CBD FOR ATHLETES
Athletes seek out the physical wear and tear that comes with intense training to stimulate adaptation and increased performance. This kind of physical trauma often leads to injuries and pain. Intense workouts and training sessions result in exhaustion, soreness, and even nausea. As a result, many athletes consume over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium to alleviate their symptoms. In search of improved sports recovery and safer alternative to pain relief, many athletes are beginning to ask questions about the potential power of CBD.
What do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do?
NSAIDs are a quick and effective solution for relieving pain and reducing inflammation and stiffness. They are a popular option for people looking to treat pain caused by prolonged tissue damage from rheumatoid arthritis and tendonitis. Inflammation, or swelling, is the body’s way of protecting itself after an injury. Signs of inflammation include redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of certain body chemicals that cause inflammation.
What are the health risks associated with prolonged use of NSAIDs?
Most athletes and trainers remain unaware of the risks associated with frequent use of NSAIDs. In 2015, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened their previous warnings that NSAIDs can cause heart attacks and strokes as early as the first weeks of usage. These risks, which can often lead to death, were first advertised in 2005 in the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions sections of prescription drug labels. The risks associated with frequent use of NSAIDs may be greater in individuals who have heart disease or other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes).
Many athletes are beginning to turn to the powerful ability of CBD as a pain management alternative to NSAIDs. When exogenous CBD receptors bind with the receptors in the body, they help to ease the overloaded neurotransmitters so that the body can maintain homeostasis.
Is CBD legal for athletes?
Yes. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances – in or out of competition.
Click here for 2019 WADA Prohibited List. It is important to note that ONLY CBD was removed from the prohibited list. The psychoactive component of THC is still prohibited in competition.
BENEFITS OF CBD FOR ATHLETES
Cannabinoid receptors occur naturally in our body’s immune cells and play a vital role in the regulation of the immune system. Several studies have shown that when exogenous CBD receptors bind with our bodies CB1 and CB2 receptors, they play an enormous role in regulating our body’s anti-inflammatory mechanism.
Cannabinoids are known to have both relaxing and sedative effects. Sleep quality and longevity is important for muscle growth and recovery. CBD inhibits the reuptake of adenosine, which helps it accumulate in the brain and inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, ultimately slowing down brain activity and inducing sleep. This helps athletes recover more quickly from sport-related injuries and boosts energy levels.
CBD is an analgesic, meaning it can aid in alleviating pain both during and after exercise. Many athletes use CBD products following their workouts to continue managing achy muscles.
The extremely dangerous health effects of NSAIDs make CBD an ideal alternative for pain management and relieving inflammation.
How to use CBD for Athletic Purposes
Many CBD products can be used for sports-related injuries and other athletic purposes. CBD can be consumed through capsules, pills, or as an oil. Topical creams and lotions that contain CBD oil are effective for treating localized pain and inflammation.
It is important to note that the method of CBD consumption will dictate how quickly its effects will take place. Capsules, oils, and edibles have to be digested. When you ingest cannabis, the active compounds enter your body through your digestive system and are carried by the bloodstream to your central nervous system and your brain. Because it takes longer to enter the bloodstream through this method of consumption, the effect takes longer to occur than it does through inhalation. Topical creams may work more effectively for localized pain management. CBD drops or tinctures are believed to have the most rapid effects.
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