CBD for High Performing Athletes
High performing athletes go through tremendous stress physically to achieve the results in competition that they do. The training stress stimulates increased performance and muscle adaptation but the wear and tear over time leads to possible injuries and pain. The pain management methods in the past have been unsafe, pharmaceuticals that are addictive and hard on the liver. Medicines like ibuprofen or Tylenol that are over the counter have been studied at length and show more negative side effects than previously expected. Stronger pain relievers can cause addiction, with the opioid crisis rising in North America, many athletes are looking for natural alternatives.
With the recent legalization of cannabis and cannabinoid products in Canada, the growth in the use of cannabidiol or CBD products has sky rocketed. With the promises of pain relief and reducing inflammation, without the side effects and risks of opioids and NSAIDS, CBD is a great alternative which works with our own endocannabanoid system.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances— in or out of competition. The USADA did the same. THC is still prohibited from competition as CBD for pain relieve has little to no traces of THC in the finished product. The threshold for THC was increased and substantially more lenient than before, which was designed with the intent of lowering the risk of an athlete testing positive due to casual use outside of competition.
Studies have show that CBD is effective for reducing pain, including muscle pain from exercise as well as stiff joints. CBD can help relax the nervous system and help with improved sleep which is important for recovery. One potential reason for the improvement in sleep is the reuptake of adenosine being inhibited by CBD.
There are many new products hitting the market weekly that have CBD in them. From gummy bears, capsules, tinctures and oils to topical and even pet-safe versions, finding the right one for you might be confusing.
Here’s some tips to get you started:
Focus on CBD isolate. As an elite athlete you want to avoid traces of THC in the full spectrum blends.
Find a high quality brand that uses organic natural hemp instead of synthetic CBD.
Pick your poison. Topical salves might be great for muscle aches and pains while the tinctures and oils are useful for sleep and relaxation. Find what works best for you!
Find a dose that works well for you. For some people as little as 200mg might be enough. Products range from 200-1000mg and prices increase with the strength of the product. Start with 200mg and increase from there.
If you were curious about how to incorporate CBD in your high performance regimen we hope this brief introduction helps! From elite athletes to the average person, CBD has incredible benefits that are just starting to be discovered. Try it out for yourself! We think that if CBD can get people away from using NSAIDs and opioids to manage pain, thats a huge victory for everyone.