CBD as a Post-Workout Recovery Tool

Could CBD be the ingredient that replaces the many workout supplements permeating the fitness-wellness market? Considering the recent rise in demand for CBD-based products, there is a good chance that the market could soon eclipse the fitness segment of the wellness market.

With U.S. consumer sales of CBD expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022, there is a noticeable demand for this cannabis-derived ingredient from all age groups.

Based on the results of a Gallup Poll on CBD use that was published in August, 14 percent – approximately one in seven – of adults in the U.S. use CBD products. The largest percentage of users (20 percent) fall into the 18-29 age group. Individuals aged 50-64 constituted 11 percent of consumers, while those aged 65 and above constituted eight percent.

What exactly is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of hundreds of cannabinoids that have – so far – been identified in the cannabis plant. It is a non-psychoactive compound that does not induce mind-altering states of psychoactivity. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), on the other hand, is the cannabinoid responsible for producing a ‘high’ in recreational consumers.

Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemicals that work by binding to receptor cells scattered around the body. Cannabinoid receptors constitute what is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When those receptors are triggered, a biological response occurs.

Plus, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) permitting the use of CBD isolate among athletes earlier in 2019, it is clear that the cannabinoid is becoming widely accepted as a workout aid.

How does CBD for post-workout recovery do its job?

A number of biological mechanisms influence the way in which CBD can aid an individual in recovering swiftly after a workout. Scientists have discovered that CBD may relieve pain, inflammation, anxiety and stress caused by excessive exercise through the interaction of three main receptors in the nervous system.

The first nervous system receptor that is activated by CBD is the TRPV1 receptor; responsible for controlling pain sensitivity and inflammation.

Then there’s the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, which is also activated by CBD; responsible for regulating mood, stress and anxiety.

Another nervous system receptor that is influenced by CBD is the GPR55 receptor; this receptor is blocked by the cannabinoid. The GPR55 receptor affects a response of the nervous system that results in pain-causing stimuli to proliferate. By blocking this receptor, CBD may effectively ease pain before it begins.

CBD Boosts Levels of Anandamide And Adenosine

In fact, a large-scale study that focused on the use of cannabinoids in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) revealed that an oral CBD-containing solution called Sativex® effectively minimized MS-related muscle spasms, without contributing to withdrawal symptoms, unwanted side effects and tolerance. 

Since CBD may boost the levels of both anandamide and adenosine in the body, the cannabinoid could potentially contribute to faster recovery among athletes and active individuals.

CBD for Post-Workout Recovery: Dosage Guidelines 

Although CBD may not produce a high quite like THC does, it is still important that first-time consumers determine a suitable dosage. A number of things will influence the effects of CBD, such as a person’s unique biochemistry, genetics, gender, weight and age. With that being said, it is crucial that you find the ‘sweet spot’ for you personally. Failure to do so could mean that your workout-related symptoms are not relieved in the way you would like.

How much CBD is sufficient for post-workout recovery?

Remember that some ingredients may react with CBD to produce a synergistic effect. For example, consuming whole plant extract that contains an abundance of terpenes, flavonoids and other types of cannabinoids may amplify the effects of CBD. 

Nonetheless, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to taking CBD for post-workout recovery. The best advice a first-time consumer can receive will be to start with low doses and gradually build them up, if necessary. 

The typical range varies from 10-30 milligrams, but first-timers would benefit from starting off with CBD recovery products that contain anywhere from 5-10 mg of the non-psychoactive substance.

In what ways can CBD benefit people who exercise a lot?

There are numerous reasons why someone would integrate CBD for post-workout recovery into their exercise routine. As a non-addictive substance that can be transformed into a broad scope of products, the safety and versatility of CBD is a major appeal for people who rely on that little extra something to improve various bodily functions. 

CBD may eliminate the need to use alternative medicines for recovery, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Additionally, CBD is devoid of the psychoactive effects that THC is known for, meaning that consumers can use it without feeling ‘stoned’ in the gym.

Promotes Homeostasis in the Body

The ECS is responsible for promoting homoeostasis in the body. CBD communicates with receptors in the ECS, therefore it is a vital ingredient for someone who exercises frequently. Individuals who like drinking coffee for an energy boost may benefit from switching to CBD, which could help to calm the mind, promote focus and stimulate alertness for those all-important workout sessions. 

Encourages Better Overall Endurance

Fitness fanatics may dabble in all kinds of supplements/workout aids as a means of increasing their energy levels and calorie-burning abilities during exercise. Although these kinds of products may be effective, many of them come with unwanted side-effects and in some cases, can cause dependence. Enter CBD.

In addition to benefiting the consumer as a post-workout recovery aid, CBD can also improve endurance during workout sessions. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common condition endured by active individuals. DOMS occurs when muscles are faced with friction. Muscles that are rubbed together for long periods of time – e.g. from running on the treadmill or lifting heavy weights – will become inflamed. Swollen muscles can prevent you from going as hard as you’d like in the gym. 

Since CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can certainly help to boost endurance by soothing sore and inflamed muscles before exercise. What’s more, as a post-workout recovery aid, CBD can target damaged muscles and nurture them back to their full potential.

Helps Burn Fat More Efficiently

One of the main motives of a gym junkie is to lose or maintain their weight. Using stimulants may temporarily speed up the metabolism and assist in burning more calories. However, stimulants can be damaging in large doses. Additionally, stimulants can cause addiction and if used for an evening workout, they may disrupt sleeping patterns. 

This is where CBD comes in handy. Research shows that it may prevent fat solidification by increasing the production of various important proteins. CBD could also help to curb your appetite and prevent overeating after workout, thus enabling you to burn fat faster

The therapeutic cannabinoid also reduces the development of new fat cells and regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, as a natural vasodilator, CBD encourages healthy blood flow. Based on the results of a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, increased blood flow could help target stubborn fat and might even contribute to treating obesity!

Stress Relief and Enhanced Mental Clarity 

High stress levels and brain fog may hinder your ability to burn calories and stay focused during a workout routine. The good news is that CBD may enhance response times and reflexes. Stress occurs as a result of cortisol production; the higher your cortisol levels, the harder it will be to concentrate at the gym or while participating in a football game, for example. 

The randomized controlled trial explored the anxiolytic effects of CBD in people with generalized social anxiety disorder; anxiety is just one of the emotional disorders associated with stress. 

Based on the results of the study, subjects who were administered with an oral CBD solution experienced “significantly decreased subjective anxiety.”

Best CBD Products for a Better Workout and Recovery 

The CBD market is bulging and especially the hemp CBD market. Following the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill by President Donald Trump last year, industrial hemp cultivation and processing became legal nationwide; thus prompting a surge of hemp CBD products to enter the market. 


Bethan Rose is a passionate cannabis advocate/consumer, writer and traveler with no permanent address. Currently based on the Indonesian island of Bali, she can usually be found curating cannabis content on her hammock. Her work has been published on Leafly, CannabisFN (CFN Media), LiveStoner, VeriHeal, Nutritional High, Cannabis News Box (Ultra Health New Mexico) and Weed World Magazine. To read her extensive portfolio, go to: Https://beerosej.journoportfolio.com/