Let’s start off by acknowledging that cannabidiol (CBD) is an extremely powerful all natural anti inflammatory. CBD oil is widely considered one of the most effective anti-inflammatory agents for your body. Athletes are using CBD oil more and more to recover from the aches, pains and inflammation from sports, most notably heavy contact sports. Football players, MMA fighters, Basketball, Soccer, Grappling and many others are using CBD in lieu of prescription and over-the- counter pharmaceuticals. Most athletes assume chronic use of over-the-counter pain relievers (i.e. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) are safe when in fact it poses a greater health risk than previously known. We are in the midst of an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses that kill tens of thousands of Americans annually.
Athletes put more stress on their bodies than anyone, which can be a positive or negative experience. Intense training stimulates adaptation and increased performance, but physical trauma also leads to injuries, inflammation, concussion, psychological stress and chronic pain. Current methods of pain management are effective, probably TO effective. Pharmaceuticals can be very dangerous and are abused rampantly. Athletes suffering from addiction is a big societal problem. THC and CBD oils are increasingly used as replacements for prescription drugs, moreso THC when the pain is overwhelming. In the search for safer recovery and pain relief supplements, many athletes are asking about cannabidiol (CBD).
All cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBD, THCV etc…) work as anti-inflammatory on varying levels. THC and CBD are the most potent anti-inflammatory agents. Cannabidiol (CBD) exerts its effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells (Tregs). Studies have shown Cannabinoids are effective with nervous tissue inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, vascular inflammation and overall chronic inflammation. Athletes as a group are some of the most prominent sufferers of inflammatory tissue. Other studies demonstrate CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat in athletes.
Studies indicate CBD can increase levels of mitochondria in our cells, thus boosting what is considered the “powerhouse of the cell”. Increased mitochondria can cause the body to burn more calories during a practice session. This increased metabolic rate brought to athletes through CBD oil provides your body what’s needed to mold into a stronger, faster, and flexible athletic machine. Consider that CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids have proven to treat many negative medical diagnoses, from seizures to degenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, and even has treated and cured different forms of cancer. Compounds this powerful are obviously performing some amazing things at the cellular level within our bodies.
CBD, unlike the psychoactive compound THC, suppresses your appetite, which in turn can help you decrease caloric intake. Some athletes are incorporating CBD oil into their daily vitamin regimen for the specific purpose of appetite suppression. Depending on the sport, some athletes need to shed pounds through exercise and a stringent diet. This takes a strict will power, and CBD can ease this process, sometimes by the sheer calming factor of cannabidiol. With proper dosing, CBD helps you manage your appetite in a way that enables you to improve your eating habits and strengthen your workout in the long-term.
CBD is one of the best all natural remedies for stress relief in Athletes. Stress relief in athletes often comes in the form of improved sleep. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breaks down as your brain burns carbohydrate for energy, gradually building up in our brains.. More adenosine binding to neurons inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, slowing down brain activity, helping you feel calmer, which induces sleep. Getting better sleep is one of the most effective ways an athlete can achieve focus and clarity, resulting in a better athletic performance.
Anxiety and stress runs deep in our society, how could it not with the bombardment of information we all receive. Try being an athlete pressured to perform at peak level for the success of a school or professional organization, a lot is riding on them. CBD helps to reduce anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder, or SAD. This study found that CBD not only helped reduce current anxiety, but it also changes brain structure over time for resilience to stress.. Brain scans showed changes in blood flow patterns in regions of the brain associated with stress and anxiety. Athletes often testify that appropriately dosed CBD oil offers antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects brought on by everyday athletic pressures.
Opiate abuse is a global crisis. It’s been proven that most opioid addiction starts in the doctor’s office through prescriptions for chronic pain. In 2016, according to the CDC, opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in the US through pain medications (i.e. morphine, codeine, oxycontin). Although HIGHLY effective for pain management, pharmaceuticals carry a significant risk of addiction and overdose deaths. Cannabinoids are not as effective as opioids for relieving acute, high-intensity pain, but are effective for long-term pain management with far less risk of dependence or accidental death.
Dosing CBD is not an exact science. Athletes have varying results from pier to pier. Some folks receive almost immediate results (same day), while others need the cannabinoids to build up in their systems over time, sometimes a month plus. When taken sublingually and topically, the results have shown to be expedited. Not everyone’s endocannabinoid systems are the same, which is what introducing CBD externally reacts with (the endocannabinoid system is a different blog altogether). In short, we all have an endocannabinoid system within us. The ECS helps regulate everything in our bodies from pain, mood and cellular health.
Getting sick right before an important game, match or event is extremely heartbreaking for athletes. Many play through the sickness, when too bad they can’t. CBD oil has been shown to boost athletes’ immune systems by reducing the immune systems inflammatory response. Inflammation being a response that isolates infected areas and prevents toxins from spreading while suppressing T-cell production and function, ultimately suppressing the immune system’s ability to remember foreign invaders. The short answer is that CBD helps to improve our immune systems through reducing overall inflammation at the cellular level.