What Do Runners Say About CBD?

January 27, 2020

Do you love running? Are you interested in runners’ experiences with CBD oil? We checked out Runner’s World, a long-time leader in information and tips for runners, from casual joggers to regular marathoners. We wanted to find out if anyone there was talking about CBD for runners. Lo and behold, it’s happening.

The magazine has been discussing CBD oil benefits for runners' performance, and CBD recovery assistance, with both athletes and health professionals. They’ve noted how runners’ interest in CBD takes a variety of forms:

  • Runners are looking to replace or back up ibuprofen with a natural alternative.
  • Runners are looking to CBD for stress and anxiety relief, and to calm stomach upsets.
  • They're seeking knee pain relief, foot or ankle pain relief, or a CBD muscle recovery routine.
  • They look to CBD for help getting a good night's rest.
  • They are using CBD to support post-workout recovery.
  • Some are finding that CBD can support an overall good feeling about training.

For these reasons, joggers, trail runners, and marathoners might fold CBD into their routines.

What Is CBD?

CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol. What does it do? It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Dr. Nicholas DiPatrizio, a biomedical science prof at the medical school at UC Riverside, told Runner’s World that the ECS is present in every organ, our cardiovascular system included.

CBD comes from a strain of cannabis that doesn’t cause a high. Hemp-derived CBD oil is as legal as any retail athletic supplements. Catching up with today’s legal landscape, the World Anti-Doping Agency has deleted CBD oil from its prohibited substance list.  

In short, hemp is earning its place among the accepted wellness products for athletes. Readers should note, however, that the Food & Drug Administration doesn’t classify CBD products as dietary supplements, and does not allow makers to advertise CBD as a treatment or cure for any health conditions.

How Much CBD Do Runners Take?

Scott Douglass authored the book The Athlete's Guide to CBD: Treat Pain and Inflammation, Maximize Recovery, and Sleep Better Naturally. Douglass told Runner’s World that athletes sensibly look to CBD as a safe method of relieving inflamed and painful tissue, getting a good night’s sleep, and enjoying faster recoveries.

How much CBD oil does Douglass take? Usually, 25 mg. an hour before bedtime each night, as well as occasional use as a skin rub. After a particularly intense run, Douglass takes an added 25 mg. to ease the post-run recovery time.

Dan Frey, a Maine-based physical therapist, recommends a few drops of oil, around 5 to 15 mg., each day, for the first few days, then adding another dose each day as needed to feel the effects. High-performance runners might use more on their harder training days.

CBD is known and respected for its personal interaction with each body. Effective dosage is not necessarily the same for one person and the next. Additionally, each person has a point at which the oil will not get more effective. This is all about sensing your body’s responses.

Who Else Has Adopted CBD to Support Their Running Routines?

As Kari Bell recently told Trail Sisters, many athletes supplement their sports with running, and many athletic people get into running at some point. Running is a relatively convenient way to balance life and physical fitness.

After a move to Colorado, Bell, a teacher, became drawn to the adventure of trail running. After each exhilarating run on dirt paths up and down the mountains, Bell would crave recovery support, and started taking a daily dose of CBD to ease inflammation and help in muscle recovery.  

Adopting CBD allowed Bell to stop relying on drugstore NSAIDs for pain relief. Bell pointed out the upside of this: avoiding any increased risk of heart, gastrointestinal, and kidney diseases from frequent use of ibuprofen and similar pills.

Runner’s World heard from Andrew Talansky, who has competed in the Tour de France, and is now a pro triathlete. Like Bell, Talansky dislikes taking common anti-inflammatory drugs. After adopting CBD in daily doses, Talansky experienced better sleep, less apprehension about taking on a new sport, improved recovery times, and fewer flare-ups of part cycling injuries. At the same time, CBD didn’t make every ache and pain vanish. Talansky tried a CBD cream, hoping to use it as a muscle relaxant on a back injury that happened during weight training. In that case, only prescription drugs had an effect.

Short-Term Versus Long-Term Relief

Dan Frey, the physical therapist, finds an overall pattern of CBD being most effective when used for long-term issues, not immediate injuries. CBD can support a more general pain management approach—blended, for instance, with stretches, massage or targeted physical therapy.

It can support therapy for knee conditions, says orthopedics specialist Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph of the Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. It’s possible that CBD supports the preservation of collagen and muscle cells. The sports medicine world awaits future research to find out.

So, when you're asking "Is CBD good for runners?" we would ask you what goals you have in mind. If you have acute injuries and pain, it's always best to see your primary care doctor or a sports medicine expert, and get proven, case-specific advice. If you are looking for long-term support for overall performance, rest and recovery, CBD might be perfect. In any case, talk with your doctor before starting out with CBD. If you are on prescriptions, do not stop them or add anything new to your routine without first asking for your doctor's advice.

Could CBD Make You Love Running More?

CBD benefits for runners vary from person to person. Yet there is enough anecdotal reporting from those devoted to running to indicate CBD oil for runners can improve your experience. At Mtiva, we're delighted to learn CBD supports a sense of well-being for our customers who run.

We acknowledge the excellent research, reporting, and blogging and inspiration from Runner's World and TrailSisters.net.

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