CBD + Exercise: The Ultimate Fitness Boost

5 min read

Feb 15, 2022

CBD + Exercise – Hero


Recently, the NCAA took a more relaxed approach to cannabis. The NFL awarded $1 million to study the effects of cannabinoids on football players. The MLB removed marijuana from its banned substance list during the offseason. And, professional athletes themselves are advocating for cannabis and mental health. The national news brings an opportunity to shift the local cannabis conversation from recreational use to health, wellness, and therapeutics and provide a much-needed dose of education when it comes to the plant, sports, and fitness.

What about mere exercise mortals and weekend warriors who love to push the limits? Cannabis works just the same for professional athletes and amateurs. Cannabis means enhancing a daily workout and exercise routine and finding an all-natural healing relief balm, tincture, or soft gel, to align body, mind, and spirit.

Maybe you’ve already heard friends quietly passing down anecdotal evidence about cannabis and its therapeutic properties, whispering to each other in between classes or in line at the juice bar. Finally, science and brands have caught up and workout enthusiasts don’t have to hide. It’s time to heal.


No…and yes. Cannabis includes both the marijuana and hemp plants. However, marijuana contains more than 100 cannabinoids, including the most well-known (THC, which is intoxicating, and CBD, which is not), as well as minor cannabinoids (CBN and CBG, for example, that are just emerging with therapeutic benefits) while hemp has little to no THC but a good amount of CBD.


Let’s start with CBD, as it is well-known and non-intoxicating and can be extracted from the hemp plant. But did you also know that in clinical studies, CBD has had positive effects on bodily inflammation? The phytocannabinoid has had direct anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in response to injury and stress, and reduced inflammation usually means reduced pain. For many who are injured, from a nagging cramp to pulled muscle to torn ligament, CBD supports recovery and relief so you can get through the initial injury and manage the pain, and get back to exercising and training or even competing.

For everyday use and for those looking to maximize their workout, with the right intake method, dose, and timing, CBD can bring on a sense of calm and focus. This can ultimately allow a stronger connection to movement and form, opening up the lungs for deeper breath work and creating a feeling of expansion. CBD allows you to feel present in the body and the mind and when you are aligned, moments of growth can happen, taking your fitness program to another level.

CBD can support you physically, mentally, and emotionally (some even say spiritually) by offering rest and recovery. It removes the burden of chronic pain, soothes and relaxes. And while THC can take you to a euphoric state, CBD provides a natural high from feeling so good, allowing you to own your day.


Placing demands on your body during a high-intensity fitness program can feel electrifying. Pushing yourself; training longer, harder, and often; and belonging to a community can bring out the best in you and your body. However, as Lisle Von Rhuman said in the film Death Becomes Her: “Take care of yourself. You and your body are going to be together a long time, be good to it.”

With that spirit in mind, let’s break down CBD for prehab, a proactive approach to health and wellness, and rehab, overcoming the physical effects of an injury.


TIP: Your choice depends on personal preference, budget, and need state. Are you maintaining health and wellness or nursing an injury? A consistent low dose can help manage chronic symptoms or prevent recurrence. Studies indicate that CBD is neuro- and cardioprotective and could limit the damage of a traumatic brain injury or a heart attack. Also, different methods offer varying levels of bioavailability—or how much of what you take is actually absorbed to have an effect.

TOPICAL: A salve, balm, or cream. CBD can be absorbed in the skin. However, it does not enter the bloodstream. It connects to cannabinoid receptors through the skin pores for pain and cramp relief, which can be felt within minutes.

INGESTION (EDIBLE): A soft gel, tincture, gummy or baked good. With a soft gel, gummy or baked good, CBD is broken down by the liver and digestive tract so it can take up to two hours to kick in. Time it accordingly. Tinctures have a quicker absorption rate. When swished under the tongue for 15-30 seconds, tinctures absorb pretty quickly and effects are felt within minutes. Same goes for CBD strips that you place in your cheek. Remember, adding a tincture to a smoothie will take a longer time to feel the effects because it has to go through digestion.

INHALATION: Onset of effects occur pretty rapidly, with peak effects felt at 15-30 minutes and lasting 2-4 hours.


TIP: Dosages used in research studies vary and there is no consensus on how much should be used for specific conditions. So, while there is no universally agreed-upon dose and research suggests that people may respond differently to various dosages, the amount that is right for you is the amount you need. Also, remember that cannabis affects men and women differently, And, among women, CBD can have varying effects depending on ages and stages, hormone and tolerance levels as well as medications and, quite frankly, menstrual cycles. So start low and slow and titrate up to your optimal dosage.*

*And always speak with your doctor, especially if you are on any other medications.


CBD is effective before AND after workouts. Pre-workout, about an hour before, a CBD soft gel can help to boost energy and relax muscles, encourage focus and align the body and mind. Afterward, a tincture mixed in with a smoothie or massaging a balm into a particular area can help soothe post-exercise inflammation and discomfort.


We know that exercise is one of the best ways to build up immunity and immune response— and has a profound effect on the normal functioning of the immune system. Combine that with the strong anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, and it’s a one-two punch. Workouts, such as strength training and high-intensity interval training, are designed to give your body the energy to fight germs. Add CBD to your daily routines and take your immune system to the next level.


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