CBD Oil for Runners: What are the Benefits? We have exciting news. Running Bear now offers a full line of premium CBD sports products designed to enhance your running performance. Behind the CBD oil is now in everything from muscle balms to pillow sprays, but can it really help runners to recover faster? We look at the best CBD oils on the market
CBD Oil for Runners: What are the Benefits?
We have exciting news. Running Bear now offers a full line of premium CBD sports products designed to enhance your running performance. Behind the range are Mission C, an innovative brand on a quest to create awareness surrounding CBD: a natural, hemp-derived compound with science-backed benefits for athletes. Whether you’re pushing for that 5K PB or taking on strenuous marathon training, Mission C’s high-quality CBD oils, balms and gummies can help you reach your goals. We’re here to tell you how.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis. Extracted from hemp plants, CBD differs in chemical structure from another famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – that’s the compound that gets you ‘high’ and occurs predominantly in the marijuana plant.
CBD offers many of the same well-being benefits as THC but offers none of the intoxicating effects. Our bodies contain a complex biological system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps regulate many of our vital functions including mood, stress, sleep, inflammation and pain perception. CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors found within the ECS and influences symptoms linked to stress, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. Essentially, CBD positively impacts your body’s ability to maintain homeostasis, keeping your mind and body in a contented and balanced state.
CBD is easy to add to your fitness regime. Use it before a run for enhanced focus, energy and performance, and enjoy post-workout for improved muscle recovery and total body restoration.
CBD-infused products are legal in the UK, provided they contain less than 0.2% THC, the psychoactive cannabis compound. This means the product will not get you high.
Is CBD Prohibited Within Sport?
The use of CBD in sports is not prohibited and is becoming increasingly popular. The cannabinoid, when purified, is legal with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UK Anti-Doping Organisation, after being removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances in 2018. Importantly, THC and other cannabinoids remain on the list. When purchasing CBD, check product levels for contamination with prohibited cannabinoids (remember, products can legally contain up to 0.2% THC in the UK).
How Can CBD Enhance Performance?
As runners, we frequently put our bodies under stress and raised inflammation levels are sometimes more than the endocannabinoid system can cope with. Studies have shown that CBD can offer several physiological and psychological effects with the potential to benefit athletes. The compound essentially works to boost your endocannabinoid system, providing additional cannabinoids to help manage chemical unbalance. Maintaining homeostasis is fundamental for optimal recovery and general good health.
CBD is safe to use before and after a run. Using CBD before a workout has been shown to provide the following benefits:
- Energy boost – Studies have shown that CBD has a naturally energising effect on the body. Using CBD up to one hour before a run can promote wakefulness, increase energy levels and lower inflammation.
- Enhanced stamina – CBD can help athletes push themselves further. Enabling a consistent release of energy in conjunction with analgesic effects gives runners the extra boost required to get those last few miles in the bag.
- Sharpened focus – Evidence shows that CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety and lower stress levels. A relaxed state of mind provides optimum conditions for mental clarity, enhanced concentration and greater athletic confidence.
Which CBD Products Should I Use Before Running?
Ready to run? We recommend a couple of drops of Mission C’s Pre-Workout CBD Oil up to one hour before you head out. With a carefully curated combination of broad-spectrum CBD, natural ashwagandha, citral and maca root, you’ll feel energised, focused and ready to take on the miles. Ashwagandha assists CBD in improving brain function and concentration, while citral provides powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, you can perfectly prep your leg muscles by applying Pre-Workout CBD Heating Muscle Balm. Infused with pure isolate CBD plus camphor, menthol and natural essential oils, this luxurious balm intensely heats the muscle, stimulating blood flow while reducing inflammation and providing the required energy boost for your best performance yet.
How Can CBD Benefit Muscle Recovery?
Regular runners know that efficient muscle recovery is paramount to great performance. Helping the recovery process enables optimum muscle repair and growth. Athletes can maximise post-run recovery with the help of CBD.
- Reduced injury risk – CBD has proven anti-inflammatory effects on your joints. This can reduce pain and lessen the risk of injury and post-run stiffness, which is especially important for runners, who are at greater risk of knee pain and injury.
- Lowered muscle inflammation – The anti-inflammation benefits of CBD assists in competent muscle repair by reducing swelling, weakness, and pain.
- Improved sleep quality – CBD calms the mind and body. Reduction of anxiety and stress allows for better sleep, a vital factor in the muscle recovery process.
Which CBD Products Should I Use Post-Run?
