CBD Oil For Athletes

CBDISTILLERY

Buy CBD Oil Online

What athletes should know about cannabidiol (CBD) for recovery, pain relief, anti-inflammation, and as an alternative to NSAID and opioide pain killers. Higher potencies and different means of delivery are driving innovation. Here, we will take a look at the role of CBD in sports and its potential benefits for athletes.

CBD for Athletes: What You Need to Know About Cannabidiol

Athletes put a lot of stress on our bodies, to positive and negative effect. Training stress stimulates adaptation and increased performance, but physical trauma and prolonged wear and tear also lead to injuries and pain. Current methods of pain management are effective, but they’re also killing people. In search of improved sports recovery and safer pain relief, many people are asking about cannabidiol or CBD for athletes. Should you?

Chronic use of over-the-counter pain relievers (i.e. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) poses greater health risk than previously known, and we are in the midst of an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses that kill tens of thousands of Americans annually. In such a landscape, athletes are rightly curious about and eager for cannabidiols’ (CBD) promises of pain relief and reduced inflammation without the risks associated with NSAIDs or opioids.

Are CBD products right for you? There’s a lot here to unpack and consider, so get comfortable and read on.

Is CBD legal for athletes?

Yes. Starting at the beginning of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances – in or out of competition. (Here is the 2020 WADA Prohibited List.) The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) did the same, and they provide a “Marijuana FAQ” page to clarify the rules. There is an important caveat: ONLY CBD was removed from the prohibited list. The psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, is still prohibited in competition, as are synthetic cannabinoids. The specific wording is: “All natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited, e.g.: In cannabis (hashish, marijuana) and cannabis products. Natural and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs). Synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of THC. Except: Cannabidiol.”

Interestingly, WADA set a urinary threshold of 150 nanograms per milliliter for THC, which is substantially more lenient than the previous limit of 15 nanograms per milliliter. The higher threshold is designed to lower the risk of an athlete testing positive due to casual use outside of competition. A USA Today article in 2016 quoted Ben Nichols, a spokesperson for WADA as saying, “Our information suggests that many cases do not involve game or event-day consumption. The new threshold level is an attempt to ensure that in-competition use is detected and not use during the days and weeks before competition.”

As for legality outside of sports, that’s a whole different matter. The federal, state, and local legality of cannabis and related products is constantly evolving. Check the laws in your area.

CBD Basics

Athletes can legally consume cannabidiol, but what is it, what does it do, and why would you use it?

To begin with, cannabinoids already exist in your body. Scientists have identified what they call the endocannibinoid system (ECS) that modulates the activity of neurons. (9) Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found naturally in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, which is also found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive.

Beyond that, scientists understanding of how the ECS works and how CBD influences it is still evolving. For a long time, research in this area was hard to complete due to the legal status of marijuana. However, based on recent studies and 2018’s The Essentials of Pain Medicine, Fourth Ed., here are the basics (5).

Within your nervous system, two endocannabinoids (2-AG and EAE) are produced in postsynaptic neurons (downstream) and released into the synapse. They bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors on the presynaptic neuron (upstream) and act to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters. For instance when CBD is used to treat epilepsy, it may reduce seizure activity by – in part – reducing the buildup of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter.

CB1 receptors are found throughout the brain, spinal cord, and other tissues. CB2 receptors are as well, but more of them are found in immune system tissues. CBD binding to CB1 receptors has a greater effect the central nervous system, and CBD binding to CB2 receptors has a greater effect on reducing inflammation.

The primary purpose of the ECS appears to be maintaining homeostasis, which it does by keeping neurotransmitter levels in check. Consuming CBD could be thought of as supplementing or increasing the activity of your body’s existing endocannabinoid system.

As an athlete you apply greater stress to your body, leading to pain and inflammation greater than what your endocannabinoid system can handle. Adding exogenous CBD may help this overloaded system get your neurotransmitters back under control and help athletes maintain homeostasis.

6 Benefits of CBD for Athletes

Relieve Pain

Studies have shown cannabis (mostly THC and far less CBD) is effective for reducing pain, including musculoskeletal pain from exercise, as well as stiff joints. (5) There is little research on CBD alone or a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. This is an area where anecdotal evidence and biological plausibility are the best we have until research catches up. Despite the lack of hard evidence, CBD does appear to relieve pain effectively for many athletes.

