Localized anti-inflammatory synergistic with your body
5 Noteworthy Benefits
- Pain relief
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Heart health 
- Insomnia treatment
What is CBD
Cannabidiol is a chemical compound naturally occurring in cannabis. It is structurally different than THC in away that leaves it unable to bind to CB1 receptors, which are the receptors responsible for psychological euphoric effects. Pure CBD will not produce a high. In fact, the World-Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its 2018 prohibited list.
Some is needed, too much too long is harmful
If inflammation is part of the human body’s natural healing process, why do we want to inhibit it? As with many other systems in our bodies, balance is key. Inflammation is important in the initial stages immediately following an acute injury; however, lingering inflammatory proteins while the healing processes begins can slow the process. Most Americans turn to over the counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen for everything from inflammation to headaches and muscle soreness. While accessible and commonplace, researchers are continuously uncovering damaging effects caused by extended use of these drugs. 
Why NSAIDs Are Hard On Your Body
Although easily accessible, ibuprofen is still a drug. NSAIDs can be effective at reducing pain and inflammation after an acute injury. They are NOT, however, intended or safe to be taken on a regular basis.
Long Term Health Affects:
- Heart Attack -Taking any dose of NSAIDs for a week, month, or more slightly increases the likelihood of myocardial infarction – Michele Bally University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre
- Bleeding or holes in stomach and intestine 
- Interferes with blood flow to Kidneys
Concerns As an Athlete:
- Daily use can slow healing of muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons 
- Can decrease bone and muscle strength 
- Destroys your gut, check this – leaky gut
Inhibits bone healing – interactions occur between inflammatory proteins and bone metabolism. NSAIDs have been shown to have negative affects on, and in some cases prevent, bone healing. 
Uses of CBD
Enter CBD. With none of the side affects listed above, CBD is a successful anti-inflammatory that acts on different pathways to reduce joint swelling and reduce pain.
Many of NSAID’s harful effects are linked to their mechanism of blocking prostaglandins. CBD acts on entirely different pathways.
- Decreases pain by acting on vanilliod receptors 
- Reduces inflammation by activating of adenosine A2A receptors, which then reduces production of inflammatory proteins 
- Reduces excess synovial joint fluid in rat studies 
- Blocks GPR55 receptors. The activation of this receptor can stimulate osteoclasts to break down bone. While beneficial under a certain threshold, over activation of this process leads to osteoporosis. 
CBD oil is commonly available as a tincture or salve. Studies have found transdermal applications to be an effective source of reducing inflammation.  Suggested uses:
Salve: localized anti inflammatory
Tincture: anxiety, sleep, full body aches, reduce stiffness post travel and/or training
Things to Consider
Know your source. Pure, high quality CBD is crucial for full benefits and low THC. Since initially posting this over a year ago, I have tried various products from different farms. With some brands that I tried, I would have to take twice as much to get the same benefits as the top tier companies I typically use. In my experience, off-brand products, and companies that aren’t transparent in their test results for quality/composition, haven’t been a beneficial option.
CBD in your food – gimmic or worth it?
Most people take 20-50mg of CBD for the inflammatory or pain reduction effects. So first off, check and see how much the product is offering you. Second, the source of the CBD still matters. Find out what farm it is from. Then, if you do the math, 25mg of high quality CBD =~$2. So, $5 extra for 10mg of questionable CBD? Probably a gimmick.
Use locally and intermittently after workouts. As a climber, I use the salve on my finger joints/tendons after brutal days climbing and finger training to reduce some of the stress there without sending anti-inflammatory signals to my entire body. I also used daily on my recent mcl tear to help reduce pain at night and inflammation. Beginning 4 days after the injury, I was very thankful to have access to the salve.
Would love to hear about your experience with CBD! Leave a comment, let me know what you think.