Athletes are almost always in pain. And depending on the type of sport involved in, certain athlete’s pain levels can be too much to tolerate without some form of therapeutic or medicinal intervention.
It’s not uncommon for athletes to take NSAIDs and sometimes even opioids to manage their pain. They may also participate in regular bouts of physical therapy or sports training to effectively manage their pain and keep their range of motion in check.
But the pain can continue long after the season is over. Even during the off-season, athletes may continue to feel some level of discomfort. After all, the training doesn’t end on the last day. Training will typically continue for athletes to stay in shape and maintain their level of performance so that when the first day of the following season arrives, they’re ready for it.
Cannabis oil has long been used as an alternative to conventional pain medication, though it has been traditionally met with criticism and objection. But study after study on the effects of cannabinoids on the body have continued to strengthen the argument that cannabis compounds are an effective, natural, and safe alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.
In particular, CBD has been shown to have incredible effects on the body. The symptoms that this specific cannabinoid can alleviate are far-reaching, including pain.
Although research on CBD has been somewhat slow to gather because of the federal government’s stance that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, researchers based in the US are having a bit of a challenge obtaining funds to support ongoing studies. That said, other countries that have adopted cannabis and its research are pointing to this plant and its derivatives as a phenomenon in the world of medicine.
But even though cannabis and anything derived from it are considered federally illegal, athletes can still gain access to CBD for pain management without fear of repercussions. Just recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned substances list. Thanks to such a monumental change, many athletes are turning to CBD instead of traditional pharmaceuticals for their pain, even during the off-season.
How Does CBD Work to Alleviate Pain in Athletes?
Whether from injury, chronic overuse, inflammation, or any other source, pain in athletes is widespread. But thanks to innovations on the study of cannabis and its derivatives – including the non-psychoactive CBD – athletes can safely take CBD and experience powerful effects that rival some of the more popular medications out there.
There is plenty of evidence that suggests that CBD can be effective for reducing pain, and many athletes who have already incorporated the use of CBD already know what it can do for them. Some professional athletes – like MMA fighter Nate Diaz and NFLer Derrick Morgan – have even come out in public to tout the benefits of using CBD over any other type of substance for pain mitigation.
Some studies have even suggested that CBD may serve as a neuroprotectant, which means it may have the ability to protect the brain from traumatic injury from extreme contact. By acting as a neuroprotectant, athletes in contact sports may be able to protect their brains from the damaging effects of concussions by incorporating CBD into their regimens, both on and off the field.
CBD’s ability to relieve pain in athletes stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body. This particular system is tasked with regulating the body’s response to a number of stressors. Among these responses includes pain and inflammation, which are common symptoms that athletes tend to experience as a result of vigorous physical demands.
The ECS is made up of some receptors located throughout the body. Its naturally-produced endocannabinoids interact with these receptors to initiate an appropriate response to stressors. In turn, symptoms such as pain can be alleviated.
CBD can mimic the effect that these endocannabinoids have with the receptors of the ECS. But rather than directly binding to these receptors and activating them – which is what the psychoactive cannabinoid THC does – CBD only interacts with these receptors without actually binding to them. As such, the appropriate response is initiated without causing the user to get high.
Like any other supplement, athletes are encouraged to do a little research on the CBD product they intend to buy. Before making a purchase, it’s important for consumers to ensure they’re buying from a reputable CBD oil manufacturer that is completely transparent about their products.
Further, each product should have clear labels that stipulate precisely what the CBD hemp concentration is and whether or not any THC is present. Finally, consumers should make sure that the product they purchase comes with a third-party lab result that will outline important factors such as potency, pesticides, and residues.