As an athlete, you are constantly putting your mental and physical health at great risk to wear & tear. Your packed schedules don’t give you the luxury to enjoy a long recovery time. This is one of the major reasons as to why CBD has become a huge revolution in the sports world. It is legal, non-psychoactive, and provides quick relief from pain and inflammations.
Facts about sports-related pain and CBD
The ECS (endocannabinoid system) in the human body is the one that helps in pain management. CBD or cannabidiol interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found on the ECS. Thus, CBD helps to balance the functionality of the ECS and brings a lot of relief from your pain and inflammation-related problems.
The CB1 receptors are located in the brain & nervous system, whereas the CB2 receptors are found on the peripheral organs all over the body, such as bones & skin. These receptors, when influenced by CBD, help the ECS to produce a lot of natural cannabinoids, thereby helping in improving your immunity. The ECS is not only responsible for pain management, but also for building immunity, regulating sleep patterns, controlling mood swings, and regulating your appetite.
The legality of CBD in the sports world
The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) removed CBD from its list of “banned substances” during 2018. This was after numerous studies proving that CBD didn’t make athletes feel high or intoxicated. The Farm Bill passed in 2018 also legalized the production of industrial hemp, as a result of which CBD has become the buzzword in the medical, sports and cosmetics industries.
CBD-infused products are legal in most countries, provided they contain less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is extracted from the same source as that of CBD, but it contains psychoactive properties and will make you intoxicated.
Benefits of CBD for athletes
CBD helps in giving quick and long-lasting relief from pain from injuries and inflammations.
It is a great alternative to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Since CBD is a non-psychoactive plant compound, it doesn’t contain any of the serious side effects that are associated with NSAIDs.
Many athletes used to take opioids to get relief from acute pain. Though they were highly effective, opioids were not safe for athletes. People used to get addicted to opioids, and suffered from withdrawal symptoms, when they stopped the medication. CBD, on the contrary, is not only great in helping you get rid of pain, but also doesn’t make you addicted to it.
Risks that you should be aware of
Yes, the laws are clear that CBD is legal if it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, the anti-doping agencies have not specified how much THC should a CBD-product contain, if the athlete consuming has to test negative. Many athletes are still very apprehensive about using CBD for pain relief.
This is because, a few of them have tested positive for THC in the past, despite consuming CBD that contained less than 0.3% THC. So, it is highly recommended to wait for updated rules from WADA about the exact dosage of THC allowed before you can try CBD for your benefits.