How Can CBD Help Athletes?
Professional athletes push their bodies to the limits every day. They are constantly training and competing in events to be the best in their sport, which can lead to stress and hardship on their muscles and joints. From ice baths to ibuprofen, these athletes are always looking for a way to speed up the recovery process and achieve peak performance in their sport. Because of the many beneficial properties of CBD, many athletes are looking towards CBD for relief and advocating for its overall acceptance in each of their respective organizations.
• Because of its effect on the endocannabinoid system, research suggests that CBD is beneficial in reducing joint and muscle discomfort. The endocannabinoid system is a series of receptors found throughout the body that interact with cannabinoids, including CBD, which can help relieve headaches, ease muscle tension and joint discomfort.
• When dealing with injuries, many doctors are prescribing athletes opioid medications for managing the discomfort that comes from these injuries. While they are quick and effective, they also come with the risk of addiction. Opioid users can become addicted to the good feelings and crave the drug, even when they no longer need them. This addiction has become so serious the Department of Health and Human Services declared it a public health crisis in 2018.
Promote Decrease of Swelling
• Some swelling can be beneficial to athletes when training and building muscle, but too much can impede performance and cause recovery to take longer. By binding to the CB2 receptors in the immune tissue, cannabinoids can promote the decrease of swelling by reducing the cytokine production, which can help after hard workouts.
Improve Overall Sleep and Health
• Athletes are in a constant state of stress – both physical and mental. They are pushing their bodies, but they are also under pressure from coaches, teammates, leagues and fans to perform at their best in order to win. This pressure can put hardship on the athletes mental health, but also their physical health and rest. CBD can help athletes have an easier time going to sleep and getting a more restful night’s sleep. With better sleep, their bodies are able to recover faster from workouts, injuries, and help build their immune system.
Support a Sense of Calm and Focus
• Sports are not only a physical test, but also a mental one. Athletes can have mental struggles that can hinder them from performing at their peak, whether that is a past failure, anxious feelings over performing or a personal issue. CBD can provide psychological benefits to athletes that can enhance their mood, reduce their stress, as well as increase their focus.
Is CBD Legal for Athletes?
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances. Many of the American sports leagues have followed suit, including the NHL, MLB and PGA Tour. The NFL and NBA are taking harder stances, but as more and more athletes are trying CBD oil, conversations are starting to take place on a possible relaxation of the rules.
Athletes Advocating for CBD
As CBD is gaining popularity among professional athletes due to it being an alternative to opioids for injuries, more athletes are becoming advocates for the oil. Professional Tennis Player John Isner and Professional Golfer Bubba Watson have both partnered with CBD companies because of their belief in how much CBD works for them. The MMA organization believes in it so much that the entire organization has entered in to a partnership with a CBD company. Retired Hockey Player Riley Cote stated, “I quickly realized it wasn’t just helping with my brain health, but it also added another dimension to my sleep, and its subtle calming nature helped with [anxious feelings].”