The reigning Miss Universe Catriona Grey won just after answering a question on whether marijuana should be legalized or not. She said it would be tricky to legalize it for leisure purposes, but it can be used strictly under prescription by a medical practitioner. Weed, as marijuana is popular called, has undergone several debates as users defend its usefulness which is mostly a “high” but cancer patients can also use it to relieve pain. It is still not clear as to whether weed actually cures cancer.

Then we have the CBD, Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound that is found in cannabis plants. CBD can be extracted from the same plant as marijuana, or from hemp— another cannabis plant that is now legal in the United States. Other countries are also preparing to go to the poll as to whether marijuana should be legalized or not. Unlike marijuana, which the CDC argues is addictive; CBD also doesn’t seem to be, according to the World Health Organization. CBD that is extracted from other cannabis plants is still illegal on the federal level, but may be legal under state law. Though many researchers claim that CBD has great health benefits, it is still a grey area as to what exactly it cures, though there are several testimonials from its users.

Companies also can’t legally make unproven health claims about CBD. A researcher, Blessing says she’s concerned that some people buying unregulated CBD have a “real medical need” and won’t seek proven methods of treatment, as CBD is still grey. A user, Richards however says. “I have arthritis in my knee. If I don’t take CBD, I’m going to feel it come back in a day or two.”

Although the use of “medical marijuana” continues to be an emotionally and politically charged issue for many people, research is pointing to the amazing health benefits of CBD oil, and Americans are beginning to take notice.

So, should CBD be used by body builders and fitness fanatics? What is exactly the connection between CBD and fitness?

1. Inflammation

One of the most widely known properties of CBD is it’s anti-inflammatory properties. After an intense workout, what Arnold Schwarzenegger refers to as the pump, for the next day or two, you may experience the soreness and discomfort of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Microscopic tears in muscle fibers causing inflammation and discomfort.  Inflammation is not new to any athletes working out intensely and it is definitely good news that CBD can lower exercise induced inflammation responses, and help get you back up and running faster, fully recovered.

2. Anxiety and Stress Relief

CBD has been so effective for reducing stress and anxiety for some that they are ditching their prescription medications for this safer alternative. Although there are fewer studies on cannabidiol specifically, the preliminary research is promising.cannabidiol not only made participants feel better but also changed the way their brains responded to anxiety. Previous studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder. While CBD oil is not listed on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a person should consult their doctor before using it to treat anxiety because the dosage is also unclear and one can end up overdosing.

3. Improved Digestion

CBD has been shown to reduce the spasticity of the intestines whilst stimulating appetite, which is two of the major side effects of many digestive issues. The common symptom of cramping that comes with a contracted intestine is relieved by the anti inflammatory properties of the CBD; once it has attached itself to the cannabinoid receptors that can be found in the intestines, the cramping eases and bowel movements can become more regulated.

CBD can be part of a comprehensive approach to address the underlying issues of gut imbalance, and ease symptoms like cramping, fatigue, and diarrhea. When tactics like these are employed together, along with CBD, they can help boost homeostasis and gut health, says Brandon Baird, a chemist and Chief Executive Officer of Polyphase Health. That’s when your “second brain”—the digestive system—can get back online, and working the way it should.

4. Increasing metabolism and burning fat

Majority of the time when someone is overweight, there is usually one primary culprit that results in the struggling to lose weight: a slow metabolism. It can result in high cholesterol, high blood sugar level, high blood pressure, and constant fatigue.

White fat cells can increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, among others. Brown fat alternatively can promote weight loss by burning energy. Researchers agreed that CBD has the ability to induce fat browning, or more simply put to turn white fat into brown fat. Research has revealed that CBD is actually very effective in weight loss if used properly.

The results found concluded that CBD:

  • Helps stimulate proteins and fat genes, which then encourage the oxidation and breakdown of fat.
  • Boosts the activity and number of mitochondria in the body cells, which helps the body in burning more calories
  • Decreases the expression of proteins involved in lipogenesis.

5. Reduction of Appetite

If you take a CBD capsule, you won’t get the munchies and consume an embarrassing amount of granola. You probably won’t think much about food at all unless it is pushed in front of your face. It is known for suppressing one’s appetite and with the high metabolism involved in working out, one will lose weight altogether.

6. Low Blood Pressure

CBD hemp oil is one natural option for anyone who wants to reduce their blood pressure, but you must always speak with a doctor when your health is on the line.  Your doctor can monitor your blood pressure over time in addition to offering additional tips you can use to boost your results. CBD oil actually makes our blood vessels to relax. These benefits work together to lower blood pressure and decrease your risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.

7. Low Blood Glucose Levels

Diabetes is definitely a global problem. In America alone, Over 100 million American adults — about 1/3 of the population — are currently living with either type one or type two diabetes. One of the most important ways that CBD possibly affects diabetes has to do with preventing the disease from occurring in the first place. It is said that CBD helps in insulin resistance hence preventing diabetes by preventing a buildup of insulin in our systems. Researchers aren’t totally sure how CBD works to treat insulin resistance. But, many believe that credit belongs to CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Many studies have a shown a connection between chronic inflammation and insulin resistance.

8. Improved Sleep

Insomnia is not just a rare problem today, from working mums to students. With 30–35% of adults in the United States showing symptoms of insomnia, experts are calling insomnia an, “epidemic. “ CBD is however said to be able to treat insomnia.

A normal, healthy brain will have functions in place to manage how we respond to stressful situations which cause lack of sleep; however, if the brain is off-balanced or there’s too much going on, the brain will get overloaded and this function will not work properly. Studies show that when CBD interacts with these receptors, cognitive functions improve and the brain is able to respond to stressful situations more effectively. As a result, negative behavioral output is mitigated and the stress cycle is negated.

9. Joint pain and Arthritis will reduce

CBD strengthens the immune system making it capable to fight off autoimmune infections. Pain and inflammation experienced in the joints will reduce.