As cycling becomes the latest pandemic exercise trend, using CBD products in recovery and training should become an attractive option.
America is cycling more than ever. Yes, you can count bicycles among the items customers have enthusiastically purchased — just like toilet paper and marijuana — amid the pandemic. April sales of bike and corresponding accessories grew 75% compared to last year and passed $1 billion in combined sales for the first time ever. According to some experts, this is the biggest spike in American cycling since the 1970s, when the country faced an energy crisis.
Folks who haven’t cycled in years now hit the asphalt with routine as a way to exercise and/or socialize with friends from a distance. But riding a bike is no walk in the park. It can result in aches, pains, and possible injury if you’re not careful.
That’s where cannabidiol comes in. More commonly referred as CBD, the cannabinoid is established in scientific research as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Reducing pain and inflamed muscles, in addition to improving sleep, is exactly what your body needs after a tough ride.
Faster recovery isn’t the only way CBD can assist cyclists. Physical activity creates endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters in your body that interact with cannabinoids like CBD. This in turn allows the therapeutic effects of CBD — or THC, marijuana’s psychoactive element — to relay a deeper impact in your system.
A 2005 French study that focused on the relationship between sports and cannabis found that “the relaxing properties of cannabis may be frequently used to enhance performance.” By lowering mental anxiety or possible negative associations to an event, like a big competition or hitting your personal best, it allows athletes to get more into the zone. Several bikers in the industry have attested the boosting capabilities CBD can provide.
“Pre-CBD, my absolute limit without being in horrendous pain would be to run six miles, since taking CBD I have done several 10 mile off road trail runs and I don’t have nasty side effects of prescription drugs hindering my riding,” mountain biker Beccy Booth, one-half of Fat Creations, told PinkBike. “I feel more alert and less tired as I’m in less pain and sleeping better. The only side effect I have noticed is an increased feeling of happiness, others have noticed that in me too. My mood has improved a lot.”
However, not all consumption is created equal. If you’re a casual rider, taking CBD responsibly doesn’t present any consequences. But those engaged in serious competition should proceed with caution. While CBD is permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency — the guiding rules committee for most competitions — cannabis as a whole remains off limits.
Those concerns, however, may not apply during a pandemic. Most will be fine using CBD in recovery and training from cycling. Your legs will thank you for it.