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CBD FOR ATHLETES: THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TOPICAL CBD APPLICATION

August 17, 2022 5 min read

CBD FOR ATHLETES: THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TOPICAL CBD APPLICATION

CBD FOR ATHLETES: THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TOPICAL CBD APPLICATION

What is CBD? How is CBD extracted and sourced? What is CBD topical? How best can an athlete use CBD topical to their benefit? What are some of the benefits that athletes can reap from using CBD topical? Is CBD topical legal for athletes? This article explains how best athletes can use CBD topical to their benefit.

Introduction to CBD

CBD, also called cannabidiol, is one of the two main compounds extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. The other compound is THC, and CBD is not intoxicating as THC, which makes an individual feel high when consumed. An individual can obtain CBD from the hemp plant and marijuana. Both the plants can aid in extracting the CBD, but one is legal while the other is illegal. CBD products extracted from hemp-based plants are legal per the Farm Bill rule signed in 2018. Marijuana-based CBD products are illegal as they contain a high level of THC, which is unsuitable for some people. With the Farm Bill passed, the Federal Drug Association in the United States explained that no CBD product could contain more than 0.3 % THC.

What is CBD Topical?

A CBD topical is any salve, balm, cream, or lotion infused with CBD, and an individual can directly apply it to their skin. Several research on CBD topical Is seen to have significant health benefits to an athlete.

Types of CBD topicals

With the popularity of CBD, individuals can access diverse CBD products of different potency and quality. There are three types of CBD topical products in terms of potency and composition. They include; full-spectrum, road spectrum, and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum Topical CBD

This topical product contains all the compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. With THC in composition, it can make an individual feel high. It gives you an entourage effect when taking CBD and THC together with other compounds can be more effective. This product has an earthy taste and smell because of the terpene’s presence.

Broad-spectrum topical CBD

This topical product contains all the compounds found in a cannabis plant but has no THC. It makes an individual feel the entourage effect without experiencing the THC or consuming it. Individuals can substitute it with Full spectrum CBD for the same effects and results.

CBD isolate

This topical product contains pure CBD only as no other compound can be found within this product. It is the purest form of CBD in the market that an athlete can access. This product cannot make an individual feel high as it contains no THC levels. It is odorless and flavorless as it does not contain any extra compounds found in the cannabis plant.

CBD Topical as a Pain alleviation substance

In the United States of America, CBD is used as a recreational product. But when infused with some topical products, it has some health benefits and claims. Kit et al. (2019) explained that topical CBD showed promise when used by athletes as it helped relieve pain and reduce inflammation, especially those with intense exercises. Baswan et al. (2020) stated that athletes with skin problems could also benefit from using Topical CBD products as they help with skin conditions like acne, dermatitis, and eczema. Topical can help elevate pain on an athlete's skin resulting from acne when carefully applied to the skin. According to Maida et al. (2020), pain relief is attained as CBD interacts with the ECS in the body directly and eliminates the free radicals and reducing inflammation and pain in athletes’ muscles.

CBD and Drug testing

Close et al. (2021) explained that Topical CBD could be a natural alternative for the athlete in relieving pain and inflammations as it does not appear in drug tests. When the test is carried out, athletes’ results are negative as they contain no THC level, which is responsible for positive drug tests. CBD was removed from the list of prohibited substances in 2018, while THC is still prohibited. THC levels in all products should be below 0.3 % to limit the "high" feeling and the appearance on a drug test. Athletes needing pain relief and stress reduction should rely on the topical CBD products they trust.

Is CBD legal for athletes?

Topical CBD is legal for athletes since it was removed from the prohibited list of substances in 2018 by the World Anti-Doping Agency. However, THC is still prohibited since it contains more compounds that can adversely affect an individual. It allowed athletes globally to use CBD topicals for different aspects and functions. Most athletes use it for pain reduction, sleep enhancement, anti-depressant, and reduction of inflammation.

Benefits of CBD topical

Reduce inflammation

Positive training adaptation can be achieved by athletes when there is a little inflammation, but when it is too much, it can hinder recovery and hurt the performance. With CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, cannabinoids can bind to CB2 receptors, which may help reduce inflammation by reducing cytokine production.

Relieve pain

CBD has been used in treating pain, and athletes can use topical CBD to treat pains in the muscle and the entire body. It is achieved through the cooperation of the ECS and the cannabinoids in an athlete's body.

Factors to consider when choosing Topical CBD

Athletes are responsible for topical CBD as the FDA does not regulate the usage of any CBD products. Before making a purchase, an individual should ensure that the topical CBD product contains no more than 0.3 % THC. Also, the product should have proof of third-party testing through an accredited laboratory. The Topical CBD product should be free from heavy metals, microbes, pesticides, and mold. A certificate of analysis should be present to ensure that the products have been speculated and verified before being released into the market.

 

Side effects

Although the product is widely used, there are some the side effects associated with CBD topical and including:

  • Appetite change
  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

Conclusions

Topical CBD products are the best alternatives for athletes regarding pain management, reducing inflammation, and mental health. Athletes can use topical products to benefit themselves differently as it helps them. They can be used and applied through salves, lotions, and roll-ons.

References

Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology13, 927.

Close, G. L., Gillham, S. H., & Kasper, A. M. (2021). Cannabidiol (CBD) and the athlete: Claims, evidence, prevalence, and safety concerns. Sports Science Exchange213.

Kit, I. P. L., Yao, Y. T., Liniment, D. D. J. I. P., Da Jow, K. W. C. D., Da Jow, W. T. D., Da Jow, F. D., ... & Da Jiu, D. (2019). Plant-based diets might reduce men’s risk of prostate cancer. Health News.

Maida, V., Shi, R. B., Fazzari, F. G., & Zomparelli, L. (2020). Topical cannabis‐based medicines–A novel paradigm and treatment for non‐uremic calciphylaxis leg ulcers: An open-label trial. International Wound Journal17(5), 1508-1516.