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CBD Supplement: Do They Work for Athletes?​


If you’re an athlete, then you know the stress that you put on your body, both positive and negative. Stress from training rouses increased performance and revision. However, continued wear and tear can cause pain and injury. The typical option of managing pain can be effective, but they can also be deadly. Those that are looking for an improved way to recover and a safer way to manage the pain are now looking into a CBD supplement, how about you?

Prolonged use of pain relievers over the counter such as Aleve and ibuprofen now carry a greater health risk than what was known before. Athletes are curious about cannabidiol products that relieve pain and reduce inflammation with no risks. But, are they right for you?

CBD Supplement for Athletes

Are they legal for athletes? Actually, yes, now they are. At the start of 2018, the WADA took CBD off the prohibited substance list, regardless of whether or not you were competing. The USADA followed suit as well. Keep in mind that only CBD was taken off the list. Cannabis, which contains THC remains prohibited.

CBD Supplements 101

As stated above, it is legal for athletes to use cannabidiol, but what does it actually do, what is it and why would you take it?

Did you know that you already have cannabidiol in your body? Through science, it was discovered that you have an endocannabinoid system that controls the activity of nerve cells. CBD is naturally found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not mind altering like THC found in the cannabis plant.

You have two endocannabinoids within your nervous system. They connect to CB1 and CB2 receptors and perform to impede the release of specific neurotransmitters.

Receptors CB1 are located in your tissues, brain, and spinal cord. Receptors CB2 are also in those areas, but appear in greater detail and have more effect in your central nervous system. When CBD binds to CB2 receptors the effect is greater on the reduction of inflammation. Taking a CBD supplement can increase the activity of your already present endocannabinoid system.

So, if you’re an athlete and cause a lot of stress to your body which results in inflammation and pain that your endocannabinoid system can’t handle, adding a CBD supplement can help the overloaded system get it back under control and keep your body more in balance.

Benefits of CBD Supplement for Athletes

Relieves Pain

Although studies have shown that THC more so than CBD is effective for pain reduction from exercise and stiff joints, it seems that CBD supplements are effective for athletes to relieve pain. More research is needed for CBD alone or a combination of both CBD and THC.

cbd supplement

Cannabidiol Products an Alternative to NSAIDs

For years, athletes have taken non-steroidal over the counter drugs such as Advil and Aleve to reduce inflammation. However, they may not be as safe as you thought. Athletes, especially those that go the distance, are told to stay away from NSAIDs when training long and doing events because of the risk of damage to the kidneys. Even if your events and training is short, regular or long-term use can increase the risk for stroke and heart attack.

Many athletes have discovered that the effects of CBD supplements to relieve pain can eliminate or at the very least reduce the use of NSAIDs for exercise related inflammation and pain with no side effects.

Substitute for Opioids

The CDC states that opioids in 2016 were the cause of over 40,000 deaths in the United States. Pain medication such as codeine, morphine and oxycontin are extremely effective to manage pain, but come with a high risk of overdose and addiction. Cannabidiols may not be as effective, for the relieve of acute pain but are much more effective for using long-term, with much less risk of death and addiction.

Inflammation Reduction

A small amount of inflammation can actually be beneficial for athletes to promote training revisions. A lot of inflammation deters performance and recovery. CB2 receptors are present in the brain and its margins, however, they are more intense in the immune tissues. When CBD adheres to the CB2 receptors it has an anti-inflammatory effective by lessening cell messengers. It helps tone down the response to your immune system sounding the alarm post extreme workouts.

Improves Quality of Sleep

An athlete needs good quality sleep in order to attain better gains. Circumstantially, athletes that take a CBD supplement report getting to sleep faster, staying asleep longer and overall better-quality sleep.

CBD helps to calm down your brain activity, making you feel calmer which helps induce sleep faster. CBD also is known to help anxiety which for some is the cause of poor sleep quality.

In conclusion

The arrival of CBD supplements may have a huge turning point regarding pain and recovery from training stress for athletes. CBD is actually ahead of the science as there is much more to learn about it. But that’s true for a lot of things when they first appear such as sport drinks rich with carbohydrates. They seem to help even if it wasn’t perfected at the time and not a lot was actually known about them.

What we do know now is that a CBD supplement provides many health benefits with very little risk. It has great potential to improve athletic performance as it relieves pain, has anti-inflammatory properties and provides better quality sleep. Most importantly, if it can provide a better, safer alternative to NSAIDs, then that is the biggest victory.


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