Have you ever done something that you very quickly come to regret? Something that makes you question your sanity? Well, I recently signed up for a half marathon on an impulse, and it has left me wondering if I can trust my own judgment ever again. While I am an athletic person, I have never been a runner, and it showed my first few training sessions for this accursed half marathon. Less than one month into my runs I developed shin splints- if you’ve never had them, consider yourself blessed, but also imagine a thousand tiny knives repeatedly stabbing your shins- pleasant, right? As my own body revolted against me in punishment for my idiocy, I was left wondering what natural remedies I could use to ease some of the pain, and that’s when I recalled the thousands of Instagram ads I’ve seen for CBD products. After doing some research, I quickly realized that this may be the answer I was looking for. Could this product that has inundated every aspect my social media feed actually be a miracle cure? Let’s find out, shall we?
The first thing I wanted to understand about CBD was what it actually was; It would be smart to actually research what I was going to be putting in my body, right? Well, this is what I’ve come up with: CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, and is one of over one hundred cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid we all know and love, CBD does not have psychoactive effects and therefore does not get you “high.” Although it does not produce mind altering effects, CBD, like THC both have healing properties that can help with a multitude of different ailments ranging from aches to anxiety.
Both THC and CBD work by replicating molecules in the body called endocannabinoids, which operate within the endocannabinoid system (ECS). While it may be a mouthful to pronounce, the ECS is the system within the body that helps to maintain homeostasis, keeping your body functioning in a balanced way. When things become unbalanced or your internal stability is threatened by the outside world, say you get an injury in your shins (sounds familiar), the pain from the injury will signal endocannabinoids to attach to endocannabinoid receptors in the central nervous, informing the ECS system that it needs to jump into action and get your body functioning properly again. Because CBD mimics the endocannabinoids, when you ingest CBD substances doctors believe that the CBD molecules bind onto the endocannabinoid receptors and extend the longevity of the endocannabinoids that already exist within your body. Long story short, CBD is believed to help your bodies endocannabinoids last longer, and therefore have stronger healing effects.
After understanding the function of CBD, my next quest was to discover how and where I could obtain products containing CBD, and which products would be the most effective. I soon discovered that pure, pharmaceutical grade CBD oil is prescription only, and is usually only prescribed to patients with specific diseases- awesome for them, bummer for me. Upon doing more research, I did discover that CBD oil can still be purchased online and at dispensaries across the country without a recommendation from your doctor. The only difference is that the CBD products that you may buy online are unregulated by the FDA, meaning the quality can be inconsistent, and depending on the practices of the company their products may contain toxic chemicals and pesticides;
therefore you need to do your due diligence before dropping your hard earned cash on just any CBD company’s website. While it may seem daunting, I recommend reading reviews on both products and companies, because it will be worth it in the end.
When looking for the right product for you, it does come down to the ailment you are trying to treat. For athletes struggling with bodily injury, pain or inflammation, many doctors recommend taking CBD orally or by applying salves and ointments to effected area. In terms of dosage there is no standard that has been implemented. One common guide that I discovered said to use 1-6 milligrams of CBD per 10lbs of body weight; therefore, if you weighed 100lbs you would take a dose of 10-60 mg. Another suggestion that I found recommended starting with 5-10mg per day and increasing 5-10mg each day until you feel the desired effects. While this isn’t exactly streamline, the process can help you to understand how your body reacts to CBD.
Following my deep dive into the world of CBD, I have started to add CBD products into my daily life. While it hasn’t transformed into next Olympic gold medalist, it has helped silence my screaming shins, and will hopefully help to ease any future pain I will most likely encounter. If you are an athlete or just someone dealing with pain and inflammation, I highly suggest looking into CBD for its versatility and healing properties. If you don’t know where to even start looking for CBD products, here is a helpful list of great CBD products for athletes. A simple Google search will also get you started on the road to health and recovery.