How CBD Can Benefit Athletes
Recently, CBD products have taken over the world of Sports and are now recognised as a beneficial product for athletes to help with common problems such as muscle soreness, sleep quality, and overall athletic recovery in professional athletes. But why? In this article, we are going to break down the benefits of using CBD oil and why all athletes should give it a go!
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol is one of around 120 active compounds (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). The widely popular phytocannabinoid is produced from the hemp (as opposed to the marijuana) strain of the plant, which has a very low concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the illegal psychotropic compound. Whereas THC enables you to get ‘high’, CBD does not.
However, it is mistaken to describe it as having no ‘psychoactive’ effect, because it acts on the brain and appears to impact cognitive functions. CBD is widely available in the form of oils, tinctures, vapes, capsules, sprays, lotions and gummies. Read more about CBD here!
How does CBD work?
It is thought that CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a network of receptors in your brain, peripheral tissues and immune system which is involved in regulating sleep, appetite, pain and immune responses. The body produces its cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), which bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors and inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters. It is plausible that CBD supplements augment the body’s endocannabinoids. Read more about the Endocannabinoid system here!
Is CBD legal for athletes?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international and independent agency that harmonises anti-doping policies across elite athletes in all sports and all countries. Each sporting body determines its own rules, but they are all guided by WADA and its stringent drug tests.
In 2017, WADA removed CBD from its prohibited substances list. The legalisation means that the use of CBD is available to athletes across almost every sport to aid in athletic performance and to help recovery and general wellness during both training and competitions.
However, while CBD is legal for athletes, THC is still prohibited. This is because THC is classified as a Class B controlled substance in the UK and is on WADA’s list of banned substances.
Benefits of CBD for Athletes
There are so many health benefits and other potential benefits to this extremely popular product. The positive effects of CBD on athletes include:
One of the most common pains that athletes experience is inflammatory pain. Inflammatory pain is usually felt a few hours after a hard workout or immediately after an injury. It is essentially due to the inflammatory response associated with tissue damage. CBD can have phenomenal anti-inflammatory properties as well as brilliant antioxidants.
The usual way to treat inflammatory pain is with over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen. However, now with more and more evidence showing that CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce this type of chronic pain, it may be time to give it a shot. Recent studies on animals have shown that CBD can effectively reduce inflammation and can help with pain relief and pain management.
If you’re suffering from muscle pains or other muscular medical conditions, incorporating some CBD oil into your daily routine can speed up your recovery and well-being. CBD oil is known for helping people sleep better – this is when your muscles recover. When you sleep, your body produces Melatonin which is a human growth hormone that helps recover our muscles. Ultimately, CBD oil is a great post-workout supplement which aids your muscle recovery and ensures you sleep better!
If losing weight is your fitness goal then CBD is worth a try. A study of more than 4,000 adults found that those who use or have used CBD weighed less than those that haven’t. The idea that all fat is bad is a big misconception. Our bodies have two types of fat cells: white and brown.
White cells are bad cells. These lead to excess fat storage and result in weight gain. But what if we told you that you can turn these white fat cells into brown? Research on CBD has shown that it can increase the browning of tissue and help you lose weight quicker!
premenopause and menopause, including depression, mood swings, anxiety, stress and lowered libido.
CBD oil for menopause anxiety could help to relieve some of these symptoms and alleviate many of the bi-products of this — such as disturbed sleep, jaw clenching, stomach ulcers, irritability and emotional issues.
CBD Bath Bombs
All athletes love a bath, this is because the warm water helps the muscles to relax and because they are said to have a positive effect on muscle recovery. Your skin is your body’s biggest organ and is phenomenal at absorbing cannabinoids and therefore balancing your endocannabinoid system. CBD has a huge amount of amazing benefits for both your skin and your muscles.
Oils are a brilliant way of getting your daily dose of CBD. A few drops of CBD isolate under the tongue will give you a host of different health benefits. CBD does not only have a hugely positive effect on muscular recovery, but it also has an amazing effect on sleep. Sleep is vital for athletes for both physical and mental recovery.
Famous athletes who use CBD
Probably one of the world’s top rugby players, is a CBD fan.
The Australian-born athlete debuted his career with New Zealand teams the Crusaders and the Hurricanes, before moving to England to play with the London Irish and then the Northampton Saints.
In his 20-year career, he has so far secured two Rugby World Cup titles and almost 50 caps for the All Blacks. Franks has spoken about how he has used CBD for years, well before it became a popular supplement for athletes. He was first recommended to use CBD by a teammate and has been using it to improve his training and performance ever since.
Another English Rugby player who takes CBD is James Haskell. The retired rugby player is one of the UK’s most famous rugby internationals and has 78 senior England caps. After retiring from the sport he signed up with MMA outfit Bellator, and is renowned for his dedicated training and fitness regime, as well as the impressive physique he has as a result.
Haskell and his wife Chloe Madeley, a fitness influencer, also have a strong social media presence. They share a great deal of content about fitness and nutrition, mostly focusing on better training and recovery. He has released several YouTube videos about the benefits of CBD, where he shares how we and Madeley like to take CBD before a workout.
He was the first heavyweight boxer to hold WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously. Is not only one of the most famous names in boxing, but he is also probably the athlete who is the most vocal about promoting CBD oil.
Tyson was a champion boxer and was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Tyson has not only been very vocal in promoting the benefits of CBD for athletes, but he has also publicly stated that he uses CBD for training, as well as using it both before and after fights. He has been a supporter of CBD for years. Tyson also has his legal marijuana farm and company that sells cannabis products.