Enjoy that post-run high, but don’t forget your fatigued muscles! Treat them to a therapeutic massage using Post-Workout CBD Cooling Muscle Balm. With added natural ingredients menthol, peppermint and methyl salicylate, this soothing salve effectively eases aches and stiffness while decreasing blood flow and lowering muscle inflammation.
Give your body an additional recovery boost with Post-Workout CBD Oil, a smooth oil created to assist both mental and physical recuperation. Infused with passionflower, turmeric and black pepper alongside CBD, a few drops of this post-run (or as required) will help with inflammation reduction, improved sleep quality and accelerated recovery.
You can also try Immune Enhance CBD Multivitamin Gummies – whenever your immune system needs a helping hand in fighting off illness and infection. These tasty, fruit-flavoured sweets are formulated with an abundance of vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin A, CB12, C, Zinc and 5HTP, to aid your body’s natural defence. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating for a runner than being forced to skip run day because you’re run down.
Given the extensive reported benefits of CBD, it comes as no surprise that runners’ use of the cannabis compound is rising in popularity. Though studies are preliminary at this stage, evidence is promising for CBD’s potential to act as a catalyst in the running recovery process and positively impact pain management, inflammation levels, stress and mindset. We’re 100% convinced that CBD can help runners of all abilities, and we’re cheering on the great Mission C in their worthy quest.
The best CBD oils for runners
CBD oil is now in everything from muscle balms to pillow sprays, but can it really help runners to recover faster and sleep better? We look at the evidence – and at some of the best CBD oils on the market
CBD oil now appears in everything, from muscle balms to pillow sprays to ice cream. It promises everything from helping us sleep better, to improving our recovery from long runs and easing our aches and pains. And the CBD oil marketing machine is clearly working: according to independent research, between 8 and 11% of the UK population have tried it in the last year.
But what is it, and does it really work for those muscle aches and pains? CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of many compounds found within the marijuana plant. Another one of these compounds is THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – and this is the compound that is psychoactive, changing the way your brain works to produce a high. CBD, however, has no psyschoactive effect and – the World Health Organisation agrees – is safe to take.
However, while it may be safe, there’s relatively little information yet about how it works. Graeme Close, Professor of Human Physiology at Liverpool John Moores University, who studies CBD, explains that ‘The scientific literature is a long way behind, because it’s been under prohibition for many years. There is some evidence that it can help with pain management, with anxiety, and with sleep, and obviously those are three really important things from a sports performance perspective,’ says Close. ‘There certainly is a mechanism for all three of them scientifically. It’s just that at the moment I would say the research evidence needs to catch up, to explore these claims better.’
What’s the best way to take it?
As CBD oil is now in everything, you might wonder what’s the best way to take it – oil, capsules, balm or spray? As you’d probably expect, the science shows ingesting it is more effective than rubbing it into your skin. ‘If we looked at a sort of hierarchy,’ says Professor Close, ‘well, I would absolutely by no means want to advocate vaping or smoking, but that appears to be the most effective way to get it into the system. Then it’s the drops under the tongue, then tablets. Even less is known about the balms and things.’
And how much is a good dose to take? It’s hard to say, because research suggests that CBD may react differently in different people. ‘We know that the European Food Safety Authority have set the safe upper limit at 70 milligrammes a day,’ says Professor Close. ‘But we don’t know that’s an effective dose. Also, if a label on a bottle states that a CBD oil contains ‘1,000mg of CBD’ that refers to how much is contained in the entire bottle, So what percentage will be in a few drops?’
One reason the experts are cautious is also issues around quality control. One recent study tested 25 products and found only three of them had anywhere near the CBD content claimed on the label. Another US study looked at 84 samples and found only 26 contained the amount of CBD claimed. More worryingly, 18 of them contained more THC than they said. CBD products sold in the UK must contain no more than 0.2 per cent THC content, but even that would be more than enough to get you banned as an elite athlete. So anyone wanting to avoid THC must be careful to get CBD from a source that tests each and every batch properly. As Grayson Hart, who set up PureSport CBD, says, ‘All our products are tested by BSCG [The Banned Substances Control Group], which tests for all banned substances and contaminants, and certifies that the product is exactly the strength it claims to be. Unfortunately the CBD world is riddled with brands that don’t take that seriously, and are out to make a quick buck’.
In January 2019 the Novel Foods Act included CBD for the first time. This means that to stay on the market, CBD products had to apply for authorisation. This process is ongoing, and products are allowed to stay on the market until examined, but a large number could well be removed. ‘Hopefully then we will get rid of the cowboys, which will just leave the credible brands on the market,’ says Professor Close.
‘At the moment, you could end up spending a lot of money without really knowing what you are getting, and how to take it. But there are some really credible brands who are funding research and doing their best to answer these questions.’