By Thomas Wrona
2018's Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives across America, and now, the floodgates are open.
One of these derivates, in particular, is enjoying an especially breakout year: a tiny plant compound called cannabidiol, or CBD. Chances are you've heard of it already. Maybe you've seen CBD on the news or in your Doctor's office...maybe a close friend is even trying to sell it!
There's a good reason for the hype: CBD works. It seems to have potential for people of virtually all ages across virtually all health statuses, and the body of scientific evidence backing CBD is getting bigger and bigger.
But CBD doesn't merely negate one's negatives - it doesn't just alleviate problems associated with disease states. It may also promote positive health trends! With this in mind, could CBD be the perfect companion to help you maintain an active, vitality-filled lifestyle?
Possibly so...let's take a closer look.
CBD as An Anti-inflammatory Agent
One of CBD's largest overarching effects relates back to inflammation. We all know that too much chronic inflammation is a bad thing, but did you know that acute inflammation can actually be helpful and good?
It's true. Inflammation is a natural part of the immune response, and it plays a vital role in keeping one's body regenerated. It's for this reason that conventional anti-inflammatory drugs, like the NSAIDs, may not be ideal in the long run. They can sometimes reduce inflammation too much!
Thankfully, CBD oil works differently than aspirin or ibuprofen. It may work with one's body - by naturally "activating" internal endocannabinoid receptors - to reduce inflammation as needed.
And when inflammation levels are optimized, good things happen. Recovery tends to get optimized, too, whether we're talking about recovery from the physical stress of yesterday's workout of the mental stress of this morning's business meeting. Reduced inflammation has also been correlated with reduced risks of obesity and
In the long run, keeping inflammatory reactions in check will also help relieve pain. Just think: what would your ideal health and wellness routine look like without pain, swelling, or inflammation holding you back? We can't promise CBD will outright eliminate any of those things, but it may well help: a survey by Consumer Reports found that 38% of CBD users found it "extremely or very effective" for pain.
CBD as An Anti-aging Compound
We'll admit it: this benefit seems almost too good to be true.
Yet even the normally-skeptic US government has been researching CBD's anti-aging qualities for two decades now. They even have a patent on the subject, citing CBD's role as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant!
We're all familiar with the antioxidant capabilities of vitamin C or E, but it turns out that CBD could be just as effective at quenching the waste products (oxidants) of normal metabolism. Studies hint that CBD even boosts the body's natural levels of an internal "master antioxidant" called glutathione.
If you're already conscious of conventional antioxidants but still feel yourself needing a little extra boost, then consider supplementing with CBD. According to Lester Packers's The Antioxidant Miracle: Your Complete Plan for Total Health and Healing, antioxidants work best when taken together.
Less oxidation means less inflammation, less wear and tear, and slower aging. If aging itself is marked by a slowdown in bodily regeneration, then perhaps the accelerated regeneration seen with cannabinoids like CBD bodes well for the longevity of one's fitness and wellness career. CBD's potential antioxidant effects may benefit your sport of choice in the short-term, too - said effects have been connected to reduced muscle soreness and damage.
CBD...for Fitness Motivation?
This benefit may be a little harder to measure than the first two - but it's just as grounded in science.
That's because CBD boosts the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which in turn has been identified as a major driver of the phenomena we know and love as "runner's high". In a very real sense, the ECS encourages movement and energy flux by producing feel-good endocannabinoid compounds after one completes a challenging workout. Talk about a naturally-occurring reward system.
This would happen as described in an ideal world, at least. The reality is that not everyone has a healthy ECS; low motivation, low energy levels, and other depressive symptoms could be the result.
If this sounds like you, pure CBD oil might be just the thing needed to break out of your rut and get motivated! By promoting endocannabinoid health, this tiny plant compound could also promote the active lifestyle almost by default.
Thomas Wrona is a cannabis consultant, health + wellness advisor, and former professional athlete. He enjoys writing about all things CBD, both here and at Wrona Inc.