The compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant have several beneficial properties for humans. This has been established by several study findings throughout the years. But, the focus is kept on two core compounds – CBD and THC. While THC induces a cerebral high feeling in users, that is not the case with CBD. Also called Cannabidiol, CBD is known for its medicinal properties and therapeutic effects on the human body. It has been used to help people cope with various types of pain, ache, and sleeping issues. The number of CBD-based products is on the rise, with the number of athletes using CBD rising throughout the past decade.
The History of Athletes Using CBD in Sports
Athletes using CBD in many forms is nothing new. The sport agencies typically considered cannabis as a banned substance for professional usage. However, a key change took place in 2018 when WADA removed CBD from its range of banned substances for use by athletes. The studies conducted in recent years highlighted the several beneficial medicinal properties of CBD. The number of athletes using CBD-infused products, and ex-athletes promoting CBD brands, has shot up in recent years.
The Advantages of Athletes Using CBD
It is not without some credible reasons that so many athletes resort to using CBD. They use CBD in several forms, such as creams, gels, lotions, and edibles. Athletes cite reasons like better recovery from injuries, mood boost, and relief from aches. Below are additional reasons as to why more and more athletes are using CBD:
Immune System Boost
Athletes need to have a strong immune system, especially those that need to perform in different atmospheres and setups at different times of the year. Exposure to harsh weather might be part of their life. Therefore, athletes need to use supplements or products that help boost the immune system. CBD can also be of use, considering it has been shown to help enhance immunity levels.
Reduction in Stress
No one likes stress. But just like everyone, athletes undergo stressful situations on a weekly basis. The stress is caused by many factors like anxiety from trying to perform at their peak, from competitions, and from the expectations of the fans. Using CBD helps athletes cope with stress better. They are able to focus on their performance and remain less anxious about issues related to sports. CBD limits the generation of stress-inducing hormones in the body.
Boost in Recovery
Athletes end up getting injured from time to time. The injury can be minor or major. While there are painkillers and OTC medications, they usually bring side effects. Using CBD is a safer option for athletes to get relief from pains and aches. CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, athletes have to spend less time in recovery mode.
A good number of athletes are suffering from insomnia these days. The reasons can be numerous. However, by using CBD in any form (edibles, tinctures, creams, etc), athletes are able to fall asleep easier and have their bodies recover better when sleeping. When a person gets proper sleep, the person wakes up rejuvenated and they can perform better.
Enhanced Pain Relief
Some athletes develop pain in body parts like the knee and elbow. They can get injured while playing impact-intensive games. Sometimes, they may get injured after colliding with other players or by diving for a ball. People that take part in football, soccer, hockey, and rugby may suffer from short-term joint pain and chronic pain. CBD offers relief from diverse types of body aches and pains, without side effects.
Protection of the Central Nervous System
The Central Nervous System plays a key role in keeping the human body fit. It controls the functioning of a large number of nerves, cells, and tissues. Athletes spend a lot of time in intensive physical activities, taking a toll on the efficacy of the CNS. Because of this, athletes become tired sooner and gives a sense of a lack of energy to practice or play with the required vigor. CBD acts as a friend of the neurotransmission process and it helps balance and sync the brain’s neural signaling activities.
Things to Keep in Mind
While using CBD products can be beneficial for athletes, athletes need to take some precautions. CBD products made by various brands often contain traces of THC and other ingredients of the cannabis plant.
If you’re an athlete and you are planning on using CBD for your workouts, buy CBD products only after checking the ingredient list. Zero-THC products are also available, but you need to consult with your trainers and medical advisors before use.