CBD: A Gym Bag Essential

Gym Bag Essential

Article by Jordana White

Anyone who pushes it at the gym knows the struggle against post-workout pain is real. When you engage in cardio or strength training, your muscles actually develop small tears that allow them to stretch and grow; it’s the mechanism by which you build muscle mass.

But those micro tears also come with inflammation, which can be painful and keep you out of the gym the day after a hard training session. Speeding up those post-workout recoveries is a top priority for those who can’t or won’t skip a daily workout.

For some pros and weekend warriors alike, CBD is a welcome tool in the fight. “I’m 33 years old, and I’m a master scuba dive instructor,” says Kelly Hondros, a former All-American field hockey player who now spends her days farming hemp for Motive CBD, an athlete focused cannabidiol company she founded with her husband, Corey Poches. “We grow 6 acres of CBD and CBG, and just tending the crops is a lot of work, walking and lifting all day.” To help her recover, Hondros slathers topical CBD creams on her back and shoulders, for the “pinch in my neck and aches and pains.” She also takes CBD capsules every evening, so she can “get up at 6 in the morning and be with my 1-year-old after an active day.” She’s hardly alone.

Through their company, the couple has developed relationships with world-class athletes, including former New York Jets center Nick Mangold, WWE star Charly Caruso and Jess Lockwood, the reigning Professional Bull Riding Champion. “Nick played 12 years in the NFL, and was beat up every day by massive human beings, he has lots of aches and pains,” says Poches. “Charly is still active, and Jess has battled a ton of injuries.” Their sports may be diverse but these pros all rely on cannabidiol to recover from grueling exertion. The results are telling. After dosing CBD, Poches says, “They’re seeing an overall recovery in the 90th percentile.”


There are sound reasons why these athletes are singing the praises of CBD, says Michael McKenzie, MD, a board-certified family care physician in Florida, who is also a diplomate of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

Since 2016, McKenzie has been one of the few physicians in the state who is licensed to prescribe cannabis—“We call ourselves the Justice League,” he says and together with his colleagues, he’s been seeing incredible results, especially in the area of inflammation. Though exercise can trigger inflammation in your muscles, it doesn’t just come from strain. Hard workouts contribute to a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, which then boosts your internal inflammation.

That’s where CBD and other cannabinoids can make a difference. According to a 2018 review published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD reduces inflammation, which can help relieve pain and help with mobility. While the review focused specifically on patients with multiple sclerosis, McKenzie has also seen benefits for active individuals without preexisting conditions.

He prefers steering athletes toward full-spectrum cannabidiol products which include trace amounts of THC. “[Stay away from] single agent products, such as CBD isolate,” he says. “The THC, terpenes and flavonoids should be in there as well, as these compounds act on your ECS receptors, too.” The ECS is the endocannabinoid system, a series of receptors scattered throughout the body that work together to keep your internal systems in balance. Your body produces its own endo - cannabinoids, but sometimes internal production isn’t enough especially if you push your body to its physical limits and trigger inflammation, as happens during an intense workout. While your body will try to increase endocannabinoid production to restore balance, introducing external help, in the form of cannabis-sourced phytocannabinoids, can stimulate your system and help you recover faster. That’s why, McKenzie says, “You can use cannabis in various delivery methods and get pretty good results with muscle soreness.”


This is something that’s proven helpful to amateur athletes like Daniela Young, of Katonah, New York, who maintains a daily CBD routine to push through her training and keep up with her two young kids. “I live in a state of constant stress,” says Young. “I’m always rushing from one place to another. With that comes constant tightening of my muscles and body. And then I push my workout to the limit, because I’m so crunched on time.” It’s a combo that used to leave her sore and struggling to exercise back-to-back days. Then she discovered CBD, and it was game on. “When you’re doing heavier weights or taking a boot camp, you always hear your instructors telling you to relax your neck so you don’t get hurt,” Young says. “I find that taking CBD literally relaxes my body and muscles without having to think about it.”

