CBD For Runners? The Science Behind Its Positive Effects

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 07/25/22 •  7 min read

If you run a lot, recovery is important. But can CBD help? And, if so, what is the best CBD for runners? Let’s investigate…


Running is something that millions of people do every day. They do it to lose weight, improve their overall health, and clear their minds. But if you’re regularly logging miles, whether beginner or advanced, you’ll know the toll running can take on your body.

Concrete is a cruel mistress. Newton’s law dictates that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so every time your foot hits the concrete, the same force you apply comes back up through your foot and into your joints. Now you know why runners often suffer from joint pain.

Of course, good running form stops nearly all injuries. That and a consistent, focused training schedule. But what else can you do to aid recovery post-run?

I’m not talking about stretching. I’m talking about something simple, something effective, and something that is actually backed by science, so you can recover faster, log more miles, and hit your targets faster. Let’s do this…

CBD Helps You Recover Faster From Running

According to science, CBD, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects on your body, is a great tool for runners of all ages and experience.

CBD helps with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is the main issue most new runners suffer from, and it also helps more experienced runners deal with pain niggles after longer runs and more intense workouts.

As someone that regularly runs anywhere from 50 to 80 miles a week, I can attest to the benefits of supplementing with CBD. I don’t use it all the time either; usually, only after runs that are 12 miles or longer – this is when I often feel the most soreness the next day or two.

With shorter distances, so anything under 10K, I usually find I don’t need any CBD. Normal recovery, so a bath, some sleep, and good nutrition are all that’s required.

But for those that are new to running, CBD is a brilliant tool for managing soreness and aches early on – it does take several months for your body to adapt to running, after all.

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For instance, if you’ve been running for a year or more, a slow 10K is a fairly straightforward run.

You lace up, go out the door, and run at a reasonable pace – either in Zone 1 or Zone 2 – for about an hour. You then cool down for 10 minutes, usually a walk, and then head home.

The next day? Nine times out of ten, you’re fine – no muscle aches, no soreness.

But if you’re new to running and 10K feels like an Everest-like endeavor, your experience will be VERY different.

Your muscles will be screaming by the end of the run and, most likely, for the majority of the next couple of days.

You might be so sore, in fact, that you cannot run again for two or three days.

And this is where problems set in for new runners. You really do need to be out there, logging miles every other day, consistently, for at least six months to force the requisite adaptations in your body.

If you miss a day or two, it’s not a problem.

But when I miss a day or two, it is very easy for me to lose focus and then miss another day.

Your aerobic base requires constant stimulation. If you miss a couple of runs, you will notice the difference next time you go out.

It’ll be harder, you’ll be slower, and your muscles won’t feel as fluid.

Basically, it sucks. You do months of work and then, in the space of a week, lose 60% of your progress. How is THAT fair?

I’ve found that by using CBD intermittently, usually after longer, more intense runs or races, I am not only able to recover faster but I no longer have to rely on painkillers to ensure I don’t miss a training session.

When I was first starting, I had no idea about the benefits of CBD for post-run recovery. But the science is solid and the effect is very real. You feel less sore, you recover faster, and your body feels less inflamed and more well-oiled.

You Can Use CBD Instead of NSAID For Muscle Aches

I mentioned that I used to use painkillers so that I didn’t miss a training session. This is a fairly common thing in the world of sports. Most athletes use NSAIDs to ease muscle and joint pain.

But NSAIDs are terrible for your stomach, especially if you take them on an empty stomach.

With CBD, you don’t have to worry about any negative side effects or stomach issues.

CBD is a natural product, derived from plants that have been used for millennia by people all over the world for its medicinal properties.

NSAIDs are FDA-approved and available over the counter in pharmacies, but they do come with plenty of side effects.

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And if you take too many, you can overdose. With CBD, it is impossible to overdose on the compound.

The efficacy of CBD has been tested extensively for its pain management capabilities. This is why we have medical cannabis in the UK; it is the CBD components in cannabis that give it its pain-relieving abilities.

With CBD oil, you’re ONLY getting the CBD though – there is no narcotic effect, as all the THC (the compound that gets you high) has been removed.

Again, I’m NOT a doctor and this is not a medical site, nor is any of this to be taken as medical advice. I’m just relaying my research and my own personal experience in using CBD to recover faster from running.

If you want to see an actual study on the efficacy of CBD for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, you can check out this one – it covers all the science behind how and why CBD is great for recovery from exercise.

Oxidative stress resulting from overproduction of ROS is a key element of the immune system’s response to combat pathogens and initiates tissue repair. However, metabolic modifications resulting from overproduction of ROS also have many negative aspects and lead to the development and/or exacerbation of many diseases.

It is believed that the endocannabinoid system, which includes G-protein coupled receptors and their endogenous lipid ligands, may be responsible for the therapeutic modulation of oxidative stress in various diseases. In this context, the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol, which was identified several decades ago and may interact with the cannabinoid system, is a promising molecule for pharmacotherapy.

NCBI

Best CBD For Runners?

If you’re a runner – or a cyclist or any kind of endurance athlete – your number one enemy is inflammation. If you want to tackle this pesky hindrance head-on, the best way to do it is with high-strength CBD oil.

With CBD oil, you simply place a few drops under your tongue, hold it for a minute a so, and get on with your day. Personally, I like to take it right after my long runs and then, again, when I go to bed. This seems to be the magic amount for me, with respect to speeding up recovery.

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  • Recover Faster after workouts
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  • Easy to Use Pipette
  • Support for the whole family
  • With Peppermint oil and natural profile terpenes to battle against daily stress
  • Convenient 20ml dropper bottle for accurately measured doses
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Pros:
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  • With Natural Terpenes
  • 20mg per Drop
  • Contains up 200 Drops
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Gluten Free
  • Lab Tested For Purity
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Pros:
  • Broad Spectrum 3000mg CBD
  • 30ml Bottle
  • 10% Extra Strong Strength
  • Premium Hemp Extract with Organic MCT Oil
  • 100% Natural Ingredients
  • Pipette for Precise Dosage
  • Vegan
  • 0% THC
  • Gluten Free
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging
3.5
Pros:
  • 4000mg CBD
  • Phytocannabinoid-Rich Pure Hemp CBD Oil
  • 10ml Bottle
  • Highest Specification Rating in UK
3.5
Pros:
  • Fresh Mint Flavour
  • 1500mg CBD
  • 30ml Bottle
  • Non-psychoactive (Less than 0.05% THC)
  • Sourced exclusively from the USA
  • Free of chemicals and pesticides
  • GMO-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
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  • 30ml Bottle
  • 33mg CBD per 1ml
  • Minimum 85% Active CBD
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  • Lab Tested for Safety, Purity and Potency
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • Halal
  • Non-GMO

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.

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