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Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “gym rat,” a newbie ready to start kicking some glutes on that new year’s resolution, or an aspiring Instagram model you can probably agree that making progress at the gym takes just as much time as it does the effort.

Fitness is something that doesn’t happen overnight. But with motivation and dedication, the sky’s the limit.

If you’re already well invested in the fitness world, you are probably aware of all the “get ripped quick” hoaxes and dietary supplements. However, you are also probably aware of some good products out there that really do work!

Allow me to introduce you to another upcoming fitness star: CBD.

You may have heard about the cannabinoid before, perhaps your friends and relatives use it to treat their anxiety, depression, insomnia, or more. It’s even been used in FDA approved medications like Epidiolex and However, more athletes are boasting about how CBD actually enhances their athletic performance in a variety of different sports.

Now I mentioned the word “cannabinoid” so the first word that comes to mind is likely cannabis.

CBD is derived from hemp, a species of cannabis. But don’t worry, CBD can’t get you high. This is because it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC. THC is the psychoactive compound abundantly found in marijuana, another species of cannabis.

Experts have proven that even if you were to take the hemp extract in large doses, there is not enough THC in there to induce mind-altering effects.

How does it work?

Well, humans and animals are naturally wired with an endocannabinoid system. This system that we have in place is used to fine-tune our physiological functions and promote a state of homeostasis. It is composed of CB1 and CB2 receptors that are located all around our brain and body. When CBD is ingested, inhaled, or topically applied, it indirectly interacts with these receptors to produce outstanding medicinal effects.

At this point in reading this blog, you might be wondering, “how does this help me at the gym?”

Well, since CBD works with that endocannabinoid system, it helps regulate the effects of chronic pain and inflammation while helping you boost your muscle recovery. Also, it can give you a surge of energy before your workout and help you get a restful sleep afterward.

Many athletes who deal with the effects of injury on a daily basis will reach for CBD versus over the counter medicine that could be damaging to organs such as the liver and kidneys. Because athletes are constantly putting stress on almost every part of their body, specifically the muscles and nerves, CBD is a wonderful alternative.

In the case of nerve and muscle damage, CBD is especially effective if applied topically to the area of pain. Salves like Gridiron’s Fast Acting CBD salve is a great go-to option to give your body the relief that it needs so that you can go hard during all your workouts but still recovery healthily.

If you are looking for a boost of energy but want to stay away from pre-workout, try out some of Gridiron’s sports waters. Not only will you be getting your daily dose of MVPs (mineral, vitamins, probiotics) that are great for jumpstarting your healthy lifestyle, but you are also getting pure and safely grown CBD.

Personally, during my own workouts, I like to grab Gridiron’s Blackwater and take it with me to the gym. I drink it both before and during my weightlifting sessions and find that I have way more energy so I can push myself to the limit. It gives me the same effects of pre-workout without any of the nasty side effects.

Refinery29 published a great online article discussing the details about how CBD is great to take if you are an athlete or someone who frequents the gym. In their publication, they interview Dr. Brook Henry, Ph.D., an assistant research scientist at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Medical Cannabis Research and department of psychiatry.

R29’s article states, “Dr. Henry explains that physical activity, like running on a treadmill, has been found to raise the level of a certain type of endocannabinoid called anandamide (AEA) — presumably in order to reduce pain and inflammation. Taking CBD is also known to increase AEA because doing so prevents it from being metabolized. So, “there is a plausible biological pathway that might explain how CBD administration could potentially reduce discomfort associated with exercise.”

Even though cannabis has mostly been used for medicinal and recreational purposes, more and more research is proving that CBD is successfully intersecting into the fitness world. It is natural, safe, and effective for getting the most out of your workouts.

If you are thinking of adding CBD to your gym bag, be sure to consult with a doctor if you are taking any other medications as CBD can either enhance or suppress the effects of additional pharmaceuticals. Also, in the CBD world, less is more when you are starting out. When it comes to dosage, start small and increasingly add more to feel the full effects.