As most of you know CBD has been gaining more attention in the world as a whole. That is also true for the sports world as well. More and More athletes are curious about CBD’s potential to help them recover faster from hard workouts or ease stress that comes high-stakes games. This has stoked a conversation about CBD for athletes not only at the professional level at all levels of competition.
Athletes put a lot of stress on their bodies, positive and negative effects. Training stress stimulates adaptation and increased performance but the physical trauma and extends wear and tear and also leads to injuries and pain. While current methods of management are effective, they are also killing people. In search of improved sports recovery and safer pain relief, many people are wondering about CBD for athletes.
Chronic use of over the counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, poses a 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 CBD promises of pain relief and reduced inflammation without the risks associated with opioids.
Let us move on to knowing what CBD really is, what it does and why athletes should use it. Firstly, Cannabinoids already exist in your body. Scientists have identified what they call the Endocannabinoid System, which modulates the activity of neurons. CBD is a phytocannabinoid which is found naturally in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC , which is also found in cannabis, CBD is a non-psychoactive, meaning it does not get you high.
There are two receptors that are important to CBD and those are CB1 and CB2 receptors CB1 receptors are found throughout the brain, spinal cord and other tissues. CB2 receptors are also found in the brain but more of them are found in the immune system tissues. CBD binding to CB1 receptors has a greater effect on the central nervous system, and CBD binding to CB2 receptors has a greater effect on reducing inflammatory.
As an athlete you apply greater stress to their bodies, which leads to pain and inflammatory greater than what you endocannabinoid system can handle. Adding CBD may help this overloaded system act neurotransmitters back under control and help athletes maintain homeostasis
CBD and Athletic Performance
Even though there has not been enough studies to make a no-doubt statement that CBD for athletes is beneficial for performance, but in the studies that have been done, there are promising results for athletes who do use CBD. There has been zero evidence that CBD could reduce performance or cause any type of harm, which means if you are worried about CBD tanking your next marathon time or making you lose your next match, you can let that worry go.
On the other side of things even though there is no evidence that CBD can reduce performance there has also not been clear-cut evidence that CBD will enhance athletic ability directly. CBD is not a miracle worker which can make you unbeatable, that is something only practice can do.
Even though CBD does not make you unbeatable, CBD can still do pretty amazing things. There are many benefits that CBD can have on athletes. The big ones being:
- Relieves Pain: Studies have shown Cannabis is effective for reducing pain, including musculoskeletal pain from exercise. CBD does appear to relieve pain effectively for many athletes.
- It is an alternative to NSAIDs- Athletes have been consuming over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen, but they are not as safe as we once thought. Ultra distance athletes, in particular, are typically advised to avoid NSAIDs during long training sessions and events short, long-term or frequent use of NSAIDs may increase your risk for a heart attack and even a 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.
- Alternative to Opioids- According to the CDC in 2016 Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in the US alone. Opioid pain medications, which are highly effective for pain but risk of addiction and death by overdose is high. Cannabinoids are not as effective as opioids for relieving acute, high intensity pain but it is effective for a 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 inflammatory 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. CBD bound to CB2 receptors help dial down the response when your immune system sounds the alarm after hard workouts.
- Settles your gut- Inflammatory in the small and large intestines causes a lot of discomfort a GI distress, is one of the leading reasons endurance athletes drop out of the races. CBD won’t solve stomach problems from dehydration and overheating, but if you have an underlying inflammatory 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 inhibited when CB1 and CB2 receptors were activated.
- Improves Sleep Quality- Getting more and better sleep is one of the most effective ways an athlete can achieve greater training gains. Athletes who consume CBD, report greater ease going to sleep and a more restful nights sleep.
- Helps with stress and anxiety- CBD has calming properties which can help calm down the athletes after a stressful or charged game. Also, CBD can help athletes cope with the pressure of competition because it is known to help alleviate anxiety and stress.
Now that we know the benefits of CBD for athletes, there is one big question, which is, Is CBD legal in the sports world? The answer is Yes! CBD is permitted by both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S Anti-Doping Agency. But there are some rules you should know. Only CBD is allowed in sports.
So what is the problem? Every other compound found in the cannabis plant is still banned. That means that you have to be sure that your CBD does not contain any other any other compounds from the cannabis plant. It has to be 100% pure CBD. The only way to know that you are getting pure CBD is to use CBD Isolate, not full spectrum CBD.
Zimmer and Company Products
There are many products Zimmer and Company have that can be beneficial to athletes there are two big ones.
- The Dragonfly Vape Pen- Which is CBD oil in a vape pen and you inhale the oil
- Hemp Prana P4- Which is the oil itself. With this product you put the oil under your tongue and let it absorb.
These two products are beneficial to athletes because they both help with sleep, helps with stress and depression, etc.
This is how CBD can help athletes with all the pain and other issues they may be having from hard stake games. These are the products Zimmer and Company have that can help the athletes.