See also  Elixinol CBD Oil Reviews

Alternative to NSAIDs

Athletes have been consuming over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) for decades, but they may not be as safe as we once thought. Ultradistance athletes, in particular, are typically advised to avoid NSAIDs during long training sessions and events, due to increased risk of renal damage. But even if your workouts and events are short, long-term or frequent use of NSAIDs may increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Some athletes have found the pain relieving effect of CBD can reduce or eliminate their use of NSAIDS for exercise-related pain, with minimal side effects. According to The Essentials of Pain Medicine, Fourth Ed., “There are no documented deaths from cannabis or cannabinoid-based products. In a systemic review of studies of oral and oral-mucosal cannabis for various medical conditions, the majority of adverse events reports were considered non-serious (96.6%).”

Alternative to Opioids

According to the CDC, in 2016 opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in the US. Opioid pain medications (i.e. morphine, codeine, oxycontin) are highly effective for pain management, but carry a significant risk of addiction and death by overdose. Cannabinoids are not as effective as opioids for relieving acute, high-intensity pain (5), but may be effective for long-term pain management – either alone or in conjunction with other medications – with far less risk of dependence or accidental death.

Reduce inflammation

A little bit of inflammation can be good for athletes and help stimulate positive training adaptations. Too much inflammation hinders recovery and hurts performance. There are CB2 receptors in both the brain and periphery, but they are more concentrated in immune tissues. Cannabinoids binding to CB2 receptors may have an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing cytokine (cell messengers) production. (8) In other words, CBD bound to CB2 receptors help dial down the response when your immune system sounds the alarm after hard workouts.

Settle your gut

Inflammation in the small and large intestines causes a lot of discomfort, and GI distress is one of the leading reasons endurance athletes drop out of races. CBD won’t solve stomach problems from dehydration and overheating (two major causes for athletes), but if you have underlying inflammation issues that contribute to gut problems during or after exercise, CBD may be effective for reducing your symptoms. There are CB1 and CB2 receptors in the colon. Colitis symptoms were inhibited (in mice) when CB1 and CB2 receptors were activated. (8)

Improve Sleep Quality

Getting more and better sleep is one of the most effective ways an athlete can achieve greater training gains. Anecdotally, athletes who consume CBD report greater ease going to sleep and a more restful night’s sleep. One potential reason for this could be CBD inhibiting the reuptake of adenosine. (7)

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breaks down as your brain burns carbohydrate for energy, and adenosine gradually accumulates in the brain. More adenosine binding to neurons inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, slowing down brain activity, helping you feel calmer, and inducing sleep. Your body metabolizes adenosine as you sleep, and some time later, low concentrations of adenosine help you wake up and the process starts again.

By binding to same receptors adenosine would bind to, CBD may inhibit adenosine reuptake, which helps it accumulate more quickly and makes you feel sleepy sooner. CBD may also have a potent anti-anxiety effect for some people, which can help them get to sleep and have more restful sleep.

How to use CBD

New CBD-containing products hit the market every week. You can get ingest CBD through capsules, pills, or as an oil. You can inhale it as a vapor. It has been infused into sports drinks, recovery drinks, and all manner of edibles. There are also topical creams and lotions that contain CBD oil, as well as tinctures/drops that can be placed under your tongue.

How you consume CBD may affect how quickly you experience its effects. Capsules, oil, and edibles have to be digested, so they may take a bit longer. Topical creams are said to be quicker than edibles, and sublingual drops/tinctures are said to be the most rapid (besides inhalation via vaping).

CBD is available as “full spectrum” or “isolate”. Full spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other compounds found in the original plant, which could include small amounts of THC. If the CBD was derived from industrial hemp, the THC content of the original plant is legally supposed to be less than .3% (in Colorado). Products that contain CBD isolate should only contain CBD. CBD isolate and CBD produced from hemp would be a better choice, from an anti-doping standpoint, for anyone with zero-tolerance drug testing at work (i.e. pilots).

