Featured guest post from cbdvapegenius.com
Acute and chronic pain is something that athletes all across the world have to deal with on a daily basis. When we workout and exercise, we put our bodies through tremendous strain. Muscles tear, joints get inflamed and we place ourselves at risk for injuries. Then, at night, when the body is ready to rest and heal itself, that pain can make it difficult to sleep.
The end result is often popping over the counter pain medications and guzzling down sleep aids for quick relief. The problem is, those pain medications and sleep aids often have a long list of serious side effects and tend to lose effectiveness over time.
After a while many athletes get caught in the vicious cycle of – injure body, can’t sleep at night due to pain and ineffective drugs, body can’t heal itself, push body again the next day in an injured, unrested state, repeat.
For athletes who push themselves to the limit on a daily basis, finding relief can be difficult.
Fortunately, there is a natural remedy that can help.
CBD is a compound naturally produced by cannabis plants such as hemp. When taken by humans, it has been shown to have significant healing properties. CBD does not cause any psychoactive side effects like its cousin THC, so it is legal across the United States.
Here is a short run down of some of the ways CBD can help athletes and cut down on recovery time.
CBD for Pain Relief
Pain can be debilitating. For athletes, severe pain can make it difficult and dangerous to train or compete. Chronic pain can set an athlete back and potentially put their career or passion at risk.
CBD has strong analgesic properties. When ingested or applied to painful areas, CBD interacts with pain receptors and regulatory systems such as the endocannabinoid system to sooth the body.
According to this study, CBD modulates pain by “inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways.”
In other words, CBD helps ease a person’s suffering by changing the way the brain perceives pain while simultaneously triggering the immune system to help it work at top efficiency.
CBD and Inflammation
Many athletes also suffer from joint pain and inflammation. Several studies into CBD’s effects on the human body have concluded that CBD has extremely strong anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically in an ointment, CBD has been shown to quickly reduce inflammation in targeted areas. When ingested, CBD can fight inflammation for deep tissue relief.
CBD can also benefit sufferers of chronic joint illnesses such as arthritis. Several studies on both humans and mice have shown great potential in CBD’s use for reducing joint inflammation and promoting bone health.
Relieving inflammation can help athletes work harder and longer.
CBD as a Sleep Aid
Sleep is arguably the most important part of any workout. Muscles tear and rip during strenuous activities. They do this to provide room for new muscles to strengthen and grow. Sleeping allows the body to focus its energy on restoring those muscles. Because of this, when someone doesn’t get enough sleep, the muscles aren’t allowed to fully heal. If they can’t heal properly, muscles will stay weak and sore for long periods of time.
Thankfully, CBD has also been shown to help people have a more restful night’s sleep. It does this by interacting with the endocannabinoid system to relax muscles, ease pain and calm the mind. CBD is a great, natural sleep aid that isn’t addictive and won’t lose potency overtime.
CBD for a Better Appetite
Exercising takes a lot out of the body. Some professional athletes have to eat two or three times the average person’s caloric intake to maintain their weight and keep their muscles strong. For some, it can be difficult to find the appetite to eat that much food every day.
This is another way CBD can be of service to active individuals. CBD stimulates the appetite. This 2016 study on cannabis’ effectiveness in cancer treatment, it was found that CBD and other cannabinoids are effective in stimulating the appetite while also reducing the rates of nausea and vomiting. This makes it a wonderful remedy for athletes who need to step-up their caloric intake.
Top Athletes Who Use CBD
Ever since USADA changed CBD’s status from “prohibited” to “permitted,” athletes all over the world have begun to publicly advocate for its use. Some athletes use CBD to help with pain relief, some use it to cut down on pre-competition anxiety and others use it to help them sleep at night.
Some of the big-name athletes who take advantage of CBD’s healing properties include UFC fighter Gina Mazany, retired NFL player Leonard Marshall, triathlon athlete Andrew Talansky, Canadian olympian Ross Rebagilati and ultrarunner Avery Collins.
Now that CBD is allowed by USADA, some CBD companies have begun to sponsor athletes and athletic competitions. For instance, the brand Pure Spectrum sponsors Max Holloway, the #1 featherweight UFC fighter in the world. It also sponsors CrossFit competitions and several CrossFit athletes like Brooke Ence.
Pure Spectrum’s products have a high concentration of CBD and are made with a special combination of cannabinoids to help athletes heal and boost their performance.
Which Products Are Best for Athletic Recover?
There are a plethora of products out there that athletes can use to keep their body healthy and balanced.
CBD vape additives are perfect for those who need quick relief. CBD vapes take effect almost immediately and allow up to 40% of the CBD to be absorbed into the body. Vapes can be smoked throughout the day as needed for optimal relief.
Tinctures are the most recommended for those with chronic conditions. Like vapes, they take effect quickly and have a high bioavailability. They can be taken sublingually, beneath the tongue, or they can be added to soups, teas or coffee. There are several tinctures on the market made with a unique blend of cannabinoids for energy, relaxation and muscle recovery.
For those needing targeted muscle and joint pain relief, topical ointments such as lotions, salves and creams are also available. When applied to tender areas the CBD in the ointments interact with receptors in the skin and muscles to sooth pain and inflammation. These ointments are also good for the skin, so they make an excellent addition to any beauty routine.
Click here for a full list of products we recommend for athletes.
Abrams, D. I. (2016). Integrating cannabis into clinical cancer care. Current Oncology, 23(Suppl 2), S8–S14. http://doi.org/10.3747/co.23.3099
Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. http://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93
Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4), 108–111. http://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005
Zuardi, A.W. (2008). Cannabidiol: from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug with wide spectrum of action. Rev Bras Psiquiatr, 30(3), 271-280. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18833429
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