As awareness grows around CBD and its benefits, sports people all over the world have started to use it for its reported benefits on mental and physical health. Athletes that are fed up of prescribed drugs or over-the-counter medicines are turning to CBD as it doesn’t possess any addictive qualities and is naturally derived.
In 2018, for the first time, Cannabidiol (CBD) was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency Banned Substances list. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) provides the standard for athletes that need to be drug tested – so this is a huge step.
In some cases, for athletes such as rugby players and boxers, the reported neuroprotective elements in the medicine can help to protect from long term brain injury, as well as providing pain relief and help with nerves or stress.
Anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD
Whether you play team or individual sports, the rigour of training pushes your body to the limits – especially in contact sports such as boxing, rugby or martial arts. Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself after injury and aches and pains, inflammation, and stiffness can manifest in the body after intensive exercise.
Many athletes will be used to taking ibuprofen to reduce swelling, but taken in high quantities, it can have negative side effects; making you sweaty and jittery, and giving you restless nights. Prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs will also eventually wear on your digestive system.
CBD has known anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat minor aches or even localised pain. Applying CBD creams or oils directly to the body can have immediate anti-inflammatory effects – perfect for headaches due to inflammation, sore muscles, stiffness and aches.
CBD speeds up recovery
Being unable to train and compete because of injury can be frustrating. Although you want to get straight back into the sport, it’s important to take the time out to focus on getting better – in mind and in body.
CBD oil can work to speed up recovery to ensure you’re not out for long and using it alongside physiotherapy or sports massage can have even better results. Sportspeople have reported feeling better after taking CBD or applying it topically to the injured area.
Neuroprotective qualities of CBD
Stress caused by traumatic blows to the head can cause temporary damage, but in some cases, boxers and rugby players suffer from permanent brain damage. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a form of brain damage that athletes can suffer from years after they retire. Initial symptoms include short term memory loss, changes in mood and confusion in the first instance, but as the condition progresses, people with CTE may suffer from slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, tremors and slow movement, as well as becoming aggressive and suicidal.
In contact sports like rugby or boxing, head injury can be a common occurrence, even when protective headwear is used. CBD is able to protect against this damage by stimulating the growth and development of brain neurons.
CBD products for pain relief
If you often have topical or chronic pain as a result of sports injuries, applying CBD creams or oils could prove to be an excellent remedy. It has been proven to reduce spasms in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and also significantly reduces chronic pain in adults.
These effects mean that CBD products have great potential to be used as pain relief products by sportspeople and athletes, applying topically to the affected area for effective pain dissipation. Being pain-free can help athletes to train and compete at a higher standard, while also aiding their mental wellbeing.