by Matt Weik
CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabis compound that has been found to have several healing benefits, only without giving you the “high” feeling that many associate with cannabis. From relieving you of things like aches and pains to helping reduce inflammation, there are many incredible benefits of CBD for athletes.
Some athletes, such as Lamar Odom and Megan Rapinoe, endorse the use of CBD for athletes. Cannabidiol seems to offer some astonishing results to help reduce muscle soreness.
Athletes, these days, put a lot of stress on their bodies for various performance-oriented results. Hard training often leads to painful injuries and muscle soreness. There are many remedies for it, but some of them are hazardous to health and longevity (think about all the injectables athletes take to dull pain or even injuries to continue playing).
As research on CBD is still going on, we can say that it can be an effective option for post-workout pain relief as well as helping take the edge off from high-strung athletes who can’t seem to relax and unwind.
Let’s dive into some of the most potential benefits of CBD for athletes and understand why CBD is something they should consider as part of their recovery protocol and supplement regimen.
Note: If you are an athlete, check your organization and league’s rules to determine if you are allowed to use CBD. Some competitive organizations have banned the use of CBD for athletes. Additionally, consult with your doctor before using a CBD product to ensure you are healthy enough to use such a product and that it will not interfere with any other supplements or medications you may currently be using.
How Can You Take CBD?
It truly comes down to an athlete’s preference when it comes to use. Athletes can decide between pills, capsules, liquid, gummies, and even edible “treats” in order to take in a specified dose of CBD.
It should be noted that CBD is not federally legal in all 50 states. Each state also has its own Controlled Substances Acts (CSA) that it can enforce. Do some homework for your state to ensure you are able to use CBD where you live. Additionally, if you travel as an athlete for an organization, taking CBD across state lines could get you into legal trouble if caught. Know the laws and regulations of each state you travel through.
6 Benefits of CBD for Athletes
According to a 2020 study, CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation, which is ideal for those looking to improve post-workout recovery.
• The study also states that CBD can protect against gastrointestinal issues that cause inflammation.
• CBD can help heal skeletal injuries.
• It helps relieve stress and anxiety, which leads to improved performance during physical activity – both physically and mentally.
1. CBD Can Improve Muscle Soreness
Cannabis, being an analgesic, helps to relieve pain during workouts as well as post-workout. This is why CBD for athletes, especially post-workout, can help manage pain from muscle soreness, injuries, and sore joints.
2. Reduces Inflammation
In several studies, it shows that CBD can help reduce pre- and post-workout inflammation. The anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD can help athletes recover faster, take their training up several notches, and avoid any delayed-on muscle soreness (DOMS) that generally follows intense workout sessions.
3. Helps To Reduce Anxiety and Better Sleep
Getting enough quality sleep (a minimum of seven hours per night) before an important sporting event or competition is extremely important for better physical and mental performance. CBD supports healthy sleep cycles without making you feel drowsy or groggy the following morning. Sleep plays a vital role in many aspects of proper recovery. During sleep, the body repairs and heals things such as muscle tissue and fibers, balances key hormone levels, recharges the system, and can even help eliminate body fat.
4. A Great Alternative to Opioids
In a 2016 study by the CDC, it was found that opioids were involved in around 42,000+ deaths in the United States. Opioids are quite effective when it comes to pain relief, but they have a significant risk factor in relation to addiction and death due to accidental overdoses. CBD might not be as effective as opioids, but it can be extraordinarily effective for long-term pain management, with a much lower risk of any dependency, accidental death, or overdose.
5. Decreases Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms can be caused due to muscle sprains, dehydration, nerve damage, along with other factors. CBD for athletes is known to carry antispasmodic properties, and if athletes supplement with CBD oil, it may help them to get rid of or better manage muscle spasms.
6. Increases Appetite and Decreases Nausea
When engaging in intense training sessions, you would need more calories for optimal recovery and support lean muscle mass. Additionally, CBD might be an effective solution for you to boost your appetite in a healthy way if you generally don’t have much of an appetite as is. On the other hand, an intense workout causes the blood flow to get diverted from the stomach and can lead to nausea. As CBD carries an anti-emetic effect, it may help to reduce nausea during and post-training.
Is CBD for Athletes a Good Idea?
Overall, from what the research has shown, CBD for athletes appears to be an excellent solution for athletes to perform better and recover better. Assuming the governing body that oversees the specific sport allows their athletes to use CBD and deems it permissible for use, there seems to be only an upside of why athletes should consider using CBD as part of their supplementation and recovery regimens.
One of the determining factors for athletic performance is an athlete’s ability to recover quickly and be prepared to play again within as little as 24 hours. Given such a short timeframe to recovery fully, athletes need to look at what they can legally use to provide them with a competitive edge over their competition. CBD seems like the perfect supplement to add to a regimen to take an athlete’s recovery to the next level and prepare them for their next game or event.
For instance, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has deemed CBD for athletes to be a prohibited substance, and getting caught with CBD in your system could disqualify you from play and even strip you of wins or titles you won while using CBD. Therefore, athletes MUST do their homework prior to using CBD to ensure they are within the rules and regulations of CBD for athletes according to their specific sport and association.