Herbal and organic remedies have been used in many cultures for thousands of years. Specifically, the cannabis plant has been utilized as a treatment option for ailments associated with muscle pain and fatigue.
This plant contains more than 140 cannabinoids consisting the tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC) and cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD).
Unlike THC that induces psychotropic side effects, CBD has been cited as a nonpsychoactive treatment option. Scientifically, CBD is the non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant known for its potential therapeutic value. As such, what happens, let’s say, in an athlete’s body when CBD is taken or induced?
The role of CBD is integral in the regulation of homeostasis within the body. This includes the regulation of the central and peripheral nervous systems, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, as well as reproductive systems. Once taken orally, CBD interacts with the liver and triggers various kinases and channels affecting physiological changes within the body.
Although further research is not yet fully conducted, the therapeutic potential of CBD to be used by athletes poses an exciting interest among athletes, coaches, and researchers. With the increasing more awareness of the benefits of cannabidiols products for health and wellbeing, forward thinking UK based company Missionc.com have developed a premium range of CBD products especially for athletes.
Legal Landscape Use of CBD for Athletes
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its prohibited list. This is a big leap in the elite sporting world since evidence has shown that there is an exponential increase of users of CBD in the sporting world. However, the legal landscape of using CBD varies from the implementing laws of a city, state, or country. In the United States, the use of CBD for athletes differs from each state while in the United Kingdom, it is mandated that less than 1 mg of CBD is legally sold.
As such, it is crucial that athletes and coaches alike are fully aware of the existing laws surrounding CBD use in their respective states or cities. As each state-specific legislation is different, existing knowledge of CBD use in the sporting world should be taken into account.
Benefits of CBD Use for Athletes
Given the therapeutic potential benefits of CBD for athletes, initial results of studies have shown that CBD has a prospective relationship with pain management. Various anecdotal and literature claims that CBD is anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, as well as its neuroprotective properties. Despite the lack of substantial evidence, CBD is likely therapeutic in dealing with pain management issues.
Effective Alternative to NSAIDs
Within the rigorous elite sporting world, athletes are required to train and discipline their minds and bodies. Thus, an athlete’s performance mostly relies on his or her physical strength. Consequently, numerous athletes face muscle-induced damage from exercising. Some of these symptoms manifest as muscle soreness and inflammation.
Opiates and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also taken by athletes for muscle recovery and pain management. However, short-term prescription of these drugs has severe side effects such as headaches, nausea, constipation, and sleep disturbances. Therefore, it is not surprising to see evidence of many athletes opting to use CBD in dealing with pain management.
Regulates Healthy Sleeping Pattern
A healthy sleeping pattern is vital for an athlete’s holistic performance. A good amount of sleep is helpful to facilitate functional and efficient sports performance. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep results in perceivable disturbances in both psychological and physiological processes. Consequently, athletes are no strangers to sleep disturbances. Sleep disruption is a common case faced by many athletes especially when a game is fast approaching.
Some case studies have shown that CBD supplementation of 25-160 mg per day may improve sleeping patterns and lessen sleep disorders. Although there is no concrete evidence to back this up, CBD shows signs of potential therapeutic value in dealing with the disruption of sleep among athletes.
Reduces Competition-Induced Anxiety and Stress
Competition-induced stress and anxiety are closely associated with an athlete’s poor physical performance. Symptoms show signs of reduced appetite and poor sleeping patterns. Anxiety and stress hamper an athlete’s athletic performance which even places pressure on the elite sporting world.
Available research has found that CBD supplementation of 300 – 600 mg per day especially during stress-inducing circumstances shows equivocal results. Consequently, further research related to the therapeutic value of CBD for athletes facing anxiety and stress during stressful athletic situations needs to be further explored.