In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed cannabidiol from its list of prohibited controlled substances. The move is one of many positive developments around Cannabidiol (CBD) in recent years as more and more athletes and fitness buffs turn to the compound for aid.
Cannabidiol is one of many hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it does not contain any psychoactive effects. That’s why the World Anti-Doping Agency decided to remove CBD from it’s list of banned substances. CBD is the only cannabinoid approved for use by the agency.
Studies around the health benefits of CBD indicate it has the potential to be an effective supplement in the fitness realm. The compound can help reduce chronic aches and pains, relieve tension, reduce soreness, and promote sleep.
In recent years, a number of professional athletes have talked about their CBD use publicly. CBD can be taken at night to increase energy for your morning workout or competition. It can also aid recovery following a big game, marathon or workout.
Here are three ways CBD supplements can help athletes and fitness enthusiasts:
1. For pain and injuries
Professional athletes and other fitness junkies like runners often suffer from pain or injuries from years of wear and tear on their joints. Often times, the strain can lead to painful and costly surgeries with lengthy recovery times. In other situations, these people deal with chronic pain. While CBD can’t heal a serious injury, it has been proven particularly effective at reducing joint pain and inflammation.
According to 2016 article in the European Journal of Pain topical CBD application has been found to have therapeutic potential in relieving arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation. The report indicates not evidence of side-effects. Another study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that CBD is effective in helping heal bone fractures.
Based on this research, it’s no wonder CBD retailers offer a variety of topical CBD treatments including lotions and balms. These can be massaged into the skin to alleviate aches and pains. Athletes looking to try out the substance can also add CBD concentrate to the topical treatments they already use.
2. For additional energy
For years, people have been taking CBD to reduce anxiety. Relaxation is one of the substance’s main health benefits. This can be especially beneficial for athletes. CBD can help people get to sleep easier and it can also help people achieve a more deep and restful sleep. Taking CBD before sleep can make people feel more energized in the morning and lead to a better workout.
Additionally, while CBD can promote sleep, it can also have a caffeinating effect when taken in smaller doses. The substance interacts with the same adenosine receptors as caffeine and can therefore make users feel like they have more energy. With this added boost, people can workout longer and stronger.
Other products usually consumed for endurance, like energy drinks, can be harmful. Energy drink users have reported health problems such as high blood pressure and even heart attacks. CBD has not been found to produce the same side effects and when taken before a workout, it can increase your stamina.
3. For recovery after exercise and high performance activity
Whether you’re a professional athlete coming off a season or a runner trying to recover after a marathon, CBD can help ease the process. CBD supplements are a great way to stimulate muscle recovery after a workout and can help people get back to training sooner.
When a person engages in any kind of intense physical fitness activity their muscles are broken down. After you work out, your body repairs these muscle tears to help your body grow back stronger. The process is necessary for building and toning muscles, which ultimately improves your athletic performance. However, recovery often leaves people feeling sore.
CBD can reduce inflammation and ease anxiety to speed up the recovery process and help you relax. In water or oil form, the substance can be added to a post workout drink or meal. Additionally, baths are a great way to unwind after a fitness class. Adding CBD to your bath water can enhance the experience.
Additionally, a report in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research indicates CBD can help athletes build more muscle by impacting cortisol secretion. The study found that subjects who took CBD experienced a significant decrease in cortisol levels in their blood. As a result, CBD has the potential to slow the breakdown of muscle mass.
Why athletes like it so much?
We don’t often think of cannabis as being a substance used by athletes. But that’s what makes CBD special. Every person can benefit from using CBD in a different way, whether they are active as professional athletes or their career has already ended.
CBD is used by professional athletes for a multitude of reasons, the most common being for recovery after intense athletic output. Fundamentally, its anti-inflammatory and analgesic power make it a perfect post-workout remedy for many athletes. Plus, it removes the need for pharmaceutical drugs which are potentially harmful to the work of an athlete.
As it stands, it’s still unclear to many athletes as to whether or not CBD use is a violation of sporting drug policies. Many fear that if they use it, they will fail their drug tests. With that being said, there are plenty of athletes who advocate for CBD use and are pushing for it to be discounted from drug testing.
It’s about time that the cannabis stereotype was disengaged from cannabidiol. In fact, it is used by some of the most successful people in the world, including some of the world’s professional athletes.
As a celebration of the many ways in which it can positively impact atheletes’ lifes, here’s a list of a few professional athletes who benefit from CBD.
