We can’t all be athletes, but many of us still try our best to work out regularly and take care of our bodies. CBD is commonly used as a post-workout supplement to support muscle recovery. What happens if you switch things up a little bit?

Using CBD before your workout may come with some unique advantages. If you’re trying to determine whether you should reach for your CBD before or after you lace up your training shoes, here’s what you can consider. 

What Is CBD and How Does It Work?

CBD is a cannabinoid. It’s most commonly derived from hemp plants, which are cannabis plants that have been cultivated to produce extremely low amounts of THC (less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight). The amount of THC is so insignificant that it can’t produce psychoactive effects. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It works with the cannabinoid receptors in your body, called your endocannabinoid system, to provide holistic wellness support to your body. 

You have cannabinoid receptors from your head to your toes. They exist within many important systems and processes in your body. 

CBD can interact with these receptors to better support its functions, like your body’s stress management system and sleep-wake cycle. 

1. CBD Takes a Little While To Kick In

CBD can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to begin producing effects. If you want to experience the benefits of CBD during or after your workout, it makes more sense to use CBD before you hit the gym. 

While working out, you’ll receive the supportive effects of CBD. You'll be ready to relax when it comes time for your post-workout cooldown. 

2. CBD Helps To Soothe Tension

CBD has naturally soothing properties. It can help to ease feelings of tension. It’s much harder to go into a workout when you’re tense. 

Many people start their workouts by stretching. It’s easier to complete the necessary movements of your workout and maintain proper form when you’re limber. Ease feelings of tension with CBD, get in your pre-workout stretch, and approach your workout with ease.

3. CBD Promotes Relaxation

When some people experience feelings of stress, the first thing they want to do is jump into their workout routine. Exercise is an excellent stress management tool and leaves most people just feeling really good. 

Other people are the exact opposite. If you’re feeling overwhelmed just thinking about the idea of a workout, use your CBD and take a few minutes to chill out. CBD helps to support your body’s stress management system and can soothe feelings of unease. 

Take your time getting ready to go to the gym and make a playlist to keep you motivated. You might feel a little more at ease about buckling down and slaying your workout by the time you get to the gym.

4. CBD Is a Powerful Antioxidant

Antioxidants are natural molecules that help to support your body’s natural defenses against the damage of free radicals. Most of the time, references to free radicals specifically mean harmful pollutants in the air. While free radicals circulate in the environment, they can also occur naturally within your body.

Free radicals are molecules in a volatile state. They’re missing an electron and want to take one from the nearest available source. When you work out, your metabolic processes create free radicals.

Free radicals can damage healthy cells. When more free radicals than antioxidants are in your body, you enter a state of oxidative stress. Incorporating more substances with antioxidant properties like CBD into your workout routine can support your body’s effort to protect itself from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Is It Better To Take CBD Before or After Your Workout?

Consider your wellness goals if you’re wondering whether you should take CBD before or after your workout. 

If your primary goal is to get better rest on days when you work out, the soothing benefits of CBD may be more useful after your workout. 

If you want to unwind and focus prior to your workout, it’s best to take CBD before you hit the gym. 

Many people use CBD both before and after a workout. The effects of CBD last about eight hours. If you use CBD in the morning, the immediate effects have worn off by the time you go to bed. If you take CBD before you go to bed, the immediate effects will wear off before you wake up. 

That’s why using morning and night doses might be your best bet. You’ll experience a continuous stream that will help you take on the challenges of your day, including your workout. 

When To Start Your Pre-Workout Routine

Your pre-workout routine doesn’t start when you’re getting ready to go to the gym. It starts the night before the day you’re going to the gym. Getting a great night’s sleep is an important part of getting a good workout. Your body needs high-quality sleep to repair and restore itself, especially if you work out regularly.

Many people use CBD at nighttime to support quality sleep. This technically makes CBD a pre-workout supplement because you’re using it to support the next day’s workout. 

On the day of your workout, it’s all about timing. CBD oil takes about 30 minutes to kick in, and CBD edibles (like gummies) take about an hour. 

If you eat before your workout, use your CBD first. Give it 10 to 15 minutes to begin digesting before you have your meal. It’ll get a head start. If you use your CBD after you eat, it may take longer for your body to digest it. 

How Often Should I Use CBD?

You may not work out every day, and that’s perfectly fine. Your body needs time to rest and recover, especially if you’re interested in building muscle. Even if you aren’t working out for a day or two, you can continue using CBD.

Some of the support CBD provides is immediate. That support gets even better with consistent use. Most people find that they reach their desired level of support by using CBD daily for at least 30 days. 

If you’re working towards improving your wellness, you probably already have a daily routine. You meal prep your healthy breakfasts and take your daily supplements and vitamins. Add CBD as a step in that routine. Making it a part of your regular wellness ritual will help you remember to take it.

Which Form of CBD Is Best for Workouts?

CBD comes in several forms, each with its pros, cons, and appropriate use cases. Choosing the right form of CBD for your needs is crucial if you're using CBD before your workout. 

Topical CBD

Topical CBD products, like a CBD roll-on, can be a valuable tool in any workout enthusiast’s arsenal. CBD topicals use soothing ingredients that can produce a cooling sensation to sore muscles. This CBD product is best the day after a workout when you’re more likely to feel a little sore. 

You can use topical CBD products in conjunction with other forms of CBD. Since topicals don’t reach your internal endocannabinoid system, you might want to combine them with CBD gummies or CBD oil to experience the full potential of CBD’s benefits.

CBD Oil

CBD oil comes in a glass bottle with a little dropper built into the top. You put the drops beneath your tongue and hold them there for a minute or so. 

While holding them in place, they’ll absorb into your body through the tissue under your tongue. You swallow the rest of the CBD oil, and your digestive system processes it, where it eventually reaches your endocannabinoid system.

CBD Gummies

CBD gummies work a lot like CBD oil, but they can be easier and more convenient. Each gummy contains a premeasured dose of CBD, and you only need one gummy. Your digestive system processes the CBD, and it reaches your endocannabinoid system. 

Gummies don’t have the added benefit of being partially absorbed beneath your tongue, but they can taste much better and can be easier to work into your daily wellness routine. If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil, holding it under your tongue for a minute is going to feel like a chore — gummies to the rescue! 

Get Out There and Work!

CBD can work to support your overall wellness before and after your workout. Use your CBD when it makes the most sense to integrate it into your wellness routine. Pure Relief is here to make incorporating a little more relief into your day easier. 

Sources:

Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill - 07/25/2019 | FDA

An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | National Institutes of Health

Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defense | National Institutes of Health

August 24, 2022