CBD is here to support your training and recovery. We’re here to bust myths and ensure you have the information you need to benefit from this incredible, often stigmatised, natural compound.
What is CBD?
The CBD molecule (or Cannabidiol) is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant – and it’s the one you’ll find featured across the MOXU product range.
It’s non-psychoactive, legal (even for professional athletes), and, as stated by the World Health Organisation, non-addictive and perfectly safe to use. Through the way CBD modulates our full body regulator, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and interacts with other vital receptors, it has remarkable potential for helping to balance all bodily processes. This can assist in ensuring optimum levels of recovery, focus, energy, restorative sleep and much, much more.
How does CBD work?
Since the initial discovery and exploration of CBD in the 1940s, this particular molecule has gone on to be best known and studied for certain effects, including its impact on pain transmission, inflammation, sleep and mood. Now, with a growing body of research and a staggering volume of ‘real world’ evidence, we’ve come to realise that everyone’s experience of CBD (and the cannabis plant as a whole) is unique to some degree. Just as every body is unique. Remarkably, CBD has been shown time and again to work via different mechanisms for different cells in the body, and needs. Although not officially classified as an adaptogen, it certainly appears to have adaptogenic qualities – meaning the way it interacts with your body is tailored specifically to you.
This is partly due to the fact that CBD is pleotropic – meaning it has the ability to produce multiple affects via a variety of molecular pathways. These include serotonin receptors, the HPA Axis, Vanilloid receptors and endocannabinoid system. However, the way cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with your body will largely come down to what’s needed to help bring you back into balance.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
We knew very little about CBD and how it worked until the early 90s, when Israeli chemist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam unveiled the endocannabinoid system (ECS) - one of the most important physiological systems in the body. This discovery was followed by the isolation of our internally synthesised endocannabinoid, Anandamide, which enabled a far deeper understanding of the ECS and CBD than ever before.
Through years of ground-breaking work, the world’s top cannabis researchers discovered that the body produces two endocannabinoids: Anandamide (named for the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’) and 2-AG. What’s more, they discovered that these directly activate the ECS to trigger a wide range of responses that are essential to the body’s overall function. Among many other things, we know that Anandamide, as the etymology suggests, is actually responsible for that ‘runners high’ – giving you that push you need to succeed, while reducing muscle pain and inflammation.
The ECS acts as a homeostatic regulator and it’s job it to keep all physiological systems in balance. It’s receptors can be found throughout all other systems (such as the endocrine system, immune system, nervous system and digestive system), in the brain, all muscles, every skin cell and even our mitochrondrial cell walls. When endocannabinoids are synthesised and released, they make their way around the body, slotting into those receptors to report outside conditions to the inside of each cell, and instructing the appropriate response.
We now know that it’s possible to experience an endocannabinoid deficiency as a result of factors including lack of sleep, poor diet and stress - this can prevent the ECS, and therefore the body, from working optimally.
In the case of an endocannabinoid deficiency, the trick is to naturally support endocannabinoid production. This can be done by exercising, consuming turmeric, or taking CBD oil.
Unlike other cannabinoids and our own endocannabinoids, CBD doesn’t directly activate the ECS. Instead, it ever so slightly alters the shape of the receptors, which supports the release and free-flow of endocannabinoids. This, while inhibiting the enzyme that would ordinarily break endocannabinoids down at a rapid rate.
The result is a fresh surge of endocannabinoids throughout the body that don’t get mopped up right away, and a rejuvenated ECS. As the whole thing kicks back into gear, it lights up and dims down mechanisms throughout the body until everything – pain transmission, appetite, energy, mood, memory – is brought into alignment.
CBD and Other Receptors
Although you’ll read a lot about the ECS when leaning about cannabis compounds, CBD’s interaction with the body doesn’t stop there. Remarkably, this molecule also has the ability to directly activate certain serotonin receptors, dopamine receptors, vanilloid receptors and more for a multitude of potential effects.
Serotonin receptors: Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter synthesised in the gut which regulates a huge number of bodily processes, including mood, digestion, sleep, bone density and sexual function. Many people may experience a serotonin deficit in their lives due to a variety of factors including chronic stress, poor diet, poor sleep, lack of sunlight and hormonal changes. A serotonin deficit may manifest as anxiety, depression, muscle pain, headaches, insomnia and many more ailments besides.
Vanilloid receptors: When activated, these receptors can help mediate pain perception, body temperature, inflammation and metabolism. Recent research has also indicated that increased activation of Vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors may be an effective treatment for chronic inflammation.
What makes CBD and fitness a great combination?
There are a vast range of factors which makes CBD and sport the perfect match! Research has indicated that when the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is activated it produces an anti-catabolic response which prevents the body losing muscle mass. Many studies have also indicated that an activated ECS and steady levels of endocannabinoids can produce anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, as well as reduced muscle spasticity and accelerated muscle recovery.
Can CBD really give me an energy boost?
Although CBD is commonly used as a sleep aid it may also boost energy. One reason for this is of course that a better nights sleep will result in more energy! CBD has been called a ‘wake-promoting agent’ in a 2014 study published in Current Neuropharmacology – it just depends how much you take, when you take it and what your body needs. This can also be amplified when combined with stimulating terpenes and other adaptogens.
