It’s no secret that athletes put their bodies through a ton of stress and strain with all the vigorous training sessions and intense match day performances. This is why it’s no surprise that many sportspeople all over the world search for supplements that can aid their recovery in order to maintain peak performance.
One such supplement that has skyrocketed in popularity over the years is CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol. This magical compound is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of the marijuana plant, of which there are believed to be around 400 unique compounds available. All of the experienced smokers out there will know that the most prevalent compound in the plant is, in fact, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the stuff that gets people “high.”
However, when consuming concentrated CBD products which can be found in a medical cannabis dispensary, there are no mind-altering effects associated with the compound, so you can enjoy a wide range of health benefits while maintaining your mental focus.
CBD Can Soothe Muscle Pain
As an athlete, one of the most common issues you will have to face is muscle pain. Whether it’s DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), or some form of strain or tear, muscle pain can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating.
To stop pain from getting in the way of performance, many athletes turn to medical products to help alleviate these symptoms so they can get back to their regular training program. However, the traditional treatment for muscle pains (prescribed by doctors in the US) is opiates, which can be highly addictive and have a number of negative long-term side effects.
Fortunately, CBD is a completely natural form of pain relief as it interacts directly with the cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management in a safe and non-addicting way.
How CBD Work in the Body for Muscle Pain?
A study in the Neurotherapeutics Journal in 2015 revealed that CBD influences many receptors and systems in the human body, including endocannabinoids. In short, the endocannabinoid system is something that already exists in our central nervous system. This system has many cannabinoid receptors, and CBD is a compound that binds to it once consumed. The same study suggested that CBD may play a part in pain sensation, fertility, cognitive process, memory, mood, and many more things. It also revealed that CBD increases anandamide, which also helps regulate pain and reduces pain perception.
Now, any active athlete (even an amateur) puts enormous strain on their body and health. This leads to more inflammation and pain, which is often the only way one can improve and advance in specific sports disciplines. This puts pain levels beyond what the endocannabinoid system is designed to regulate (especially for prolonged periods of time). Thankfully, this is where CBD comes in, as it interacts and stimulates the system, reducing pain and inflammation throughout the body.
However, it is important to note that research around CBD and other cannabis-derived products is still relatively light as the ongoing debate over legalization is still quite a complicated topic. Cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance according to the federal government, yet it remains legal for both medicinal and recreational use in many US states. Fortunately, more studies are being carried out each year, and it seems as time goes on, the more favorable the stance becomes on CBD usage for pain relief.
Benefits And Side Effects of Using CBD
Generally, side effects related to CBD are mostly some rare occurrences of diarrhea, changes in appetite, sleepiness, or fatigue, but these are not medically confirmed and are purely anecdotal. Outside of isolated reports, CBD is generally considered safe and without any significant side effects at all.
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”– the World Health Organization (WHO)
The benefits, however, are seemingly endless, and below you will find some of the most important benefits that have been reported. It’s worth noting that many of these are confirmed by at least one credible and respectable medical research institution. CBD is successful in reducing, treating, or altogether preventing:
- Muscle pains
- Chronic pain
- Gastrointestinal damage
- Low appetite
- Addiction to opioids
If you are a professional athlete or even someone who simply takes their sport seriously and exercises regularly, you may find many benefits from supplementing CBD to aid your recovery. As we have touched upon in this article, CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your body, which help to alleviate feelings of pain and discomfort in your muscles. Additionally, CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help speed up recovery times and get you back to your peak performance levels before your next workout session.