Athletes and CBD oil: how CBD aids in muscle pain and recovery
29 May 2023
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Unlike its more famous sibling compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not cause the 'high' associated with cannabis use. This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those seeking relief from various ailments without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. A growing number of scientific studies confirm CBD eases symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety. And even helps with the underlying causes that create these issues. We will delve into how CBD oil aids athletes with muscle pain and recovery in the following blog post.
The Science Behind CBD Oil
To understand how CBD works, it's essential to understand its interaction with the body. The human body has a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), involved in regulating various functions, including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Research has shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.
CBD Oil and Athletes
In recent years, CBD oil has become increasingly popular among athletes.
The physical strain caused by intense physical activity often leads to inflammation and muscle pain. Athletes have traditionally turned to over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, but the potential side effects of these medications have led many to seek a more natural pain relief solution.
CBD oil has emerged as a promising alternative. Its potential to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain without causing a high has made it an attractive option for athletes looking to recover faster and perform at their best.
Several professional athletes across different sports have publicly endorsed the use of CBD oil, further propelling its popularity in the athletic community.
CBD Oil for Muscle Pain and Recovery
The physical exertion that athletes put their bodies through often leads to muscle pain and inflammation.
Traditionally, this has been managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain relievers. However, these can have side effects, especially with long-term use. CBD oil offers a natural alternative, with studies confirming it can help manage pain and inflammation.
CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in pain modulation.
By influencing the activity of this system, CBD can help reduce the perception of pain, aiding in recovery.
Furthermore, CBD's anti-inflammatory properties can help manage the inflammation often associated with intense physical activity, promoting faster recovery and reducing discomfort.
CBD Oil for Inflammation and Injury
Inflammation is a natural response to injury, but when it's prolonged or excessive, it can lead to further damage and prolonged recovery time.
CBD oil has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation, CBD can help protect against injury and speed up recovery when injury does occur.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD also promotes healing in other ways.
For instance, some research confirms that CBD can help regulate sleep, which is crucial for recovery. By promoting better sleep, CBD helps athletes recover more effectively from their injuries.
CBD Oil for Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety can be a significant hurdle for many athletes. The pressure to perform can lead to stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact an athlete's performance. CBD has been shown to have anxiety-reducing effects, which may be beneficial for athletes facing high-pressure situations.
By interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system, CBD can help regulate mood and stress levels. This can help athletes manage the stress and anxiety associated with competition, allowing them to focus more effectively on their performance.
Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.
How to Use CBD Oil and CBD Products for Athletic Performance
CBD oil can be consumed in several ways, each with its own advantages. Tinctures and oils can be taken orally or sublingually, allowing for quick absorption. Topicals can be applied directly to the skin, making them ideal for localized pain or inflammation. Edibles, like capsules, offer a discreet and convenient way to consume CBD, though they may take longer to take effect.
When it comes to dosage, it's important to start small and gradually increase until you find what works best for you. It's also crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as CBD oil may interact with certain medications. Read our guide on dosing here.
Safety and Legality of CBD Oil in Sports
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in 2018, making it legal for athletes to use in most sports.
However, it's important to note that other cannabinoids, like THC, remain prohibited. Athletes should ensure they're using pure CBD products, free from any THC.
While CBD is generally considered safe, it can cause side effects in some people, such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight. It's important to use CBD responsibly and listen to your body's response.
Research and Studies on CBD Oil and Sports Performance
Research into CBD's effects on athletic performance is still in its early stages, but the results so far are promising. Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce inflammation, manage pain, and reduce anxiety, all of which benefit athletic performance.
Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. Danielle McCartney, Melissa J. Benson, Ben Desbrow, Christopher Irwin, Anastasia Suraev, and Iain S. McGregor.
The Future of CBD Oil in Sports
As more athletes turn to CBD for its potential benefits, we can expect to see a growing acceptance of this natural compound in the sports world. Already, several professional athletes have publicly endorsed CBD, and this trend is likely to continue as more research supports its use.
The future of CBD in sports looks promising. As research continues to explore its potential benefits, we may see new applications for this versatile compound. From pain management and recovery to stress reduction and mental health, CBD has the potential to revolutionize how athletes recover and perform.
Potential future developments for CBD in sports may include more targeted formulations, combining CBD with other natural compounds to enhance its effects. As our understanding of CBD continues to grow, so too will its application in the world of sports and athletic performance.
Remember, before starting any new supplement regimen, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider, especially for athletes subject to drug testing. While CBD is legal in many sports, other cannabinoids, like THC, are not. Always ensure you're using a pure, high-quality CBD product.
Team iCBD Global