Athlete Recovery: How CBD Oil and CBD Salve are Changing the Game
July 20th, 2019
If you are an athlete (or even the casual active individual), you already know how important health supplements and vitamins are for maintaining optimal health and wellness.
It’s no secret that a mixture of supplements, diet, and exercise can work together to boost vitality and lead to a healthier life.
While it is important as an athlete to keep up with multivitamins, creatine, protein, and other supplements, there might be a powerful addition to your health regimen: CBD (Cannabidiol).
What is CBD and How Can it Help Athletes?
CBD is one of over 115 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and is known to many users to have healing properties associated with it. It is one of the most common cannabinoids alongside THC (which is known to give the psychoactive “high” feeling).
The cannabis plant can either be classified as “hemp” or “marijuana”. The cannabis plant is hemp when it contains less than 0.3% THC. CBD extract comes from the hemp plant, and without the psychoactive properties of THC, it is federally legal in all 50 states.
With many individuals using CBD as an alternative, holistic treatment for many different conditions or overall wellness, many active individuals have questioned if it is a good option to include in their athletic regimen.
So, whether you run, swim, bike, climb, or simply hit the gym on the weekends, let’s explore some ways that CBD might be beneficial to your lifestyle.
How Athletes Can Benefit from using CBD
While CBD is not currently an FDA approved treatment, many active users have begun using it for reducing pain, improving mood, and improving sleep.
Keep in mind, there is still much research to be done on the healing benefits of CBD. It is important to note that the following information is a collection of anecdotal evidence mixed with links to scientific research on any mentioned condition.
Here are some ways that CBD could be beneficial to athletes.
CBD is used for Reducing Pain (Anti-Inflammatory)
Whether you injure yourself or if you work your muscles too hard during a session, you will find yourself dealing with inflammatory pain. In fact, whenever you feel sore after a workout, that is dealing with inflamed muscles, since the workout causes microscopic tears to muscle fibers.
Many athletes will turn to common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for quick treatment, which can be dangerous if associated with long-term use.
In fact, studies show that over 30% of preventable adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are the result of NSAIDs. These reactions are mainly due to internal bleeding, stroke, renal damage, and heart attacks.
This has led many active individuals to turn to a holistic and natural approach to inflammatory pain and CBD could be the perfect supplement for this pain.
The anti-inflammatory effect is one of the most sought-after benefits of CBD oil. There has been recent research along with anecdotal evidence that supports this statement.
Research suggests that Cannabidiol (CBD), is effective as not only an anti-inflammatory but also an anti-arthritic.
Other recent studies show that cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and attenuate disease symptoms following that effect. This same study goes on to reveal that cannabinoids have been tested with several autoimmune disorders and have continued to protect the host from the development of the diseases. This was obtained using multiple anti-inflammatory effects.
There are also many people raving about the benefits of using CBD for pain management.
One of those individuals is Fiona Tapp from HuffPost Life with her article titled, “Does CBD Really Help With Pain?”
She goes on to talk about how she suffers from sciatica, which is a pain that affects a nerve that extends from the lower back down the back of each leg. While searching for natural relief, she gave CBD oil a shot with a Spa treatment that included a CBD massage.
Sure enough, that night she was relieved from the usual pain felt when trying to go to bed and fell into a great night of deep sleep.
This is just one of many accounts of users reaping the inflammatory benefits* of CBD oil.
There are other reasons for using CBD for people who have an athletic lifestyle such as improvement in mood.
CBD can Reduce Anxiety and Discomfort
Athletes can often have a ton to deal with and anxiety is common with many activities. No one is completely immune to it.
Fortunately, CBD has been reviewed as having anti-anxiety effects and has been known to reduce discomfort. This might be a great opportunity to include CBD in a pre-workout regimen before a big day to assist in stress management.
This is not a recent discovery either.
A 2011 research study showed that CBD showed anti-anxiety effects in both humans and animals. In this study, volunteers were submitted to a blind test of CBD and placebo. Their findings were that the volunteers that were treated with CBD had significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort.
Other anecdotal evidence supports this claim.* Take this example from Kelsey Clark, a freelance writer for MyDomaine, who began taking CBD every day after she noticed it made her less anxious with everyday activities such as riding in a crowded subway train or dealing with a full email inbox at work.
While at first, she was cautious of the natural treatment, she now claims to be less edgy, more focused at work, and falling asleep faster.
There are also many current athletes that are strong advocates for CBD.
4 Athletes that use CBD Oil for Recovery
Judith Haggar – Ironman, Multisport World Championships
As a triathlete, she is always on the move competing around the world in different Ironman races and multi-sport competitions. After finishing second place in the Ironman Wales back in September 2018, she discussed using CBD with an interviewer.
In this interview captured by the Spirit of Hemp, she said, “The muscle relaxant was the main thing for me, particularly after my more intense training sessions. I also found my sleep improved massively – I was able to really relax and recover through deeper sleep. I’m considering introducing my children to the oil for that reason as well.”
She is not the only athlete that has great word on the power of CBD.
Derrick Morgan – NFL Linebacker
As a linebacker for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, Derrick made the news by talking about his regular usage of CBD oil. He went on to talk about how more people should know about CBD after more and more research continues to come out.
Ryan VandenBussche – Retired NHL enforcer
As a 14-year professional athlete, he has had to deal with multiple broken bones, over 20 concussions, and a dozen surgeries. Therefore, pain management is an important part of his retirement and he believes in the healing properties of the cannabis plant.
He ended up advocating for CBD to the point of turning a 64-acre farm into a medical cannabis facility that could help others with their pain recovery.
Brock Cannon – Professional Mountain Bike Racer, Ultra Running
[Photo Credit: https://vamooseutah.com/2016/08/29/257/ ]
Cannon had raced as a professional mountain bike racer from 1996 to 2015 where he retired and took up the ultra running sport. This is when he was introduced to the benefits* of CBD.
While at one point he was taking ibuprofen consistently each day to deal with knee pain, he has since converted to CBD oil in his pain management.
He even went as far as to write about the powerful benefits* of CBD in his book titled, “The Cannabis Athlete”.
CBD Oil: The next supplement for Athletes?
It is no secret that CBD has become a large topic of conversation in recent years and often it can be confusing to know where to start when considering adding it as part of your daily regimen.
With the research and anecdotal evidence that goes into finding a correlation with CBD and anti-inflammatory effects, anti-anxiety effects, and ability to improve sleep, its no wonder that many athletes are turning to try this alternative treatment.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.