Some researchers believe it’s likely to be down the way CBD directly activates dopamine receptors, the support of a bliss-inducing flow of endocannabinoid anandamide, the regulation of blood sugar levels and the anti-oxidant properties of CBD.
Can CBD help support healthy weight loss?
A recent study, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, has linked CBD oil to healthy weight loss. The CBD molecule has been shown to have “fat browning” capabilities, transforming white fat (associated with obesity and diabetes) into brown fat cells, which helps burn extra calories. Better still, CBD has also been shown to reduce the creation of new fat cells.
How will CBD make me feel?
Of the millions of people enjoying CBD products as part of their lifestyle, many have noticed similar effects such as a better quality sleep, a positive mood boost, overall improved stress management, reduced pain and inflammation, speedy DOMS recovery after exercise, increased energy and even heightened productivity and focus. As covered above, there are a variety of different reasons CBD users experience these effects. But how does it feel when you actually take CBD?
The first point to note is that it won’t get you high, as CBD products in the UK contain very little of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (if any at all). However, you may feel uplifted, calm, energised or relaxed – depending on the product you take and the dose. CBD oil is biphasic, which means the affects can vary depending on the dose.
How do I take CBD?
The key to getting the most out of oral CBD is to start low, go slow and be consistent. You need to take it every day for a length of time (ideally at least a month), building up gradually to a dose that suits your needs, to give the cannabinoids time to accumulate and your body time to re-centre.
Microdosing a drop or two 3 times a day is a common administration method for many oral CBD users. MOXU, however, prefer a more accurate measuring approach and so we have a graduated pipette so you know exactly how much CBD you are receiving through the day. This allows you to keep a steady level of CBD and endocannabinoids flowing through your system and also helps you build up your dose gradually.
How soon will I feel the effects of CBD?
There are many different ways to take CBD – oil drops, capsules, edibles, topicals and more! You’ll feel the effects of all of them at different speeds.
Oil drops are one of the fastest ways to take CBD usually having noticeable effects within 5-10 minutes. Anything that needs to be digested (like capsules, edibles, drinks and CBD infused protein shakes) takes longer, and has a slow, steady build up as opposed to a quick shift, because they need to go via your digestive system first.
How long will I feel the effects of CBD for?
Once you’ve taken CBD, it will reach ‘elimination half-life’ (the time it takes to reach half the dosage in your body) in 18 to 32 hours, depending on your own unique metabolism of the molecule. Capsules tend to take longer to take effect (around 90 minutes), but they have a longer ‘active life’ (the time when you can feel something working) of about 4-6 hours. Despite being in your body, you’re unlikely to ‘feel it’ as when you first take it during this length of time. But over time you may notice your overall physical and emotional responses do feel more balanced, regardless of whether you took your CBD minutes or hours ago.
What is topical CBD?
Topical CBD is a CBD product that you put onto your skin. This may be in the form of skincare, like moisturisers and face oils, or as a transdermal formulation for deeper penetration through multiple layers of the skin and even into your muscles.
As ECS receptors are present in almost every skin cell, as well as throughout the whole body, a variety of studies have shown that topical CBD products may hold great potential for skin health.
Topical CBD vs Transdermal CBD – what’s the difference?
Topical CBD is really only for the surface layer of skin, whereas transdermal products penetrate deeper. MOXU has a range of transdermal products. A number of ingredients can be added to CBD topicals to act as ‘transdermal permeation enhancers’, making them transdermal. These include over 350 chemicals, including natural terpenes, fatty acids and alcohols such as glycol. Transdermal CBD products are what most athletes will reach for to tackle delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Does CBD have any negative side effects?
Even at very high doses, CBD has never been found to cause any serious or harmful side effects. If you take a lot more than your ideal dose, you may experience a mild headache, nausea, a sleepy sensation or feel slightly woozy. But all of these wear off very quickly and are nothing to worry about – just pull back on your dose next time!
Can I use CBD as a professional athlete?
If you’re a professional athlete considering trying CBD, rest assured that it’s legal to use in accordance with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations - so long as the brand your buying from is trustworthy. Always check for 3rd party testing certificates so you know what’s in the bottle.
Is CBD legal?
Although the cannabis plant remains illegal for recreational use in the UK, properly regulated CBD oil is perfectly legal – even for pro athletes.
Can I take CBD alongside medication?
Although many people do use CBD alongside medication, please do consult your doctor and discuss this with them first.
CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum – what’s the difference?
When shopping for CBD, you may notice a range of choices available that are listed as CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum. This may seem confusing at first glance, but it’s actually very simple.
CBD Isolate: CBD isolate products contain pure CBD. Products labelled CBD isolate contain the CBD molecule and nothing else from the cannabis plant (unless in a hemp seed oil base, however this contains no cannabinoids) – no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.
Broad Spectrum: Broad spectrum CBD contains CBD, alongside a range of other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids from the cannabis plant – but no THC.
Full Spectrum: Full spectrum refers to the whole plant extract, contains a range of terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids including a small amount of THC.
There are many supplements out there touted for helping your body recover and realign, but there are very few with as much science to back them up as CBD oil. Here at MOXU, we’re as passionate about educating as we are about fitness, so we invite you to consider our website a font of information, as well as your go-to place for all your wellbeing needs. We’re here to support you, just like all CBD, you begin your journey towards a healthier, happier you.