Runner's Guide to CBD

The How, The What, and The When

Our products are formulated by athletes for athletes for training, pre-race, race day and post race. Whether you are training or injured, our runner's guide and products will benefit your health and wellness program.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and is a chemical compound (known as a cannabinoid) found in various cannabis plants. Research has found over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, however, CBD is the cannabinoid that has far reaching effects. CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, similar to how essential oils are extracted from a plant. 

There are many strains of the cannabis plant, thus making it confusing for anyone who is not a botanist easily grasp the difference between the plants. We will focus on two classifications of the cannabis plant that cause much of today’s confusion - Hemp and Marijuana. The Hemp plant is a cannabis plant that contains .3% or less dry weight THC. The Marijuana plant  is a cannabis plant that contains .3% or more dry weight THC.  

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.  THC, when greater than .3%, and smoked or ingested often results in a psychoactive or high effect. THC less than .3%, for most, will not result in a high effect. It is our opinion that all bodies are different and therefore one should be aware there could be a chance of feeling a slight high from products ingested containing trace amounts of THC.

In December 2018, the U.S. Government made Hemp legal through passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. That being said, it’s important to be aware of that for farmers to grow legal Hemp, they need to be enrolled in a State run program that insures the plant complies with the legal limits of allowed THC in the plant. 

CBD is gaining popularity across the United States, with an increasingly-expanding user base of individuals using it to meet diverse needs. As applications for CBD continues to grow, so does demand, which is why it is becoming commonly-recognized. CBD now appears in a variety of products from health supplements to beauty items, and everything in between. As CBD’s potential benefits and popularity continues to increase, it’s important to be a wise consumer and do your own due diligence when using a CBD product.

What Are The Uses for CBD?

CBD is being tested - and touted - as a treatment for a wide variety ofl uses, from minor ailments to more serious conditions. It is also being used for skincare purposes, and to enhance other aspects of daily well-being. A few of the many proposed uses for CBD are listed below, many of which have been backed by numerous personal experiences. When it comes to CBD, it’s important to remember that research is still young, and some of CBD’s effects have shown more conclusive or definite improvements than others. More time and research is needed to validate the substance's myriad uses, but many benefits are being widely discussed and documented.

Anxiety and Stress

One main use for CBD is to reduce anxiety in humans -- and pets. From minor, day to day stresses to actual anxiety disorders, users are reporting serious improvements and touting CBD as a way to reduce overall stress levels and feel more calm and relaxed. This calm and relaxed feeling is not a high, but more mellow emotionally.

Pain and Inflammation

CBD is a proven anti-inflammatory, meaning it helps with inflammation in the body. Inflammation is often associated with pain, and often comes as a result of an injury, chronic illness, or stress on the body (i.e. training, race day, over exertion, etc.). CBD also has analgesic properties, meaning it has an ability to reduce pain.

Skincare

Acne arises when there is a build up of dirt dead skin and oil in the pores. Research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates CBD to have the ability to inhibit oil production and reduce inflammation on oil producing glands. People have indicated CBD to be useful in addressing skin ailments such as acne, scarring, and redness. CBD in an isolate formulation has been seen to increase natural cell regeneration, which is why it is commonly found in cosmetic applications more and more.

Epilepsy

The most researched and validated medical uses for CBD at this time is for treating seizures. CBD has been proven to effectively treat seizures associated with 2 less common forms of epilepsy. This is what really put CBD benefits on people’s radars. Many families who have children with Epilepsy were seeing seizures decrease with the use of plant based CBD oil.  In 2018, FDA approved the first synthetic made CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for market. 

What Forms Is CBD Available In?

CBD is available in many different forms, allowing you to take the substance in a variety of ways. With so much flexibility, taking CBD can be done with whatever method best meets your needs and preferences. 

