Cannabis For Fitness
Cannabis for your workout recovery
Any high performance athlete can tell you the importance of rest, recovery, hydration and fuel, post-workout. Those on the front line of wellness are incorporating cannabis topicals and internal cannabinoid supplementation into their recovery routine. Cannabis contains compounds which activate a very important system in your body, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS regulates many biological process including your metabolism, your ability to manage inflammation, your perception of pain and how you experience bliss. Interestingly enough - that positive euphoric feeling you experience after a great workout is often credited to endorphins however recent studies are showing that it is actually the release of endocannabinoids that is responsible for that positive experience. While your ECS is involved in many processes of the body we are going to focus on its role in exercise recovery and how to support it.
Most of us know the importance of strength training and building muscle for performance, yet do you know how the body actually strengthens muscle tissue?
When you exercise you are creating small tears in your muscles that trigger inflammation. Inflammation plays an important role in building and repairing muscle tissue. An increase in inflammation prompts the release of endocannabinoids and other chemicals which support the body to repair the affected tissue which leads to stronger muscle fibers. Your body is constantly producing these messenger molecules, endocannabinoids, to reduce levels of inflammation throughout the body. While inflammation is important in this way, over exercising can lead to excess amounts of inflammation which can become challenging for your body to manage. By supporting your body in its production of endocannabinoids you can help to manage levels of inflammation and increase your performance.
All mammals have cannabinoid receptors throughout the body which support in managing stress and determine how you experience pain. Cannabinoid receptors are present along the main pain pathway of the central and peripheral nervous system. Cannabinoid receptors affect our perception of pain by regulating neuronal activity and have also been found to act on non-nervous tissues (muscles tissue, etc). There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found along peripheral nerve endings while CB1 and CB2 receptors are found to participate in immune and inflammatory processes. Recent studies have shown the efficacy of endocannabinoids, for both neuropathic or inflammatory pain.
Cannabis as Medicine
Cannabis contains active compounds which enhance your endocannabinoid system’s performance. THC, a phytocannabinoid, is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. This molecule binds directly to cannabinoid receptors in your body while CBD, a non-psychoactive compound increases levels of endocannabinoid naturally produced by the body. Supplementing with the appropriate dose of phytocannabinoids daily can help your body manage stress and levels of inflammation. Tinctures, capsules, and sublinguals are ideal methods of medicating to deliver a measured repeatable dose of cannabis.
Cannabis topicals are popularly used for pain management, as they can be applied directly to the area of injury. The cannabis compounds (phytocannabinoids) are absorbed through your skin and bind to cannabinoid receptors beneath your skin’s lipid layer. This is where they work their magic to reduce inflammation and ease the sensation of pain. Next time you reach for a pain reliever, try a cannabis topical instead.
There are many components involved in supporting your endocannabinoid system, cannabis is one powerful tool in your tool box. Antioxidant rich foods, healthy fats and avoiding inflammatory toxins and foods also play an important role in your body’s ability to create endocannabinoids. Optimizing this system supports your body in managing everyday stress, balancing levels of inflammation and enhances your experience of wellness.
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