The stereotype of the lazy stoner sitting on the couch all day smoking pot is an image that has long been stamped in our mind. But like many things in the world lately, this stereotype is changing, and surprisingly, more people are now using cannabis to optimize their fitness journey.

When you think about it, it feels like a contradiction. Why would someone who is trying to get healthy consume something like cannabis? However, when you learn about the incredible benefits of cannabis and how it is changing the lives of many people for the better, linking cannabis to fitness starts to make sense.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis sativa is a plant where natural compounds, primarily cannabinol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is derived. A high percentage of THC is generally found in marijuana, and it is the cause of the psychoactive effects people experience when they smoke it. On the other hand, CBD products with less than 0.3 percent of THC do not have psychoactive effects, so you won’t get high.

As a result, CBD has been making a name for itself as the safe, natural compound that benefits people with various health issues ranging from mental health to chronic disorders. While the research is limited, doctors have observed positive evidence of CBD potentially aiding people with infertility issues, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more. Moreover, the FDA has approved the only CBD oral solution administered to children as young as two years of age and older who have a severe form of epilepsy.

Researchers have yet to understand how CBD works in the body, but we know so far that it works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The latter is a vital system in human beings and animals with a spine that manages crucial functions such as body temperature, fertility, appetite, mood, and sleep. The ECS continually strives for balance in the body — known as homeostasis, and it does so with the help of receptors running through the mind and the body.

From the research conducted, researchers have learned that CBD interacts with the receptors by signaling to them. In doing so, it implements change. CBD comes in many forms, from CBD oils to cannabis edibles, creams, e-liquids, and more. It has never been so easy to consume this natural compound.

Five ways CBD can optimize your fitness journey

Now that you know more about CBD, here are five incredible ways this natural compound can help improve your fitness journey.

CBD encourages alertness

Sluggishness, sleep deprivation, and sore muscles can cause tiredness and a less than ideal workout. Moreover, a lack of focus can lead to injury and a roadblock in your fitness journey. CBD can help you feel more energetic to crush your fitness goals.

It does so by reducing the amount of cortisol our body produces. When we are not feeling our best, stress can quickly take over, and as a result, our body releases more cortisol in our body, which is the hormone that helps us designate between the “fight or flight” mode.

When the body is continually releasing cortisol, other vital bodily functions are ignored, and this can lead to a weak immune system and a lack of focus. With CBD, the cortisol levels can be controlled. As a result, you can stay focused on your goal.

CBD reduces inflammation

Inflammation is a common thing when you are continually pushing your body through exercise. While rest and workout rotations are essential to minimize the risk of injury, CBD can reduce inflammation to heal faster.

Researchers conducted two separate studies to determine whether CBD lowers inflammation.  In one study, doctors administered a dose of CBD to rats that had arthritis, and in another study, CBD was given to rats suffering from multiple sclerosis. In both studies, researchers observed that inflammation in the joints eased thanks to CBD, which meant less pain for the rats.

CBD promotes better sleep

Sleep is critical for every human being but even more so for highly active people. Sleep deprivation can lead to lower glycogen production and carbohydrates, which are typically stored for energy when a person is working out. Muscle recovery slows down when we are tired, and we are less focused.

CBD can help promote better sleep thanks to its double effect. In low doses, CBD promotes alertness, while in high doses, CBD cuts down the time it takes to fall asleep. Moreover, since CBD does not have psychoactive effects, there is no risk of experiencing paranoia or anxiety of taking a psychoactive drug. Instead, it eliminates these worries for you to sleep more soundly.

CBD eliminates your anxiousness

It can be hard to focus when anxiety is overwhelming. While exercise is excellent to fight anxiety and depression, CBD can help too, by encouraging the ECS’s receptors to release more of the happy chemicals in the body.

Studies have shown that CBD may encourage the release of serotonin and dopamine in the body. These are essential chemicals that produce those feelings of well-being and happiness.

CBD for digestive health

An intense workout can lead to a lack of minerals and a drop in our sugar levels, leaving us depleted and nauseous. The best way to help the body is by consuming the right macronutrients, including a fair amount of fiber and protein.

However, for some people, an intense workout can leave them feeling so nauseous that eating becomes a challenge. CBD can help by stimulating our appetite. In doing so, you will meet your nutrition goals and free yourself from that queasy feeling.

There you have it; five reasons why CBD can help optimize your fitness journey. So, will you be giving this natural compound a try?