CBD consumption has become an increasingly popular trend for athletes. Their day to day training regimes can put their bodies through both positive and negative effects, their intense training regimes can take some toll on the body, often leaving them with muscle strains and pulls as well as other significantly painful injuries. Use of pain killers that are available in stores pose a greater health risk now than was ever previously known, and some of the addictions that have been related to these have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths throughout the USA. Giving even greater incentive into why athletes are searching for alternative remedies.

What is CBD?

CBD oil, also known as Cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids are only 1 of over 100 compounds that can be found in cannabis, however it lacks the psychoactive properties that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) possesses.

Another way to describe this is that you won’t get ‘high’ from CBD. It’s simply an extract from the cannabis plant, and is known for its healing properties for things like pain relief and anxiety. These traits make for a very appealing option for athletes who are looking to recover better, ease their sore muscles after a workout, treat chronic pain and even help them to relax about a big sporting event that’s coming up they’re involved in.

Types of CBD products and How They Work

There are a number of products out there on the market today. This allows people to tailor their use of CBD depending on what they’re tending to. The most common forms of CBD that can be found out there are:

Oils & Tinctures
These are infused with CBD and are used by placing a couple of drops from the dropper under the tongue and holding it there for a minimum of 60 seconds before swallowing. These liquids tend to get absorbed quickly and can start to take effect anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour after being used.

There is still a lot of talk around vaping and whether it is safe for you and your lung tissue. So proceeding with caution on this option is advised. This way is typically known as the fastest way to feel the effects of the substance and is like an E-cig for CBD. Inhaling vaporized CBD compounds go directly from the lungs into the bloodstream and this is why it takes affect so quickly.

Creams and Lotions
CBD infused creams and lotions are used to treat muscle and joint pain, they’ve also been found to heal wounds and treat some skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and severe itching.

One of the more popular ways to take the dosage of CBD is through edible snacks such as gummies. The main reasons for this option being so popular is down to how tasty and affordable they are as well as the fact you know exactly how much you’re taking.

Pills and Capsules

Mainly used to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders, but unlike oils and tinctures, the pills and capsules can take a little while to kick in due to the ingestion process.

Athletes Who Use CBD

Nate Diaz – a professional MMA fighter who casually started using a CBD vaporizer in the middle of his post-fight press conference at UFC 202 back in 2016 and has been a regular user ever since. This stunt helped throw CBD into the media spotlight before it actually became legal about 2 years later.

Gina Mazany – another professional MMA and UFC fighter who was heavily involved in pushing the World Anti-Doping Agency to lift their ban on the substance which enabled professional athletes to start using CBD.

Eddie Hall – famously known for being England’s strongest man and winning The World’s Strongest Man championship back in 2017. Eddie has been raising the awareness around CBD and backing the supplements well-being and recovery abilities.

Megan Rapinoe – USA’s soccer superstar. Megan was introduced to CBD by her sister Rachael and has since become a brand ambassador, backing the natural remedy claiming it to be a healthier pain management supplement compared to the usual accessible medicines, as well as being able to help with sleep, relaxation and general recovery.

Are There Any Risks?

CBD is generally known to be safe and well tolerated. However, everyone is different and there can be some side effects that occur.

Studies found that the below side effects occurred in some people:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight variation
  • Diarrhea

Another thing to consider before CBD usage is if you take other medication, as there could be an interaction between the two supplements. This could cause the current medicine to be less effective or in worse cases, an unhealthy reaction.

The Science Behind CBD

The science behind CBD is a little complicated. There’s reason to believe that CBD has hit the market without the extensive research that is required to support the product and the capabilities that it has. There’s a ton of athletes and ex athletes who sing the praises of the compound, but there’s no definitive research behind CBD and athletes as such.

Scientists believe CBD is something to help with chronic pain and inflammation, but the research behind the best way to deliver the substance and what dose to take is still a bit of a mystery. This is because most of the research that has been done was with cells in a lab or on lab animals, and these results don’t necessarily transfer over accurately to people. However, the large numbers of both athletes and none athletes’ who are seeing anecdotal benefits is ever growing and hard to ignore.