Young starts her day with a CBD dose, then adds a post-workout microdose of about 10 milligrams CBD in the form of a gummy. Finally, she’ll take note of spots where she may be feeling the hurt a little more and use a topical salve. “If I’m doing a legs day, I’ll stretch and then massage a salve into my achy muscles,” she says. “The next day, I’ll start again with my morning gummy.” If she really pushes a workout, “I’m still going to be sore the next day,” she admits. But sticking to her CBD routine takes the edge off.

While a combo of edible and topical works for Young, the way athletes use CBD isn’t one size fits all. Hondros says she and Poches have the perfect test. “When people come in and they’ve never used CBD before for pain relief, Corey will ask what hurts. If they can point to it, we’ll recommend a topical CBD, but if it’s more of an overall issue, we’ll recommend a cannabinoid tincture.” It might end up taking some trial and error to get the mix right, but Hondros says CBD users can usually find the formula that best relieves post-workout pain and lets them go hard and be strong the next day. “Our family motto is, ‘Be the best you can be.’ [CBD is] the new way of helping athletes get up the next morning and perform at their best.” 

Pro Golfer Bubba Watson

Retired Pro NFL Star Nick Mangold

Professional Tennis Player John Isner

Superbowl Champion Rob Gronkowski



Pro Athletes Who Love CBD

There’s no shortage of big leaguers who are big on cannabis. While even a full-spectrum CBD product won’t get you high, some professional sports leagues still ban any form of cannabis product. But others, including pro golf and pro tennis, do allow their athletes to enjoy cannabinoid-based recovery benefits.

Already, big names such as PGA star Bubba Watson and the ATP’s John Isner are all about CBD. Watson’s said that CBD is “how I create longevity in the game of golf.” Tennis’ Isner, who endorses a CBD infused sports drink, has explained, “I play a sport where taking a single point off can be the difference between winning and losing a match and [this drink] is a product specifically intended to put me in a position to perform on every single point.”

Retired NFL stars including Nick Mangold, Tiki Barber and Terrell Owens have embraced cannabinoids and have been successfully lobbying the pro football league to amend its policies. “Guys are tired of managing their pain with things that are going to destroy their livers and make their lives down the line very untenable,” Barber has said.

Recently, Superbowl Champion Rob Gronkowski partnered with Abacus following nine years of playing in New England. His relationship with Abacus is as a result of his focused effort to recover from the injuries sustained throughout his 9-season career. Following his retirement from professional football in March 2019, Rob Gronkowski announced his partnership with Abacus Health Products, the company behind CBDMEDIC topical pain relief products. In doing so, Gronkowski became an outspoken advocate for CBD in an effort to help athletes and people suffering with pain.

Gronkowski attributes his use of CBDMEDIC as a key factor in his decision to return to playing football, stating, “I left the game last year after realizing that my body had taken a beating and needed to recover. I’ve taken the recovery process seriously and CBDMEDIC has played a big role in my recovery. Now I’m glad to share that I’m back in the game!” Gronkowski added, “As a result of my personal experience I have advocated for the use of CBD products to be available to both the public and professional athletes and am glad to see changes in policy with sports organizations across the board.”

Why Choose 8Labs CBD?

Message from 8Labs Founder & CEO

Our hemp has a unique chemical composition. It is extremely rich in CBD and other cannabinoids with less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, our products do not have any negative effects associated with marijuana and THC use. With 8LABS CBD, you receive all the positive benefits of hemp’s full spectrum of components, with absolutely zero psychoactive effects.

8LABS CBD products contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids including CBC, CBG, CBDA, CBN and others. Additionally, our extracts contain terpenes - organic hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. Together CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes all interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as an “entourage effect” that magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components—so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

We have a strict quality control program including on site chromatography reviews and independent lab tests on each batch of product. These reports confirm that the components of hemp remain potent, completely undenatured, and fully active. We maintain high standards of purity and potency to deliver only the highest grade CBD.


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