According to the experts at Holistic Herb CBD boasts many health benefits — but how do they pair with exercise? Does taking CBD oil as a pre-workout make sense? Learn more about how to use CBD oil as part of your workout routine, and discover when to take it to give your body the maximum benefits.
How CBD Could Affect Your Workout
From pre-workout to protein powders, we’re always looking for products to upgrade our exercise regimes – but when it comes to CBD, it’s still early days. Having only been legal in the UK since 2018, studies around its effects are ongoing, and there hasn’t yet been enough time to conduct in-depth research about long-term use.
That said, initial indications are promising, with anecdotal evidence linking CBD to better sleep, reduced anxiety and muscle relaxation – all of which sound pretty great after a long run or heavy weights session. So we asked an expert what we do know so far about the connection between CBD and exercise, to help you make an informed choice when it comes to trying it for yourself.
How might CBD impact performance?
There are a couple of fundamental reasons why CBD could be beneficial for exercise – and as with most movement, it all starts with mobility. ‘Pre-clinical animal model studies have looked at the treatment of arthritis with CBD,’ says Liam McGreevy, director at premium CBD brand Holistic Herb. ‘They found that oral and topical CBD may help to reduce inflammation and promote repair in joints, so it’s reasonable to expect that CBD could be beneficial for joint mobility.’
‘CBD can also improve blood flow and subsequent oxygen supply, and removal of waste,’ he adds. ‘This reduces blood pressure, which can improve stress and anxiety.’ This means there could be mental benefits here, as well as the physical perks, which may help with getting into the zone ahead of a big race or competition and help you to focus on hitting your PB.
Can you use CBD for workout recovery?
Topical CBD creams can be effective in treating pain and inflammation in specific areas such as joints or muscles, and may be useful for reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). On a broader scale, CBD is also thought to support better sleep, which is crucial for your body in many ways, but particularly to boost recovery from physical stress. McGreevy notes that this snooze-related advantage seems to be dose-dependent, so it’s important to find the right level for your needs.
‘You can also use CBD oil drops, sprays or capsules to aid recovery, but whichever option you choose, it’s better to choose a product with improved bioavailability, which helps to ensure the maximum amount of CBD makes it to the bloodstream and is delivered around the body,’ he explains. Holistic Herb’s line has total bioavailability, with over 15 times more of the active CBD in its products being fully absorbed compared to many other products on the market.
Should you take CBD before or after your workout?
This is really a personal choice, as there are benefits to both options. ‘Before your workout, CBD may help maximise performance by reducing stress, improving oxygen delivery, reducing inflammation and pain signalling, and promoting mobility,’ McGreevy says. ‘Post-workout, it could help to improve muscle recovery, reduce muscle and joint inflammation, and improve sleep recovery.’
If you want quick results before hitting the gym, look for products designed to be held under the tongue, as these can be delivered faster through the sublingual blood vessels. Products that are ingested will take longer to reach the bloodstream via the stomach and liver, and are more suited to a longer-term, but more sustained delivery.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t be using CBD to support their workouts?
‘Care should be taken when using other medication, as interaction with the enzymes in the liver may slow their breakdown and release,’ McGreevy warns. ‘It is also advised that you don’t use CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding, as its impact on the development of the foetus and baby is not yet understood.’
‘It takes time to find an effective dose, and while there is strong pre-clinical evidence for its effect on blood pressure, stress and anxiety, and inflammatory response, it may be that CBD does not provide effective pain relief for some,’ McGreevy adds. Check with a doctor if you have any concerns around your CBD use, and follow recommended dosage guidelines to see if it can make a difference for you.
CBD As a Pre-Workout Supplement: Does It Help?
At first glance, it seems like a better idea to take CBD oil after a workout. After all, scientists say that it helps relieve pain, reduce inflammation, anxiety, and whatnot. So why should you take CBD before a workout? Is there a point in doing so?
Many athletes all over the world have included a CBD tincture in their warm-up routine. According to a recent study, this may help you reach your workout goals faster.
Even though sportspeople use CBD for enhanced exercise performance, there are still many questions as to how exactly this compound improves a workout routine.
Let’s look at the potential benefits of using CBD as a pre-workout.
CBD As A Pre-Workout
CBD oil affects workouts in several ways. Here’s how you can use it to boost your exercise routine.
CBD As A Sleeping Aid
If you’re the type who works out in the morning — as opposed to the evening birds — then you know just how important a good night’s rest is to your daily workout plan.
It is harder to smash your daily goals when you already woke up exhausted. Maybe you even slept in a weird position and now your muscles ache. Using CBD oil before you go to bed enhances your sleep time. It’s less tossing and turning, and more sweet dreams.
During sleep, your brain function is reduced. Your body can focus squarely on recovery and the building of cells. You’ve heard your parents say you grow in your sleep. It is true. You gather gains while you are asleep.
Studies have shown that ingesting the oil a few minutes before bedtime reduces REM sleep, and encourages NREM sleep. This helps your body rest properly and recover from the day’s activity. A sound sleep will help you wake up on the right side of the bed, energized for the day’s workout.
