In a world where we are becoming increasingly conscious of what we put into our bodies, people are turning towards cannabidiol, described for its natural healing properties, especially when treating pain and inflammation. As a result, Athletes who engage in stress training or over-exert their bodies and more frequently experience muscle aches, tears, and strains are turning away from over-the-counter pain medications and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen in favor of CBD products.
However, there is a lot to know about using CBD for athletes, especially if you participate in competitions or compete on a pro or collegiate level. So, let’s look closely at cannabidiol for athletes and whether these products are right for you.
What Does Cannabidiol Do?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of more than 113 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant. However, it is essential to note that while made by the same plant, it differs from the compound THC, which is the molecule that has a psychoactive effect responsible for causing people to get high.
So, what does cannabidiol do?
Firstly, our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids as part of our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is responsible for regulating our moods, appetite, and response to pain. Forming part of this system are CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. When we use CBD, these cannabinoids bind to these receptors and work to inhibit the release of specific neurotransmitters, minimizing pain and inflammation.
CBD For Athletes: Understanding the Connection
Since more and more research shows that over-the-counter pain medication is not as safe as we once thought, athletes are looking for more natural ways to tackle pain management. As a result, CBD oil for athletes and other CBD products has become increasingly popular.
Because athletes continuously put their bodies under strain, they increase their levels of pain and inflammation beyond what their Endocannabinoid Systems can handle and throw their neurotransmitters out of control, making them more sensitive to pain. However, taking CBD for athletes can supplement and increase the body’s natural cannabinoid system activity, regulating internal equilibrium and getting neurotransmitters and resulting pain under control.
But is this practice safe, and more importantly, is it legal?
Is CBD legal for athletes?
For a long time, marijuana in sports has been a contentious issue. However, in more recent years, research has shown the benefits of CBD, resulting in the product taking on a new light. So, let’s see how this translates in the world of sports.
Status of CBD in Sports
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency’ (WADA) removed cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of prohibited substances. As a result, CBD for athletes is now legal.
However, all other cannabinoids (including the 112 other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant) are prohibited in competition. Further, it is essential to note that CBD products may contain other prohibited cannabinoids, as it is difficult to extract only CBD from the cannabis plant. In other words, CBD products may contain trace elements of other cannabinoids and THC, which could land athletes subject to anti-doping rules in hot water.
As a result, it is always best practice to use high-quality cannabidiol for athletes that use efficient and effective extraction methods, such as those used by our Marijuana dispensary in Portland.
Ways for Athletes to Use CBD Oil
Although the Food and Drug Administration prohibits companies from selling CBD as dietary supplements or marketing CBD products as a treatment for diseases or illnesses, in the interest of world health, CBD is recognized for its benefits in reducing inflammation and pain. As a result, it comes in various forms.
Firstly, CBD oil for athletes can be ingested and used to treat pain or anxiety. Whether you take this oil as a capsule, drops, in sports drinks, or as edibles like gummies, athletes will find that ingestible CBD products typically take longer to affect pain since they must be absorbed through the digestive system.
However, those looking for fast-acting options for pain or anti-inflammatory treatment for muscle aches can use topical CBD products like balms, ointment, creams, lotions, and patches.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Athletes
While some may experience side effects of CBD, like drowsiness or a dry mouth, most find there are far more benefits to using CBD for athletes, including:
- Pain Relief – Studies show that CBD for athletes is highly effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain and stiff joints that result from exercise.
- Anti-Inflammatory – CBD binds to CB2 receptors to minimize the body’s response to strenuous exercise by reducing post-workout inflammation, allowing positive training responses.
- Reduces Anxiety – Athletes who suffer from pre-event anxiety or who have poor sleeping habits will find that CBD effectively reduces stress and anxiety responses and has a calming effect that promotes better sleep.
Contact our dispensary today if your interest is piqued and you would like to find out more about or try CBD for athletes.