RUNNING ON CBD | Ultra-runner Louise Greenwood tests The Tonic
Exercise is good for us. Fact. But it does come with some side effects. Injuries. Soreness. Fatigue. It’s natural and expected for the body to sometimes respond to activity in a way which displays these symptoms.
CBD can help in the recovery from exercise as well as performance.
There are a 3 options for taking CBD that we would recommend;
CBD oil, taken sublingually. This takes an hour or 2 to take effect and generally lasts around 8 hours. Try our 8% oil.
CBD Water Soluble, which can be added to your water, smoothie or juice as well as swallowed straight. It works in about 15 minutes and lasts around 8 hours. Try the 4% Tonic. The 4% has an extra dose of terpenes included which increase its anti-inflammatory properties.
Topical CBD. The Tonic’s Topical 1% CBD Balm (pure CBD in organic coconut oil) or the 2% CBD Serum are applied directly to the skin and are perfect for rubbing onto aching muscles, injuries or areas of inflammation.
Throughout our Endocanabinoid system we have at least 2 types of cannabinoid receptors. The two that have been identified are CBD1 and CBD2 receptors. CBD1 receptors are mostly found in the nervous system and CBD2 reside predominantly in the immune system, organs and endocrine glands, controlling a variety of biological processes like appetite, immune responses, digestion, mood, and sleep. The application of CBD to the skin penetrates into the skin cells and muscle tissue, where CBD2 receptors are found. When tackling injuries, aches and pains the ideal solution is to hit it up both ways, orally and topically.
Like The Tonic, Louise resides in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. We are surrounded by a challenging and beautiful landscape that demands to be climbed, hiked, biked and ran. You become hardy living here. But very few are quite as footsure and resilient as an Ultra Runner. I would happily run for an hour or two, but I cannot comprehend entering a 38 mile race that encompasses imposing Helvelyn in Lake District, entails around 9 hours of running, 2000 metres of ascent. That is exactly what Louise completed in December.
I met with her last year for a trot across the moors above Hebden Bridge. So how many miles do you think you run in a year? “Well, so far this year I’ve recorded over 1,200 miles”, says Louise casually. By the end of the year she’ll have clocked over 2000 miles, and each of those miles was off road, over fells and often across muddy, energy-absorbing moorlands. “It’s only 38 miles, so it’s a baby-ultra”
Louise started running seriously in 2014 when she was living in Portugal. “I was having a very bad time in life, my mum had been diagnosed with cancer (thankfully now fully recovered), the financial crisis was hitting very hard, my beloved border collie had just died and I was in a very negative and unhappy relationship. Running gave me the headspace I needed and allowed me to live in the moment.
Louise achievements so far have been Pen Llyn Classic 75 mile – 1st female, Devon Coast to Coast 117 mile – 2nd female, Lakes in a Day 50 mile, South Wales 50 (mile), Calderdale Way 50 mile, Tour de Helvellyn 38 mile, Keswick Mountain Festival 50k.
With years of running comes the inevitable…injuries. She might be tough, but Louise isn’t any different from the rest of us in that her body is showing signs of hard work and constant impact. This is one of the reasons Louise has turned to CBD. There was also a curiosity as to how it could affect her recovery time post-race and training as well as calming pre-race nerves. But we’ll come back to Louise in a few weeks when she’s put the 4% to the test more.
I was recently injured (and not for the first time) falling off my mountain bike, straining ligaments in my shoulder and dislocating my thumb which wrenched the ligament and tendons. For the first 3 days I was on Codeine and Ibuprofen, but for me, this is always an extreme measure as the side-effects of Codeine are intolerable. I usually take the Tonic 4% daily for my knee pain and just increased the dosage to accommodate the severity of the pain of this new injury.
I also applied the 8% and sometimes the 25% directly onto the area that was most sore. CBD gives a very different effect to normal pain killers. It’s like the pain isn’t there, but the area isn’t numbed. I can still feel where the damage is, which I think is really important – it means I know exactly how far I can mobilise the area before causing further damage.
The Tonic 4% is also Louise’s choice. It’s packed with CBD, CBDA and terpenes (like curcumin and limonene) which all have anti-inflammatory properties. Because it’s water soluble, it’s easier for the body to ingest and thus you absorb 100% of the CBD content. It also means you can take it in food, water, smoothies or juices, or spray it directly in the mouth.
CBD works for athletes in 6 ways….
Sleep and Relaxation: CBD is known to regulate the sleep cycle without causing drowsiness. For recovery, and general health, a good nights sleep is essential. We’ve certainly experienced a deeper sleep on the 4% or the 8%.
Anti-inflammatory: CBD is naturally an anti-inflammtory so is effective in the reduction of muscle and soft tissue inflammation as well swollen joints. The 4% has added anti-inflammatory properties by way of what we call ‘terpenes’, such as curcumin.
Pain Relief: Cannabis is an analgesic, helping to alleviate pain both during and after exercise. Many athletes use CBD following their workouts to continue managing pain from achy muscles, joints and injuries.
Reduction of Muscle Cramps and Spasms: Cannabinoids are known to have antispasmodic properties. Some causes of muscle spasms in athletes include straining of a muscle, dehydration, trauma, and damage to nerves or to the spinal cord.
Regulation of Appetite: We have found the Tonic 4% CBD stimulates the appetite in a healthy way, and you need to keep your calories up when exercising. The Tonic 8% has the opposite affect for some, regulating craving behaviour.
Promote Insulin Sensitivity: CBD use has been found to be associated with lower levels of insulin. High sensitivity to insulin promotes storage of excess glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Too low insulin sensitivity leads to the storage of glucose as fat, creating difficulties in shifting glucose into muscle.