Those who are serious about exercise or make a living as an athlete are constantly seeking an edge. For individuals looking to do so in a legal fashion, the range of products available has thankfully grown in recent years. The role of protein in building and maintaining muscle mass is well-known. It is a macronutrient that repairs muscle tissue and produces proteins and enzymes.
The question is: Can CBD protein powder add a little ‘extra’ to this process? Let’s find out in this guide. We also reveal the best CBD protein powder on the market.
What Is CBD Protein Powder?
As you can probably guess, it is a form of protein powder infused with CBD. Those who manufacture it claim it can aid post-workout recovery and add to a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is important not to confuse protein powder that contains CBD with its hemp counterpart. While the latter also has many benefits, it seldom includes more than minuscule amounts of cannabidiol.
As you will discover in this article, there are several potential types of CBD protein powder, though it remains a relatively new market.
Pros and Cons of Using CBD Protein Powder
- Excellent for those looking to build or maintain muscle.
- The addition of CBD could aid in recovery.
- Sellers work hard to ensure the powder tastes great, whether mixed with water or milk.
- Extremely limited range of options at present.
- Difficult to find a product with high levels of protein and CBD.
- The better products are costly.
EDITOR’S CHOICE – FLOYS’S OF LEADVILLE
Those who want to cut to the chase should know that we chose Floyd’s of Leadville as our #1 CBD protein powder. It is expensive, but provides a lot of CBD and protein, not to mention BCAAs. It also tastes good and mixes well.
Why Do People Use CBD Protein Powder?
Those who champion CBD claim it has an array of potential benefits. It could have the following properties:
It is perhaps the last option that intrigues exercise enthusiasts. Those who lift weights need to understand the process of muscle building. When you stress your muscles in this fashion, their fibers are torn and then repaired as part of the growth process. Traditionally, gym-goers use protein to help the muscles. The theory is that combining CBD with protein helps reduce the pain and inflammation associated with workouts, and helps the muscles repair faster.
An increasing number of athletes now believe that CBD protein is essential in the muscle recovery process. Possible benefits include reduced muscle damage, improved muscle performance, and accelerated muscle protein regeneration.
A review of studies by Nagarkatti et al., published in Future Medicinal Chemistry in October 2009, suggested that cannabinoids such as CBD had potential as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. That said, the amount of scientific evidence to suggest CBD protein powder can help speed up muscle recovery is minimal.
Some use added CBD with protein as a means of controlling their weight. The combination of these ingredients could help you feel fuller for longer. The result is less snacking and decreased portion sizes. The suggestion here is that CBD works with neuroprotectors and neurotransmitters in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate appetite.
Finally, there are general nutritional benefits involved. Research suggests that adults need at least 0.8g of protein per kilogram of weight. Active people usually require even more. A protein shake is a convenient way to bump up your daily intake. Taking protein with CBD merely enables you to kill two birds with one stone.
What Are the Different Types of CBD Protein Powder?
For the uninitiated, the range of protein powder options on offer may surprise you. Companies looking to delve into the CBD niche are attempting to add the cannabinoid to them all. Here are a few of the best-known samples:
- Whey: This is the biggest selling type of protein, and is the full-spectrum version! Marketers suggest it provides all of the essential amino acids needed by the body. It is also one of the easiest forms to absorb.
- Casein: If you are seeking a dairy-based option, casein protein is a great option. It also includes an amino acid known as glutamine, which helps speed up muscle recovery after exercise. On the downside, it is not suitable for vegans or individuals with lactose intolerance. You should use this type of protein before bed due to its slow digestion rate.
- Pea: Yes, there is pea protein available, and some suppliers add CBD to it! Interestingly, it is filled with an amino acid called arginine. It is an excellent alternative to dairy or soy-based products.
- Soy: This is a good option if you don’t tolerate dairy particularly well. The best CBD protein powders in this niche contain a full-spectrum of amino acids.
Regardless of the CBD protein you use, make sure you have an idea of your nutritional needs. There is research to suggest that excessively high doses of protein over a long period could lead to kidney damage. Realistically, you would need to consume a lot of CBD protein powder to have an issue, and the expense involved makes it even tougher!
According to anecdotal reports, possible side effects from using too much also include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced blood pressure
Is Hemp Protein Powder the Same as CBD Protein Powder?
Generally speaking, they are not the same. Yes, you will find some hemp protein powders with a reasonable amount of CBD. However, most brands use the seeds of the hemp plant, which contains a high level of protein. Alas, most of the CBD in the plant comes from the leaves and the flowers. Therefore, protein powder made using hemp seeds is unlikely to contain much CBD, if any. The seeds get ground up and pressed into a powder.
This form of protein has also become extremely popular. It has a delicious nutty taste and usually comes in appealing flavors. The best brands ensure their products contain all nine essential amino acids. Moreover, hemp seed protein is straightforward to digest. Indeed, up to 98% of the protein in hemp seeds is digestible! However, it is not the same as CBD protein powder, and don’t get fooled into thinking it is.
