The body of an athlete is subjected to a lot of wear and tear that could eventually turn into injuries if left untreated. Body fatigue and stress are all normal parts of training, but how an athlete treats their body afterward can make all the difference.
Athletes have been increasingly treating their injuries and muscle strains with CBD oil. CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, has been widely recognized for its broad range of treating physical and emotional-related issues. Luckily, more studies are backing up the medical benefits of this natural health product. It’s hard to find anything negative about CBD oil.
Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive property that is found in cannabis plants, and it is the key ingredient for the medicinal properties of cannabis. While you can find CBD in flower or bud form, the most practical and common use for this is in tinctures and CBD oil capsules.
It is important to emphasize that CBD is not the same as THC – the psychoactive compound for producing a “high” or changing a person’s state of mind. If you’re ingesting something that only has CBD in it and no THC, you won’t have significant effects in the brain. This is why CBD is often referred to as being “non-psychoactive,” although that’s clearly a bit of an oversimplification because it does do something to the central nervous system. In an article about the subject, CBD oil is a hemp product and therefore, does NOT produce a “high”. This is because hemp plants contain very little of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, often referred to as “the high causer”). THC has psychoactive properties – that is what causes the “high” feeling the plant can produce. THC has medicinal properties too, but most CBD oil products made from hemp contain barely a trace of the compound – many contain less than 0.3% THC while other CBD products (typically called isolates) do not contain any THC at all.
How It Affects the Body
Our bodies have a biochemical communication system called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). All humans – and many animals – have this system. In fact, because we have receptors throughout our bodies that respond to cannabinoids, many could say we are hardwired for CBD. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in a variety of functions in the body, helping to regulate things like parts of the immune system, the release of hormones, metabolism, and memory. CBD influences a wide range of receptor systems in the brain and body – not just cannabinoid receptors, but many others. It indirectly influences the body’s two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) by signaling through those receptors. CBD appears to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids. Scientific studies have concluded that CBD has strong antioxidant, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities.
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Why CBD is Great for Athletes
CBD is excellent for athletes because it influences the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively. These are the 6 major benefits of using CBD for an athlete:
- Pain Relieving – CBD will help you get back into the game much faster than any OTC medication will. Not to mention, it is all-natural and from the earth, rather than concocted in a lab.
- Alternative to NSAIDs and Opioids
- Reduce inflammation especially in joints
- Settle your gut – The endocannabinoid system has been shown to play an important role in gut health. Simply put, when athletes get nervous before a competition or game, their stomach and intestines can be affected. reduce intestines spasticity as well as it stimulates the appetite. CBD will latch onto cannabinoid receptors to alleviate intestine motility. It also activates them. This eases cramping, swelling, gas, and more.
- Improve Sleep Quality – Because CBD helps improve sleep, it can also be deduced to assist in muscle memory. Muscle memory occurs during stages III and IV of slow-wave sleep.
- Settles nervous energy – Athletes can come under an immense amount of stress and pressure from competition. Performance anxiety is a normal reaction for athletes wanting to do well. CBD can help alleviate anxiety and stress from this, as well as, help athletes to calm down after a stressful or charged game so that they can get some sleep.
CBD is Safe for Athletes
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances – in or out of competition. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) did the same. Please note that ONLY CBD was removed from the prohibited list. THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is still prohibited in competition, as are synthetic cannabinoids.
How CBD Can Be Used Topically
While many use CBD oil to use sublingually, it can also be used topically (directly on the skin). There is one thing to know about the dosage requirements though. Because the FDA does not regulate CBD for most conditions, the dosages are currently open to interpretation, and people should treat them with caution. Anyone who wishes to use CBD should first speak to a doctor about whether it is a good idea, and how much to take. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to get a clear understanding of what you are attempting to accomplish and what your doctor might recommend.