How much CBD to use

Here’s where things get tricky. There is no standard dose that delivers a consistent effect for all people. CBD products are not well regulated, so there can be inconsistencies in how much CBD is in a product. And depending on how you consume CBD (oil, gummy bear, cookie, recovery drink, tincture, vapor), it can be difficult to be precise. The most precise way to consume CBD is probably through capsules, or by calculating how many milligrams of CBD are in a given volume (i.e. 1 milliliter) of a tincture.

See also  CBD Essential Oil

Companies that produce and sell CBD products recommend starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it based on the effects you experience.

Conclusion and Caveat

The emergence of cannabidiol could mark a major turning point in how athletes recover from training stress and manage both occasional and chronic pain. The giant, glaring caveat is that right now the use of CBD and the ways it’s being delivered are ahead of the science. There is a lot still to learn about how CBD works and how to best utilize it with athletes. That is not unusual, though. Back when carbohydrate-rich sports drinks first came out, it was clear they were helping improve performance even if the formulas weren’t perfect and the mechanisms weren’t all known.

Although it is not a banned substance for athletes in or out of competition, the potential risk for athletes is if the product you buy doesn’t contain what it says on the label. If it actually contains a significant amount of THC or other prohibited substance, you are at risk for a doping violation. As with anything else, it will be up to you to research and find a reputable brand.

With what we know at this point, CBD offers good potential benefits and few risks. If it improves recovery as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and sleep aid, then it has great potential to improve athletic performance. And if it gets athletes to reduce consumption of NSAIDS, opioids, and prescription sleep aids, those are even bigger victories.

Next-Generation CBD Products for Athletes

Higher potencies and different means of delivery are driving innovation.

Within the ever-expanding overall CBD market, runners and other athletes are increasingly a focus. This emphasis makes sense, when you consider that many of the touted benefits of CBD—pain relief, better sleep, faster recovery, lower inflammation—are of special interest to people who push their bodies hard. Companies are targeting athletes with higher-potency versions of typical CBD products and different ways to deliver CBD.

First, a refresher: CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of more than 100 related compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t produce the high caused by the other most well-known cannabinoid, THC. CBD products sold online and in retail establishments are made from hemp, which by definition is a cannabis plant containing no more than .3 percent THC. As of last year’s farm bill, hemp is no longer classified as a controlled substance under federal law. For a detailed background read on CBD, see this article.

Now, on to the new wave of CBD products for athletes, grouped by the type of innovation. These are all products I’ve tested since writing The Athlete’s Guide to CBD.

Higher Potency Within Typical Products

Two of the main CBD product types are oral tinctures and topical solutions. Tinctures typically come in a 300-milliliter bottle, or just about 1 ounce. You use the supplied dropper to place some of the tincture under your tongue, then keep the tincture in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing. (If someone says “CBD oil,” they’re talking about a tincture.) Topicals come in many consistencies—thick salve, oil, cream, lotion, roll-on, and so on—and in many sizes. Topicals are applied to achy body parts in the hope of delivering targeted pain relief.

When CBD really started hitting the mainstream in 2018, a typical tincture contained 300 to 600 milligrams of CBD. That equals about 30 full-dropper servings in a typical bottle, meaning that one drop of a 600-milligram tincture contains 20 milligrams of CBD. As customers reported benefits from larger daily amounts of CBD, manufacturers responded by making more concentrated tinctures. You can now find 30-milligram tinctures containing 2,000 or more milligrams of CBD; one dropper of an 1,800-milligram-strength tincture provides 60 milligrams of CBD.

Below are three high-potency tinctures I’ve had good results from. (“Results” for me include improved sleep and less overall creakiness from being a 55-year-old who has run more than 110,000 miles over the last 40 years and who is training for a 50-miler.) I appreciate the higher-potency offerings because I’ve gravitated toward a daily CBD sweet spot of 30 to 60 milligrams. If your standard level is lower, the higher-potency tinctures mean you can take a fraction of a dropperful and not have to restock as frequently.

CBD for Athletes & Sports

Athletes are always looking for better, more natural ways to boost their performance and recover from intense training sessions. Current options for post-workout pain relief and recovery are more harmful than beneficial. Some are even downright addictive! So when an all-natural product like CBD shows up with big promises for athletes, it turns many heads. Up to the point that even the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in 2018. Now, many have tried CBD and consistently incorporate it into their wellness routines.

