Athletics and fitness are a part of a lot of people’s lives. If you’re like most fitness freaks, you push your body to the extreme on a daily basis. But constantly straining your body can increase your risk of injury and fatigue. And then there’s the emotional stress that can be associated with competitive athletics as well.
CBD, or cannabidiol, has several medicinal benefits that help with these things and more. A lot of professional athletes, especially combat athletes, have turned to non-psychoactive CBD products to lessen the toll of their active lifestyle and get the most out of every workout.
What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD is one of the two main components of cannabis, the other being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t make you high. Furthermore, CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant, which refers to any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC by weight. Hemp-derived CBD all but guarantees 0% THC content in the finished product. CBD for muscle pain and muscle recovery are two of the most common uses of this all-natural compound.
CBD is able to exert a spectrum of therapeutic effects because of its interaction with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is in charge of maintaining homeostasis and balance in almost every other system of our bodies, including our nervous system, immune system, and musculoskeletal system. Interestingly, these three systems are intimately involved in athletic ability and performance.
When the ECS fails to maintain homeostasis in any of these systems, then many common conditions can arise, from Alzheimer’s disease to osteoporosis and everything in between.
CBD is effective for many conditions because of its interaction with our endocannabinoid system. CBD heals the ECS, which then restores health and balance to the systems that it regulates, eliminating symptoms naturally rather than artificially with drugs made in a laboratory.
For a full rundown on how CBD works in the human body, click here.
CBD for Athletes: What are the benefits?
- Decreased Inflammation: CBD and most other cannabinoid compounds have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing your body’s inflammatory tendencies, CBD helps to promote repair processes instead of inflammation, boosting muscle recovery and eliminating soreness.
- Pain Relief: CBD soothes the part of the brain that determines our pain sensitivity, helping to reduce the likelihood that a given stimuli will be perceived as “painful.” It also prevents the pain that would be caused by the inflammatory processes that produce swelling.
- Reduced Pre-Competition Stress and Anxiety: Pre-game jitters are a real thing, and some athletes experience severe nervousness leading up to tip-off. CBD binds to serotonin receptors in our brain, reducing anxiety in a similar manner as SSRIs and anti-anxiety drugs.
- Boosted Immune System: CBD is an antioxidant with comparable efficacy to vitamins C and E. Antioxidants neutralize harmful byproducts of muscle exertion - called free radicals - that destroy DNA and other vital cell structures. CBD also modulates several immune system genes in a way that promotes anti-inflammatory processes and suppresses pro-inflammatory chemical signals.
CBD Goes Pro
More and more professional athletes are tossing aside addictive opiates and unhealthy over-the-counter NSAIDs that can cause stomach ulcers and are often ineffective. Instead, they are turning to all-natural CBD for muscle pain and recovery.
Some Pro-CBD athletes include:
- Derrick Morgan: A linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, Morgan started using CBD to protect himself against CTE, or chronic-traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is a common condition following repeated head traumas, such as tackling 250 LB tight ends for a living.
- Nate Diaz: This MMA champion fighter arrived to a post-fight press conference toking a vape pen. When asked about the pen’s contents, he explained to reporters that it was CBD, which he uses on a daily basis to accelerate and strengthen his recovery process.
- Gina Mazany: Also an MMA fighter, Mazany has turned to CBD for its combined physical and mental benefits. She was recently quoted saying, “There are so many ways that CBD can benefit everyone in one way or another.” We agree, Gina!
The most popular way to take CBD is sublingual oils/tinctures, though some choose to inhale it from a vape pen or use topical products for acute muscle pain relief.
At NutraCanna, we provide sublingual CBD oil for athletes, as well as CBD dissolvable tablets infused with melatonin for quick relief and a good night’s sleep. Check out our full line of All Health, No High® CBD products here, and get back in your game!