In recent years, CBD has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity. It has steadily entered the mainstream for a few decades, but following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp on a federal level, there has been a CBD boom. This includes the athletics world. CBD topical cream for athletes is almost commonplace these days, but why?
As it turns out, CBD could be used to enhance athletic performance. There are many reasons to use CBD in sport, including assisting with injuries, boosting energy, and more. This comprehensive article covers everything there is to know about using CBD in sport.
Let’s take a deep dive into CBD and athletic performance.
Why Use CBD For Athletic Performance?
There are lots of reasons why athletes are using CBD. If you don’t know, CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating compound that has a myriad of potential health benefits. Some of these benefits are particularly valuable for athletes, who push their bodies to the maximum on an almost daily basis.
Below are some of the main reasons why athletes are using CBD:
Pain Reduction And An Alternative To Opioids
It’s common for sportspeople to experience pain. Whether it’s delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or minor injuries, pain is a sensation with which all athletes are familiar. Pain is often a helpful sign that you’re pushing your body too far and that it needs to recover. But sometimes, athletes need a way around minor chronic pain. It’s part of the job description.
Typically, athletes are prescribed NSAIDs or opioids. Both can be detrimental with long-term use. However, many are now finding that CBD ointment for pain is a viable option for those with minor injuries.
In 2020, a review of studies suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory potential, which can also reduce pain. The review also mentioned that CBD could help with skeletal injuries.
Other research has noted that CBD can help individuals manage pain and inflammation, reducing the swelling often associated with athletic injuries.
Contrary to opioids and NSAIDs, the World Health Organization says that CBD has a very low potential for misuse and dependence. Therefore, it may be better for athletes seeking to treat frequent injuries.
Notably, many researchers conclude their papers by stating that more studies are necessary. While plenty of research now exists on CBD for pain, there are few human clinical trials and even fewer studies explicitly looking at athletes. While initial data is promising, it may be some time before we know for sure.
Getting enough sleep is essential to athletic performance. Sleep not only improves energy levels but also helps the body to heal.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that athletes who consume CBD get more restful sleep, which may, in turn, improve their athletic abilities.
The science behind CBD and sleep is still being studied. Some research indicates that CBD itself can regulate the sleep-wake cycle, while other papers state that CBD improves sleep by reducing other symptoms like pain and anxiety. Both of these factors can prevent restful sleep.
While scientists debate the precise causes, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that CBD can improve sleep length and quality. For athletes, a good night’s rest could give them the edge over other highly skilled competitors.
Energy And Focus
Following on from the sleep studies, some people have suggested that CBD can promote energy and wakefulness. There are very few studies on this, so the research is unclear. However, many CBD users reported feeling more alert and focused after taking their morning supplements. In fact, this idea is so rife that many people add their CBD to their morning coffee or pre-workout shake.
There may be some reasons why CBD appears to enhance focus. For one, it may act as an anxiolytic, reducing anxiety. This reduction in feelings of nervousness may improve focus, particularly when facing a daunting task such as playing in a professional football match or competing in a race.
There are plenty of other potential explanations, but this seems one of the most likely. Again, it’s necessary to await more scientific confirmation on CBD and its relation to focus and energy.
Many Athletes Are Choosing CBD Topicals: Here’s Why
There are many ways to use cannabidiol, including oils and topicals. CBD cream for athletes, in particular, is taking off. But why are professional sportspeople turning to creams over other consumption methods?
Convenient For Carrying On The Go
First of all, CBD creams are easy to toss into a gym bag and carry on the go. Unlike gummies and capsules, there’s no potential risk of melting, and unlike oils, they’re less likely to leak and cause a mess.
Plus, many creams come in small travel sizes, perfect for carrying around. It means that athletes can apply a dollop of CBD topical cream whenever they need it, including during an arduous day of training.
Better For Targeting A Specific Area
Even better, topicals are perfect for targeting a specific area. When a user consumes CBD orally, it goes through the digestive system and can impact the whole body. A CBD topical, like creams, however, affect only the area they are applied to.
Therefore, CBD salve for pain can take action quickly. Say a runner has a knee that’s giving them trouble during training. All they need to do is apply a small amount of CBD-infused salve to the affected area, and they’re good to go.
Can Be More Effective For Injuries
Similarly, topicals may be more effective for injuries because they have a pretty high bioavailability. At the very least, less CBD is lost to the digestive system. All of the CBD from the topical works on one localized area rather than being spread out through the body.
When aiming to reduce pain and treat athletic injuries, this can be a key factor when using a CBD topical..
Can Athletes Use CBD?
Many athletes wonder if they are allowed to use CBD when competing. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the prohibited substances list. As a result, it is permitted in many competitions. In fact, MMA even has CBD endorsements nowadays.
That said, some major sports leagues still ban the use of CBD. It’s essential to check with your league before taking CBD, as the rules may vary.
Final Thoughts: Why Using A CBD Muscle Rub Can Benefit Athletic Performance
CBD muscle rubs can potentially improve athletic performance in a number of ways. Many CBD creams for athletes contain added ingredients like menthol and arnica, which can simultaneously reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. With a double whammy of ingredients, it’s no wonder athletes are turning to such creams for injury relief.
Thanks to CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory effects – alongside its other benefits like anxiety relief – it could provide athletes with a slight edge over their competitors.
That said, it’s always vital to buy from a reputable brand and ensure that any sports leagues you compete in permit CBD.