The CBD hype-train continues to pick up steam.
Every day it seems like researchers are advocating new benefits for Cannabidiol or CBD. And people are starting to take notice. Once illegal, the compound can now be purchased in 50 states. Curious consumers are test-driving it on many common ailments, from depression and anxiety to joint pain and insomnia. One of the latest groups to sing its praises is high-performance athletes.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. Along with THC, it is the most common and widely studied cannabinoid. Unlike THC, which includes psychoactive ingredients that produce the “high” that marijuana smokers know well, CBD does not contain psychoactive ingredients and does not produce a discernible high when consumed.
So why have athletes started falling in love with CBD oil?
It can reduce inflammation.
Perhaps one of the biggest breakthroughs with CBD has been the evidence of its ability to reduce inflammation. It’s become so popular that people are even giving it to their elderly dogs to provide relief in their golden years. It’s great news for athletes that are constantly pushing their bodies to the limit. After strenuous physical activity, muscles and joints become inflamed and can be painful and slow to recover. Athletes are beginning to rely on CBD oil from what is budder weed and others to expedite the recovery process.
It can help eliminate stress.
Many researchers, as well as consumers, are praising CBD as a stress reliever. This is potentially important for athletes when it comes to dealing with performance anxiety and stress-related the big game or event. Athletes get stressed for a variety of reasons like anyone else, and some are finding CBD oil to be a huge boost when it comes to calming the mind.
Riley Cote, a retired hockey player, has been taking CBD for a long time for its mental effects.
“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 anxiety,”
CBD can improve your sleep.
Thanks to ongoing research, we now know that a good night’s sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition when it comes to physical and cognitive health. Doctors say it’s imperative for adults to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night and that athletes can benefit from up to a whopping 10 hours.
CBD is thought to slow the release of neurotransmitters, relaxing brain activity, which helps you feel calmer and induces sleep.
It can help keep your anxiety at bay.
Everyone experiences some form of anxiety from time to time, and for some people, it occurs daily. As with most jobs, professional athletes also get anxious when it comes to performance.
One study in 2020 that reviewed CBD’s effect on anxiety disorders found that it was effective on its own, as well as a complementary therapy to those suffering from general anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another study suggested that the optimal dose for adults was between 300-600 mg of CBD per day to significantly reduce anxiety.
CBD can reduce muscle spasms.
CBD has been used to treat chronic illnesses with muscle spasms like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, but it can also be beneficial to athletes. Anyone who has experienced muscle spasms or pain has probably reached into the medicine cabinet for some form of a muscle relaxant. These can provide temporary relief but will not reach the source of the problem.
CBD oil works in the endocannabinoid system and reduces muscle spasms by changing the way the central nervous system talks to our muscles. It contains two natural anti-inflammatory substances (Delta-limonene and Beta-myrcene) that act as natural muscle relaxants.
It can be used to relieve pain.
A study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018 reported that 62% of CBD users said it effectively treated pain, which is welcomed news for athletes that take their bodies to extremes daily.
Another review in Sports Medicine found evidence that CBD had physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects beneficial to athletes. One of the review’s key findings was that CBD could help alleviate pain related to tissue damage and neuropathic pain.
CBD can accelerate recovery time from injury.
Early evidence suggests that CBD is an anti-inflammatory that helps with healing by reducing pro-inflammatory markers in our bodies.
Dr. Elaine Burns, medical director of Southwest Medical Marijuana Physicians Group, explains how CBD oil can help with recovery.
“CBD can help athletes with recovery by reducing inflammation and aiding in muscle relaxation,” said Burns. “It’s an anti-inflammatory that works by reducing pro-inflammatory markers in the body.”
CBD continues to make waves throughout the United States with staggering ferocity. Though research is still too limited to consider it a panacea, there is no denying the benefits at this point. Testimonials continue to pour in from regular users that say the compound has been a life-changer. One of the best things about it is its versatility. From elite athletes to aging house pets, CBD seems to have a benefit for anyone and anything. It’s a great option for those wanting to try out a more natural alternative to provide relief from common ailments or chronic pain with virtually no side effects.