Cannabidiol (CBD) is only one out of the over a hundred cannabinoid compounds that are produced by the cannabis plant. It is unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another naturally-occurring compound of the hemp plant which is responsible for the traditional “high” experienced from ingesting marijuana.
CBD is known, through various researches, to be beneficial to the human body without causing any harmful effect. And this has seen it rise in popularity and acceptance in the world of sports.
CBD And Sports
Following the recognition of the many beneficial effects of CBD on the human body, and its role in improving physical performance, the international athletic organization, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2018, struck CBD out from the list of banned substances for professional athletes.
However, it is essential to note that it is almost impossible to extract CBD in its pure form from the cannabis plant. Most CBD extracts and oils often contain a mixture of other cannabinoid compounds. Therefore, it is crucial that athletes who are subject to anti-doping rules either stop using CBD products in time before a competition or ensure that they only use CBD oils or extracts that are low in THC and other cannabinoids. This way, every trace of the banned substances would have cleared from their systems, such that they don’t end up incurring the violation of an anti-doping rule.
Benefits Of CBD For Athletes
CBD can be consumed in several forms; it can be ingested as oil tinctures, capsules, edibles, etc. or applied topically as lotions, ointments or creams.
CBD has moved from being a useful supplement for pre and post-workout sessions. A majority of athletes now use CBD to improve physical performance, to speed up recovery from injuries, and ultimately, to maintain optimum muscle function.
The following are some of the benefits of CBD for athletes:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Intense workout and exercises in preparation for competitions often push the body into stress and anxiety. This situation drives athletes into a state of fatigue where they are no longer able to sustain exercise. CBD’s anxiolytic and antidepressant properties are useful here to help the body moderate its reaction to stress through the proper flow of anti-stress/anxiety hormones to the brain.
Excellent For Tackling Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural way of reacting to injury and stress associated with strenuous exercise. If left untreated, inflammation can deter an athlete from engaging in future athletic activities.
CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties which suppress the body’s response to inflammatory signals from injuries and muscle strains common with vigorous exercise.
Working out too hard can cause pains; and if left unattended, post-training strains can have a lot of impact on an athlete’s career. Thankfully, research shows that CBD can help to reduce pain perception in users by increasing their pain threshold. It is also known to help manage muscle spasms and pains effectively.
Controls Appetite and Weight Gain
CBD helps to slow down appetite by keeping the body full for more extended periods; and by extension, this helps to control weight gain.
Boosts the Immune System
The anti-oxidant properties of CBD help to increase the athlete’s immune system to enable the body to fight against stress and infections. Thus, keeping the body and entire organs in top shape.
Doesn’t Get You High
CBD does not have the psychoactive effect of THC. Hence it works effectively on the body without getting the user high.
Speeds Up Recovery
Topical CBD in the form of lotions, creams and ointment is useful for reducing the soreness that comes with recovery. More so, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help to hasten the recovery process, particularly when ingested in the form of tinctures or capsules.
Improves Stamina and Endurance
CBD provides an athletic edge of stamina and endurance which are necessary for athletic excellence. It does this by activating and balancing the endocannabinoid system of the human body.
Promotes Muscle Gain
CBD helps muscles to grow through the recovery process. In the area of muscle gain, CBD products are especially beneficial for athletes whose primary focus is on strength and bodybuilding.
Aids Better Sleep and Relaxation
There are claims that CBD promotes a sense of calm which is necessary for a good and relaxed sleep. It is no doubt that proper rest is an essential component for achieving optimum performance. CBD helps athletes to wake up feeling energized, refreshed and ready to win.
Overall, CBD products are inherently excellent for maintaining the athlete’s muscles and improving physical performance. They are potent for managing the pain and soreness associated with the long and strenuous physical activities which athletes undergo. And they do this without getting them high or affecting their bodies or performance negatively.