Cannabidiol Use for Exercise Recovery in Trained Individuals
A study involving 111 people who regularly exercise found that CBD and/or THC aided recovery from aerobic and/or resistance training. Published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, the survey study also investigated whether using additional recovery modalities with CBD and/or THC led to improved recovery.
The survey study was conducted because of the limited data on the relationship between CBD and/or THC use and exercise recovery. Do exercisers using CBD experience improved discomfort management, and better sleep, all of which are used to measure exercise recovery? The study authors decided to ask the people who regularly use CBD and/or THC and are regular exercisers or athletes if they believe the cannabinoids are helpful for recovery.
The 111 study participants who regularly exercised completed an anonymous survey. The data was collected through an online questionnaire, with one set of questions concerning CBD use and another on THC use. It also had questions about current exercise habits, including the type and frequency of exercises.
Eight-five percent reported they did regular resistance exercise, and 72% participated in both resistance and aerobic training. The survey found that 93% of participants believed CBD assisted their exercise recovery. Also, 87% said the same thing about THC.
Previous studies have found that CBD and THC may have analgesic effects and improve sleep. Survey data has found that CBD might help reduce muscle soreness, increase exercise recovery, improve sleep and promote general well-being.
The researchers also reviewed the past evidence of various methods that exercisers and athletes commonly use for post-activity recovery. They include foam rolling, cupping therapy, electrical stimulation, and compression garments, to name a few. Also, physically active people often take supplements to reduce muscle soreness and maintain athletic performance after strenuous activity. This complicates assessing whether CBD and/or THC are the primary reasons athletes and exercisers experience improved post-activity results.
The study authors wrote in the conclusions, “Individuals who habitually use CBD and regularly engage in exercise do feel that cannabinoids assist them with exercise recovery.” They added that more data must be collected to understand better how CBD oil may support exercise recovery.
Anecdotal evidence about CBD and THC effects is essential to understanding cannabis effects. There is limited data in this area, so any study adding to the body of knowledge is helpful. Scientists, of course, prefer controlled laboratory studies for data collection. However, tens of millions say CBD and THC help them in important ways. Based on this study, taking full spectrum CBD may be a natural way to supplement the effects of other post-exercise modalities and improve recovery.