Cannabis is beneficial for the mental and physical health of sports players
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive and pain-relieving cannabinoid found in cannabis. Many studies have proved CBD’s effectiveness in the treatment of various health conditions, both physical and mental. More specifically, many recent studies show that CBD offers many health benefits to people who play sports.
Consumed appropriately, CBD helps those who play sports in the following ways:
CBD increases stamina
While workout and muscle building is crucial for runners, endurance is equally important for rowers and other distance athletes.
To achieve these high levels of endurance, many athletes turn to caffeine, energy bars, and other supplements. However, recent studies show that the runner’s high that is often related to success has more to do with the endocannabinoid system.
A recent study revealed that without an activated endocannabinoid system, a true runner high may not be obtained, regardless of the endorphins released during the workout. Because CBD helps activate and balance the endocannabinoid system, it could increase the endurance and stamina required for success.
Treats sprains and injuries
For those who play sports, injuries are unavoidable. In this case, CBD may help. Injuries, sprains, and other muscle setbacks often cause discomfort, decreased performance and training delays. CBD not only reduces discomfort, it can also speed up recovery times.
CBD provides pain relief. We feel pain when neurons in our central nervous system fire due to increased response to injuries inside our bodies. Activated by CBD, the endocannabinoid receptors reduce this rate, thus reducing discomfort and providing pain relief.
Another study found that out of 446 patients dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), nearly 97% of those who had previously consumed cannabis prior to the event survived the disease.
CBD works similar to standard pain relievers, without causing the risk of withdrawal, digestive issues, and other potential side effects. So when a sprain or other injury occurs, consuming CBD can be a safe and effective alternative to ingesting pills. CBD also reduces inflammation and helps with muscle recovery to help athletes get back to peak performance.
CBD promotes muscle growth
For those into strength building, CBD serves as a potential anti-catabolic. These supplements reduce the catabolic hormones production that causes muscle loss.
CBD mimics anti-catabolic effects and activates the endocannabinoid receptors, leading to an anti-catabolic response. This means when activated, the endocannabinoid system reduces the risk of muscle loss, while helping muscles grow faster.
Because of the increasing awareness and support for cannabis legalisation and decriminalisation, the number of medical approvals for the legal use of cannabis is increasing in Australia.
Monthly medical cannabis approvals in Australia. Source
Settle your gut
Inflammation in the intestines causes a lot of discomfort, and this is one of the major causes of decreased endurance in athletes.
CBD doesn’t solve the problems of dehydration and overheating, but it can treat the underlying inflammation issues that cause gut problems and reduce the symptoms. Another study showed that CBD and PEA together could help reduce permeability in the colon, which provides relief in inflamed bowel disease.
In addition to these, cannabis also offers many other benefits. It helps muscle recovery, improves concentration levels, and even reduces game-day stress and anxiety among players.
Taking Care with CBD
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed Cannabidiol (CBD) from the list of prohibited substances. All natural and synthetic cannabinoids are banned for sports players except for CBD. Products containing cannabinoids are also prohibited, and all synthetic cannabinoids featuring any amount of THC are prohibited. Players should know that some CBD oils and tinctures may also contain THC, which could result in a positive test for a prohibited cannabinoid.
However, many athletes all around the world are embracing the healing properties of cannabis for its many health benefits. Cannabis can be inhaled or ingested orally for medical and nonmedical purposes. Evidence for the efficacy of the drug is limited but promising for the conditions such as pain management, stress management, injury treatment, etc. The use of CBD can help athletes boost their performance in a way that is subtle, natural and legal.