Tinctures

A tincture refers to a concentrated oil substance which can be administered directly under the tongue via a small dropper. Tinctures can also be added into other substances, such as food and beverages, and ingested alongside them. Tinctures are a common way to take herbs and supplements, so when it comes to CBD this is a popular choice. 

Tincture bottles come in milliliters. The amount of CBD in the tincture is measured in milligrams. Because of this the math of dillution can be a bit confusing from one company to the next. 

Capsules

CBD can be ingested in a pill form, similar to the format of many other drugs or medications. Capsules are swallowed and begin working shortly after ingestion. Gel caps are one popular way to take CBD, and CBD is sometimes packaged with another substance within the gel cap.

Food

CBD can be ingested like any other food, contained within items created for consumption that include CBD. While food formats can be creative and variable, one popular method for a CBD edible is in gummy bears.

Topical

CBD can be applied topically directly to the skin. In these instances, CBD is often packaged in the form of a balm, cream or lotion.

Powder

CBD is also available in powder form, although this substance isn’t as popular as some others.

As CBD continues to grow in popularity, it’s likely more formats for the substance will keep showing up.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works by boosting your body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls a variety of functions within the human body. The endocannabinoid system impacts many physiological processes in the body, and as a result CBD can have a far-reaching impact on a variety of functions. This can include emotions, energy metabolism, and pain, immune system and many other things. When it comes to pain relief, CBD functions by interacting with serotonin and vanilloid receptors in the brain, which are the receptors that work on the recognition of pain. 

CBD for Runners and Athletes

CBD is increasingly being used by runners, professional athletes and by people who simply like to work out or stay active. With a variety of applications and properties, some of which are explored above, CBD can provide encompassing benefits for those with an active lifestyle. With so many forms and methods for administration, CBD is also flexible enough to meet the needs of anyone who wants to take it. CBD is increasingly being used by runners to address not only the standard pain or inflammation, but also for a variety of benefits.

How Can CBD Be Used to Help Runners?

When it comes to running, CBD is proving seriously beneficial in a variety of ways -- some of which are surprising! As the benefits of CBD are diverse and multi-faceted, CBD can address a whole slew of running-related concerns simultaneously offering a unique and versatile choice for treating and addressing athletic concerns. More and more runners are turning to CBD, providing anecdotal evidence online on how the substance has helped them.

I started about a month and a half prior to the marathon. My muscles were sore almost everywhere below my waist. I began using CBD balm, massaging it into the muscle and following up with a foam roller on the affected areas. I also used CBD oil to aid in pain management and to help my recovery. I found that using the balm helped me reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. I also experienced a better recovery helping me enter my workout on the following day with increased energy and focus. Using CBD balm, CBD oil and massaging helped increase the efficiency of workouts and recovery. As a result of the oil & balm I had a focused training cycle. I was able to set a marathon PR and finally break 3:00 after several years of trying. I cannot say that all of this happened because Natures Gem, but I can say I entered a race better recovered, with less muscle fatigue, and managed to reach a goal that seemed out of reach in previous years and marathons.”

- Brady Mueller, Bloomington MN

 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Races can be stressful. Whether you’re running a 10k or a marathon, there are many stresses associated with training and preparing for a run big or small. From the stress of getting your workout routine just right and perfecting your form, to considerations over proper gear (or worry associated with what to do when the gear doesn’t work how you expect), to larger concerns such as injuries and other complications that crop up during training, there’s a lot to think about.

There’s also the familiar anxiety leading up to the big race, and the worry some people experience as the date inches closer and thoughts of performance and desired outcome become stronger. Stress can - and often does - happen on race day, in the moments before the run begins. While stress can be a helpful motivator for some, on the whole too much stress or anxiety can have a detrimental effect on performance and distract a runner from doing their best. Any athlete knows mental well-being is almost important as physical, and a stressful event on race day or leading up to it can have a negative impact on performance.

