It’s no secret that the life of an athlete can be rough. Hour after hour of cardio, lifting weights and refining your skill set is bound to be accompanied by soreness and other ailments that, if ignored, could lead to greater risk of injury. Of course, if you’re serious about your athletic goals, you’ve likely steeled yourself to the inevitability of injuries. “Pain is just weakness leaving the body” is a phrase that you’ve almost definitely heard at least once in your life, and while the sentiment is positive, it supports a flawed mindset.
As it stands, there are several ways in which you can address pre and post workout ailments, some being more natural than others. You could always try stretching properly and allowing your body adequate time to recover from the work it put in, but this is easier said than done. You won’t always get the chance to stretch/rest, and even if you do, you’ll really only be able to mitigate a small portion of the soreness and pain that you feel. Certain products and medications are being hailed for their anti-inflammatory effects, but the negatives that come with them far outweigh the relief that they may or may not bring.
As professional athletes are discovering, there are more natural means of achieving relief that avoid the dangers of addictive prescriptions and other potentially harmful products. CBD is a potential answer to many of the aches and pains that you suffer from in your athletic ventures. In multiple studies, the compound has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, preventing you from encountering much of the soreness that you would usually encounter.
CBD, or cannabidiol, enters your body and is absorbed into your bloodstream, where it seeks out the receptors that make up your endocannabinoid system. This system runs throughout your body and is a key component in ensuring that your body remains in homeostasis — a state that is disrupted by pain and inflammation, among other things. It produces its own form of cannabinoid, which is sent and received by different receptors within the system. When CBD is introduced to this system, it can act as an endocannabinoid, both boosting the system’s activity and preventing the release of certain neurotransmitters that would result in feelings of pain and discomfort.
It only makes sense, then, that CBD would be embraced by the world of athletics with open arms. Athletes could benefit from adding CBD products to their daily workouts, and they could even use these products as part of their pre and postgame routines as well. It would provide them with a means of recovering from especially intense workouts and games, potentially preventing them from waking up and having to will their bodies out of bed the following morning.
CBD products such as CBD balms and hemp creams are the perfect gym buddies, fitting into any bag and offering availability at a moment’s notice. Unlike the creams and balms that can normally be found in gym bags, these also boast servings of high-quality CBD hemp extract, and if you’re buying from reputable sources, such as the lab-tested products by CBDfx, you’re sure to get a product that walks the walk.
While the number of active athletes backing CBD might seem small, it’s mainly because of the rules currently prohibiting the compound. For years, CBD has been lumped in with other compounds found in cannabis plants that possess psychoactive effects, and therefore it’s been kept away from professional athletes. However, now that it’s widely understood that CBD doesn’t possess any psychoactive or intoxicating effects, sports leagues are warming up to the compound.
Meanwhile, multiple prominent ex-professional athletes are championing the cause for CBD in athletics, including those with backgrounds in everything from baseball to bicycling. MLB and NBA hall of famers such as Goose Gossage and Rick Barry are actively campaigning for the acceptance of CBD as an alternative to the more controversial medications that athletes are currently being subjected to.
Many ex-pro sports advocates are also pointing to CBD’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects as a reason for the compound to be permitted for athletes. Social anxiety is just as prevalent amongst athletic superstars as it is for the rest of the world, and ex-NBA champion Paul Pierce is even on record stating that he used CBD for the express purpose of curbing his feelings of anxiety and depression.
With a million reasons to embrace CBD and little to no reason not to, it seems obvious that the compound should — and will — thrive once made more available to athletes and the world of sports in general. Its anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory attributes are only the tip of the iceberg, and its other facets will prove just as crucial to your own athletic aspirations. It’s only a matter of time before the floodgates open and CBD gains the limelight that it so rightfully deserves.
- Vučković, Sonja, et al. “Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 15 Oct. 2018, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259/full.
- Small, Jonathan. “Why Paul Pierce Jumped On The CBD Train.” GreenEntrepreneur, 15 Nov. 2019, www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/340942.
- Iffland K, Grotenhermen F (2017) An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 2:1, 139–154, DOI: 10.1089/can.2016.0034.