Athletes commonly expose themselves to high-intensity conditions regarding their competitive sports, and, inevitably, often experience pain and soreness as a result. This tends to be an issue for them because they end up having to take time off to recover and heal. Fortunately, CBD for athletes can be beneficial after overworking muscles or suffering an injury.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a naturally occurring cannabinoid from the cannabis plant. CBD offers tremendous benefits for humans as well as animals. Cannabinoids from plants are known as “phytocannabinoids”.
CBD is a safe and non-psychoactive component in cannabis. Meaning its positive effects on the human body does not have any connection with altering one’s state of mind. Now you might be wondering, “How is this possible if it still comes from the cannabis plant?”
The type of plant CBD comes from is what makes it so unique. Hemp, a species of cannabis, naturally contains a low THC content, which is the psychoactive compound. The CBD they extract from hemp is in its purest form. It gives you all the desirable effects without disturbing your cognition.
So How Does CBD Work in Humans?
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is responsible for regulating many different functions and promoting homeostasis. Homeostasis is one of the hallmarks of our survival! It is our body’s tendency to keep everything in equilibrium. For example, if our body temperature rises too much, we will sweat to cool off and try to return to that ideal temperature.
Our bodies produce natural synthesize cannabinoids, called “endocannabinoids”, which interact with our internal cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are primarily in peripheral tissues and organs.
The importance of CBD in relation to our endocannabinoids is that CBD, being a cannabinoid itself, mimics endocannabinoid’s interactions within the ECS. Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids interact with the same types of receptors. In fact, CBD may even boost our ECS’s activity, which is responsible for promoting the many incredible effects on our bodies.
Benefits of CBD for Athletes
Your ECS helps regulate inflammation, pain, soreness, sleep, anxiety, stress, digestion, mood, and much more. CBD interacts with your ECS to help it function at top shape. Many athletes have utilized CBD after games to help with soreness or recovery and other issues.
Athletes & Inflammation
Joints and tendons can become inflamed from overuse. A common example of tendon inflammation is patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee,” which occurs in sports that involve frequent jumping.
Inflammation of the patellar tendon causes pain in the knees when and it can be hard to deal with, especially for athletes who constantly need to be at their peak performance levels. Recovery is not overnight, and it can sometimes take weeks for the knees to get back to their full potential.
CBD interacts with your ECS. The ECS has a major role in inflammation and the body.
Does CBD Affect Athletic Performance?
Unlike strong painkillers like Vicodin, CBD is not addictive, which makes it a better alternative for promoting recovery.
Athletes experience high pressure, high-stress situations in their respective sports, and sometimes those factors can have negative effects on their performance. Players who get anxious under pressure will see the worst of these effects, often being unable to perform at their peak potential.
The good news is that CBD leaves consumers with a calming sensation. Sometimes, it is described as euphoric, although there is no high. Many athletes claim this has helped them in intense situations.
CBD will not alter an individual’s state of mind. It will allow them to function normally while gaining the numerous benefits that CBD has to offer.
Is CBD a Banned Substance for Athletes?
CBD is a controversial topic when it comes to sports. While there is no ban on CBD, all other cannabinoids are prohibited in competition. Substances like THC that are present in some CBD products have psychoactive effects, which is a major concern for the US Anti-Doping Agency and is one of the main reasons cannabinoids are prohibited in sports.
However, since CBD does not have mind-altering effects, its use is permitted to athletes since it can help them with recovery. While CBD for athletes is allowed, they must keep in mind that impure or untrustworthy products can introduce prohibited cannabinoids like THC to their bodies. Full-spectrum CBD products also contain trace amounts of THC, which can cause a failed drug test. Athletes should stick to CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD (only from reputable sources).
Officials will prohibit a substance if it meets two out of the three following criteria:
- Has the potential to enhance performance
- Is a risk to the athlete’s health
- Violates the spirit of the sport
You might assume that they would ban the use of CBD because it meets the first two criteria, but studies show that CBD does much more good than harm, if any at all. Its tremendous benefits outweigh the minimal side effects that are usually not notable
Athletes constantly speak out about how CBD helps them with recovery. Whether it is used topically or ingested, CBD gives athletes the results they need to help them get back on their feet, without the unwanted side effects and the risk of addiction.
How to Use CBD as an Athlete
You may wonder, what is the best way to take CBD for athletes? Athletes can use CBD just like everyone else in the form of capsules, oil tinctures, edibles, vaporizers, or even creams. Since CBD is non-psychoactive and you can take it on an empty or a full stomach. You can take it whenever you feel like.
CBD capsules are a clean and convenient way to take regular doses of CBD, capsules are effective but take a bit longer to have an effect due to the digestive and metabolic processes that are involved. Capsules generally take about 30-60 minutes to feel. The effects should last around 6 hours.
CBD Oil Tinctures
This is a form of CBD you can take sublingually (under the tongue). CBD Tinctures are the most popular way to take CBD. Tinctures offer a faster way of absorbing CBD because it bypasses the main digestive system goes into the blood relatively quickly. Effects kick in within minutes after taking the dosage and normally last 6 hours.
CBD edibles, such as gummies, honey, or chocolates can be a tasty alternative to those who prefer not to swallow capsules. They do, however, require a longer time like capsules to absorb into the bloodstream because of the digestive and metabolic processes. It can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour for edibles to have an effect on your body. This depends on when your last meal was. CBD edibles are most effective on an empty stomach.
Vaping CBD is by far the fastest way to feel its effects. The only barrier between itself and the blood is the thin-walled alveoli in your lungs, where gas exchange is very efficient. Your lungs quickly absorb CBD that is inhaled, making it preferable to individuals who want fast results. However, some CBD goes to waste due to the loss while exhaling, also the effects only last 2-3 hours.
CBD sports creams can be applied topically to the area(s) affected, removing the need to ingest CBD. Although its absorption is relatively slow, its effects can be long-lasting.
CBD can prove extremely helpful for athletic or physical people of all ages. It has a high safety profile and is legal in all of the U.S. CBD offers many benefits to athletes with very little risk. Its always good practice to check with your physician if you want to take CBD and are already on any other prescription medications. For information and guidelines on your personal dosage of CBD check out our dosage guide.