It’s found its way into our water, massages even our cakes. But the latest trend to catch out attention? CBD workouts. Lucy tests out a recovery focused class with the added benefit of CBD patches to help with inflammation – a joint approach to aid recovery from a static 9 – 5. It doesn’t get more dope than this…
Bathed in a pool of green light with my head on a pillow, I stare up at the ceiling in a dream-like state. The patch on my arm sending chemicals coursing through my veins. And no, I am not in an 18th century Opium den. I’m at a Gymbox fitness studio, experiencing London’s first CBD workout
CBD, the non-intoxicating natural chemical found in the cannabis plant has found itself in the unlikely position of being the buzziest word in 2019 wellness and beauty. Weed hasn’t been this popular since Woodstock festival. The natural chemical is being hailed as the new wonder-wellness drug, added to everything from body lotion to smoothies, and it’s now popping up everywhere in the fitness world too.
Gymbox has just launched a class called ‘Cannabliss’. Fitness Manager Hannah Curtis Nunn says: “The class incorporates exercises and mobility movements akin to a yin yoga class. It also draws on the growing trend of using CBD oils to relieve everyday stress and anxiety.
Members are provided with a CBD patch to apply to their arms, which delivers the natural, potent oil osmotically into the body – providing anti-inflammatory relief to the wearer. This, combined with the stretches and mobility exercises. helps to relieve those niggly aches and pains that most desk workers experience.
A first of its kind, Cannabliss is ideal for those who are seized up from office jobs, need help finding a balance between hardcore training sessions, or for those recovering from injury. You will be given CBD patches to wear as part of the rehabilitation class, to help reduce inflammation, ease anxiety and provide a sense of well-being.”
I found the class extremely relaxing. It’s very different to most of Gymbox’s usual high-energy, high impact workouts. I didn’t even come close to breaking a sweat. After you apply the stick-on patch with CBD oil, the class starts with guided breath-work and meditation in the green-light drenched studio, as you lie back on the matt, your head on a pillow. After assuring us that we “won’t get high”, the teacher then guides the class through a series of slow self-massage techniques and static stretches held for between two and four minutes.
It is calming, but I’m not sure how much of this is due to the yoga and breath work. As with most CBD products, the product itself isn’t strong enough to make you feel anything much in itself with just one dose, so what’s the point of using it in workouts?
I asked an expert from CBDvirtue.co.uk, which sells products such as CBD muscle rub and post-workout gummies. Henri Sant-Cassia said: “CBD has well documented anti-inflammatory, pain relief, cortisol balancing and blood sugar regulating properties. For athletes this means relief from cramp, faster recovery times, better muscle building and protection from extreme exercise stress. It’s a natural exercise booster that has already taken US sports by storm as it is permitted in competitions, and is becoming popular with everyone from kick-boxers to yoga fanatics in the UK.
Hard exercise causes tiny tears in the muscles, inflammation occurs and when the body’s repair processes are triggered, muscles grow back stronger. Problems arise when there is too much damage to be easily repaired leading to injuries and poor athletic performance. CBD offers a way to prevent this excessive damage and a natural way to recover faster and more efficiently. It’s also great for cramps during exercise”.
CBD also balances cortisol levels, the ‘stress’ hormone which is triggered by both pressurised lifestyles and extreme workouts. As this hormone can raise blood pressure, change bone density and consume muscle tissue, it actually reduces the effects of exercise. By balancing cortisol, CBD makes even the most demanding workouts more effective. An absolute minimum dose of 10mg of CBD per day is needed to have a noticeable effect.”
CBD can be applied as a cream and rubbed into sore muscles, dropped under the tongue as a tincture, or eaten in edible form such as honey sticks or gummies. The jury is still out on which is most effective, but whether you are wearing it on a patch during yoga or dropping it straight into your mouth, it’s definitely worth a try.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.