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THE BENEFITS OF CBD FOR ATHLETES: A FACT-BASED GUIDE

September 01, 2022 5 min read

THE BENEFITS OF CBD FOR ATHLETES: A FACT-BASED GUIDE

THE BENEFITS OF CBD FOR ATHLETES: A FACT-BASED GUIDE

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound, promotes human health and wellness. Athletes train tirelessly, encounter stress head-on, and never leave the physical challenge to perform at their best. The results match athleticism's effort, which requires a high discipline level. Most athletes are genuinely interested in hemp-sourced cannabidiol to promote their well-being and health. This compound stimulates better physical and psychological functioning to achieve the desired results. Cannabis has over 113 unique cannabis compounds which function independently to generate positive results. These phytocannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system to restore body homeostasis. It adjusts various body systems to yield anticipated results. This guide explains more.

The CBD Fundamentals and How it Functions in Your Body

Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating beneficial cannabis compound. Phytocannabinoids reside in particular botanicals but are specifically conspicuous in cannabis family plants such as hemp. CBD is among these phytocannabinoids, but the plant variety is praised for its significant cannabinoid profile, often above 113 elements. Some include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, cannabigerol (CBG), and fatty acids.

The human body synthesizes unique cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. They communicate with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a multifaceted system constituting cannabinoid receptors. Although more research is underway, ECS serves important roles in overall psychological and biological functions. The system moderates pain perception, immune system, metabolism, sleep, mood, fertilization, and homeostasis (a body equilibrium state). When phytocannabinoids are presented to the human body, the ECS metabolize them like endocannabinoids. According to Fine & Rosenfeld (2013), plant cannabinoids interact uniquely with the endocannabinoid system. For instance, THC attaches firmly to complex system receptors, thus resulting in high feeling. Contrastingly, cannabidiol interacts with neurotransmitters indirectly and does not produce psychoactive or euphoric effects. The interaction restores homeostasis within the endocannabinoid system and generates desired benefits.

Why Athletes Should Utilize CBD

According to Manayi (2015), cannabidiol contains numerous beneficial antioxidants, anxiolytic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The cannabinoid is researched for its potential to soothe digestive discomforts, support sleep, and provide pain relief. Therefore, cannabidiol's beneficial ways are increasing significantly. Most athletic superstars experience physical challenges during training. Individuals preserve discomforts and physical limitations to achieve their desired results.

Within the human nervous system, two endocannabinoids, namely, EAE and 2-AG, are synthesized downstream (postsynaptic neurons) and transmitted into the synapse. They attach to CB2 and CB1 receptors on the upstream (presynaptic neuron), which functions to prevent some neurotransmitters from being released. For example, when consumers utilize cannabidiol to diagnose epilepsy, it might decrease seizure function by partially lowering glutamate, an excitatory receptor accumulation. CB1 neurotransmitters reside throughout the human spinal cord, brain, and related tissues. Likewise, CB2 receptors are present in these organs, but most are situated throughout immune system nerves.

 Cannabidiol attaching to CB1 neurotransmitters cause more impact on the central nervous system, while cannabidiol attaching to CB2 neurotransmitters has a significant impact on lowering inflammation. Fundamentally, the endocannabinoid system sustains homeostasis, which is accomplished by monitoring neurotransmitter levels. Ingesting cannabidiol enables consumers to escalate or supplement the functions of their prevailing endocannabinoid system. Athletes put more stress on their bodies, thus causing inflammation and pain higher than the level your ECS can control. Consuming cannabidiol products assist the burdened system restore neurotransmitters and enables athletes to maintain homeostasis.

Benefits of CBD for Athletes

Relieve pain

According to Tick et al. (2018), cannabis, often THC and low CBD, is efficient for lowering pain, especially musculoskeletal pain developed during training and stiff joints. Such biological plausibility and anecdotal evidence are important since the research is underway. Despite the insufficient scientific evidence, most athletes report pain reduction after using cannabidiol products.

Alternatives to NSAIDs

Most athletes use commercial non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve (naproxen sodium) and ibuprofen (Advil). Although they deliver some benefits, their long-term health effects are ambiguous. Specifically, ultradistance athletes are encouraged to ignore NSAIDs during prolonged training events and sessions due to escalated vulnerabilities of renal impairment. Whether your events and workouts are short, frequent, or prolonged, NSAID usage might escalate an individual's risk for stroke and heart disease. Certain athletes have discovered that pain soothing effects related to cannabidiol can eliminate or reduce their utilization of NSAIDs for training-associated pain, with insignificant side effects—currently, no reported deaths resulting from cannabidiol-related or cannabis products. In an oral mucosal and oral cannabis study, researchers described some adverse side effects as non-serious.

Reduce Inflammation

A small inflammation portion is beneficial to athletes and activates positive exercise adaptations. Excess inflammation hurts performance and prevents recovery. Periphery and brain contain CB2 receptors, but immune tissues have them in high concentration. Cannabinoids attaching to CB2 neurotransmitters might contain anti-inflammatory impacts by lowering cell messengers (cytokine) production. In general, cannabidiol attached to CB2 neurotransmitters reduces response when the human immune system detects a problem after performing more physical work.

Promote Gut Health

Inflammation within large and small intestines stimulates more distress, and GI discomfort explains why enduring athletes quit races. Cannabidiol cannot regulate stomach discomforts from overheating and dehydration (two main triggers in sports). However, it might be efficient for decreasing your symptoms in athletes with underlying inflammation problems that promote gut distress after or during exercise. The human colon has CB2 and CB1 receptors activated by cannabidiol compounds to generate positive results.  

Boost Sleep Quality

Acquiring good sleep quality is an effective mechanism for athletes to accomplish higher training gains. According to Bhardwaj, athletes who administer cannabidiol claim more soothed night’s sleep and greater sleeping ease. It is because cannabidiol prevents the re-absorption of adenosine.

Conclusion

The development of cannabidiol may substantially impact how athletes reduce the stress of exercise and manage both chronic and sporadic pain. Although there is not enough scientific study, anecdotal evidence is supported by most athletes who use CBD products. Cannabidiol, fortunately, has fewer hazards and potential benefits than conventional NSAIDs. In particular, it aids in healing as an anti-inflammatory, sleep aid, and pain reliever, which afterward demonstrates the capacity to improve athletic performance. Although athletes are not barred from using CBD products, issues can occur if they don't buy what the label recommends. High THC levels in this context result in doping violations that are penalized.

References

Bhardwaj, CBDFARMER. ORG.

Fine & Rosenfeld (2013). The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain. Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 4(4).

Manayi, Vazirian, & Saeidnia (2015). Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods. Pharmacognosy reviews, 9(17), 63.

Tick, Nielsen, Pelletier, Bonakdar, Simmons, Glick, & Zador (2018). Evidence-based nonpharmacologic strategies for comprehensive pain care: the consortium pain task force white paper. Explore, 14(3), 177-211.