The CBD version comes from the flowers and leaves, and may also contain other phytocannabinoids. The amount of protein you get per serving varies, though we recommend sticking with brands that offer at least 15 grams. Although this sub-niche of the cannabidiol industry is growing, most of the best CBD powder for CrossFit and other pursuits are found in nutritional stores. At present, relatively few CBD experts sell it
What Brand Provides the Best CBD Protein Powder for 2020?
As a consequence of the above, finding the #1 option wasn’t easy, nor was narrowing things down to three reliable brands. Finally, we managed to trim the field and provide a trio of outstanding CBD protein powder products. We then compared them across five categories.
- Applied Nutrition
- Floyd’s of Leadville
Best CBD Product for Protein Content
One of the most challenging aspects of finding a good CBD protein product was the simple task of locating items that had decent concentrations of both! There are a lot of hemp protein products, but as you now realize, they don’t have much CBD. Fortunately, we were able to locate three excellent options after some research.
Willpower’s ReGen option contains 20mg of cannabinoids, 20 grams of protein, and 6g of BCAAs in every serving. It is the subject of a great degree of hype, and few brands match this package. However, Applied Nutrition’s Pro-CBD just about exceeds it! Each serving contains 23 grams of protein and 30mg of CBD, though the brand isn’t clear on BCAA content.
Amazingly, Floyd’s of Leadville beats them both. Each serving contains a hefty 27 grams of protein, 25mg of CBD, and 8.5 grams of BCAAs. Former professional cyclist Floyd Landis founded this brand. At the age of 31, a bad cycling accident left him needing a hip replacement. It resulted in a lot of pain for Floyd until he found that CBD could help.
WINNER BY PROTEIN CONTENT – FLOYD’S OF LEADVILLE
Best Range of Flavors
Best Range of Flavors
Pretty much any brand that offers more than a single flavor is likely to win in this category! The Applied Nutrition powder is only available in chocolate at present. Floyd’s of Leadville began by only offering chocolate flavor but finally added vanilla to the mix. Willpower decided to move away from ‘traditional’ flavors, and instead offers Cinnamon Cocoa along with vanilla. For this reason, they take this category in our opinion.
WINNER BY FLAVORS – WILLPOWER
Best Protein Powder
In terms of ‘healthy’ ingredients, Floyd’s of Leadville is definitely among the best. It doesn’t have any artificial flavors, is sweetened with stevia, and also contains organic raw cacao. The result was a surprisingly pleasant sensation with no sickly aftertaste.
The Applied Nutrition option contains fat-reduced cocoa powder, sucralose as the sweetener, and salt, to go along with the CBD isolate. Ultimately, the combination provided something of a ‘factory’ taste. Anyone who has tried a few protein powders will know what we mean!
In the end, the tasting honors go to Willpower’s ReGen products. It includes both stevia and sucralose, so it is a little sweeter than the others. The vanilla flavor is fine, but the cinnamon cocoa option is gorgeous! This is especially the case when you mix it with milk instead of water.
WINNER BY PROTEIN POWDER – WILLPOWER
Best Blending CBD Protein Powder
Those who have tried ‘cheap’ protein powders know that they blend horribly. It can take ages to stir it in, and even after vigorous shaking, you end up with lumps. As it happens, all three options mix reasonably well. You may need to stir and shake thoroughly, but in the end, you get a smooth drink.
We decided that Floyd’s of Leadville was the best blending powder, however. It required the least degree of effort and mixed well with no grit or lumps.
WINNER BY BLEND – FLOYD’S OF LEADVILLE
Best Budget Pick
As we mentioned earlier, you will not find an ‘inexpensive’ CBD protein powder. If you want a high-quality product, be prepared to pay! After all, you are combining two ingredients that are very expensive in their own right. All three products contain whey protein and a ton of amino acids. Willpower uses a range of cannabinoids, while the other two products use isolate.
Willpower’s option is costly at $79.99 for 480 grams. This equates to just 15 servings at over $5 apiece! Floyd’s of Leadville is almost as expensive. The brand’s one-pound bag contains only ten servings for $39.99, $4 a serving. You can cut the price significantly by paying almost $180 for a six-pack. This works out at around $30 per bag, or $3 a serving. At least there is the option to buy a single serving for $4.99 to see if you like it.
The Applied Nutrition version is by far the cheapest. We saw it on one website for £31. Each 750-gram container offers 25 servings. As you have probably guessed, it is a UK-based brand, and you may find it challenging to find a third-party that ships to the United States. If you do, make sure you take the cost of shipping into account.
WINNER BY BUDGET – APPLIED NUTRITION
You will likely find it tricky to find a reliable brand that sells high-quality CBD protein powder. It took some time to find three companies worth considering, and you must also avoid mistaking hemp protein powder for its CBD equivalent. Hemp protein usually comes from the seeds, and seldom contains CBD.
Willpower, Applied Nutrition, and Floyd’s of Leadville all presented strong cases. While there was a lack of flavors, the taste, and ease of mixing made up for it. Only Applied Nutrition is easy on the wallet, but in the end, we feel that Floyd’s had the right balance of taste, blending, and ingredients. It is a little costly but worth it for those who want to combine CBD and protein.