CBD For Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are major causes of poor exercise. Many exercise reps require coordination and balance, and anxiety ruins that. When your body is under stress, because it hasn’t been able to recover properly — or because it needs time to adapt to those workouts — you spend more energy and get worse results.
Stressed muscles increase soreness and pain — yielding almost no actual workout gains. The deadly pair, stress, and anxiety, are both physical and psychological. This impacts the natural balance of your body. In response, you can’t work out properly because your body feels “off”.
That’s where CBD comes in. Cannabidiol intensifies workouts by reducing symptoms of anxiety and helping your body feel at ease. It is capable of relieving the tension and pent-up stress stored between your shoulders, back, and neck. This helps your movements become more fluid but precise, and your workout time worth the while.
CBD For Focus and Endurance
Focus and endurance are two keys to a successful workout session. If you aren’t stretching your limits while you exercise, you may be hindering your progress. In this manner, exercise isn’t just good for your muscles, it also teaches you lessons on discipline and perseverance. It’s about more than just looking good.
As CBD relaxes your body so that it can work better, it also enhances brain performance. In particular, CBD improves energy and focus, even memory and cognitive functions. As an athlete, the number one rule is this; do not take your eyes off the ball. If you’re still hung up on the past, it’s hard to move forward.
CBD oil will help clear the clutter in your head, making it possible for you to give it your best from the first whistle.
The oil also helps you hold out this heightened cerebral function. Instead of a concentration span or optimal playtime of 10 minutes, you find yourself doing more, for even longer periods. Your vision stays clear, and you can make swifter, more accurate moves while you’re on the court.
How Does CBD React With Other Pre Workout Supplements?
The use of CBD in sports is still a topic of debate. The number of people interested in its benefits doesn’t match the research that has been done on its properties.
As a result, many questions remain unanswered.
Like any other supplement, CBD could react with other substances, leading to overdose, underdose, or hypersensitivity reactions. Although no glaring research has been done on the contraindications of CBD, it can cause the following side effects:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Dry mouth
Now that we have outlined the possible side effects of CBD, we can see that certain groups of medications should not be co-administered with cannabis.
CBD competes with the majority of pharmaceuticals in the liver, causing unwanted interactions, such as too high or too low concentrations of the drug in the liver. As a result, the user may not experience any effects at all — or suffer from toxicity.
If you take any medication that may interact with CBD, consult your doctor to establish the right amount of CBD intake and routine for both substances.
Is CBD Safe To Take Pre Workout?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies CBD as relatively safe for consumption. It can be readily combined with supplements containing vitamins, creatinine, amino acids, caffeine, and beta-alanine. Supplements with similar side effects as CBD should be avoided e.g., Melatonin which may worsen drowsiness.
That aside, combining the following supplements with CBD may result in extreme drowsiness. This doesn’t occur in a huge percentage of the population, but it’s a risk that shouldn’t be ignored.
- Jamaican dogwood
Using Different Kinds of CBD Preworkout
What forms of CBD are best suited as a pre-workout? Here are a few options:
CBD Capsules and Edibles
CBD capsules and edibles take an oral route, meaning they need to be metabolized by the digestive system before they can make it to the bloodstream. Therefore, it takes longer for them to kick in (up to 2 hours). On the other hand, they have a longer-lasting time and provide a fixed dose in each serving.
These premium CBD capsules online can be bought as either traditional pills or soft gels. For edibles, the choice is much broader, including gummies, honey sticks, chocolate, protein bars, and drinks.
CBD Tinctures Before Workout
CBD oil is a liquid extract that comes in glass bottles with a dropper attached to them. You take it under the tongue and hold it there for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. This way, CBD avoids the liver and absorbs through tiny capillaries in your mouth; as a result, the effects are noticeable after 15-30 minutes, lasting up to 6 hours. It’s one of the most bioavailable methods, combining dosage precision with ease of use.
CBD tinctures can also be added to your morning coffee or your favorite smoothie blend.
CBD Vapes Before Workout
Vaporization is the fastest and most effective way to deliver CBD to your system. CBD gets absorbed through the lung tissue in the form of vapor, ensuring almost instantaneous effects. CBD vapes also offer the highest bioavailability of all consumption methods, meaning you’re getting the most out of your CBD dose.
You can choose from products like CBD E-liquid, vape pens, and dry hemp flowers. Depending on the product type, you’ll need a dry herb vaporizer or a special vape pen for concentrates. The learning curve is a bit more difficult than with other formats, but it’s worth trying.
CBD topicals are a broad category covering products like creams, lotions, balms, and ointments. They have a localized effect due to their interaction with the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors. If you need to warm yourself up before a workout, using high-quality CBD topical cream products can prepare your muscles for exercise. However, topicals are better suited for a post-workout routine to help with sore spots on the body. Their absorption rate and onset vary depending on the formula, but usually, it takes between 20–40 minutes to experience the benefits.
CBD can make your workout better and more intense if you use it the right way. A little CBD just before bedtime, or a little CBD when you wake up can make the whole difference, not just in your workout routine, but in the whole day.
With more clinical research being done on the benefits of CBD for athletes, we may soon expect more formulations dedicated specifically to sportspeople.
