Athletes are no strangers to supplements. Sport is competitive, and everyone is doing everything they can to have an edge. I'm not an athlete, but I used to compete in Tae Kwon Doe professionally until the age of 14. I've always been active, but I'm currently a recreational weight lifter. CBD has been my secret to accelerating recovery and treating muscle soreness.
How does CBD help athletes you may be wondering? Did you know that a lot of NFL players use marijuana to help with their performance and recovery? Cannabis is legal in a lot of states now. Both recreationally and medicinally.
The cannabis plant has two primary compounds, THC and CBD. THC is what gives you the stoned effect, and CBD is more medicinal. As athletes are more prone to wear and tear during activity, recovery is essential to keep the body going for longer.
Athletes are known to use a lot of pain relievers such as opioids. This has led a lot of them being addicted and increase health risk. CBD is an excellent alternative for treating pain and inflammation. It's safe to consume in high doses.
What Will I Find Out?
How does CBD oil work?
The human body has something called an Endocannabinoid System. This system has cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. So whenever we ingest cannabis that has THC or CBD or both, the chemicals react with our Endocannabinoid system.
The differences between CBD and THC is the mind-altering effects. THC is psychoactive, which produces the high, and CBD doesn't. CBD has almost the same molecular structure as THC and provides a range of benefits such as:
- Treating pain and inflammation
- Treating insomnia
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced stress
It produces similar effects as THC, except it doesn't get you high, and it's legal in every country.
Professional athletes who use CBD oil
Here are a few examples of professional athletes who use CBD oil:
- Mike Tyson
- David Wells
- Nate Diaz
- Derrick Morgan
- Jake Plummer
These are high-level athletes who have used CBD oil to treat things like:
Is CBD legal for atheletes?
CBD has been removed from the world anti-doping agency as a banned substance. This means that CBD can be used if you're an athlete without putting your career at risk.
CBD itself is not a drug, and it's not performance-enhancing. It only assists with recovery by treating pain and inflammation.
Keep in mind that some CBD oils have THC in them. If the THC content is below 0.3%, then it's legal in most countries. In America, there are a lot of states where THC is permitted. Regardless of how much but just double check to be on the safe side. This goes for the law, not sport.
How does CBD help atheletes?
1. Relieves pain & inflammation
CBD oil is still in its infancy stage when it comes to research. There aren't a lot of studies proving that CBD alone treats pain. However, there are tons of anecdotal evidence, especially from athletes.
Inflammatory pain is the most common form of pain among athletes. This type of pain happens when you work your muscles to the max or when you're injured. Athletes usually treat this with over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. Long term use of these drugs can lead to health problems such as:
- Heart attacks
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Kidney damage
2. A natural alternative to NSAIDs & opioids
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of drugs that people use to treat pain and other symptoms. Using this all the time isn't practical because of the health risk.
Some painkillers involve opioids, which are an incredibly addictive drug. There is a massive epidemic going on in some states where people get hooked on painkillers.
CBD is non-toxic, and you cannot overdose on it, even at massive doses. Much like the marijuana plant, we know that no one has died as a result of marijuana alone. CBD is non-psychoactive, and we know that it's safe.
3. Settles your gut
The human body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This is called the Endocannabinoid system. We have CB1 and CB2 receptors in the colon, which are activated once we consume CBD.
This can help deal with gut problems before, during, and after exercise. A common problem among some athletes is inflammation in the small and large intestines. This causes endurance athletes to drop out of races because of the discomfort in their gut.
CBD can help avoid this issue. Sport is all about being able to stay in the game for long without any significant problems. This is also known as setbacks. Setbacks are what keeps the players from playing the game or slowing them down.
4. Improves sleep quality
Sleep is one of the most critical aspects of recovery. Without an adequate amount of undisturbed sleep, you cannot recover as well. Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on performance. This is why athletes must avoid things like alcohol or other drugs during season time. These things can interfere with sleep, including marijuana, which is high in THC.
THC has been shown to affect REM sleep, which is an essential part of your sleep cycle. CBD, however, does the opposite. A lot of people think that marijuana helps them sleep, which may be true, but it affects REM sleep. So, in other words, it enables you to sleep but affects your deep sleep.
CBD doesn't isn't as potent as THC when it comes to helping you sleep. But it does help you stay in a deep sleep for longer, which is an integral part of your sleep cycle. CBD is also anti-anxiety, so if you have any anxiety-related sleep issues, it can help you with that.
5. Reduces game-day stress and performance anxiety
Performance anxiety is every athlete's worst fear. It can make you perform entirely differently from what you usually would. It's normal to be a bit stressed before a game, but some athletes have crippling anxiety.
Athletes can still suffer from mental health problems, just like ordinary people — for example, generalized anxiety disorder and even social anxiety. CBD is anti-anxiety, so this can be a useful tool to combat performance anxiety.
How does CBD help athletes? The top 5 benefits are:
- Relieve anxiety and inflammation
- A great alternative to NSAIDs & Opioids
- Alleviates gut inflammation
- Improves sleep quality
- Reduces performance anxiety
Best CBD oil for athletes and recovery
The best CBD oil that you can get on the market is by NuLeaf Naturals. They have lab tests to prove the quality of CBD in their products. They also have potencies ranging up to 5000mg!
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