CBD & Me
By: Marcos Hernandez
Cannabidiol Oil, or CBD as it’s commonly referred to, is an increasingly popular health supplement derived from the Hemp plant, used by athletes to help relieve stress and combat exercise induced inflammation. There’s a lot of misconceptions and misinformation surrounding CBD and it’s applications, and if you’re not a Cannabis industry expert, it can all seem rather daunting to comprehend.
Cannabis is a family of plants (Marijuana and Hemp), both legal and illegal (depending on the state) that contains several chemical compounds that affect a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. The two most important compounds for this discussion are THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive compound found in Marijuana, responsible for altering your mental state and getting you “high”, and also the compound that would show up on a drug test. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in Hemp, widely credited for its potent anti-inflammatory effects and general wellness enhancing benefits, which is federally legal across the US.
Back to the endocannabinoid system: this system has been shown to be involved in everything from mood to appetite to pain-sensation. This is where CBD comes in and the reason I’ve added it to my nightly routine. I’ve been dealing with a nagging hip injury and I believe CBD oil has helped provide pain relief and aided in my recovery from both injury and the stresses of training.
After consulting with Dr. Cohen and finding out there wasn’t any structural damage to my hip, that it was more of a patterning issue, there was a “back to the drawing board” moment for all my lower body movements. Everything had to be reevaluated while I learned to preferentially use different muscles and techniques to accomplish the same tasks. But, after logging so many reps in what was now a painful pattern, I needed help to relax the overtaxed muscles and ease the associated pain. (An important aside: never go into pain. When you regularly work in painful ranges of motion, your body will develop compensatory movement patterns and you set yourself up for eventual further injury down the line.)
For example, I took my squat width closer in, with my knees forward, in an attempt to get rid of the pinching sensation in my hip. If there was any residual pain from my nervous system guarding that hip it could have sent pain signals telling me to stop. In essence, I needed to re-pattern my squat in order to allow some muscles in my hip to relax and others to be active while I moved through the hip’s functional range of motion, pain-free. CBD oil, in my opinion, helps relax the pesky hip muscles so I can make changes and adjustments without my hip being in a guarded, limiting, and tight position.
If you want to try CBD oil, I recommend Select CBD drops. If you’ve been dealing with nagging pain it doesn't hurt to try!
I’ve also tried out both balm and drinks, both good but not as simple as the drops which are taken under the tongue and therefore are very fast acting.
TL;DR CBD helps reduce inflammation and allows your muscles to relax - the drops work best!
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