When a professional athlete gets an injury, they need to healing as fast as possible. They don’t have time to sit around and wait for things to “kick in,” they’ve got a job to do and people to please and dreams to catch. They’ve been working they’re whole life to get to the point they are at, and their body isn’t going to stop you from achieving the height of success.
For the longest time, opioids were the way to go for athletes. But many athletes found themselves fighting addiction or noticing their bodies or minds deteriorating. This year, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided that CBD was okay for athletes to use. Something that many professional athletes have been advocating. Sports injuries no longer have to be a window of opportunity for addiction with this new acceptance of CBD oil in the athletic community.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical we find in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, CBD oil doesn’t give you that euphoric high. CBD does make you feel uplifted with a boost of energy, but more of a runner’s high than a stoner’s high.
CBD is so versatile in our minds and bodies because it interacts with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is in charge of your bodies regulation, also known as homeostasis. When you are about to get hit by a fly ball, the endocannabinoid system is what regulates your fear response, emotional memory, and reflexes for you to comprehend what is happening and what to do.
The Endocannabinoid System regulates your mood and senses through endocannabinoid production. Endocannabinoids are chemicals your brain makes to mediate the electrical conversations between brain cells. Through a process called retrograde signaling, the endocannabinoids travel backward to the sending cell to tell it what needs to be transmitted. This activity is how your endocannabinoid system prevents mental breakdowns, rage that lasts for days, and reduces your sensitivity to pain.
These endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors that are all over your cells. Through the CB1 receptors, your system can control the neurological functions of the body. This control is mainly because the CB1 receptors have been found to be more densely populated in the brain. The CB2 receptors are found all over the body and give the endocannabinoids the ability to help mediate the immune system.
The ECS doesn’t always function the way it’s supposed to. Either through mood disorders, injuries, or physical illness, all can play a part in wrecking your system. This is why CBD oil has been such a hot topic in the medical industry. So many illnesses and disorders can wreak havoc on your Endocannabinoid System, and cannabis helps regulate those abnormalities.
How Can CBD Help Athletes?
Small injuries like a sprained ankle can cause inflammation to develop in the injured area. Inflammation is a healing process that’s necessary. Your brain sees what is going on in that area, and sends fluids to help the healing along. However, sometimes the inflammation can be too much. This can get in the way of recovery and rehabilitation, which is why many people choose to ice their injuries to help the swelling go down.
Using CBD topicals on the affected area can help the swelling die down considerably. Because CBD oil has access to the immune system, it can tell the immune system to stop sending so many warrior immune cells to the injury. This doesn’t stop your healing process or slow it down; it can help it heal faster.
UFC Fighter Nate Diaz during an interview was smoking a CBD vape pen. The reporters asked what he was smoking, and he preached the benefits of CBD and how he uses them before and after fights. During the interview, his face was swollen and beaten with bruises and split open wounds. It would make sense that these fighters are using something that works and doesn’t harm their body.
You can be fighting in the ring or getting your body pummeled by a good defense; your body is going to hurt afterward. Sometimes it’s just an aching body, other times it’s full-blown injuries that could have you down for the count. Vaping CBD can give you relief quickly all throughout your body. This is an excellent method for those athletes who also have rigorous workouts that take so much out of them. For injuries that are more severe in specific areas, CBD topicals can ease the pain while reducing the inflammations swelling.
If you dream of becoming a professional athlete, your body is most likely your temple. You watch what goes in your body down to the chemical ingredients. Your body is your big money maker; you have to take care of it. This means that energy drinks and excessive caffeine use are not an option when it comes to boosting your energy.
Of course, your physical routine and healthy diet give you more energy than the average person, but you also do a lot more activity than the average person. You’re basically a machine at this point taking in the energy and outputting success. For when that isn’t enough, CBD can give you a boost.
The energy isn’t that of caffeine or underground stimulants passed around the gym. This energy is pure and clean. CBD isn’t adding anything to your body; it is making your body work more resourcefully. This means that your body is using the food you eat more efficiently while elevating the chemicals that give you that “runner’s high.” And if you forget to take it, there are no headaches or withdrawals.
More than 1,800 former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the NFL for being negligent with their opioid prescriptions. They felt that the drugs were shoved in their face to keep them on the field, with no alternative option given. They believe that it was wrong to push these pills on them without warning them of the side-effects on the body and risks of addiction.
Opioids were not made to be used for long periods of time. They destroy your body and are incredibly addictive. For severe injuries like your ear just got pulled off in the ring, that would be an excellent time to use opioids while they sewed it back together. But before and after every game, fight, or match? That’s a recipe for addiction and decay.
CBD has no addictive properties at all. This is one of the most attractive qualities you can find in a painkiller. People who take CBD don’t feel thirty times worse the next day like they would with opioids, and the CBD actually helps heal while desensitizing you to pain. Opiates do help in the healing process by inhibiting pain and elevating endorphins. However, studies have shown that you shouldn’t be on these drugs for more than 15 days on average. Some athletes are taking these for months at a time.
For athletes who were sucked in and found themselves addicted, CBD can help with getting clean. Opioids trigger your reward system, which is what makes them so addictive. When you stop taking them, your body begins to crave them thinking it is necessary for survival. By taking CBD, you can curb the cravings and reduce the withdrawals all while treating your pain.
Nausea is common in athletes who are focused on endurance. If you overexert yourself while training or stop your workouts too abruptly, you can find yourself feeling nauseous to the point of vomiting. Some athletes develop gastrointestinal issues that can give them heartburn and make them gassy along with nausea.
When patients that were being treated with chemo went through clinical trials taking CBD, there was evidence that CBD reduces nausea. CBD elevates the endocannabinoid anandamide which binds to the CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor plays a substantial role in nausea by mediating neurological functions. By stimulating CB1 receptors, CBD can reduce nausea.
Muscle Cramps and Spasms
When your muscles cramp, it’s not because you are dehydrated like we once thought. It is actually due to premature fatigue. When your muscles get overworked, their reflexes get messed up and become dysfunctional. Using CBD topicals work very well for muscle spasms. Cannabidiol acts as a muscle relaxer and using topical treatments you can target the problem area.
Breaking bones is almost inevitable in some sports, and when it happens, you’re out for a while. This painful inconvenience can be less time consuming with the help of CBD oil.
When your bone breaks, your body starts to build callus at the end of the fracture. This callus bridges the gap between the two halves and the bone can begin to reform and heal itself. CBD elevates collagen, the proteins that make up the majority of our bones, as well as promoting the activity of callus. In a study with animal models, they found that rats with fractured bones that were treated with CBD healed faster than those who weren’t treated with cannabidiol.
If you are an athlete or just some who likes a good work out, having CBD on hand could prove to be extremely useful. Topicals, e-cigarettes, concentrates, and tinctures can help you treat pain and nausea quickly. For all-day relief, taking edibles, pills, and suppositories can be a constant soothing solution. Be sure to stop by our shop to check out the variety of options we have for you and your athletic injuries.