Athletes looking for an edge can lean into CBD sports performance to fight inflammation and pain and provide other benefits
Athletics demands participants put their bodies under tremendous strain. Even if you exercise routinely, fast and complete recovery from injury is essential for the performance.
Fortunately, athletes looking for solutions can count on CBD, which gained popularity after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced its uplift from the list of prohibited substances. CBD is becoming a powerful substance in sports because of its benefits — unlike other pain management alternatives, CBD has no debilitating side effects.
The benefits of CBD sports performance boosting include:
CBD may be an effective pain reliever
Researchers believe CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce pain-relieving effects. The ECS contains endocannabinoid receptors that relay signals throughout the body and ensures all body functions are in balance. It contains a series of cannabinoids in all body organs.
CBD introduces phytocannabinoids that work with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. Athletes who lack endocannabinoids can use CBD as a supplement to activate TRPV1 receptors that help in regulating pain. A recent review examined the use of CBD in managing various maladies including neuropathic pain. For CBD sports performance, experts determined that CBD was helpful in general pain management with no side effects to the users.
CBD and inflammation
Slight inflammation is natural and good for athletes as it enables them to adapt to new training or exercises. But extreme inflammation slows recovery and interferes with performance. CBD is popular for its beneficial anti-inflammatory effects and its use can help sports enthusiasts to recover fast.
The nervous system and the brain contain CB2 receptors with a high concentration in the immune tissues. CBD has chemicals that bind to CB2 receptors delivering the anti-inflammatory effects to the body. In simple terms, CBD helps to prevent overreaction by your body to the automatic response generated after engaging in an intense workout.
CBD can help your immune system. Imagine getting sick after training for several months ahead of your sporting event? CBD can help patients stay healthy due to its antioxidant properties that reduce risks of infections.
Help controlling weight
CBD may help to reduce appetite and control your weight. Although cannabis is known to improve appetite, the effect is linked to the THC component. CBD alone won’t stimulate your appetite, but actually slows your appetite by enabling you to stay full longer.
It also prevents the overactivation of CB1 receptors as CBD is a CB1 rival that inhibits their activation and boosts metabolism. Research on the effects of CBD on immature fat cells concludes that CBD improves metabolism in various ways:
- Enhances the activities of mitochondria enabling the body to burn more calories.
- Aids fat burning through stimulation of proteins and genes that breakdown and oxidize fats.
- Reduces the number of proteins used for producing fat cells.
Good sleep can help improve sports performance, and growth hormones are released when you’re asleep. Growth hormones boost repair and muscle growth and allow faster recovery from injuries.
So, how can CBD improve sleep? To understand and appreciate CBD sleep properties you need to first understand what causes poor sleep. While there are many causes of bad sleep, here are the common ones:
- Side effects of medications.
- Mental health disorders such as depression, Post-traumatic Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.
- Physical conditions like chronic pain.
- Stimulants such as caffeine.
- Exposure to loud noise.
- Uncomfortable bed or pillow.
CBD and anxiety
CBD is known to treat non-environmental factors that cause insomnia, and although more research needs to be done, a number of studies suggest that CBD helps in treating anxiety. In one study, researchers studied 72 participants, of who 25 suffered from poor sleep while the remaining 47 suffered from anxiety.
Each of the participants was given a dose of 25 mg of CBD daily. After the first month, the researchers observed a decline of anxiety levels by 79.2% with 66.7% sleep improvement.
Pain is also a major cause of insomnia. A study suggests that CBD can calm pain for improved sleep quality.
Is CBD sports performance legal?
Yes. The recent move by WADA to exclude CBD from the list of prohibited substances makes it legal, and many bodies that regulate sports practices such as the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have since followed suit.
CBD sports performance and CBD usage is becoming more common among athletes as the compound has gained popularity due to its therapeutic properties. You should consult an expert such as a chiropractor as you start using CBD — begin with small amounts and increase progressively as you note the effects.