7 famous athletes who benefit from CBD
1. Gina Mazany: MMA Fighter
Gina Mazany is an Alaskan MMA fighter, currently ranked 24th in the world for bantamweight MMA fighting. She says that CBD has a myriad of benefits for her physical body, but more importantly, it helps to calm her anxiety. Before fights, Mazany uses CBD to reduce anxiety and enter the fight with a clearer mind. Any athlete will testify to the power of the mind during any kind of competitive sport. While the body needs to be healthy, so does the mind, and Gina Mazany uses CBD to keep her mind balanced and well.
2. Leonard Marshall: Football Player
Leonard Marshall played on the New York Giants team for over 12 years, winning two Super Bowls. Interestingly, he did not use CBD during his football career. As you can imagine, a lot of injuries and head traumas can happen in a 12-year football career. During this time, he sustained many concussions and injuries. As a result, Marshall began to suffer from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) soon after retiring. It is a traumatic brain injury that happens as a result of repeated head traumas.
Marshall says that using CBD helped to reduce the chronic mood swings that happen as a symptom of this condition. It also meant he could bypass having to use a cocktail of pharmaceutical medication usually prescribed for CTE.
3. Derrick Morgan: Football Player
Derrick Morgan is one athlete fighting for the NFL to reform its drug policies and allow for the use of CBD. He played linebacker for the Tennessee Titans for over 9 years. Like Leonard Marshall, Derrick Morgan uses CBD to treat symptoms of CTE after many years of repetitive head injuries.
For those who don’t know, CBD has neuroprotective properties. This means that it can help the brain to recover old, damaged nerves as well as to protect health ones. CBD is used in the treatment of many neuropathic conditions such as anxiety and fibromyalgia.
4. Yair Rodriguez: UFC Fighter
Yair Rodriguez is publically vocal about his CBD use and his support of this growing movement. He uses CBD between training sessions as a way to recover faster from pain or muscle stiffness. He won the featherweight division in The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America and is a mixed martial artist and Taekwondo champion. He also believes that using CBD helps him to get a much more restful sleep, imperative to the work of a professional athlete.
5. Nate Diaz: MMA Fighter
Nate Diaz is a world famous MMA fighter, currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Hailing from California, it’s no surprise that this athlete has an affinity for cannabis and CBD products. In fact, in 2016, he arrived at a post-match press conference smoking a vape pen filled with CBD oil. He says it helps him with post-match healing processes, inflammation and muscle soreness. He uses it before and after matches as well as before and after training sessions to minimize pain and swelling.
6. Eugene Monroe
Recently retired Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, Eugene Monroe, has been a long-time advocate of medical Hemp. He’s also a very generous philanthropist, donating some $80,000 to When the Bright Lights Fade, a campaign that funds Hemp research for athletes.
Monroe’s retirement is rooted in pain, he explains. He cites difficult injuries, and also that he doesn’t want to keep taking toxic pain pills to be able to stay in the game.
Monroe played seven seasons in the NFL, retiring at the age of 29, and says he prefers to vape CBD oil and use topical salves on his joints and muscles.
7. Kyle Turley
When you play professional sports, injuries are more than likely to occur. 10-year NFL offensive lineman, Kyle Turley, found out first hand what 100-plus concussions could do the body. According to Kyle, medical Hemp saved his life. Until he discovered CBD he struggled with pharmaceutical addiction, violent thoughts, and suicidal tendencies.
Turley was diagnosed with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a common brain disorder in football players and professional athletes caused by excessive head injuries.
The disorder causes inflammation in the brain, which leads to dysfunction and illnesses due to brain damage.
Kyle Turley went on to found the “Gridiron Cannabis Coalition” where he uses his story, and those of other players, to advocated dialogue and discussion around CBD oil, Hemp, and Cannabis.
CBD as a supplement, not a drug
Cannabidiol and other cannabis-derived ingredients are being introduced into the markets as a powerful new supplement that can help with post-workout pain and inflammation, game-day stress, and can speed up the recovery process.
That is, as we mentioned above, the reason why so many professional athletes from every sport are turning to CBD oil to manage injuries and swelling. We’ll also reveal who are the 3 biggest names in professional sports that are using CBD oil to enhance their health and performance.
Don’t stop learning about CBD
The main use of CBD for athletes is as an all-natural recovery-aid to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation from training and playing hard.
Everyone from fighters to footballers is using CBD as a way to relieve their aches and pains in a natural way. Less pain and inflammation means better sleep, better recovery, and better overall health and performance.
Beyond recovery, CBD serves athletes as a neuroprotective substance in the case of head and spinal cord injuries, as a metabolism booster, and an all-around health and performance enhancer. It may also be able to relieve your symptoms of stress and anxiety from competing on, and off, the field.