The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) announced on, the 29th of September 2017, that CBD (Cannabidiol) will no longer be banned from use, effective January 1st, 2018. In publishing their Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes, 2018 Prohibited List, the WADA wrote, under Substance 8: Cannabinoids, that “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited.”
The muscle soreness and joint pain experienced by an athlete after workouts are symptoms of post-workout tissue inflammation, which slows recovery, limits fitness gains and even causes overuse injuries.
According to The National Institute of Health (NIH), CBD is a non-euphoriant, anti–inflammatory, analgesic treatment that shows great promise for the treatment of pain.
This new change could have a significant impact on athletes, both professional and amateurs.
So, what is CBD oil and how can it help athletes?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural botanical concentrate. It’s also considered to be a Cannabinoid, which is a class of active chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant.
CBD oil contains many other healthy cannabinoids, terpenes, nutritious omega fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It’s the perfect nutritional supplement for serious athletes and weekend challengers. CBD is also void of psychoactive properties that gets users “high” or “stoned.” Basically, with CBD oil, you and your body get all the medicinal benefits of hemp, without the THC high.
Years of scientific research has revealed that cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex system that works within the body and controls a variety of biological processes like appetite, immune responses, mood, and sleep. The ECS also contains a network of cannabinoid receptors found in the brains and digestive systems of all mammals. By connecting with the two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are found on cells throughout the body, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, helping it in striving to achieve homeostasis—the body’s natural state of balance.
Athletes claim that with the consumption of CBD their post-routine recovery period is shorter. Once the workouts, exertion, and competitions are over, some athletes use CBD in topical form. CBD can now be used pre and post competition as it is no longer on WADAs prohibited substance list. This news has been welcomed by professional athletes and competitive sports enthusiasts alike.
Mentioned below are a few ways of how CBD helps athletes.
- Inflammation: CBD can be effective in managing inflammation post exercise. CBD is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
- Pain: CBD is an analgesic, helping to alleviate pain both during and after exercise. Many athletes, use CBD following their workouts to continue managing pain from achy muscles.
- Sleep and Relaxation: CBD is known to have a positive impact on the sleep- wake cycle. Getting the required sleep each night is perhaps the most important aspect of being a healthy athlete – muscles grow and recover best during deep sleep.
- Decreasing Nausea: CBD has anti-emetic effects, helping athletes reduce nausea during and after exercise. In fact, studies have shown that for treating nausea and vomiting, CBD is more effective than OTC medications.
- Reduction of Muscle Spasms: Cannabinoids are known to have antispasmodic properties. Some causes of muscle spasms in athletes include straining of a muscle, dehydration, trauma, and damage to nerves or to the spinal cord.
- Increasing Appetite: Cannabis is a safe way to stimulate appetite. Power lifters, MMA fighters, and other athletes with demanding eating regimens often find that cannabis encourages them to take in more calories than they might have otherwise. Cannabis increases the levels of two key hunger-regulating hormones, ghrelin and leptin, without significantly altering insulin levels.
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a professional athlete, the concept of using substances to enhance performance and recover from a hard workout or injuries is nothing new. Athletes of many sports resort to both legal and illegal means to boost performance and recuperate—sometimes with dire consequences. As the stigma surrounding cannabis slowly dissipates and as knowledge of its benefits continues to spread, it comes as no surprise that athletes are now using CBD to aid in their training and recovery practices.
Recovering quickly after intense workouts or after injuries is key for athletes—especially professionals whose livelihoods depend on the performance and the wellness of their bodies. Traditional methods of recovering from minor sports injuries include rest, icing, massage and using compression garments. For professional athletes, methods of recovery can be more extreme. They may undergo surgery to repair torn tissue, and many are prescribed opioids in order to cope with pain.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties can help athletes recover from training and injury. Its powerful pain-fighting abilities too are already being advocated by those seeking alternatives to addictive medication. Athletes looking to recuperate after an intense workout tend to use CBD for its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD plays a part in how our bodies process pain, and there’s already a large body of preclinical evidence that can vouch for the molecule’s ability to treat different acute, inflammatory and neurological pain.
An increasing number of athletes are using cannabis to enhance their performance due to its ability to enhance focus, reduce anxiety, eliminate feelings of fatigue. Plenty of anecdotal and preliminary research exists to support using cannabis for these purposes, although studies aren’t specific to sports enhancement.
How Can CBD Be Integrated Into a Training & Recovery Regimen?
Athletes like to use high CBD products to help them recover after workouts or injuries, CBD also help athletes sleep, leading to faster recovery times. Edibles and tinctures provide longer-lasting relief, but may take a while to kick in.
Cannabis can complement many traditional and holistic training approaches as well as supplement a recovery regimen. It’s typically easier to use CBD for recovery than it is for performance. This is because athletes using CBD as part of a training strategy must consider many different mental and physical factors.
While it may sound like a miracle cure, it’s very close. High-quality CBD must be taken properly and with proper intent to work correctly. When those guidelines are met, post-routine CBD use can be tremendously effective for reducing athletic-related injuries and improving the healing process so you can get back to the game.