Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained a position in the daily life of many people, thanks to the unique beneficial properties that it has, while it seems that it is obtaining more and more supporters. Thus, a discussion about cannabidiol use couldn’t be missing from sports and competitive sports, a social institution with educative and cultural purpose, a lot of energy but also many injuries. In this unit we will examine how cannabidiol (CBD) affects the practitioners of professional or amateur sports, we will go through several published studies, testimonials, and of course the beneficial properties that has this widespread popular substance.
What is Cannabidiol?
The cannabis plant Cannabis Sativa contains over 144 cannabinoids with positive effects on human and animals health. Cannabidiol, in particular, is found in high concentrations in industrial/medical cannabis (industrial cannabis, hemp), several studies show its beneficial properties and the safe use, without psychoactive effects.
It is a substance that was discovered in 1940, but in 1973 the researcher Calvini and while the research was in the pre-clinical stage, reported the anti-epileptic effect of cannabidiol in the body. Since then, ongoing research has been conducted about CBD effects and their benefits. Certainly the more research there is, the better and safer results will be produced, but so far the conclusions are encouraging!
Cannabidiol (CBD), Sports, and World Anti-Doping Agency, Properties and guidance
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), cannabidiol is removed from the banned substances list, opening a new chapter on cannabis in sports. Numerous studies highlight the beneficial properties that this substance offers even in athletes, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective effect. Let’s see some of the cannabidiol health benefits (CBD oil) for people who exercise;
Relieves pain: Studies show that cannabidiol (THC < 0,2%) reduces musculoskeletal pain and soothes significantly the inflammations that occur after exercise, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Keeps the intestine function in balance: Inflammations in the intestine create unpleasant situations and affect the psychology of the individual. Cannabidiol can reduce inflammation while at the same time it has an anxiolytic effect, which seems to be quite crucial since inflammation in the intestine is also associated with intense stress.
Improves sleep: Sleep helps nature in general. Plants have the hours they “sleep”, animals have their relaxing hours, and humans do the same. Sleep refreshes and relaxes. Thus, it is very important for an athlete that needs “full” relaxation hours for better performance.
Cannabidiol is an organic alternative that promotes regular sleep as it interacts with the human endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the balance of main body functions.
CBD (Cannabidiol) & Sports
Crossfit is a popular and intense fitness sport, founded in Santa Cruz (California, USA) in 2000. It is a training of total strength and fitness with high-intensity exercises, which aims at the well-being of the body and its proper function.
As it is a particularly intense exercise, inflammation and eventually pain in the area can occur. But everything as it comes, so it goes! Cannabidiol has positive effects in Crossfit training, thanks to the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effect.
In addition, CBD reduces pain and speed up the body’s recovery, while it regulates the circadian rhythm contributing to better sleep quality and better performance in daily training.
CBD (Cannabidiol) & Yoga
Here we find a particular combination since both cannabidiol ( CBD) and yoga have an anxiolytic effect and promote peace of mind and body. CBD creates a kind of “communication” with the natural cannabinoids present in the body’s endocannabinoid system. Anandamide is one of the endocannabinoids. It is produced in the body contributing to the elimination of traumatic experiences.
However, anandamide is not produced continuously in the body but is fragile and breaks down quickly, which is why we are not permanently in a state of euphoria. Studies show that cannabidiol inhibits the enzyme that destroys anandamide, giving the body the feeling of wellness and balance. Thus, we enjoy better the beneficial effects of yoga without inflammation and pain. If we use cannabidiol for the first time, we start with the lowest percentage and increase depending on our needs. If we already know about the substance or use it already, we choose the product that suits our needs. In any case, inform the doctor before taking any dietary supplement to avoid any unpleasant moments.
Cannabidiol and Olympic Games
What does cannabidiol mean for female or male athletes at the Olympics? Is it legal to use? Cannabidiol has been removed from WADA’s list of prohibited substances, as mentioned above. However, many cannabidiol formulations contain other banned cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s why it is always better to use a trustworthy brand.
Many athletes take this risk and use CBD as an alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids for pain and injuries. Thus, they avoid side effects in the body, such as gastrointestinal problems and liver issues, due to taking anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids, while reducing the risk of having a heart attack.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) warned; “While painkillers may be necessary at times in an athlete’s life, prescribing painkillers for injuries and chronic pain can lead to opioid abuse or dependence.”
Research about CBD in sports
Many studies demonstrate the cannabidiol and medical cannabis beneficial properties, not to exclude the cultures that were using the plant for several purposes. Lately, the conclusions by the scientists are encouraging for safe CBD use. A study published in 2020 in the journal Pharmacological Research refers that CBD use in athletes is beneficial because it improves sleep, thanks to the anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, analgesic, and neuroprotective effects. Another study published in Sports Medicine refers to the positive effects of CBD on the physiological, biochemical, and psychological state of an athlete.
According to the general manager of the Southwest Medical Marijuana Physicians Group, cannabidiol helps athletes recover quickly, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant effects, although research is limited and more data is needed.
CBD (Cannabidiol) Testimonials
” When it’s taken after a hard training and before bed, I feel it gives me a better night’s sleep and I feel like I’m able to relax a little bit easier”.Megan Rapinoe
AshleyJade Pietro, dancer and choreographer; “Ιntegrating CBD into my daily self-care routine keeps me in my body and ready to move. It’s been difficult navigating a dance career living with a rheumatoid arthritis condition that causes chronic pain in my spine and pelvis.. I haven’t woken up without pain in over 3 years but when I began the use of CBD for pain management, I felt my overall inflammation level soothe significantly. i honestly wouldn’t be dancing the way that i do now without access to the therapeutic benefits of CBD.”
Megan Rapinoe, professional soccer; “When it’s taken after a hard training and before bed, I feel it gives me a better night’s sleep and I feel like I’m able to relax a little bit easier. So, I kind of just have it in my daily routine, like I would eat healthy and take natural products and drink a lot of water and take CBD and get as much sleep. It’s kind of the secret sauce”.
Nate Diaz, UFC professional fighter; “It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.
Bubba Watson, professional golfer; After a tough day on the golf course, I want to be able to get better sleep and let the inflammation in my body go down. I’m a believer.
As we use to say, no herb is a panacea, but observation and knowledge of nature help us to have a better understanding so we can choose the herbs that will benefit our body.
Cannabis and cannabis products with CBD are another example of nature’s wide variety and beneficial properties. We hope for more research, mature legislation regarding the evaluation, control, and decriminalization of the cannabis plant.
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