CBD Oil For Ultra Run­ners: What Are The Bene­fits?

Writ­ten By Jasper John­son

Jasper is a new mem­ber of the Ultra X team. A keen middle dis­tance run­ner who is look­ing to up the dis­tance to an ultra mara­thon, Jasper enjoys writ­ing about all things run­ning.

11 June 2020

1 Com­ment

  1. Chris Taylor

    Great art­icle. Seems like a lot of top ath­letes are using CBD oil. Been mean­ing to try it out for a while now, will cer­tainly give it a go at some point!

    Reply

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Read­ing Time: 4 minutes

In recent years, CDB oil has been pop­ping up more and more reg­u­larly across pop­u­lar media. It seems to be a key ingredi­ent of an ever-increas­ing num­ber of sports recov­ery products and has now hit the ultra run­ning scene. Pur­por­ted bene­fits include bet­ter sleep, faster recov­ery, pain alle­vi­ation, stress reduc­tion, and more — mak­ing it the per­fect sup­ple­ment for every ultra run­ners’ recov­ery strategy, right? In this piece, we dive into the world of can­nabis-derived recov­ery products and share our per­spect­ive on their bene­fits.

What is CBD oil?

Can­na­bi­d­i­ol (CBD) oil is a can­nabis derived oil, but do not let that put you off — using it will not make you high as you run off into the hills!

CBD oil is a non-intox­ic­at­ing oil. It con­tains only trace amounts of tet­rahy­drocan­nabin­ol (THC), which is the psy­cho­act­ive ingredi­ent in can­nabis, mak­ing the use of CBD oil more accep­ted as a pain killer for ath­letes.

Why do people use CBD oil?

People have used CBD for thou­sands of years to treat vari­ous types of pain, but the run­ning com­munity have only recently begun to use it to aid per­form­ance. Research has shown CBD oil acts as a paink­iller and an anti-inflam­mat­ory by aid­ing the body’s abil­ity to self-reg­u­late its intern­al hor­mones.

Its anti-inflam­mat­ory effects — and the asso­ci­ated bene­fits of improved recov­ery — are of par­tic­u­lar appeal to ath­letes. This is espe­cially true with­in multi-stage ultramara­thon events, as recov­ery between stages is a vital factor in per­form­ing optim­ally the fol­low­ing day. Moreover, CBD oil has been shown to improve sleep, which fur­ther enhances its effect on recov­ery. The inter­ac­tion between CBD oil and hor­mones with­in the body can help relax muscles and recept­ors, increas­ing the over­all length and qual­ity of sleep.

How and when is CBD oil taken?

CBD oil is best taken with a meal, prefer­ably one high in unsat­ur­ated fat (eg nuts and cheese), as this allows more of the act­ive com­pon­ent of CBD oil to be absorbed into the body — oth­er­wise known as first-pass meta­bol­ism.

Tak­ing CBD oil 30 minutes before going to bed can also help the body to rewind and relax, allow­ing for a longer and high­er qual­ity sleep.

Lastly, tak­ing CBD oil before and after an intense peri­od of exer­cise — wheth­er that be a hard train­ing ses­sion or a race — can reduce inflam­ma­tion, alle­vi­ate pain, and boost your over­all recov­ery right when you need it.

Is CBD oil allowed in ultra mara­thons?

Earli­er this year, CBD oil was removed from the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency’s (WADA) list of pro­hib­ited sub­stances, mak­ing CBD oil an increas­ingly pop­u­lar sup­ple­ment amongst elite ath­letes, includ­ing ultra run­ners.

How­ever, as the vari­ety of CBD oil products avail­able on the mar­ket increases, there is grow­ing con­cern over the qual­ity of some products. Some CBD oils have been found to con­tain small amounts of THC (the psy­cho­act­ive ele­ment in can­nabis), which has res­ul­ted in some ath­letes fail­ing drug tests. In 2019, Amer­ic­an free-ski­er Dev­in Logan received a three-month sus­pen­sion from the US Anti-Dop­ing Agency for fail­ing a drugs test, which she attrib­uted to the use of a CBD-based product that had high­er than nor­mal traces of THC.

How long until the use of CBD oil is wide­spread?

More and more com­pan­ies are start­ing to mar­ket CBD oil to ultra mara­thon run­ners, in an attempt to steer its asso­ci­ation with marijuana towards that of simply anoth­er nat­ur­al ergogen­ic aid. In the future, as cul­tur­al atti­tudes around marijuana con­tin­ue to shift, it is likely we will see a con­tin­ued rise in the con­sump­tion of can­nabis derived products as anti-inflam­mat­or­ies and pain killers, to help ultra run­ners push their phys­ic­al bound­ar­ies even fur­ther.

1 Com­ment

  1. Chris Taylor

    Great art­icle. Seems like a lot of top ath­letes are using CBD oil. Been mean­ing to try it out for a while now, will cer­tainly give it a go at some point!

    Reply

Sub­mit a Com­ment

Your email address will not be pub­lished. Required fields are marked *

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