There’s a bit of a buzz around CBD at the moment isn’t there? Let me tell you one thing for sure – it has caught on in a big way in the martial arts community. It’s not just those long-distance runners and massive weightlifters who seem to be feeling the benefits!
Something many people forget about MMA (which is what I’m into with aspirations for maybe hitting pro soon) is that 90% of the work we do takes place in the gym. Sparring is only a very small element for most, as in our discipline the fitter you are the faster and stronger you’ll perform.
That being said, there’s very strict rules over what can be in our bodies. I get tested quite often at just the pro-am level, so when someone said that they were taking a ‘weed supplement’ I couldn’t believe what they were saying. Was it just some sick joke to make me fail my tests? As far as I’m aware, CBD does not flag up on any drug tests – anywhere – ever. So why not give it a spin? After all, if everyone else is on it I cannot run the risk of losing any advantage.
I wasn’t entirely convinced. How can a plant extract apparently help you train and prepare better? There’s loads of legal recovery and performance enhancing options out there, and nobody has ever found too many issues with them. Well, that’s strictly speaking not quite true. It took me a long time to find a combination that seems to work for me.
What convinced me to try CBD is the fact that it’s organic and it isn’t going to affect or alter how the rest of my supplements work – I checked this with my GP.
By adding it to my stack, it can’t do any harm, so I decided to put it to the test.
Here’s what I found after 2 months of taking this 1500mg CBD oil before and after workouts. I always took the oil under the tongue by the way.
I’d say I noticed the effects of CBD after about a fortnight. CBD is supposed to help your endocannabinoid system work more efficiently. In a nutshell, it helps to regulate the release of energy and provides some kind of stimulation boost. If you want to read up on the exact science, there are better places than me, but that’s what I gather from a little chatting about the gym.
My routine is usually split 80/20 between cardio and weights – moving fast is my style!
It is a strange thing to try and describe, but taking my dose about a half hour before starting my workout seemed to work the best.
My endurance on the elliptical was definitely better than usual, and I could last longer on tougher settings without feeling utterly knackered afterward. In fact, after a few huffs and puffs, I was ready to get to the weights. Usually, I’d need a good couple of minutes.
I’d say what most impressed me about CBD was absolutely how it helped with recovery. I injured my knee semi-seriously in a competition last year and it always hurts in the morning.
While there are still aches and pains, I’d say that I notice them about half as much. In recovery terms, that’s an amazing help and something which any professional or high standard athlete is going to find totally brilliant. Don’t just take my word for it – there has been a lot of scientific research which demonstrates how cannabinoids are successfully used in the management and treatment of pain.
Another thing I noticed was that my usual after workout ‘carb craze’ had also seemed to go down. I no longer had to force myself not to go and stuff myself on a massive pizza! It’s a weird one and I don’t think everyone who CBD works for finds that the case, so maybe I’m just greedy! Either way, it’s something which sure helped me out as that has been an ever-present issue since the first day I started properly training.
Overall, I’d say that there’s absolutely some benefits in taking CBD. I know that it doesn’t seem to work for some people – as you don’t feel anything when taking it – but it does seem to do something in the background that just helps with exercise and training.
I’ll put it this way – there’s no way I’m stopping it, and in fact, I’m thinking about upping my dose a bit to see if it can help even more.