CBD for Athletes

CBD For Performance and Recovery 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes and physical fitness buffs. And for good reason. Users of CBD claim to experience a variety of benefits, from improving focus before the game, to relieving pain after a workout. 

 To learn more about what exactly CBD is, you can refer to this post. In this article, we’ll focus on CBD’s potential medicinal properties as they pertain to sports.
 CBD is often used by athletes to help increase focus, improve blood flow and oxygen levels, and lessen the stresses of extreme physical activity. 

After a good workout, you may be exhausted, achy, or nauseous. Many athletes find that taking CBD after exercise aids in recovery, reduces aches and pain. 

Why athletes use CBD

Extreme sport activity and workouts are hard on your body. They affect muscles, joints, bones, and even the immune system. Staying in top shape tends to mean living with some pain and a host of other symptoms. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
  
Avoiding pain and bodily damage isn’t the only reason athletes use CBD. CBD also has performance enhancing properties such as improving blood flow and mental focus. 
  
At the end of this article you’ll find a link to scores of scientific studies to back up some of the benefits we’ll be discussing.
  
Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential benefits of CBD for athletes and fitness folks. 

Pain

The fact that 29 states allow the use of cannabinoids to alleviate chronic pain should tell you something.  
 
Some see post-workout pain as a reason to spend money on drugs like Advil or Tylenol, which can adversely affect the liver. These drugs may help in the short term, but they are toxic, especially if used with regularity. In fact, liver failure caused by use of these products is the 15th most common cause of death in the US. People who use CBD for pain can avoid that risk. 
CBD is known to act as an analgesic, helping to alleviate pain both during and after exercise. CBD is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories are great for reducing pain and damage
 to muscles, bones, ligaments, etc. 
  
TRPV-1 is a receptor that mediates inflammation, perception of pain, and body temperature. CBD interacts with TRPV-1 receptors to regulate pain response. 

Opioids are also commonly prescribed for pain. Opioids are highly addictive, however. Right now in this country there is an epidemic of deaths caused by opioids. CBD is being touted as a replacement for opioids in some cases. 

Focus

CBD, although it is non-psychotropic, meaning it doesn’t induce altered states of consciousness, it is, contrary to popular belief, psychoactive. This just means that can change things like mood, focus, and sleep. Many athletes use CBD before a game or workout specifically to help them calm down, maintain focus and get in the right frame of mind. 

Flow

The human body produces chemicals when you exercise, such as endorphins, but it also produces a neurotransmitter known as anandamide, the “bliss molecule.” Anandamide is actually an endocannabinoid, which is basically a cannabinoid produced by the body. CBD mimics the effects of anandamide. Many athletes claim that this helps them get into a state of flow.

Sleep and Relaxation

Every athlete knows the importance of sleep
for maintaining peak performance. It’s important for the same reasons as above - it improves focus, mood, and energy. CBD is known to help regulate sleeping patterns. Users report better sleep at night and more alertness during the daytime.

Nausea

Cannabis has anti-emetic effects, which can help athletes reduce the nausea that often comes after an extreme workout or extended exertion. In fact, many studies have shown that for treating nausea and vomiting, CBD is more effective than phenothiazines (e.g., Stemetil®) or antihistamines (e.g., Dramamine®).

Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. As we’re sure you know exercise is great for maintaining a healthy heart. The cause of heart disease is inflammation. As mentioned above CBD has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. CBD also activates the adenosine receptor, which controls cardiovascular blood flow. 

Bone Health
Bones take a beating during sporting activity and workouts. Strength training is known to also strengthen bones. A broken bone can become a major setback putting you on the bench for months. CBD has been shown to have properties that help to prevent fractures, and even mitigate osteoporosis.

Brain Health
A sharp mind is an athlete’s best asset. CBD is regarded as a neuroprotectant. There’s a lot of talk lately amongst major league sports organizations about CBD and its effects on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a condition common among professional athletes in contact sports which arises from repeated impacts to the skull over time. 

The future of CBD in sports

 Major sports organizations are now looking into the impact of CBD on athletes’ health. Currently, NFL league policy says that a player that used CBD to treat an injury, even just topically, could be disqualified for drug use. Fortunately, those rules are expected to change soon. 
 
All this attention to CBD use in the NFL is causing other major sports organizations to take another look at CBD, as well. In 2018, CBD will no longer be banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. This new change could have a significant impact on athletes, both professional and
 amateurs, and athletic organizations worldwide.
 
Everyone’s body is different, and CBD has different effects on people. We encourage you try it for yourself, and to let us know your results. 
 
We have to add a disclaimer that the US FDA has not approved CBD as a treatment for any disease, nor as a dietary supplement to help prevent disease or maintain health. However, there exist scores of lab studies and volumes of anecdotal evidence that claim that CBD has numerous health maintenance benefits.
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