If you’re a cyclist, you know how important the recovery process is to a training schedule. After a long ride, your muscles may be inflamed, swollen and aching. Giving your muscles time to rest and repair can help to reduce soreness, injury, and fatigue.
There are a number of ways that cyclists can recover from grueling rides, such as using compression garments to decrease swelling, engaging in light exercise or even eating and drinking certain foods, like cherry juice. Perhaps the most effective technique is getting enough sleep and taking a break from cycling so that the swelling and inflammation in your muscles reduces slowly. For cyclists, CBD may also be a good supplement to aid in passive recovery.
Preliminary research on CBD has shown that it may be useful in promoting sleep, reducing swelling and inflammation, and relieving pain. Below we will outline the basics about CBD so that you can make a decision for yourself about whether to use it as part of your training process.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that is found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Unlike THC, which is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive and will not produce a feeling of being high.
Our bodies also produce cannabinoids as part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS involves three main components: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. Endocannabinoids bind to receptors to produce certain effects, such as pain relief. Enzymes then break down endocannabinoids once they have carried out their function.
The ECS is complex, and scientists are still researching how it works. It is generally responsible for homeostasis, or balance, in the body. Studies have linked the ECS to chronic pain, inflammation, appetite and digestion, sleep, muscle formation, bone remodeling and growth, and metabolism.
Experts have not determined exactly how CBD interacts with the ECS. However, research has found that CBD may promote health and wellness in a number of ways, including reducing pain and inflammation, improving sleep, and helping with symptoms of stress and anxiety.
CBD is legal for athletes who compete, including cyclists. Both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) removed CBD from their lists of prohibited substances, whether in or out of competition. However, only CBD was removed from the prohibited list; THC is still prohibited in competition, along with synthetic cannabinoids.
How Can Cyclists Use CBD?
For cyclists, CBD may be beneficial as part of the recovery process as well as throughout training. Studies have shown that it is generally safe and may be effective in helping athletes with a number of common issues.
As an initial matter, CBD may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation. According to a 2018 review, CBD is effective in overall pain management, without negative side effects. A 2016 study also found that CBD may reduce pain and inflammation when applied topically.
Because CBD can help in reducing pain and inflammation, it may be a good alternative to the medications that athletes often use for this purpose, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Aleve. NSAIDs are commonly used by cyclists and other athletes, but research has shown that long-term or frequent use of this medication may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Adding CBD to the mix may allow cyclists to reduce or eliminate the use of NSAIDs for pain and inflammation related to exercise.
Similarly, the use of opioids to treat pain carries a significant risk of addiction and death through overdose. While CBD may not be as effective at relieving acute, high-level pain when compared to opioids, it may be helpful for management of long-term or chronic pain.
CBD may also boost the quality and amount of sleep that you get as an athlete by addressing the root causes of insomnia. Research indicates that CBD improves the symptoms of a particular type of sleep disorder, and may be helpful with excessive daytime sleepiness. It may also lead to better sleep by lowering anxiety and soothing chronic pain.
The Best CBD Products For Cyclists
When it comes to CBD products, there are an overwhelming number of products available on the market. At Green Wellness Life, we sell over 140 products on our website alone. As a cyclist interested in trying CBD for the first time, it can be overwhelming to figure out which product is best to start with.
We’ve compiled a few of the best products for cyclists below. All of these are 0 THC, which can be important to athletes, especially in a competitive environment. The product that’s right for you will ultimately depend on what kind of relief you’re looking to get from CBD and how you’re most comfortable receiving it.
The Social Isolate (0THC) patch allows cyclists to provide targeted relief to areas in pain with 20mg or 60 mg of CBD. The patch has a timed release that lasts up to 24 hours, so you can continue to feel the relieving effects of CBD for a 34 hour period. Green Wellness sells a 3-pack option, so you can experience the continuous benefit of CBD with a total of 60mg/180mg of CBD and up to 72 hours of use.
If you’re having trouble properly resting and rehabilitating after strenuous exercise, then Medterra’s Isolate (0THC)dissolvable sleep tablets may be for you. The tablets contain 25mg of CBD per softgel capsule and are infused with 10mg of melatonin. The combination of CBD with melatonin may ensure you get a restful night’s sleep.
Looking for an on the go option. Wyld Broad Spectrum (0THC) gummies are real fruit-infused CBD gummies. Offering two great flavors, these gummies are made with a broad spectrum CBD base and contain zero THC. With no added artificial flavors or coloring, they are a healthier alternative to traditional candy gummies.
The freeze roller from cbdMD is a fantastic broad spectrum(0THC) product that can aid in localized inflammation or muscle soreness/pain. The roller is infused with 750mg of broad spectrum CBD that can absorb into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. It’s both travel-friendly and fast-acting, which is perfect for cyclists.
The Method Organics water soluble CBD tincture packs 1,000mg of CBD into a small 30ml bottle. The tincture is very popular for its potency and rapid onset. It may be very helpful for cyclists combating chronic pain or other long-term conditions.
How to Buy CBD For Cyclists
A wide range of CBD products are available to consumers in the United States, from capsules and pills to oils and topical creams and lotions. The way that an individual consumes CBD may affect how — and how quickly — it works. For targeted relief of pain and inflammation, a topical cream may be the best option. For more systemic relief of chronic pain or to help with sleep issues, tinctures, edibles, or capsules are often a better choice.
Using high-quality, safe products is critical to maintaining the gains that you have achieved as an athlete. At Green Wellness Life, we only sell CBD products made from industrial hemp grown in the United States that have been independently tested by a third party lab. While we are not healthcare professionals and cannot diagnose or treat any condition, we are able to offer the latest research on CBD for you to review.
If you are curious about how CBD may benefit you as a cyclist, we can help. You can start with our product finder to figure out what type of CBD is right for you. If you need further assistance or would simply like to learn more, call us at 1-888-772-7875 or email us at any time.