What is CBD?
CBD refers to cannabidiol, a natural compound that can be extracted from hemp and cannabis plants.
Our bodies have natural receptors that interact with a number of these chemicals through our endocannabinoid system.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that works with the body to bring a bounty of beneficial effects. It is most commonly taken by CBD oils, vapes, creams, and edibles.
Is CBD legal for athletes?
With so much confusion around THC and CBD, “is CBD oil legal for athletes?” is a common question. Unlike THC, CBD is not on the World Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list and has been accepted since 2018.
It’s important to note products containing high levels of THC, which activates the psychoactive receptors of the brain, are still classed as prohibited by many agencies.
Why do athletes use CBD?
Athletes are hit by huge amounts of physical and mental stress which have been treated by over-the-counter meds for years.
These medications, in particular opiates, are known for their dangerous side effects which include addiction and risk of accidental overdose.
Now professionals are asking “is CBD safe for athletes?” to help move away from dangerous drugs, as CBD offers the natural alternative set to shift entire industries.
Ryan VandenBussche is a retired NHL pro who gives a first-hand account of this.
Speaking to Men’s Health, he says he doesn’t know how he survived the continued use of opiates and anti-anxiety meds prescribed after suffering his injuries and is now an advocate for natural CBD products.
A WHO report found that CBD does not have these addictive tendencies, and there is no evidence for CBD causing any health-related problems.
The top 6 benefits of CBD for athletes
Is CBD good for athletes? The uses of CBD for athlete recovery are some of the biggest hitting the headlines, but from mental to physical health, there are many benefits of CBD products.
Some of the main benefits of CBD for athletes are:
#1 Reduced pain/inflammation
You can reduce inflammation after a hard workout with CBD products thanks to the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which attaches to CBD chemicals and helps relax your immune response after intense exercise.
Reduced inflammation also gives pain-relieving effects to problems associated with tissue damage and neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage.
#2 Gut health
CBD can reduce tissue damage in the stomach and restore permeability of the intestine. This can aid gastrointestinal issues that reduce oxygen and nutrient intake in the body, as well as alleviate nausea related to this type of stomach problem.
#3 Neuroprotective properties help protect against brain injuries
For high-impact sports such as rugby, American football, and UFC, CBD can act as extra protection for the brain.
A study found the use of CBD oil for athletes could have neuroprotective qualities that can counteract the harm following sports-related concussion and the resulting symptoms that come from these head injuries.
#4 Regeneration, anxiety & sleep
More than just physical benefits, there are continued reports of CBD helping anxiety. Experts think this is because of the way it affects limbic and paralimbic parts of the brain.
CBD can help athletic performance thanks to this calm mental mindset, as well as being great for sports recovery by improving sleep and giving faster regeneration after exercise.
Better sleep is also possible because CBD binds with receptors that influence how sleepy you feel, and CBD could speed up this process.
#5 Heart health and lower blood pressure
As stress is known to impact heart health, linking to point 4, less anxiety could also lead to a reduced risk of hypertensive heart disease from lower blood pressure.
#6 Bone Health
It’s possible CBD can help heal fractures, as well as improving overall bone disposition as early studies show our endocannabinoid system plays a role in bone remodelling.
What the science says about CBD for athletes
The science on CBD is growing, but the evidence on the benefits of CBD for athletes is already out there.
As mentioned, the WHO report shows CBD as a great, non-harmful natural alternative to many drugs.
Studies by The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Pharmacological Research, and Sports Medicine Open all back the claims mentioned above.
One of the most recent of these was on bone health, which found CBD enhanced the strength and toughness of bones through osteoblastic bone formation, as well as by enzymes catalyzing collagen crosslinking.
These studies are at the cutting edge of our understanding, and CBD is opening new doors to a more natural route for the recovery of athletes.
As the research takes off, it’s only a matter of time before more studies roll in to prove the effects athletes (and customers!) are so keen to talk about.
8 athletes who use CBD
From Olympic athletes to retired legends, professionals using CBD can be found in every field. Here are just 8 insights on who, and why they use CBD:
The World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, is a known advocate for CBD products and uses them in his daily routine. Lifting ludicrous weights, he also holds the official deadlift world record at 536 kg (1,181 pounds).
Hall takes CBD gummies, twice daily, saying that the CBD helps him relax and improves his whole recovery process.
James Haskell & Ben Franks
These two former professional rugby stars have a joint journey. Ben Franks used CBD oil after an injury and couldn’t believe the quick results, which is rare in athlete recovery.
This introduced James Haskell to the benefits of CBD for sports injuries, who now also uses CBD oil in his daily routine, taking the drops every morning and evening.
Haskell says CBD has been a useful accessory to his training routine and daily life and is a better alternative to less natural painkillers.
It wasn’t just Haskell, as CBD “spread like wildfire” among the whole team when it first came around, and 60/70% of them ended up taking CBD products.
