Athletes often suffer chronic pain conditions and are almost always sore. Although, they receive prizes for their efforts and are recognized for their stellar performances, many athletes battle with common pain issues like a torn muscle, strained ligaments, arthritis and more.
While many athletes are lucky enough to find reprieve in painkillers like ibuprofen, a significant number of other athletes suffer chronic pain that eventually makes them unfit to participate in the activities they love.
However, a lot is changing as most athletes are coming out to speak in favor of CBD and how it can help athletes continue doing sports with more comfort and fewer dangers the usual pharmaceutical medications.
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Athletes Who Sponsor CBD Products
Examples of athletes who have spoken in favor of CBD are:
- Tennessee Titans Linebacker, Derrick Morgan
- UFC Fighter, Gina Mazany
- Former Baltimore Ravens, Eugene Monroe
- MMA Fighter, Chris Camozzi
- UFC Fighter Nate Diaz
Isn’t CBD a Banned Substance For Athletes?
One of the many questions some are quick to ask is if CBD isn’t a banned substance. CBD was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as an illegal substance for athletes to use. However, following several extensive research and animal studies, WADA has declassified cannabidiol as a controlled substance. Following the approval which was made public in January 2017, athletes can now freely purchase and use CBD without risking their careers.
5 Reasons Why Athletes are Using CBD
Keep in mind that retail CBD products are not intended for medical use and have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety or effectiveness. The claimed CBD benefits these athletes talk about is their own personal experience which may be different than your own CBD experience!
Even though they are successful athletes, their stories are still just anecdotal personal accounts. Some research does support these claims, but this research is still far from conclusive evidence and is mainly conducted in animal models and does not use retail CBD products in the studies!
1. Lower Stress and Anxiety
Preparations and practices may give a sense of confidence, but it can never erode the feeling of anxiety just before the big moment. It’s not uncommon for athletes to feel anxious just before a big game or event. And during the game, the entire body (including adrenal system) works extra hard which leads to stress.
Researchers believe that CBD works on mood balance via the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and have a lot of evidence supporting the theory that CBD supports homeostasis, including balancing mood influencing factors.
2. Beating Inflammation
Inflammation is a painful reality many athletes live with every day. It occurs when lactic acid accumulates in muscles, joints and body parts an athlete uses because of insufficient oxygen. When left untreated, they can impair an athlete’s ability to engage in future activities. CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help reduce the impact of inflammation that athletes experience.
3. Combating Pain
Many athletes will agree that training and pain go hand-in-hand. But if the post-training pain continues unhindered, an athlete may be unable to engage in further activity. CBD has suspected analgesic properties and is thought to be an option for alleviating symptoms of chronic pain. You can read more about how researchers believe CBD may be a beneficial anti-inflammatory as well in this paper, 'Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol.'
4. Control Weight and Appetite
One of the challenges for professional athletes is eating the best foods so their bodies can be healthy and perform at their optimum capacity. However, developing an appetite for the right kind of foods can be a big struggle. CBD researchers believe that the cannabinoid may be especially helpful in conditions of obesity and diabetes and play a positive role in regulating metabolism.
5. Boost the Immune System
Preparing hard for an event or game puts the body under tremendous stress. Sometimes, the stress may exceed what the body can bear which can make you get sick just before the big day.
Researchers suspect that CBD can improve balance in the immune system:
Overall, the data overwhelmingly support the notion that CBD is immune suppressive and that the mechanisms involve direct suppression of activation of various immune cell types, induction of apoptosis, and promotion of regulatory cells, which, in turn, control other immune cell targets.
We like to be extra cautious when talking about CBD benefits. It is important to paint a realistic picture of what is known about CBD (good and bad), and also to be sure that FDA CBD marketing guidelines are followed. CBD is not a cure-all and it is not right for everyone. It is important to first talk to your doctor about your health concerns and see if they feel it is safe for you to take CBD products (which may have side effects).
We understand that many CBD companies will make big claims regarding the medical potential of CBD. However, we believe that CBD customers will have the best CBD buying experience when they are educated on both the benefits, shortfalls, and unknowns of using CBD.