But is it as effective as people claim? Keep reading if you’re an athlete and curious about what this compound can do for you. Here, we will take a look at the role of CBD in sports and its potential benefits for athletes.

See also  Botanical Farms CBD Gummies Reviews

WHAT IS CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found in both hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike its sister cannabinoid, THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it won’t get you high. According to the World Health Organization, it’s also generally safe and well-tolerated by most people. Research on the uses of CBD for athletes is still ongoing, but the available studies all point to its potential role in alleviating various conditions.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF CBD FOR ATHLETES?

MAY REDUCE PAIN & INFLAMMATION

Pain and inflammation are a part of every athlete’s bodily responses. While they can have positive effects on training, if they become too severe, they can prevent recovery and limit performance. CBD may be the answer to this problem as those who have tried it swear by its effectiveness in relieving their discomfort.

Recent studies on CBD for athletes confirm its ability to reduce pain and inflammation caused by nerve and tissue damage. A possible explanation for this can be the interaction between CBD and CBD receptors in the brain which signals the immune system and more effectively modulate the inflammatory response to intense workout sessions.

A POSSIBLE HOLISTIC REPLACEMENT FOR NSAIDS & OPIOIDS

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have been athletes’ go-to pain-relieving remedies for a long time. Simple medications like Advil are not as safe as we once though. Reports show that they can cause heart problems and renal failure. Opioids are even worse! While they mange to reduce the pain significantly, they are very addictive and can cause fatal overdoses.

Those searching for healthier alternatives found that CBD can replace NSAIDs for athletes. Natural products like CBD Tincture Oils can be much safer than synthetic solutions since they are non-addictive. Some new studies on CBD in sports suggest that CBD may be able to help athletes quit opioid addictions.

MANAGING SLEEP & STRESS

Getting enough sleep is crucial for every athlete’s recovery and performance process. On the other hand, there may be nights when you need to stay awake longer than your normal routine allows. Studies show that lower doses of CBD for athletes may help in inducing sleep, while higher doses can help keep you awake.

One of the causes of sleep difficulties is stress. Studies show that CBD may help in potentially reducing anxiety to then help people achieve a more restful sleep, easier. This benefit of CBD for athletes can also be helpful in stressful situations. The right dose of CBD before a big event may be effective in calming the mind and improving focus.

MUSCLE RECOVERY & BONE HEALTH

The potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD for athletes can also help with muscle recovery. Intensive workout sessions can tear your muscle tissues and cause inflammation. This inflammation can help you build stronger muscles. On the other hand, too much of it can have adverse effects. A CBD muscle cream might be able to balance this out and help your sore muscles recover at a sustainable rate.

Another way CBD can benefits athletes is with bone structure. Studies show that CBD may help bone fractures heal and improve bone deposition. This benefit of CBD in sports is promising for athletes who are more prone to bone injuries.

A SOLUTION FOR GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS

Inflammation can also happen in the intestines, cause discomfort, and prevent athletes from performing at their best. Here is where the potential anti-inflammatory properties of CBD for athletes come into play again. By interacting with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the intestines, CBD may be able to fix these gastrointestinal issues, recover the intestines’ permeability and rid you of the inflammation-induced gut problems.

FAMOUS ATHLETES WHO USE CBD

Many use CBD to level up their wellness routines. Some of the most famous athletes endorsing CBD are professional golfer Rickie Fowler, NFL player Rob Gronkowski, and MMA fighter Nate Diaz. NBA player Klay Thompson, heavyweight boxer Shannon Briggs, and soccer player Megan Rapinoe are other professional athletes who use CBD in sports.

TRY OUT CBD FOR YOURSELF!

Considering the potential benefits of CBD for athletes, this natural substance can be a safer solution for recovery and better performance. Many athletes have already jumped on the CBD train, and its time you do too! Make sure to check in with your doctor beforehand and start with low doses so your body can acclimate itself to it. Try out different types of CBD to figure out which one suits your needs better. You can visit Envy CBD’s shop to choose from a vast collection of 100% pesticide-free, broad spectrum CBD products with superior quality.

If you’re an athlete and already using CBD, leave us a comment and tell us how it has helped you!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.