Dominic day is another former rugby player who uses CBD, taking a CBD oil tincture twice a day. Day says that he would use CBD after training to aid recovery, combining CBD with his normal supplement routine.
Now, as he’s retired, he uses CBD to help his sleep quality.
While playing professionally, Dominic and his teammate Geroge Kruis would take CBD oil, capsules, and balms, and the pair say they helped “put our bodies back together”.
Not just for rugby, Megan Rapinoe believes that CBD is the way forward in football. The Women’s World Cup Winner is another CBD advocate, stating that cannabidiol helped her success by regulating sleep, relaxation, inflammation, and general recovery after training and games.
Like many who wondered ‘is CBD safe for athletes?’, after starting her CBD journey she realised the benefits could impact the whole sport and she describes how it’s a safer way to excel and manage the pain that football brings.
Avery Collins is a champion ultra runner who regularly races routes of over 100-miles. He takes a CBD supplement in the morning, as well as a CBD compound post-run.
According to Collins, CBD gives physical benefits to the recovery process and gives him the boost to get going.
After one of his mountain runs, he uses CBD balm to reduce throbbing and restlessness in his muscles, giving them what they need to relax.
Olympians are also reaping the rewards of CBD, and in the run-up to the Olympic games, it’s likely more are jumping on board. Lolo Jones is an Olympic athlete who, like many, was left with a painful injury after a crash.
As a keen athlete who endorses CBD, she points out you must first “focus on what your health goal is, and then you can pick the product that will specifically fit that need”.
For Lolo, this product was a CBD sports rub used to help her whiplash recovery, and she now advocates everyone, not just professional athletes, to find the product right for them.
Yet another Olympian on team CBD, champion gymnast Gabby Douglas believes that her career would have been a more pain-free one if CBD had been introduced earlier, but is glad that Olympic athletes will now have the chance to use CBD products.
Partnering with ski world champion Bode Miller, the two are now taking on the CBD world. Similar to Douglas, Miller was burdened with injuries and promotes the benefits of CBD for the recovery of athletes.
How to use CBD products
With so much out there, it’s difficult to know the best CBD products for athletes. To help the confusion, we’re going to check out some of the main ones you can find on the shelves, and how to use them.
Here are some of the top CBD products for athletes:
CBD oils (also known as tinctures, extracts, and drops) are one of the most common products on the market, but how can athletes take CBD oil?
This product usually has a dropper that provides a 0,5 or 1ml dose which you place under your tongue, and you need to wait up to a minute for the oil to absorb before swallowing.
CBD oil is great for quick absorption into the body.
This is the taste-free option that is taken as a daily supplement. As they must be digested they take longer to enter the body, but many people prefer them as they’re so easy. Just do what it says on the tin.
CBD Vape Products
Vaping offers a speedy solution for those wanting to quickly get some CBD in their system. Simply place a CBD vape oil into your vape of choice and get puffing.
CBD Topical Products
For athletes, the best topical CBD product would be a CBD sports recovery cream as they are higher in strength than other options.
You take your CBD sports rub and apply it to the swollen or painful area and the CBD gets to work.
Edibles and drinks are tastier alternatives to CBD oil, with products ranging from fruity gummies, chocolate, and shakes.
With a choice of flavours, you can take your required dosage on the go with ease. Like with capsules, they can take longer to act as they are digested.
Hemp Protein Powder
Cannabis-related gym products are also on the rise. Hemp protein is being used as an alternative to standard protein powders and is used like any other.
Including natural amino acids and omega oils, this plant product increases protein intake, improves heart health, reduces sugar cravings, aids digestion, and more.
CBD isolate is a cannabidiol without any other cannabinoid or terpene present, unlike full or broad-spectrum CBD which contains a variety.
Although CBD works best with other cannabinoids, you may prefer the isolate to avoid them in drugs tests. CBD isolate can be taken in all of the ways mentioned above.
With a saturated market, why should I use Hempika?
The biggest problem that consumers now face is the influx of untrustworthy products that aren’t what they say they are. From added chemicals to poor testing, consumers must be on their toes.
We take away this worry, guaranteeing natural products that have no added chemicals, are high quality, and are effective at giving you the benefits we talk about.
We can do this thanks to our laboratory testing, which follows all of the good laboratory practice guidelines using high-performance liquid chromatography to determine 12 separate cannabinoids.
Put your trust in us, and our products will do the rest.
As the benefits of CBD for athletes continue to boom, with more athletes endorsing CBD by the day this natural alternative is taking the sporting world by storm.
The studies continue to bring the science, and accounts from professional athletes using CBD oil and other products give great examples of how athletes can use CBD.
From CBD for endurance athletes and athletics to the high-intensity workouts of the World’s Strongest Man, it’s clear CBD is great for recovery whatever the field.
Remember you don’t have to be a world champion weight lifter or Olympian to reap these rewards, so get involved now!
Author: T. F.