As CBD awareness and acceptance rises in the world, many are asking how CBD can be used in fitness and sports and how athletes can take advantage of the multitude of benefits. How does CBD effect an athlete’s body, exactly? Is it legal for athletes to consume CBD? Should it be? Before we get to these essential questions, we want to make sure you understand what CBD is.
What Is CBD?
There is a lot of noise out there when it comes to CBD and we want to clear the air. CBD stands for cannabidiol. This is a chemical compound which comes from the marijuana plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the part of the plant of which CBD is derived, does not have cause any psychoactive effects when consumed. CBD will not cause the someone to ever feel “high” like THC. So, why doesn’t CBD get you high? That’s because CBD effects different receptors in the brain than THC does. In the 1990’s, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system which transmits signals from cannabinoids in the body. There are over 100 known molecular targets of CBD in the body which leads to a multitude of benefits when CBD is ingested on a regular basis.
There are thousands of CBD products currently available on the market, giving users a wide range of options for consumption methods. CBD can commonly be found in the form of oils, tinctures, vaporizers, liquids, and even pills. The easiest and most effective way to ingest CBD is through tinctures. Sublingual tinctures are considered the “old standard” of the CBD industry. Tinctures are comprised mainly of raw hemp oil that has the actual cannabinoids from the plant present. It is important to do a little bit of research and verify the extraction methods and lab in which the CBD was manufactured.
Over the last year, one of the most popular forms of CBD has become the gel capsule. Users who are switching from their typical medications to CBD often prefer this method because of the easy transition as well as the similarity to traditional medicines. People who have smoked in the past are also finding it easy to transition from cigarettes and e-cigs to CBD vaping. CBD vapes will always taste better, feel better and have far less health risks and traditional smoking. For someone suffering from concentrated joint or muscle pain, topical CBD lotions and salves are the best recommended option for fast and effective results. Those who suffer from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and MS, agree that topicals are essential to their pain management and help to maintain a high-quality of life.
CBD Benefits for Athletes
Even though CBD has many beneficial claims, it is still going through the process of complete legalization and acceptance. This is especially true in the world of sports and athletes. CBD is considered a performance enhancing drug because of the numerous health benefits for athletes. Some of the advantages of CBD for an athlete include cortisol reduction, weight management, pain management, restful sleep, anti-inflammatory, and insulin sensitivity promotion.
Science has shown that CBD oil effectively reduces stress while diminishing the harmful effects of increased adrenal function and anxiety. Athletes who are actively working to build muscle mass often experience times of painful inflammation. CBD helps relieve muscle and joint irritation that occurs because of weightlifting and other strenuous exercise. Even if someone is not an athlete, there are still advantages to conquering long-lasting inflammation. Did you know inflammation can be linked to a shorter lifespan? Inflammation is tied into a very large number of life-threatening chronic diseases so it’s best to eliminate as much as possible with natural CBD. Researchers are also finding that, along with the ant-inflammatory benefits, CBD is helping with pain relief and stress relief as well. This is perfect for professional athletes
Organized Sports and CBD
So, what’s the deal with organized sports and CBD? For the first time ever, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is allowing professional athletes to use CBD products. WADA was established in 1999 and is responsible for diminishing doping in sports internationally. In accordance with scientific research and available information about the cannabinoid, they have updated their banned substances list to eliminate CBD. Did you know in 2013, WADA even raised the tolerated amount of THC allowed in the system of Olympic athletes? And again, in 2016 they changed rules to allow Olympic participants to smoke cannabis, just not during the competition? We think this step was HUGE in opening doors for CBD potential in sports. You never know, maybe at our next Olympics, we will see athletes sponsored by CBD brands!
In other big CBD Sports news, we were excited to see that CBD was allowed this year at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This was a major world step in eliminating the dishonor of Cannabis. The World Cup happens every 4 years and gains the attention from countries around the world. This year, the World Cup had 3.2 billion views globally! We think it’s fantastic that the athletes could openly consume cannabidiol throughout the competition with the world watching. The use of CBD at the World Cup will hopefully be the starting off point for the common acceptance of CBD in professional sports. As of now, major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA and MLB still prohibit all athlete use of CBD, even though athletes are still trying to push the boundaries. Several well-known athletes, including MMA fighters and NFL players, are turning to CBD oil as a safe and effective alternative to addictive painkillers.
Regardless, more scientific studies are revealing additional medicinal properties of CBD every day. Even the World Health Organization has referred to CBD as being generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile. It is only a matter of time before CBD will be viewed in sports as an essential supplement for ultimate athletic performance.
Want to learn more? Follow our blog for continued education and updates on legislation in the CBD world. Cannabis Marketing, Inc. helps cannabis, hemp, and CBD brands build their audience through effective marketing and increased education. As the legislation continues to change, we will continue to be on top of the latest news, so we can market your brand with compliance and the latest trends in mind. Call us today for your FREE consultation.