitness trainer suggested I try some samples of CBD. I wasn’t exactly sure what CBD was, and I surely had no idea that it could benefit me in so many ways—let alone help me prepare to run a marathon.
I had heard about CBD but did not relate it at all to a healthy lifestyle and could not imagine that pot and fitness could go hand in hand. I mean, how could using weed contribute at all to athletic performance? I admit, I had numerous misgivings and nearly decided against it. I’m pretty glad I did not, however. Ultimately, educating myself about medical cannabis was what made all the difference.
Cannabinoids Like THC and CBD Are Not the Same
When it comes to marijuana and hemp, the plants have some distinct differences that can make a massive difference in the outcome upon ingesting them. Marijuana has a large concentration of THC, which is the psychoactive compound known to get its user high or stoned. For this reason, many people associate cannabis use with typical Hollywood movies about “stoners” and characters who are lazy and unmotivated, although this is far from the actual truth.
CBD is also a cannabinoid sourced from the marijuana plant, but this naturally occurring chemical is found in abundance in hemp as well. Hemp is a sub-species of cannabis that contains only trace amounts of THC and has been found to have many of the same medicinal benefits as marijuana.
The more I educated myself about CBD, the more I realized how beneficial it could be to my marathon goals. Prominent athletes have begun promoting cannabidiol. From Olympic champions to leading football players, it seems everyone is jumping on board with CBD. Admittedly, I was skeptical at first, but after trying it, I’m hooked.
Preparing for Your Next Marathon With CBD
If you are reading this, you are probably already aware of the amount of physical and mental effort it takes to prepare yourself for a marathon. The months of training also include looking for ways to push your body to its limits, avoid injury, and find some natural remedies for the pain that is inevitable.
All serious athletes have a closet full of remedies ranging from holistic to mainstream to help them improve their odds of winning. Most have tried countless solutions to relieve pain, soothe sore muscles, improve energy levels, and more. Out of all these, CBD has been the most effective by far for me.
For myself, my medicine cabinet houses a host of remedies—some more effective than others. But CBD has become my all-time favorite remedy for many reasons. I have always relied upon Ayurveda and other natural solutions to help me with pain and discomfort after a run. But in 2012, I participated in a marathon in Rome that literally brought me to my knees.
Those closest to me attempted to help me with my usual remedies, but nothing worked. I suffered excruciating pain, and it took a long time to recover and get back into the running circuit. It makes me cringe when I think about how uncomfortable I was.
I feel such immense gratitude after finally discovering CBD. For me, it means I will never have to deal with the pain I dealt with that year in Rome.
What Makes CBD Work for Marathon Runners?
Runners are known to push their bodies beyond the normal limits of comfort to achieve the famed runner’s high. Most have a type A personality that transcends normal boundaries. In short, they place too much stress on their bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints.
Most runners are also aware that although they push their bodies to the breaking point, healthy lifestyle choices like taking various supplements, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated are paramount to overall health. That is where CBD comes in.
CBD works in perfect harmony with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) to provide balance and health in all of the cells of the body. While the ECS is a relatively new discovery, it is an important one. This complex system is responsible for controlling all of the major functions in the human body, including appetite, mood, energy levels, memory, sleep, temperature, and more.
It is also important to note that the ECS controls inflammation and pain, and for those who are serious athletes, this is a vital component of recovery. The body produces the corresponding chemicals needed to interact with the receptors of the ECS, but sometimes these become depleted, and an imbalance occurs.
The naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in hemp (phytocannabinoids) can replenish the depleted supplies in the ECS and even spur the body to produce its own cannabinoids faster and more efficiently. In short, CBD can fill in the void that becomes depleted due to stress, environmental factors, or genetics and safely and gently restore the body to homeostasis.
Even more interestingly is the recent research into the famed physiological phenomenon known as the “runners high.” While it was believed for many years that the related euphoria that happened upon vigorous physical exercise was due to a surge of endorphins, it is now known that the endocannabinoid system and its vast network of receptors are responsible for the improved mood and endurance athletes feel.
How To Find The Highest-Quality CBD Product for Marathon Performance
The FDA is still in the process of determining the dosage, labeling, and potency requirements when it comes to CBD, which leaves the public with a gap and a responsibility to choose the best products out of thousands of offerings on the market. Some of these choices are not only useless but can even be dangerous. Consumers need to educate themselves on the most effective and safe CBD products in the marketplace.
With so many choices, it can be hard to know which hemp-based product is the right one for you. Websites like CBD Best Review can take some of the guesswork out of the process. They are in the business of vetting the best CBD brands on the market by looking carefully at the source of the hemp, the extraction and manufacturing methods, and any third-party lab tests needed to ensure potency and safety. These added security measures can help you make an educated decision when it comes to adding CBD to your repertoire of training for your next marathon.
I have been using CBD every day for over a year now, and the results have been astounding. As I get older, I have more discomfort than I had in my younger days, but taking CBD has not only improved my performance, it has given me back a level of enjoyment in marathon running that I feared I had lost. Thanks to one incredible plant, I anticipate running for sport for many years to come.