CBD: A Quick Overview
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of several different molecules known as cannabinoids, found in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are an integral part of the human body’s ability to regulate and balance a wide variety of physiological systems. CBD can be applied topically or consumed internally and then binds to the receptors in your body (the endocannabinoid system), sending signals between your cells, which may relieve stress, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
CBD and Pain Relief
Research has shown that CBD may be able to provide long-term and short-term pain relief without any risk of misuse or dependency issues. It is sometimes used as a pre- or post-workout treatment for inflammatory issues, which are often the cause of chronic pain. CBD may also be used for more acute pain relief associated with specific sports-related injuries. Applying CBD directly to damaged tissue after an injury has been shown to stop swelling and prevent worsening of the injury. It has also been known to relieve pain quickly and well. In addition, CBD, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that causes marijuana's psychotropic effects), has no psychological effects and will not show up on a drug test. Unlike many painkillers that can be addictive and lead to harmful habits, CBD can provide pain relief and is neither addictive nor can it spur negative habits. Some research shows that CBD can even be used as treatment for opioids and drug misuse. Athletes participating in intense exercise can use CBD not only for decreasing pain, but also to stop inflammation and speed up recovery.
Inflammation: Promising Results
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to an injury, illness, or toxins, and can occur regularly from everyday exercise, diet, and stress. An animal study from the European Journal of Pain showed that topical application of CBD has therapeutic potential for lowering pain and reducing inflammation without any evident side effects.
Stress Relief Before the Big Game
The ways our bodies manage stress is with the endocannabinoid system. This natural system within our bodies works to maintain a balance, which controls both physical sensation and emotional behavior. While cannabinoids are found in a number of plants, like broccoli and echinacea, CBD has a higher concentration of cannabinoids so it naturally offers greater support. It has been shown to provide balance in the endocannabinoid system and help ensure a healthy stress response. When we have a healthy response to stress, our bodies can function at their optimal strength and focus.
CBD and Sleep
Tossing and turning the night before a big event is a tradition that every athlete understands. CBD may be able to provide help with that too. Some research indicates that the CBD cannabinoid interacts with specific receptors that influence the sleep/wake cycle. Research also suggests that CBD may work as a muscle relaxer, which can calm and center you. Many people find that just before bed is a really good time to apply or take CBD because it offers a way to wind down and prepare for a restful night. Listen to your body and see if you need CBD to calm you in the night or prepare you for your day.
Face (and Embrace) the Day with CBD
CBD has been shown to be beneficial when applied as a pregame or pre-workout routine, as it may promote physical balance in your body and can soothe your muscles. While every athlete's body and journey are different, CBD is a non-addictive, safe complement to an active life. The best anti-inflammatory diet includes greens, berries, and foods that are nutrient dense, and CBD is a great supplement alongside clean eating. Using CBD may make it less likely to get injured while working out. CBD can help to center you and put you in the right mindset to work the hardest you can. CBD helps reduce inflammation and pain, and aids in speeding up recovery. With all of these benefits and no downside, there is no reason not to try it