I won’t be writing about a Central Business District, instead, this article will address Cannabidiols, aka CBDs. Due to recent changes in the laws, new research and celebrity endorsements around this age old plant, my curiosity was peaked and started my own personal research and self experimentation on CBD supplementation for strength and health benefits. I have been using CBD oils for approximately 1 month now and am now a bigger proponent of their use.
What are CBDs?
Cannabidiols are one of many compounds found in cannabis or hemp plants. See a science diagram below:
Unlike the more well known compound, THC, found in the plant, CBD is not psychoactive and is different to other cannabinoids found in the plant. CBD has been found to be the most beneficial to health and affecting the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
From the Huffington Post & Leafly:
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the largest neurotransmitter system in the brain and is a vital molecular system for helping maintain homeostasis. It can be affected by both exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids that exert many pharmacological effects. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the researcher who first isolated and identified THC in 1964, also helped characterize the ECS system in 1992.
The three key components of the ECS are found within almost every major system of the body:
- Cannabinoid receptors
- Endocannabinoids molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors
- Metabolic enzymes break down endocannabinoids
Health Benefits from CBD supplementation
There are a lot of researched backed benefits to taking a CBD supplement, which include: pain management, reduce anxiety, antipsychotic effects, reduce depression, reduce nausea, promote cardiovascular health, helps with weight management, helps treat certain skin conditions. I’ll focus on a couple of benefits, that drew me to CBD supplementation
Helps treat Inflammation
Inflammation is a protective reaction the body’s immune system has in response to an infection or injury. Inflammation is designed to remove pathogens or damaged tissue, by dramatically increasing blood flow. It’s important that inflammation be limited to the location of damage and doesn’t persist longer than necessary.
Endocannabinoids seem to suppress or limit the immune system’s inflammatory signals.
“Most of our research demonstrates that endocannabinoids are produced upon activation of immune cells and may help regulate the immune response by acting as anti-inflammatory agents. Thus, interventions that manipulate the metabolism or production of endocannabinoids may serve as a novel treatment modality against a wide range of inflammatory disease.” Professor Prakash Nagarkatti, VP of Research at the University of South Carolina
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents.
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when the body has too many free radicals and doesn’t have enough antioxidant resources to combat them. A 2010 study by Cassol-Jr, & Comim, showed that CBD oil acted as an antioxidant and another study found CBD has neuroprotective qualities. CBD can help reduce neurological damage caused by free radicals.
Improve cardiovascular health
Take home points from Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? Stanley CP1, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE.
- CBD has direct actions on isolated arteries, causing both acute and time-dependent vasorelaxation
- CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, inflammation or the induction of type 2 diabetes in animal models and reduces the vascular hyperpermeability associated with such environments.
- CBD influences the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration and platelet aggregation.
My experience with CBD oil supplementation
I’ve heard a lot of hype around CBD supplementation and wanted to find out first hand if it was all hype, or if CBD could be as beneficial for my body, as the reports say they are. My biggest aim was to see if it could improve my performance and help with some pain I’ve been dealing with in my shoulder and lower back.
I have been using Cured Nutrition CBD oil capsules, which are infused with MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oils.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot, however, I have been impressed by the effects CBDs have had. I wouldn’t be writing this article, if I didn’t strongly believe in them.
It has definitely helped with my back pain, this was the primary reason for looking into CBD oil. I had a minor sprain a couple of months ago and it has been affecting my lifting since then. I combined CBD supplements with the Bill Starr Rehabilitation Protocol and have noticed a marked increase in my recovery and am almost back to where I was before this injury occurred. I wouldn’t necessarily attribute all of the recovery to CBDs, however I do believe that it was helped manage the pain from this brutal, yet effective rehabilitation protocol. The combination of the two treatments has been great, for me at least.
I’ve had several injuries to both shoulders since being a dumb teenager and this has been an issue that I’ve been able to work around for the most part. It has meant I’ve been more hesitant to lift heavy overhead and for a couple of years, dull aching pain throughout the day and occasional interruption of sleep. Before taking CBDs my shoulder pain was almost non existent and mainly structural (a lot of grinding and reduced mobility). Not surprisingly CBDs have not helped in repairing structural shoulder damage.
One of the most surprising effects of CBD oil supplements, has been the effects on training. I generally take a caffeinated pre workout before a weight training session and experimented with taking one capsule with my pre workout. Because I take the capsule, it takes approximately one hour for the pill to have any effects, due to the absorption through the digestion system.
Combining CBD with a caffeinated pre workout has an amazing pre workout boost. It felt as though I had a second fuel tank to dig into during the last part of a 2 hour workout. My energy levels didn’t dwindle down during the workout, nor did I have a huge jittery burst of energy at the start. I’m not sure exactly what is contributing to this effect, but my new favorite time to take CBD oil is with a pre workout. YMMV
I can’t recommend CBD oil enough as an addition to your supplemental toolkit. Not only has it helped me with a recent acute injury treatment plan, but it has been able to increase the intensity and duration of my workouts. These two short term results alone are good enough for my books.
I will post again in the future, with a six month analysis of what the effects CBDs will have on my body. So keep an eye out or subscribe to the blog to check back in at six months for a status update!
Remove the stigma that has been associated with cannibis, it’s not all reefer madness, there are definite positive health benefits that have come from CBD supplementation!