CBD for Athletes: Why Athletes Should Use CBD

Track Athletes

Cannabidiol—better known as CBD—has been making waves among athletes for the past few years. Some claim that it can quicken physical recovery and improve athletic performance, while others use it as a natural sleep aid or stress relief.

Because of these, many top CBD brands have released product lines dedicated to athletes. Whether you want to eat it or apply it to your skin, a CBD product will likely match an athlete’s needs and preferences.

If you’re curious about how CBD can enhance your performance and way of living as an athlete, we have covered the various ways CBD can help you and some of our recommended CBD products for those who frequently engage in sports.

What is CBD?

The hemp plant contains over 100 plant compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD belongs to this group, along with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—the psychoactive component of marijuana.

However, CBD does not produce the same mind-altering effects as its cousin, so in 2018, the FDA removed cannabidiol from its list of illegal substances.

Scientists have long recognized the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD before it has exploded in popularity, though. Its natural abilities stem from its ability to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Several fans of the hemp plant have used CBD as an alternative for sleeping pills, pain killers, anti-anxiety, and many more.

How CBD Can Help Athletes

The 2020 review conducted by Sports Medicine on the impact of CBD on athletic performance highlighted the objective studies undertaken to understand CBD better. Of the potential applications, the following CBD benefits will likely be well-appreciated by athletes doing any sports:

Healthier Sleeping Patterns

CBD doesn’t work the same as a traditional sleeping aid. Rather than inducing sleep, it helps eliminate or reduce the factors preventing you from falling or staying asleep. Typical examples include chronic pain, high level of stress, or anxiety.

Woman Sleeping With CBD Sleep Aid

Furthermore, some experts have noted that CBD may help you deal with some sleep disorders, such as insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Most products that utilize CBD for sleep contain other ingredients that are more widely known for their sleep-inducing properties. A quick browse through online catalogs would show CBD products with melatonin, lavender oil, or Valerian root.

Faster Physical Recovery

Research studies show that CBD can be effective in reducing inflammation and pain. When taken orally, this cannabinoid may provide general relief for your body. However, the localized topical application works better for those who suffer from pain in specific areas of the body due to repeated movements.

This benefit from CBD is possible because of the locations of ECS receptors. We used to think that it’s limited to the central nervous system only, but experts have since identified ECP receptors on the following parts of the body:

  • Skin
  • Muscle tissues
  • Lungs
  • Bone marrow
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Vascular system
  • Immune system

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Athletes are no strangers to the debilitating effects of anxiety and stress on their performance. To protect your mental health, taking CBD may make you feel relaxed and less troubled by your worries and doubts, especially before important events.

A study involving rats in a complicated maze sheds light on how CBD can enhance your performance, too. The rats were in a stressful situation, and with the help of CBD, they were able to finish it faster than the control group.

No Risk of Developing an Addiction

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the usage of CBD for pain relief does not pose the same risks as THC or opioids. Some experts have even highlighted the potential of CBD in breaking different types of substance abuse or dependence.

CBD will benefit athletes undergoing training, performing during a sporting event, or recovering from either activity. It can also do wonders for our overall lifestyle and shield us from free radical damage because it is also a natural antioxidant.

Different Ways to Take CBD

CBD isn’t a magical cure-all. However, it can be an indispensable tool for any athlete when taken or applied correctly.

Given the wide variety of CBD products today, you must know which ones will be best suited for your needs. Each type has its pros and cons, so it’s a matter of searching for a good product with limitations that aren’t deal-breakers for you.

Let’s go over the common ways to take CBD and its pros and cons for athletes.

CBD Oral Products

Under this category falls the CBD capsules, tablets, edibles, beverages, and oils. Some can be taken as they are, while others may be mixed with other foods or drinks.

Pros

  • Effects can be felt gradually and for a longer duration
  • Recommended for those who want to manage their anxiety or stress level better

Cons

  • Might take up to 1 hour before being absorbed
  • Some types may require additional prep work

CBD Sublinguals

The sublingual method involves holding a tiny amount of CBD tincture underneath your tongue for a short while before swallowing it.

Pros

  • Quicker absorption rate compared to simple ingestion
  • An excellent option for those who want to feel immediate effects and a lingering sense of relaxation for the next few hours

Cons

  • Requires pre-measuring to get the dosage right
  • Not as tasty as most CBD edibles

CBD Topicals

Any product that is designed for external applications belongs to this category. CBD lotions, lip balms, body creams, and bath bombs are the most popular types.

Pros

  • Works well when applied directly or near the swollen or painful part of the body
  • Can be used for a head or body massage to loosen up your muscles and relieve stress

Cons

  • Vape pen cartridges may contain chemicals that can be irritating when inhaled
  • Not recommended for those with preexisting lung conditions

CBD Smoking/Vaping Products

Another way of consuming CBD is by smoking hemp flowers or vaping CBD oils or waxes.

Pros

  • Effects can be felt within 10 minutes or faster
  • Different CBD flower strains offer varying potency levels

Cons

  • Vape pen cartridges may contain chemicals that can be irritating when inhaled
  • Not recommended for those with preexisting lung conditions

You might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of CBD products available today. Though the final decision is still up to you, most athletes take CBD oral products, especially those that are portable, ready to consume, and have long-lasting effects. CBD gummies are a popular choice since this product meets those criteria, and the best ones are a treat for the tongue, too.

Best CBD Gummies for Athletes

Almost every CBD brand offers CBD gummies these days. Some are designed for general use, while others have unique formulations that address specific needs, such as sleep, relaxation, or energy boost.

Given the specific needs of athletes, we have listed below the CBD gummies that athletes should check out. Each product belongs to reputable wellness brands that have received wide acclaim from customers because of their CBD gummies’ potency, purity, and value for money.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is CBD Good for Athletes?

    CBD can be a natural remedy and performance enhancer for athletes. Be sure to verify the quality of the CBD product before purchasing, though. Given the insufficient FDA regulation on CBD, take the time to read through the COA (certificate of the analysis) of a given CBD product. Ensure that the testing has been carried out per batch by an independent and reputable laboratory.

  2. What Does CBD Do for Athletes?

    On its own, CBD may provide the following health benefits to athletes:

    – Consistent sleep-wake cycle
    – Less chronic or acute pain
    – Relaxed body and mind
    – Stronger immune system

    Brands combine CBD with other ingredients to enhance its inherent effects. For example, CBD gummies infused with melatonin can be extra potent in helping you get rid of your sleep problems.

  3. How Much CBD Should Athletes Take?

    We encourage everyone to follow the recommended dosage indicated on the CBD product label. While taking higher doses won't harm you, there is no evidence doing so will yield better results.

  4. Will CBD Affect Your Drug Test Results?

    In general, CBD won't lead to a positive test result, especially if you have opted for CBD isolate products. However, due to improper labelling or poor production processes, you might take THC without knowing it. Most sports leagues and organizations continue to ban THC, so its presence will cause you to fail a drug test.

    Therefore, the best way to avoid issues related to your CBD usage, we suggest avoiding it when you have an upcoming drug test. However, if you insist on taking it, do your due diligence and choose high-quality CBD products with verifiable lab test results from an independent party.

Robert Prescot | Author

Robert is one of our most experienced and knowledgeable writers. He resides in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and two sons. He has 10 years of online marketing experience and has spent several years in the CBD and hemp market.

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