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Athletic Performance and CBD

Most athletes want to ensure that they are at their peak for every game, meet, match, or whatever terminology fits their sport. But often little things can get in the way of their performance. So, they are often looking for ways to fix those little things. Recently there has been an emerging forerunner on this front: cannabidiol (CBD). CBD products are slowly integrating into traditional athletic supplements, but what are the benefits?

Covering the basics of CBD

If you’ve looked around this website, you can tell that there is a lot to know about CBD. So, before we start getting to the nitty gritty details of CBD for athletes, we should cover the basics. Especially, what exactly CBD is.

CBD is a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. There are over 113 of these compounds in Cannabis plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), is the most known cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychogenic effects associated with cannabis use. CBD, on the other hand, has numerous reported health benefits, but does not create the high associated with THC.  Other compounds such as terpenes are also present in in the Cannabis plant. Terpenes are compounds that give Cannabis its distinct flavor and smell and also has beneficial health effects. Linalool, for example, is a terpene that gives lavender its taste and smell is present in cannabis in low amounts and has been reported to promote relaxation and helping quality of sleep. 

As mentioned above, CBD is found in cannabis plants. Most CBD manufacturers extract CBD from hemp rather than marijuana. This is because hemp has higher levels of CBD and low levels of another well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), making CBD-focused extraction easier.

There are three kinds of CBD extracts. They are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The differences between them are based on how many other cannabinoids and compounds are in the extract. Full-spectrum has the full range of other compounds. It has everything that may come with the CBD in the extraction process. Broad-spectrum is similar to full-spectrum, the difference is that it lacks THC. CBD isolate only has CBD in it, nothing else. It is the “purest” version of CBD available.

How do officials feel about CBD?

This is a fair question to ask, as CBD is extracted from a plant that is often considered a drug. However, it should not be too much of a worry. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is very strict when it comes to all things Cannabis, but has approved the use of CBD for athletes.  There are a few reasons for this.

One of the main reasons why CBD is not banned by the WADA is because CBD has no psychoactive effects. This means that CBD does not create a high. While it may be able to help create a greater sense of calm (we will talk about a little bit more later), it does not intoxicate its users. Though, the WADA does warn that some forms of CBD, like full-spectrum for example, may make you test positive for other banned substances, like THC.

How might CBD help with athletic performance?

There have been a multitude of studies that have been done on CBD. Many of them have findings suggesting various health benefits. These findings have the potential to help athletes with their performance. There are two specific benefits that CBD could offer athletes. These are CBD’s potential to help with inflammation and one’s state of mind.

Inflammation is an issue that can make even basic movements difficult, let alone athletic movements. So, if an athlete is experiencing inflammation, performing may be a near impossible. CBD may be a way for athletes to help reduce inflammation. For example, this study found that CBD was able to help reduce inflammation caused by oxidative stress. This could be a major benefit to many athletes.

The other big potential benefit that CBD may be able to offer is that it may be able to help people achieve a greater sense of calm. This could be helpful for athletes that struggle with jitters before a big game. One particular study found that CBD was able to help calm down mice with chronic anxiety.

These are just a couple of examples of studies that show the potential benefits of CBD for athletes. There are other ways that it may be able benefit its users. So, it may be worth trying.

What kind of CBD product should athletes use?

The answer of this question varies depending on what you are looking for from the CBD. Some are better for overall effects, other for localized. Let’s go over what options are out there and what they may provide.

Oils and tinctures

These are the more traditional routes for CBD. Most of these are CBD in a carrier oil like coconut oil. They can be taken in a few different ways. You can mix a bit of it in with a food or drink or place a couple of drops directly under the tongue.

Soft gels and tablets

These are how they sound. They are CBD products to be taken like a pill. The soft gels are easy to take and start working fairly quickly. Tablets tend to be products that you dissolve under your tongue. These also start working quickly as they entire your bloodstream easier. These tend to be popular with athletes because of the ease of administration.

Edibles

Edibles are probably one of the more popular CBD products. This is because they are versatile. You can find almost any kind of food you can think of with CBD in it. This means that they are easy to take and usually taste good. The one thing to bear in mind is that edibles will take more time to start working than most CBD products. The CBD enters the bloodstream via the digestive tract which provides a slower, but stronger effect. Athletes however are sometimes averse to the extra calories that can come with edibles.

Topicals

These products are things like lotions and cremes. They are good products for more localized uses. This is because the CBD does not spread much beyond where they are first applied. Topicals will not provide the more overall effect that most oral CBD products may have on people.

Once you decide what kind of CBD will work best for what you are looking for, the next thing you need to figure out how much CBD you need to take to get your sought-after effect.

How do I figure out how much to take?

This is a question that takes some time and patience to answer. This is because everyone is different. As a result, not everyone is going to experience CBD in the same way. Some people need high levels of CBD to get the effect that they are looking for. Others require only a little bit. Athletes my require greater doses of CBD due to their fast metabolisms. The most important thing is to avoid any potential side effects that might come from taking too much.

Before we go over how you should figure out how much CBD to take, let’s talk about what to expect from side effects. The side effects are not life threatening, but they are not pleasant to experience. They often include things like nausea and mild fatigue that result from taking too much CBD.  If you want to avoid these side effects, you need to be sure that you are taking the right amount.

It is best to start low and work your way up. Start with a small amount of CBD and see how it sits with you. Depending on the CBD dosage form (e.g. tincture or oral soft gel) you use, it may take a while for it to start working. For example, if you try a CBD edible, you may have to wait for up to an hour to see if the amount you have taken will work. Then, if the amount you take sits well, but still does not provide the effect you are looking for, you can try taking more.

This does not mean that you should take CBD until you feel the side effects. What you should do is once you find the right amount that gives you positive effects without any negative ones, that is when you have found the right amount.

One thing that is important to remember is that CBD may not interact well with some medications. So, if you take medication for something, it is a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting.

CBD offers many potential benefits for a lot of people, including athletes. They have much that they can potentially gain from trying it out. Especially because CBD is not banned by the WADA, not many things can say that.

If you are wanting to learn more about CBD for athletes, you are on the right site. On here you can find articles covering all kinds of CBD related topics. Here are some links if you’re interested in CBD for Yoga or CBD for Golf. You can also find several quality Panacea Life Sciences’ CBD products. There is also a way to contact a member of our team or you can email any comments, questions or concerns to [email protected]