CBD offers a powerful solution to stresses big or small, and can even help combat more severe anxiety. CBD is often used to reduce anxiety, and its effects are applicable to quelling nerves or worries related to running. CBD has been taken as a treatment for anything from general worries to more serious anxiety disorders, and for runners is a great method to address stresses associated with the sport.

Boost Moods

Some research suggests CBD may enhance one’s mood, due to the function of endocannabinoids and activating receptors in the brain. Feeling good emotionally can lead to improved performance, so similar to a reduction of stress and anxiety CBD can help runners improve overall.

Sleep Better

Overall health and wellness are hugely important to any athlete, and runners are no exception. In order to perform well, it’s important to stay healthy and engage in a variety of positive behaviors such as eating proper foods and getting the correct amount of sleep. Getting high quality, and a large quantity, of sleep can be a struggle for many, though, with busy schedules and stress interfering. Sometimes even those with the best of intentions to sleep  properly struggle, whether it be from an inability to fall into deep sleep or from insomnia. As a result, many athletes find themselves exhausted and getting less hours than are physically needed to reach optimal performance. 

“I’m having great results with sleep!!”

Gary Brimmer, Running Coach, San Antonio TX.

 

CBD is a good tool for helping with sleep and sleep-related issues. It’s being used by many people to improve both the quantity of sleep and quality of sleep, leading to a better overall rest. The benefits of this rest include higher energy levels which lead to better workouts. Some studies show that taking CBD an hour or so before bed can help improve insomnia and related sleep issues, and many people that struggle with sleep have incorporated it into their daily regimine.

Avoid Stomach Issues

CBD is a great choice for runners because it does not disrupt the stomach or bowels like some other medications do. Anyone who runs knows that worrying about your stomach and having to use the bathroom at an inconvenient time on race day is a major concern - and even a cause for stress. Some medications upset the stomach, causing it to hurt, overwork, or cease function entirely. None of these are good for runners, who need it to be “business as usual” on the big day and during training.

CBD is all-natural (more on this below), and contains no chemical or other irritant substances. In some cases, users even report it not only doesn't upset their stomach but actually helps improve how their stomach feels overall. In some cases, CBD has also been used to help decrease nausea -- which can come as a result of nerves on race day or get in the way of an effective workout in day-to-day life.

Reduce Inflammation and Pain

As explored in the section above, one of the most popular uses of CBD is to reduce inflammation. This is important and hugely beneficial for anyone who runs and uses their muscles regularly. CBD can help with joint pain, inflammation of the muscles, and even pains and irritations that occur from to tight or rubbing gear or footwear. 

Using CBD as a remedy can cause fewer flare-ups of old injuries, and provide a more pleasant workout experience. Early research even indicates that CBD might be as effective as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in addressing general pains that come as a result of training and utilizing the body. This even applies to chronic pain, or long-term pain that occurs over a sustained period of time. Chronic pain can be the result of an injury, accident, or a condition such as arthritis. 

Promote Recovery 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and other properties can help promote recovery after running. Recovering properly between workouts is essential for training and getting stronger, and a proper recovery will improve performance overall in the long run. 

After the tincture you gave us, I felt more relaxed and more calm than before a race. On race morning, I took a gummy before, then at mile 13, then right after. The real difference that I felt was with my breathing, especially at the midway point. That's when I typically start to get a little anxious about what's ahead and my shoulders tense up and hunch over. With the gummy, I felt like my breathing was settled and my stride was even throughout. Plus it was great to have something to look forward to at mile 13!

After the race, I took the other gummy. Again, I felt like breathing was better, I wasn't as strung out as I normally feel when I am done. The next day I used the rejuvenating balm on my sore spots and they felt better than they have in a long time! I was wishing that I had the tincture because, honestly, I feel like the emotional comedown and recovery after a marathon is just as hard as the physical.

Jennifer V.

Benefits Of CBD Over Traditional Medications

CBD has a slew of benefits over other medicine choices, many of which are particularly appealing to runners and athletes.

