With loads of health benefits attached to cannabidiol, it is no surprise that it is gaining so much popularity in recent times. We’ve recently seen its popularity transit into the world of sports, with several athletes tapping into its outstanding benefits. By itself, the substance does not possess any substantial side effects, despite its numerous restorative abilities.
Athletes put in so much stress on their bodies, often leading to both positive and negative effects. Indeed, training hard helps increase performance and stimulate adaptation, but it also makes you prone to injuries and physical wear and tears. There are already several effective pain management methods, but many of them come with side effects.
This is why people are already campaigning for a blend of CBD and sports since it is seemingly a better sports recovery method. As expected, there have been several questions about the efficacy and safety of CBD products for athletes. Apart from CBD pain relief capability, it also has several other benefits that you are probably not aware of. Throughout this article, we will be unpacking so much about how CBD can help athletes, so read on.
What is CBD
For the few that don’t know, CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant. The substance is the basis upon which many hemp products and medications are derived today. Over the years, researchers have continued to uncover tons of health benefits from CBD, especially in the aspects of pain relief and stress recovery. As such, several countries are legalizing its medical use.
Despite being a derivative of a prohibited plant in many countries, CBD products pose minimal risk. With manufacturers efficiently eliminating psychoactive substances like THC from CBD products, it’s only a matter of time before it gains wide acceptability. In all these, however, one question has continued to arise relating to CBD and sports. Many sports stakeholders want full permission for athletes to use CBD products. Before talking about the numerous benefits of CBD for sports, let’s take a brief look at its legality for athletes.
Is CBD Legal for Athletes?
The question about CBD legality for athletes has existed for decades, especially considering that the product’s restriction has been prevalent and quite pronounced in sports. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has always been clear about its stance on CBD; hence, they’ve always tested athletes for it. This is not surprising, considering its resolve to keep out substances that can enhance athletic performance and ensure fairness across all sports.
However, things wouldn’t remain so forever, since they removed CBD as a banned substance in 2018, after reviewing its benefits and contents. This announcement in 2018 means that the anti-doping commission now allows professional athletes to use CBD products and enjoy their potential healing abilities. Of course, this came after discovering that it is relatively safer for managing pains than most other over-the-counter drugs.
Most importantly, CBD products do not cause addictive effects. Instead, it helps in providing more sustainable muscle recovery. With this announcement, many sports leagues in the US are now allowing athletes to use CBD products freely. The National Football League is a typical example of a sports association that allows its athletes to enjoy CBD pain relief abilities.
Let’s, However, mention that CBD sports regulations remain unclear in several sports since it’s quite difficult to buy products that solely contain cannabidiol. With time, we expect to see even the most stringent sports organizations accept the use of CBD products. That clear, let’s delve fully into the numerous benefits of CBD products for athletes.
Related Articles: CBD for Muscle Pain and Sports-Related Injuries
Benefits of CBD for Athletes
Having talked so much about CBD and its use by athletes, let’s now look at some of its numerous benefits for athletes. Note that there are several benefits attached to CBD, and you’ll probably learn about many with each usage.
1. Reduction of Pains and Inflammation
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of CBD for athletes. Because of the nature of athletics, athletes are often subjected to pains resulting from injuries and stress. Nothing offers an athlete as much confidence as knowing that they don’t have to worry about potential pains anymore.
This is where the use of CBD products come into play. Studies show that cannabis is effective for reducing pains such as musculoskeletal pain, which is mostly gotten from exercises.
The amount of research available on CBD use alone (without THC) might not be as clear as we would want it. However, numerous anecdotal evidence and biological plausibility already exist, pointing to CBD painkillers’ effective use for sports-related pains.
Despite the lack of concrete scientific evidence, we’ve seen several situations where athletes get relieved from pains after using CBD products. In fact, a few CBD products exist today that are made specifically for pain relief among athletes, and we expect to see more in the coming years.
2. Boosts Immune System
Also, cannabidiol has shown great potential in boosting the immune system. In fact, scientists find that CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties and works well both as an immunomodulator and as an immunosuppressant. Therefore, it does outstanding work in helping your immune system function properly.
