Cannabis has been a part of human life for a long time and using CBD has significant benefits for athletes. People have been using cannabis for therapeutic and recreational purposes since ancient times.
With the development in science and technology, scientists have extracted different components of the Cannabis Sativa plant to understand their health benefits individually.
CBD is one of the cannabinoids obtained from the Cannabis plant. Research conducted over the last few years indicates that CBD is a potent therapeutic ingredient. It is a non-psychoactive ingredient that helps treat several acute and chronic health conditions.
Recent investigations demonstrated that consuming CBD can help boost muscle growth and relieve muscle pain and inflammation.
Due to this, CBD products have become quite popular among athletes and health enthusiasts. This article will explore five benefits of CBD products for athletes.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid obtained from the leaves, buds, flowers, and stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike its sibling THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not have psychoactive properties, i.e., it does not make you “high.” But, it does affect your mood and help you feel relaxed and happy.
Researchers have found that CBD is a potent analgesic. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidative properties. These facts led them to believe that CBD can be an excellent health supplement if consumed in controlled doses.
With new proofs coming to light about the health benefits of CBD, demand for CBD products has increased exponentially worldwide. Its benefits have also attracted a large number of athletes. Let’s see what benefits athletes can expect from CBD products.
How much CBD should an athlete take?
5 Benefits of Using CBD Products for Athletes:
It Helps Relieve Muscle Soreness and Pain
Athletes frequently experience sore muscles and muscle aches. Heavy training sessions can also cause your muscles to wear and tear, which inflames the muscles and causes pain and soreness.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD products help soothe inflamed muscles. CBD also has analgesic qualities that work by blocking the pain mediating pathway.
As a result, it helps relieve muscle cramps and soreness. It also helps relieve joint aches. CBD also helps in the faster recovery of torn muscles. Consuming CBD supplements can also reduce muscle fatigue and enable you to work harder in your training sessions.
Excessively strenuous activity can reduce oxygen levels in the blood, increasing the risk of muscle spasms. CBD supplements help boost circulation and improve blood flow to the muscles.
Consequently, your muscles receive more oxygen which increases muscle strength and stamina. The increased oxygen compensates for the muscle’s excess oxygen requirement during strenuous activities.
It Helps Build Muscle Mass
When your job needs you to do strenuous physical activities, building muscle mass is essential. Studies indicate that consuming CBD supplements indirectly helps increase muscle mass over time. Though it does not play a vital role in building muscle, CBD helps lower the factors that inhibit muscle development.
Long-term mental stress can increase the level of catabolic hormones, like cortisol, in our bloodstream. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can hinder muscle development, resulting in losing muscle tone and mass.
CBD products help relieve stress and improve sleep quality by down-regulating the cortisol level and inducing dopamine and serotonin synthesis. When the cortisol level drops, the feedback mechanism in our body stimulates improved protein synthesis, thereby facilitating muscle growth.
CBD supplements help relax muscles. Intense training and workout can also increase cortisol levels. It also increases free radicals in the musculoskeletal system, increasing the risk of muscle damage.
The antioxidant properties of CBD help neutralize the free radicals in the skeletal muscles, thereby improving muscle build-up and reducing the risk of muscle damage.
It Helps Regulate Appetite
Eating an adequate amount of calories is highly crucial to athletes. Researchers have found that CBD might have some effect on our appetite. It influences the brain’s part, which regulates appetite.
It improves appetite if the calorie need of your body is not, thereby helping in gaining the required body mass. On the other hand, consuming CBD also helps control cravings, thus preventing overeating.
It Helps Reduce Stress and Promote Sleep
Athletes often go through much stress in their professional life. Persistent stress can interfere with their performance. Studies have found that CBD can help relieve stress and anxiety and motivate you to work harder.
As mentioned earlier, CBD relieves stress by reducing cortisol and norepinephrine. It also triggers the production of dopamine and serotonin, the hormones responsible for inducing a feeling of relaxation and calmness. As a result, athletes can perform better.
Proper restful sleep is essential for your body to heal and rejuvenate, especially for people who have to do arduous training sessions. CBD supplements help promote sleep quality by influencing the endocannabinoid system and allow you to feel recharged when you wake up the next day.
It is Safe and Legal
Athletes have to follow strict guidelines regarding their diet. Including ingredients prohibited from their diet, especially those that help increase energy, can land them legal trouble.
CBD is an organic ingredient and has no psychotropic effect. Unlike its analogs, it is not detected in the standard drug test. Thus, it is entirely safe for athletes to consume CBD products.
In 2018, the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD products from banned substances. The US Anti-doping agency has also made it legal for athletes to take CBD supplements.
Is CBD legal for Olympic athletes?
Many people are doping officials who treat CBD differently. Much of the public outcry is over the fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) allows athletes to use CBD but prohibits all other natural and synthetic cannabinoids. Both were banned until Jan. 1, 2018, when new rules went into effect.
In fact, in 2019, Wada removed cannabidiol (CBD), a component of cannabis, from the banned list, even though the chemical remains illegal in some countries, like Japan, where the Olympics are hosted this year.
Do CBD Products Have Any Side Effects?
Typically, CBD products are harmless and well-tolerated by most people. However, they might trigger hypersensitive reactions in some individuals, especially those allergic to terpenes and nuts.
Though rare, CBD products may cause some mild-to-moderate side effects, too, such as:
- Loss of focus
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
In the end, CBD has emerged as one of the most popular organic health supplements due to its numerous therapeutic benefits. Its ability to relieve muscle pain and inflammation, reduce stress and fatigue, and improve muscle growth has also made CBD products popular among athletes.
You can now choose from edible products such as CBD oils, tinctures, and gummies. Athletes can also opt for CBD-infused topicals like creams and balms for relieving muscle aches and spasms. If you are intrigued by its benefits and want to include them in your daily regime, consult with your trainer and dietician.