February 5, 2023

Many people regularly engage in fitness and workout activities to improve their quality of life. Researchers have found that physical activity directly affects mood and long-term mental health. However, you can also suffer joint and muscle pain after a high-intensity workout, especially if you’re an athlete. 

Although most post-workout aches and pains disappear within a few hours, some can last for days or weeks. These long-term post-workout training effects can adversely affect your quality of life. Luckily, many physicians now prescribe traditional natural remedies like cannabinoids (CBD) to help relieve pain. But how can it help athletes to recover? In the following sections of this article, you’ll learn about how athletes use CBD for recovery in 2022. So, let’s dive in.  

Benefits of CBD For Athletes 

Most athletes take part in competitions. However, participating in sports league drug tests can be a tough challenge using cannabis. Therefore, it’s crucial to detox. But how long does it take for weed to leave the system of an athlete? Getting cannabis out of your system before taking a drug test is essential since it’s a banned substance. Depending on your use, the process may take anywhere from 3 to 30 days. 

CBD, however, is a better choice since many authorities may not ban its use. Many athletes use CBD because it provides several benefits, including: 

Might Provide Pain Relief 

Research has repeatedly shown that cannabis might ‌reduce pain, including musculoskeletal pain, stiff joints, and pain associated with exercise. In case of a sports injury, you can use CBD for pain relief.  

The central nervous system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors are mainly in pain-regulating areas. As pain strikes, they become more active and provide relief. Thus, you’ll be more ready for your next workout or competition. 

Might Reduce Anxiety and Stress 

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD might make it an attractive therapeutic option for athletes in 2022.  

Preclinical studies for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder — OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder — PTSD have found it effective for stress and anxiety. What makes it so appealing is that it doesn’t lead to addiction. 

Might Reduce Inflammation 

Sporting athletes benefit from inflammation, as it stimulates positive adaptations when training. Over-inflammation, however, affects performance in the body and makes it difficult for athletes to recover.  

CBD reduces cytokine—cell messenger production by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Using CBD after a hard training session reduces your immune system’s response. A regular CBD intake might help to reduce inflammation at a systemic level. CBD is up to twenty times more potent at reducing inflammation than ibuprofen.  

Alternative to Anti-inflammatory Drugs 

In the past, taking ibuprofen for treating inflammation was perfectly fine as long as the pills were non-steroidal and bought in a licensed pharmacy. But recent studies demonstrate that these pills may not be as safe as previously assumed.  

Athletes exposed to lengthy training sessions or extreme events risk renal damage from NSAIDs — non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Long-term and frequent use of such medications may also increase the heart attack or stroke risk. The use of CBD by athletes has reduced or eliminated their need for NSAIDs with no measurable side effects. 

What’s the Best Way For Athletes to Take CBD? 

A CBD supplement isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The CBD product depends significantly on what you’re looking for in cannabidiol and your athletic goals. Here are great options for athletes:  

  • Full-Spectrum CBD — Full-spectrum CBD products come from whole hemp extract. As a result, CBD products must include the full spectrum of cannabinoids found in hemp or cannabis.  
  • CBD Isolate — CBD isolates contain nothing but CBD. A CBD isolate is pure and safe for athletes since it lacks THC. Because of this, the products do not have rare cannabinoids, like CBG, CBN, and CBC, which might limit some ‌benefits. 
  • Broad-Spectrum CBD — Broad-spectrum CBD supplements offer athletes the best of both worlds. CBD products typically contain rare cannabinoids and are free of THC, making them a quality broad-spectrum CBD product. Rare cannabinoids, sometimes referred to as the ‘entourage effect,’ increase the therapeutic benefits of CBD. For athletes, using a broad-spectrum CBD product is the best way to harness the benefits of CBD. 

How to Take CBD For Athletes 

The recommended dosage varies widely. The average dose of CBD taken orally is 300 mg, but some have found benefits with as few as 20 mg, a standard amount in CBD supplements for athletes. It’s best to start with small quantities to see how sensitive you are. 

Many recommend taking it orally, but good evidence shows it can be effective when applied topically to sore joints. One 2017 study published in pain reported significantly improved symptoms in rats with osteoarthritis in the same way a rat model of arthritis did in a previous study. 

Although topicals, sublingual oils, ingestible, and vapes are viable administration options, you need to understand how to use them according to your specific circumstances rather than as a universal cure-all. 

Conclusion 

Most athletes use CBD in various types because of the several recovery benefits. In 2022, they are using it for pain relief, reducing stress and anxiety, reducing inflammation, and acting as an alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs. Besides, the dosage also varies as it depends on an individual. Therefore, following these ways to realize your full athletic potential will be helpful.  

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