What is CBD? Can it have a positive impact on your health? Why do athletes use it?
A quick primer on what we know.
Please note: the medical properties of CBD are not officially recognised, and we do not by any means suggest that they can help treat or cure diseases or ailments. We are simply summarising current research on the topic.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments. CBD is one of the many compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. This plant is known widely for its recreative purposes, but it is actually also used for hundreds of different purposes: like making paper and clothes, as health supplements, skincare products, etc (source).
So when we talk about CBD, we are talking about hemp plants that contain less than 0.2% THC and that have been selected to yield higher amounts of cannabidiol.
CBD flowers and oils are gaining momentum as health supplements, because they may have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without any psychoactive effects (source).
Many professional athletes, from runners to basketball players, have been using and enjoying CBD to relieve pain and muscle fatigue. CBD also contains high levels of antioxidants that may help boost the immune system.
CBD, A STEPPING FORWARD WONDER HERB?
Medical research suggests CBD is a wonder herb to help, on a daily basis, with the treatment of both physical and non physical disorders. CBD flowers and oils have been used for a wide variety of health issues, but the most remarkable scientific research shows it has a positive impact in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes like the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Recently, the FDA approved the first ever medicine derived from cannabis to treat these conditions, and guess what: it contains CBD.
ANXIETY, INSOMNIA & PAIN – NO MORE?
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety. Studies like this large scale case study by health researchers suggest that regular CBD intakes help reduce anxiety and improve sleep in more than half of experiments! Results began to show within just a few weeks and show that both falling asleep and staying asleep become easier.
Another celebrated use is CBD for pain relief. CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. Some studies show improvements on arthritis after applying CBD balms on the skin. Others demonstrate that ingesting CBD, for instance as an oil, can help inhibit inflammatory pain.
WHAT THE ATHLETES SAY ABOUT CBD FOR PAIN RELIEF
CBD was explicitly authorised by the world anti-doping agency in late 2017. This means that professional sports players and athletes can use CBD to relieve pain and muscle tension, and that’s a great step, because unlike prescription drugs, CBD has not been found to be addictive. It was stated explicitely by the World Health Organisation in 2017: “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.
Some athletes publicly endorse the use of CBD flowers and oils to help them before and after performances. For instance, Brock Cannon, who does ultra running (anything longer than a marathon), says he found “drastic relief” for his knee pain thanks to CBD oil. Another example: triathlete Juddith Hagger declared that she would use CBD as a muscle relaxant after intense training sessions. She also noted: “I also found my sleep improved massively – I was able to really relax and recover through deeper sleep.”
Many pro basketball players have also been enjoying the benefits of CBD, since it was taken off the list of prohibited substances in 2018. NBA players use it after games to relax and reduce inflammation from the effort.