So, if you’re reading this I’m assuming you’ve heard about CBD and that it’s one of the major chemical compounds found in hemp or marijuana. There are two major chemical compounds or Cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is commonly known for its psychoactive effects (getting high).
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is known for a wide range of medical benefits.
THC and CBD have very distinct qualities that help to differentiate them.
In the recent years, there has been a lot of research done on the use of Cannabinoids as dietary supplements. This research has helped us learn more about the many benefits that Cannabinoids have in aiding muscle growth and athletic performance. Body builders, athletes and even everyday gym rats looking to gain some lean muscle can enjoy the benefits of CBD supplements.
So how do Cannabinoid supplements help to build muscle?
Well let’s start with the two main supplements used in building muscle:
Anabolic and Anti-Catabolic
Anabolic supplements are used to increase the production of anabolic hormones in the body. An increase in anabolic hormones results in an uptick in protein synthesis in the body. With an increase in protein synthesis, the body is able to grow muscle faster.
Gaining new muscle is not all there is to muscle building as you also have to maintain the gains you’ve already made. Experienced weight lifters can testify to what happens when they stop lifting for a month. Athletes who get sick or injured and stop intense exercise and sustainable protein intake also suffer from the same fate of losing muscle fast. This is mainly caused by more use of anabolic supplements and less use of anti-catabolic supplements.
Anti-catabolic supplements help to reduce the production of catabolic hormones that are responsible for rapid muscle loss as well as loss of strength. Catabolic or muscle wasting hormones are very good at breaking down muscles in your body.
This is why many fitness experts today are recommending body builders and athletes to be more anti-catabolic than anabolic. For instance, this is why steroids will only work while you’re using them, and then you inevitably lose 90% of your gains when you stop. This is why taking anti-catabolic supplements is a must.
This is where CBD (Cannabidiol) shines:
CBD or Cannabidiol supplements has shown to be one of the most effective anti-catabolic supplements out there and we are just scratching the surface of the benefits of CBD.
CBD Supplements for Muscle Building
Now that you understand a little more on why the use of anti-catabolic supplements is so important, I’ll talk more about how CBD can help you build and maintain muscle fast.
Studies conducted on the effects of CBD on growth hormone, plasma prolactin and cortisol proved that CBD significantly reduces cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the body with many different processes including regulating the metabolism, immune response as well as taking a major role in how the body responds to stress. Cortisol, is often referred to as the stress hormone, and is known to slow muscle growth.
Using CBD supplements as a pre-workout will assist in drastically lowering cortisol levels which in turn will increase stamina as well as endurance and allow you to get better and more productive workouts.
It’s necessary to mention that while CBD and THC come from the same source (the cannabis plant), CBD will not get you “HIGH” as it contains only trace amounts of THC (.3% or less to be legal in the U.S). Another concern for the fitness community that is associated with cannabis is the “Munchies”, so let me clear that up, CBD will not give you the Munchies.
CBD will also regulate blood sugar levels so that less insulin is produced by the body. When you have less insulin in the bloodstream you will have less glucose to be converted into fat, and instead it will be burned as energy. Fewer fat cells created translates to less body fat.
Quick overview of the benefits we’ve talked about:
- CBD is an anti-catabolic supplement and therefore will reduce muscle loss
- Improves energy levels by reducing cortisol and regulating blood sugar
- CBD will not get you HIGH
CBD: Additional Benefits for Muscle Building that need to be mentioned
- Studies have shown that CBD can counteract the side effects of intense workouts such as pain and inflammation in the muscles.
- Sleep, is arguably one of the most important parts of building muscle, and CBD research has shown to improve REM sleep, which I can personally testify too. CBD has changed my sleeping game.
Best use of CBD:
Using CBD supplements for it’s anti-catabolic effects can significantly improve the speed in which you grow and maintain muscle. When it comes to CBD as a workout supplement I recommend using CBD pre-workout supplement. It’s always recommended checking with your Doctor before starting an new supplement, and always starting slow and ramping up to make sure you tolerate it well. With that said most experts recommend to take anywhere from 10 to 50 mg per day before workouts.
It’s best to not use any caffeinated drinks or supplements when using CBD in your pre-workout regimen. Caffeine increases production of cortisol.
Research of the use of CBD supplements for muscle building is still very limited, but enough research has been done at this point to show the powerful natural benefits it has on muscle building.
I personally use CBD and have seen the powerful benefits firsthand. Hopefully the information I shared here will lead to you doing your own research as well as trying CBD supplements for yourself.
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