Do you use CBD as a pre-workout? Does it work? Let us know in the comments below.
- ALL, W. O. F. S. O., & All, S. How do CBD and Melatonin interact to help you sleep better? What you need to know Jul 23, 2020| CBD, Melatonin, Sleeptime Gummies, Sleepy-Time, Uncategorized.
- Spinella, T. C., Stewart, S. H., Naugler, J., Yakovenko, I., & Barrett, S. P. (2021). Evaluating cannabidiol (CBD) expectancy effects on acute stress and anxiety in healthy adults: a randomized crossover study. Psychopharmacology, 1-13.
- Batalla, A., Bos, J., Postma, A., & Bossong, M. G. (2020). The impact of cannabidiol on human brain function: a systematic review. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11.
- Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Should I Take CBD Before or After a Workout?
It’s no secret by now that a couple of drops of pure CBD oil in your morning coffee will leave you reaping a whole host of health and wellness benefits. Its calming properties that help keep stress and anxiety at bay, improve skin health, reduce inflammation, and improve concentration are sure to set you up right for your day ahead.
But there’s one benefit of CBD that you may not have considered, and that’s its impact on your workout routine. That’s right – studies have shown that CBD offers a number of physiological, biochemical and psychological effects that have the potential to benefit athletes. And you don’t have to be the next Usain Bolt to bask in the glory of its success!
Join us as we explain how using CBD oil before or after a workout can have a positive impact on your fitness.
How to Use CBD Pre-Workout
1. As a Sleeping Aid
If you’re the type to pack your gym bag and lay out your activewear the night before, you’re in luck. CBD can easily be incorporated in your bedtime hot chocolate and work its magic by the time you wake up ready for your workout the following morning.
Why? Good Hemp’s pure CBD oil is beneficial as a sleep aid, which is also prime time for the body to repair itself for the day ahead.
As we sleep, our body gets to work restoring our immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, which are vital for maintaining our mood, memory, cognitive and other important functions. All of this contributes to ensuring that we’ll be optimally prepared for a workout the following day.
CBD has been shown to reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep and increase the amount of time in NREM Stage 3 , otherwise known as deep sleep. During deep sleep, the brain, body temperature and heart rate fall, as the brain is using less energy in this state, promoting a better night’s rest overall.
2. To Combat Anxiety & Arousal
Besides being physically prepared to exercise to the best of our ability, we should be mentally and emotionally prepared too. Anxiety and arousal are a key issue in sport psychology , specifically related to physical and technical performance. In a sport setting, arousal is often linked to anxiety, and this negative emotional state can increase muscle tension, affect coordination, and in some cases, cause sweating and nausea. This means you’ll be more likely to take your eye off the ball, literally.
Using CBD before your workout can significantly help to lessen the effects of anxiety and reduce blood pressure, allowing you to bring your A-game from the word go.
CBD For Muscle Recovery After a Workout
1. To Relieve Muscle Soreness
Whether you’re a novice exerciser, or someone who gets their reps in regularly, you’ll almost always find yourself subject to post-workout soreness and inflammations. But that doesn’t mean your DOMS – that’s short for delayed onset muscle soreness – should determine your entire routine.
Recent studies have shown that CBD oil can help relieve delayed onset muscle soreness and exercise induced muscle damage , which naturally occurs after physical activity due to microscopic damage to muscle fibres , since its healing properties are known to reduce muscle pain, bodily aches and inflammation. Whether taken orally or topically , CBD offers a more natural form of relief than many other products such as protein supplements or Tiger Balm.
So does that mean that just a few drops of CBD oil in our post-workout smoothie will have you skipping back to the gym 24 hours after leg day? Well… yes! Maybe not skipping , exactly, but your muscles will be feeling miles better than if you had simply suffered in silence.
2. To Promote Mobility
Further scientific studies around CBD oil and its pharmacological effects reveal that this magical compound can also promote mobility in people with Multiple Sclerosis – whose symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity and functional mobility. According to a study in Frontiers In Neuorology , this is because CBD is “anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective.”
Lotions and potions aside, every little helps when it comes to recovery, so we’ve highlighted some easy post-workout recovery hacks you can try to help you hit the ground running time and time again, without any unwanted setbacks!
Why Choose Good Hemp CBD Oil?
Call us biased, but there’s a bundle of reasons why we believe Good Hemp’s CBD oil is the best in the business. Our range of oils use CBD isolate, which means it only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids, such as its psychoactive cousin THC. Its purity means it avoids the hallucinogenic compound of the cannabis plant, so you can drop it like it’s hot and reap the benefits without getting high!
While we’re on the subject, Good Hemp promotes 100% natural and eco-conscious products, since we’re planning to save the world and all.
That means that all of our products are made without chemical additives or any other nasties you might find in other varieties of CBD oil on the market.
As we’ve explored, there are plenty of different ways you can take CBD oil before and after your workout. Whether you prefer a few drops of the stuff in your pre-workout coffee, whizzed into a healthy smoothie, or even baked into a gooey chocolate and macadamia protein loaf , you’ll find a CBD-based post-workout treat worth sweating for!
Discover our top-selling CBD oil products and start gearing up for those gym gains today.