CBD and Hiking - Can CBD Help Make Your Hike Better?

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Read time: 5:16 mins

These days, if you peek inside the backpacks of weekend hikers you might see more than just a water bottle, food and a map. More and more people are stashing CBD in their packs in an effort to enhance their hike. But can CBD help make your hike better? Let’s find out…

As the weather warms and the pandemic nears an end, many of us are beginning to venture outside more. And if you’re in the 40 years and up age range like us, your outdoor activity of choice may be hitting the hiking trails. We at Three Wells love hiking because it’s an opportunity to get back to nature, clear your mind and de-stress. Plus, hiking is a great way to get in some good cardio and strenuous exercise. 

Now, people are finding that adding some CBD (gummiestincturesand/or topicals) to their hiking regimen can help make their hike even better. How? CBD may help reduce some things that can stop you from having a great hike like:

First, What is CBD?

If you’re just learning about CBD, here’s what you need to know – CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in both hemp and traditional cannabis plants. The primary difference between the two plants is that hemp lacks Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that produces the psychoactive effects (or “high”) in cannabis. To be classified as a hemp plant, it must contain less than 0.3% THC by volume.

CBD can be used in many different ways like under the tongue, otherwise known as sublingual(drops, tablets, etc), eaten or drunkinhaled (flower and vapes), or rubbed on your skinMost states have legalized CBD.

Learn more about CBD

Will Hemp-Based CBD Make You Feel High?

If you’re new to CBD, it’s a valid question. You’re likely going for a hike to get some fresh air and some exercise, not to get lost in the clouds. The answer to the question “Will hemp-based CBD make you feel high?” is NO, it will not. Like we said above, hemp lacks THC, the compound in cannabis that produces the psychoactive effects. No matter how much you consume, a CBD product made from hemp will not get you high. It’s important to remember, different CBD to THC ratios exist for products sold in dispensaries. Make sure you understand what you are purchasing by asking questions about the product and reading the label. 

CBD is available as “full spectrum” or “isolate.” Full spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other compounds found in the original plant, which could include small amounts of THC. CBD isolate is a crystalline solid or powder that contains 99% pure CBD that has had all the active compounds from the cannabis plant stripped away, including THC, and any plant matter, leaving behind nothing but the CBD chemical compound in its purest form.

“Full spectrum CBD products are preferable to pure/isolate CBD, as the other compounds found in the plant, such as the terpenes have a lot of benefits,” says Three Wells Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Deborah Malka says. “Some terpenes are anti-inflammatory, like beta caryophyllene, and some are muscle relaxant, such as myrcene. A full-spectrum cannabis extract provides these valuable terpenes that enhance many of the medicinal effects.”

How Can CBD Help Make Your Hike Better?

Reduce anxiety or stress

Many people head out on a hike in search of the sense of peace and calm that can only be found in nature. Sometimes you may need help de-stressing so you can relax and enjoy your hike more, CBD could help. Clinical trials have proven that CBD can reduce anxiety and it’s the most common reason people use CBD medicinally. 

Think of CBD as producing a relaxation response, but it can also be mildly sedating, so finding the correct dose is important. If you’re exhausted, you may find CBD too relaxing, or you may need to use small amounts throughout the day, i.e., one vaporized puff, every two hours. For irritability or other forms of stress, a higher dose might be useful. For anxiety prevention, a dose of a tincture, 10 mg 2 times per day may work for you. Remember your dose of pure CBD from isolate will likely need to be higher to get the same effects as full spectrum CBD.

Reduce pain

Despite our best intentions, accidents are always a possibility when hiking, so it’s important to be prepared. Whether it’s a bug bite, a turned ankle, a bumped knee or a sunburn, having some CBD in your backpack may prove wise if you find yourself in some pain.

CBD is generally, not analgesic, which means it doesn’t directly reduce pain, like an opiate would. It can however, lead to less inflammatory or neuropathic pain. Clinically, this means that if you have pain caused by inflramation, for example, joint painCBD may provide relief CBD can help reduce the inflammation which may help reduce the pain. How much to take depends on how much pain you have. 

A typical dosing regimen might be 25 mg of CBD in an edible or a tincture two times per day. Of course, if you’re using pure/isolate CBD the dose will have to be much higher. Don’t forget to add to your healing by also using topical CBD and/or THC, if legal in your state. But what about the preventive use of CBD to reduce pain before it actually happens? Absolutely consider it if you expect to have pain after hiking. Taking your CBD dose in advance may be a big help in reducing pain later.

Reduce inflammation

CBD is well known to be anti-inflammatory, even in modest doses, so if you wake up the morning after your hike and you’re experiencing pain due to inflammation, like a barking lower back or sore hamstrings, CBD may help

The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD on blood vessels and nerves may also have cardiac and nervous system benefits. These are all good reasons to use CBD for prevention, possibly at a dose of 10-20 mg, 1-2 times per day, depending on what your sensitivity and tolerance is. Certainly, if you’re having a flareup of any of these symptoms, you’d want to increase your dose above a maintenance level. Topicals are generally used 3-4 times per day. Using these products might reduce the length of time until inflammation is resolved.

Before you lace up your favorite hiking footware, make taking CBD part of you regimen and also  check out the Three Wells product page for a wide variety of CBD products from retailers to who are licensed, reputable and share a focus on the health and wellness of mature adults like us. 

Happy trails and happy hiking!