Because of the nature of athletics, athletes often find themselves worried about healing properly from injuries within very short periods. Of course, inflammation is an important process in the human’s immune system.
Typically, the inflammation process isolates areas of injuries to prevent toxic components from moving to other parts of the body. This inadvertently slows the healing process. The anti-inflammatory element of CBD reduces the inflammatory response of the immune system while preventing the rapid spread of toxic components.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can also suppress or modulate cytokines’ secretion and functioning. Cytokines are large protein groups secreted in the human immune system. Its primary function is to regulate immunity, inflammation, and white blood cell production. These functions help to boost the smartness and efficiency of your immune system.
3. Helps for Quality Sleep
It’s a known fact that consistent, quality sleep plays a vital role in the speed of muscle growth and repairs. Most athletes consider efficient muscle growth to be important for their sports. However, athletes often experience an inability to sleep due to pre-performance stress and anxiety. Hence, a serious drop in athletic performance.
The good news is that athletes suffering from sleep deprivation can turn to CBD products for help. Tons of studies already tip cannabidiol as an essential element for promoting sleep.
Therefore, if, as an athlete, you are struggling to get enough sleep, you might want to try CBD products. Of course, there are several over the counter sleep medications, but many of them do not go without side effects.
The numerous side effects connected to sleep medications make them a bad alternative for long-term use. You also do not want to get addicted to such drugs.
However, the calming effects of cannabidiol products are well-established. The ability of CBD products to ease pain and anxiety makes them highly recommended for treating sleeping difficulties.
4. Promotes Muscle Growth
Athletes can even rely on the power of CBD to improve their muscle growth. With research showing CBD’s ability to raise protein synthesis and reduce cortisol levels, users can be guaranteed a more balanced muscle growth process.
Thus, it’ll not be wrong to suggest that CBD in sports would help enhance an athlete’s performance. Nevertheless, you’ll still need to train properly if you want to get the full benefit of CBD for muscle growth.
5. Serves as Alternative to NSAIDs
Over time, athletes have normalized the consumption of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen sodium and ibuprofen. However, there’s concern about the safety of such drugs. Long-distance athletes are especially advised against the use of NSAIDs when engaging in long sports sessions.
Even athletes engaging in short term workouts and training sessions are advised against the frequent use of NSAIDs. Such frequent uses increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Several athletes and researchers have discovered that CBD’s pain-relieving effects would reduce athletes’ need to take NSAIDs for sports-related pains. A major perk of this method is the absence of side effects.
Knowing about a product that would help relieve sports-related pains without causing side effects will give any athlete the confidence to go extra-lengths. If your training schedule makes you prone to injuries and pains, then perhaps it’s the right time to turn to CBD products.
6. Promotes Optimal Mood
Most athletes struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression at different points of their careers. All three emotions can deter an athlete from participating actively in sports events. When you try to force yourself through these emotions, you’ll often realize that they’ll have very high impacts on your performance.
Anxiety and depression are known as motivational disorders, and studies point to CBD’s ability to help. If, as an athlete, you discover that you often feel a wave of anxiety before games, you can try your hands-on CBD products. They are also effective in treating depression. So, if you are prone to experiencing post-game depression, you can have a pack of your favorite CBD products at hand.
Are Athletes Catching On?
With CBD’s benefits for athletes becoming more popular, the question now turns to how much athletes are ready to adopt its usage. A small ever-increasing number of athletes are already catching up with the numerous benefits of CBD. In fact, several popular names across different sporting events now trust the healing power of CBD products.
However, there are several others still in doubt about the outstanding abilities of CBD in sports. Whatever school of thought you belong to, it doesn’t take away the fact that it is working for some people. As we can see already, the types of athletes benefiting from CBD products like BPD hemp oil for pain are very diverse.
If you are still waiting to join the train, perhaps now is the time to start. Most of these products have minimal side effects, so you’ll not have to worry too much when taking them. As established throughout the article, they seem better than many over the counter medicines and are highly effective for many uses.
There you have it, some of the outstanding benefits of CBD for athletes. From the points in this article, you can see that CBD has great potential in sport. Researchers are still finding ways to ensure that the use of these products does not breach fair play policies.
If you are not sure about how CBD products can help your particular situation, then you should talk to a doctor about it.