CBD has been growing much more popular over the last few years for various reasons ranging from helping people with anxiety, sleep, pain, and even nausea. If you simply do a quick Google search, you will stumble across thousands of articles, products, and discussion forums, all talking about different ways CBD can help you feel better, along with helping you reach your fitness goals. So how can CBD benefit those looking to gain muscle?
In order to build muscle there are a few key factors that we need to consider. First, we know that in order to build muscle we have to put that muscle through some sort of resistance training or time under tension. We need to progressively overload the muscle as our muscles adapt to the amount of stress we put them under. From there, our bodies will then start to repair damaged muscle fibers building them back up even stronger then they were before, this is called muscle hypertrophy. But in order for muscle hypertrophy to occur protein synthesis will need to be moving at a faster rate then muscle breakdown so rest, recovery, and proper nutrition must come into play. Muscle growth is actually occurring while we are resting when cortisol levels are lowest.
Since we know that rest is key for recovery and muscle hypertrophy, using CBD to aid in recovery can really help muscle growth. Research has shown that CBD is anti catabolic, meaning it helps protect muscle mass from being broken dow, and that CBD oil interacts with CB2 receptors in the brain that are responsible for regulating both your mood and sleep. Because cortisol (a catabolic stress response hormone) levels are typically lowest at night and highest in the morning, most of our muscle recovery happens at night while we are sleeping. Seeing that research has shown that CBD actually helps regulate deep REM sleep which is optimal for not only reducing cortisol levels, but also muscle hypertrophy, we can see that CBD can be very beneficial at aiding in overall muscle hypertrophy.
As previously stated above, we know that in order to build muscle, that muscle needs time under tension, and in order to keep that muscle under tension we will also need plenty of stamina in order to sustain energy throughout our workouts. While CBD helps reduce overall inflammation and pain that some might have during workouts, research has also shown that CBD also increases the amount of anandamide (also known as the “bliss” molecule). Anandamide, has been identified as the main source for “runner’s high” that many athletes experience after exercise. Increased anandamide has been known to cause improvements in how we feel both physically and mentally, thus allowing for better workouts overall and more muscle growth.
While we can see there are so many benefits to CBD, we are just cracking the surface for all that CBD has to offer with more research on the horizon.
By Tara Carlton