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Can Athletes Benefit from CBD?

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Nate Diaz, Yair Rodriguez and Lolo Jones are some of the many athletes currently endorsing the use of CBD to improve one’s mental and physical health. Indeed, CBD has revolutionized the health and wellness industry.

Although research on CBD is still being carried out, the current studies and results available seem promising. CBD could help athletes with many problems including chronic pain, inflammation and muscle soreness.

What is CBD?

CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, one of hundreds, that’s extracted from the hemp plant. It’s a non-psychoactive compound and has a high safety profile.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Athletes

Here are a few potential benefits of CBD for athletes:

CBD can act as an anti-inflammatory compound, thus aiding muscle recovery

When you work out, tiny tears develop in your muscles, which leads to inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, delays muscle recovery. Studies show that CBD could reduce inflammation in muscles by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines. This, in turn, helps the muscle recover faster. You won’t have to worry about long down-times when taking CBD!

CBD could decrease stress and anxiety

Athletes are under a lot of pressure to perform their best. The stress of winning matches and contests can significantly affect their mental health. Moreover, this stress and anxiety can also reflect in the form of poor athletic performance.

According to studies, CBD could reduce stress and anxiety in athletes by working on their serotonin receptors. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, sleep and appetite. CBD could make serotonin receptors more sensitive to serotonin. 

CBD can help you get a good night’s sleep

It’s important for athletes to get restful, adequate sleep every day. Sleeping not only helps your body recover and repair itself, it also improves cognitive performance, concentration, and memory. It improves your reflexes and helps you keep your head in the game.

CBD could significantly improve your quality of sleep. It reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep and also prolongs the deep, restful duration of sleep. Moreover, it doesn’t make you feel drowsy the next morning, unlike traditional pharmaceutical sleeping pills.

CBD could alleviate pain

Athletes frequently suffer from extremely painful injuries that can be debilitating. CBD could help reduce pain in athletes via three different mechanisms:

  • CBD works on the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating pain and inflammation.
  • CBD could activate inhibitory pain pathways in the brain.
  • CBD could increase the concentration of endocannabinoids in the body by inhibiting various enzymes involved in their destruction.

CBD could work on different types of pain, including neuropathic, myopathic and superficial pain. It can be applied topically or taken orally.

Traditional painkillers used to treat injuries like NSAIDs or opiates have numerous negative side effects on the body, including stomach ulcers, headaches, indigestion, and dependency.

These are a few of the many potential benefits of CBD for athletes. More research is being carried out to explore the effects of CBD on athletes!

Types of CBD Oils

As an athlete, it’s important to know the different types of CBD oils available out there so you can choose the best one for yourself. Here are the three main types of CBD oils that you’ll come across:

Full-spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that are found in the hemp plant, including THC. The hemp plant contains over a hundred cannabinoids, each of which have different effects on the body.

The benefit of full-spectrum CBD oil is that it gives the “Entourage Effect.” This refers to the phenomenon whereby different cannabinoids and terpenes, when taken together, enhance each other’s effects. Thus, full-spectrum CBD oil is very potent.

However, a downside of full-spectrum CBD oil for athletes is that it contains THC. Although the amount is within the legal limit and not enough to cause a “high”, it may still show up on a drug test.

Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

Broad spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes that are found in the hemp plant, except THC. This means you get the benefits of the Entourage Effect without getting any THC in your system! It’s a great option for athletes.

However, broad-spectrum CBD oil may have an earthy flavor and smell to it.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate contains pure CBD with a concentration of over 99%. It doesn’t give the entourage effect, but you can get a higher concentration of CBD with this type of oil.

CBD isolate is tasteless and odorless, so you can add it to foods and beverages without altering their flavor or scent.

These three are the main types of CBD oils available. For athletes, it’s preferable to buy broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate oil.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

CBD oil may cause a few minor side effects, which include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth

These side effects may also go away with time, as your body adjusts to CBD.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing CBD

Before you get ready to purchase CBD oil, keep a few considerations in mind:

  • Always go for high-quality CBD oil from a reputable brand that provides a certificate of analysis. This is very important for athletes because non-reliable brands often contain CBD oil contaminated with THC, which could show up on a drug test. Always look for the certificate of analysis, which mentions the cannabinoid profile of the product in detail.
  • Make sure you get CBD oil, not hempseed oil. Hemp oil or hempseed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, which are deficient in CBD. It’s available for much cheaper, which is why brands may trick you into buying it by using incorrect labels. Check the ingredient list and certificate of analysis to make sure you’re getting CBD oil.

When it comes to CBD, always choose quality over quantity!

CBD Formulations Available for Athletes

There are many different CBD formulations available in the market, each with different pros and cons. Here are some of the best forms of CBD available for athletes:

Topical CBD salve/creams

These topical oils, salve and creams could be extremely beneficial in painful conditions like sprains and muscle aches, which athletes frequently suffer from.

Topical Kinesiology Tape & Icy Hot Patches

CBD tinctures

These are very versatile and can be used sublingually or can be added to foods and beverages.

CBD oils

Similar to tinctures, these oils can be added to foods and beverages.

CBD gummies and edibles

These are easy to consume and have a delicious flavor to them, too! However, the concentration of CBD in them might be low.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD make you dependent?

No, CBD doesn’t cause dependency or addiction.

Does CBD make you high?

No, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound – it doesn’t make you high.

Is CBD legal?

Yes, CBD is legal in many countries around the world including USA.  Make sure you check your state laws, though, to be on the safe side as some Delta-8 products although legal as per federal laws are still banned in some states.

Is CBD legal for athletic events?

Yes, athletes can use CBD legally in athletic events. CBD was removed from the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2018.

Warning: Some Full Spectrum Hemp extracts may contain Delta-8 THC which can cause THC positive results. Check label of ingredients before consumption. Prefer Pure CBD Isolates if you regularly undergo the testing.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your own CBD Wellness Products today and experience its benefits for yourself!

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