When you think about bodybuilding — the actual muscle aspect of it — protein supplements and testosterone might come to mind. Energy-boosting pills and liters of specialized protein drinks are also on the table. But, another substance is making itself known in muscle building: CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants. It is one of over a hundred cannabinoids and is probably as well known as its cousin, THC. Unlike THC, however, CBD will not get you high. But it will help your body in a lot of ways. It helps keep anxiety at bay, reduce pain and inflammation, has great antioxidant properties, and even helps keep your skin supple.
Why muscle building and CBD go hand-in-hand
Does CBD directly build muscle? Based on current research, no it does not. It does, however, aid you in your quest to build muscles.
First off, CBD is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a well known fact that when you work out, whether it’s HIIT of heavy lifting, your muscles get inflamed. This happens because your muscle fibers get micro tears when they are worked out. Your body will then attempt to heal these tears by activating satellite cells outside your muscle fibers. These satellite cells will bind together to fix the tears, making the muscle fibers bulkier, ergo, growing your muscles. This process will cause inflammation and pain. CBD addresses that inflammation, bringing it down along with your pain level. Taking CBD will help you recover faster and significantly ease your muscle pain. This allows the frequency and quality of your workouts to increase. More and better workouts mean bigger muscles.
One of the important aspects of muscle building is getting enough sleep. Your body does a lot of its healing and recovery when you sleep. CBD has been shown to help regulate sleep. Research has shown that people who take larger doses of CBD before bed as a sleep aid have a longer sleep duration than those who were given placebos. It is believed that this is caused by CBD’s effect on cortisol levels in our body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is typically high in the mornings. People who suffer from insomnia, be it from stress, anxiety, or pain, have higher than typical levels of cortisol at night. CBD reduces the amount of cortisol in your body, thereby helping you fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.
CBD also helps energize you. Now this may sound confusing because doesn’t CBD help you sleep? How, then, can it also be used to energize you? CBD in small doses can actually act as energy enhancers. Studies that explored the effects of small doses of CBD to the brain. They showed that when CBD is administered to certain areas of the brain, it stimulates the neurons responsible for waking us up. Apart from that, being able to get a good night’s sleep is a big factor in feeling energized during the day.
CBD also helps stabilize your mood, and a stable mood is always a good thing when you are working out. Less stress and anxiety will allow you to keep your focus on your workouts and allow you to give your all into each set and repetition. Less anxiety also helps promote better sleep.
Overall, CBD has been shown to have positive effects when it comes to muscle building. From your sleep cycle, to pain management, CBD can be a great addition to your workout regimen.