Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but there are certain barriers to creating a productive exercise regimen for some people. Lack of motivation, equipment, or time, are some of the most common obstacles inhibiting training.
Another barrier many people notice is delayed onset muscle soreness, or the physical discomfort you feel in the days after a workout. When you feel sore after training, it’s much harder to get back out there for the next workout. Along with that, if your muscles are not recovering after training, you’re likely not giving your best performance.
A new study in the academic journal Nutrients evaluated the potential of HEMP-derived cannabidiol on performance and muscle recovery after exercise. Its significant findings show a future for cannabidiol research, and for consumer usage.
Why Is Exercise Important?
Doctors, researchers, and wellness coaches have always emphasized the importance of exercise for full-body health. Research backs the idea that regular exercise can decrease the risk of developing mental and physical health conditions and improve quality of life.
Exercise can benefit your brain health immediately and for long after a workout. It can decrease anxiety, improve cognitive function, and prevent risk factors that affect the aging brain like cognitive decline and challenges with learning or judgment. Training is also essential for lowering the risk of mental health conditions like depression and other mood disorders.
Even further, a regular exercise regimen can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease - the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S. Its potential to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the chance of diabetes also works against early death in adults who exercise regularly. Not only that, but habitual physical activity can even decrease the risk of developing certain common cancers.
Obstacles to Regular Exercise
Many of us struggle to exercise due to certain barriers like minimal time, low motivation, or lack of equipment or resources. One other significant obstacle is the regular soreness experienced after a workout that makes the next day’s exercise that much more difficult.
Time, motivation, and equipment have simple solutions, coming down to mindset, schedule, and resources. Professionals recommend finding a routine that works for those who struggle to start due to work responsibilities and limited time. Training outside by going on a run, walk, or bike ride or simply using body-weight exercises allows participants to work out without any equipment. Similarly, finding an activity that inspires you to get moving can make lack of motivation a non-issue. Dance, yoga, and non-traditional workouts are some of the most popular options for that issue.
Post-workout recovery is a million-dollar industry. With limitless options on the market claiming to prevent discomfort, you can find supplements, proteins, fortified foods, and activities designed to stop or soothe soreness.
One new option for combating muscle soreness is becoming more popular in recent experimental research. Cannabidiol, a compound derived from the HEMP plant, has been found to offer a variety of possible benefits still being studied. From enhanced relaxation to calmed discomfort, HEMP is an exciting new factor in wellness. In the case of post-workout soreness, HEMP might offer an additional benefit that can be researched to provide the highest efficacy.
Recent Study on Cannabidiol for Post-Workout Muscle Recovery
A study published in 2021 evaluated how cannabidiol may affect certain aspects of muscular recovery after exercise. The randomized, double-blind study, titled Effects of Cannabidiol Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Regeneration after Intensive Resistance Training, used cannabidiol-infused drinks and a placebo to test the ability of the compound to prevent muscle damage and improve performance in specific exercise tasks.
Each participant’s muscle health and damage were assessed by researchers via serum creatine kinase (CK), myoglobin (Myo), and physical performance before and at three intervals after the exercise. The participants were given either a drink containing 60mg of cannabidiol or a placebo drink directly following the intensive resistance training (IRT), with no other food administered in the three hours following.
Blood samples and performance evaluation (squats) were taken after 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours following the IRT and cannabidiol or placebo, which were then assessed for the CK and Myo. After a two-week “wash out” period, the trial was repeated.
This study showed interesting findings not yet found in other research. Specifically, it found that cannabidiol showed “small but significant effects on muscle damage and recovery of squat performance” after 72 hours.
The authors noted that, if cannabidiol is intended to affect significant results in recovery after intense training, it would need to be added continuously and repetitively. In short, due to the absorption process of the compound, cannabidiol would most likely have greater effects if it was used regularly and for longer intervals.
Similarly, the study authors commented that the use of cannabidiol after exercise may be less effective than using it beforehand. With that administration, the cannabidiol would most likely reach maximum absorption closer to the completion and after exercise, when muscles can benefit the most.
Finally, the study concluded with a suggestion about where future research will be most beneficial. The authors recommend that further studies focus on well-trained athletes, endurance training, and regular use of cannabidiol, considering inflammatory, immune, and antioxidant biomarkers.
While this study had limitations, its findings speak to the potential application of HEMP-derived cannabidiol for muscle recovery. It also exemplified other areas where future research can be pursued most effectively. As stated by the authors, the findings were slight but notable, and prospective research can further examine how this may affect everyday customers of cannabidiol and HEMP products, not just those with athletic training.
Current research on HEMP is thriving, with numerous studies underway focusing on the potential benefits of the compound. At Science-Rite HEMP™, we follow new cannabidiol and HEMP research closely to keep you up-to-date. Follow along with us to learn about growing research and exciting new findings in the world of HEMP and cannabidiol.