On a mission to get fit this spring? Start making better progress by bringing some intention to how you recover on the daily. Being able to restore your muscles and rest so you can get up the next day and do it all again like you mean it is key for reaching your goals.
Proper recovery involves the way you bathe, sleep, eat, and supplement. Sound like a lot to think about? It doesn’t have to be. Just add CBD. CrossFit and nutrition coach Lorilynn McCorrister explains how CBD helps keep her performance up in the gym, and why you might want to consider it.
When did you realize CBD helped your recovery? Was there a specific moment?
Fitness was actually one of the main reasons cannabis became a big part of my life. I started experimenting with different strains to smoke before bed as I suffer from slight insomnia and was having trouble feeling fully rested and ready to hit the gym every morning at 7 AM before work. I noticed my performance was off if I didn’t get a full night’s sleep – it’s when the body heals itself. So I initially started using it that way. But I knew there had to be more applications of this plant to the fitness world.
I started researching CBD and its uses and benefits myself about a year and a half ago, when education on it became more prevalent and easy to find. I quickly realized it could be a huge help for me – it would allow me stop using things like Advil and Tylenol and other NSAIDs daily, which wreak havoc on your heart and organs with long term use. In CrossFit, we’re typically pushing our bodies to the limit – training through muscle pain and soreness is typically a given, but something I wanted to deal with as best I could.
I started adding a CBD isolate to my recovery program (along with other supplements like magnesium, zinc, vitamin B complex, and vitamin D) and saw results quite quickly. It not only helped with things like inflammation and pain, but allowed me to rest and relax a lot easier.
It just was so eye-opening to me that something natural, extracted from a plant, could have such a profound effect on my well being. Athletes are so conscious of what they put into their bodies, so using something like CBD to bring your body back into homeostasis and encourage recovery just seems like a no-brainer to me.
Do you have a daily recovery ritual you like to do that involves CBD?
I use a CBD isolate tincture daily, typically adding it to either a smoothie post workout or directly under my tongue when I’m in a rush. It’s just a part of my daily routine now. I have completely stopped using Advil and any other muscle and joint pain meds and it’s been amazing. I started off adding only about 25 mg daily to upping my dose to 50 mg and it’s been incredibly powerful.
Beyond that, I also add CBD to an epsom salt and essential oil mixture in the bath, to relieve inflammation topically, through the skin.
Which is the best method of application, in your experience? Topical or ingesting?
I think both are incredibly useful and serve their own purpose. I recommend taking a tincture or capsule daily for overall health and well-being, but also think the benefits of topicals are incredible and can be immediately relieving. From adding it to your bath, to different restoring and pain relief topicals, I think we’ll only see this segment of the market expand as regulations change and research advances.
What’s been the response to your CBD use for this purpose? Do you ever come up against stigma when you’re public about it?
I find education is key here. Many people, especially those who aren’t cannabis users already, don’t know the difference between CBD and THC and don’t necessarily realize that you don’t have to smoke cannabis to appreciate its benefits. I am quite outspoken about it, and I find that being a coach gives me a platform to educate others and kind of shift the stigma.
(Some) people have preconceived notions about what a daily cannabis user acts like and looks like and I think showing people that I am a high performing athlete and a professional in the fitness and nutrition space, while using cannabis daily, helps to shift those stereotypes immediately.
There are so many more options for using cannabis now than just smoking a joint, and spreading the word and talking about it as much as I can is how I think I can do my part to shift the stigma and educate others.
What advice would you give to a first-time CBD user who’s interested in it for recovery but maybe afraid or hesitant?
I would say to do your research first. After legalization, and the boom of the CBD market in the US, there are tons of online resources, studies, and literature that dive into the benefits and risks associated with taking CBD.
As always with cannabis, start slow to see what works for you. Experiment and keep track of how the different amounts you’re using are affecting your overall well-being, then you can adjust from there. Cannabis use in any form is a very personal thing, and there is no one-size-fits-all remedy for everyone. But experimenting and dipping your toe in is the only way to find out how it can work for you.
If you want more from Lorilynn, check out her episode on The Dopist podcast where she talks more about CBD and workout recovery, how she uses THC, and where she thinks the industry is headed.