All Natural

Since CBD is derived from a plant it’s an all natural choice. Many medications and treatments commonly used to address stress, pain and other issues are comprised of unnatural and chemical ingredients, meaning they are not an appropriate choice for those seeking a natural lifestyle. For those who are health-conscious or prefer to only ingest natural substances, CBD offers many of the benefits of over-the-counter or prescription treatments. This makes it very appealing in the running community.

Non-Addictive

CBD is derived from the hemp plant, and as a result is a plant based all-natural substance. Research has indicated CBD to be not addictive and can be used in the desired dosage on an ongoing basis, without the need to worry about addiction or substance abuse. 

Less Side Effects

All medications, prescription and over the counter, have side effects. Dosages vary from person to person and our bodies are all different, therefore some people may experience side effects while others will not. CBD use also carries some risks. Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness or fatigue. If taken in food or swallowed directly, CBD may interact with other medications, such as blood thinners. If you are taking a prescription medication, it’s important to discuss potential drug interactions with your doctor before ingesting CBD. CBD inhaled, taken sublingual (under the tongue) or applied topically by-passes the liver thus avoiding potential drug interactions.

A Final Note on CBD for Runners

As this guide illustrates, there are many ways to get your desired dose of CBD! Two of the top ways for athletes include ingesting orally and applying topically as a balm, depending on what CBD is being used to address. Overall, CBD is a popular and seemingly effective choice for runners. With such diverse and multifaceted benefits, it not only effectively addresses a singular concern, but can help with a variety of areas “killing 2 birds with 1 stone” so to speak and reducing the number of medicines or treatments needed. 

It’s important to note that CBD’s effects are still being researched, and the FDA has not yet approved it as an official dietary supplement. Keep in mind using CBD to diagnose, treat or cure an ailment is not yet proven, but there is an ever-growing body of research and anecdotal evidence to suggest its effectiveness and move it towards that direction. CBD is an ideal choice for runners, and one that more and more people are adding to their daily and training routines.

 

Product Recommendations From Runners:

 

Gummies:

    • 25 mg CBD/gummy
    • Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free

Day Before: "I use this to help the butterflies". Suggestion: 1-2 gummies the day before the race.

Race day/during the run: "I like the 3 or 5 pack I can take along with me on my run". Suggestion: 1 gummy at the start, 1-2 in the middle distance, 1-2 close to the end.  Adjust dosage depending on your body.

After the race/run: "It helps me with my recovery". Suggestion: 1-2 gummy ever 3-4 hours or as needed.

Tension and Relief Balms:

Day before race/pre-run: "The tension relief balm helps with stress". Suggestion: Use on shoulders, neck, feet, temples and jaw to release stressful/tense areas.

Race day/during the run: "I take the roll-on balm with and apply during my run".Suggestion: Apply during running as needed.

Post run/race: The big kahuna max relief balm with 1000 mg CBD is the answer to your prayers. "I can't believe how this has helped my injury/rehab and now that I'm better, after my running". Suggestion: Apply to feet, legs, shoulders, back, anywhere needed. It's specially formulated for intense athletes and injuries.

Tinctures (CBD Oil)

Many athletes take CBD Oil under the tongue because of it's faster results since it does not go through the digestive system.

    • THC Free - safe for drug testing
    • Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free
    • Organically sourced

Day Before: "I take 1-2 servings for my anxiety". Suggestion: 1-2 mL the day before the race or as needed.

Race day/during the run: "I take the tiny bottle on my runs with me.". Suggestion: 4 full droppers (since it's the small dropper) at the beginning of the run, another 4 dropper in the middle and another 4 droppers before the end, depending on your body and how you are feeling during your run.

After the race/run: "I found the extra strength worked better after my long runs". Whether regular or extra strength our suggestion is 1-2 full droppers (1 mL/dropper) 2-3 times every 4-6 hours or as needed.

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