Did you know that marijuana is not just for stoners and potheads? That’s right, weed is not only for those folks determined to get high but also for athletes who want to greatly boost their performance on the field. It also has other benefits that can contribute to the longevity of their careers in sports.
A Brief Introduction to CBD
The substances in the cannabis plant that are known to have therapeutic effects are called cannabinoids. They work by mimicking naturally occurring compounds in our bodies known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids manage communications between the cells, and when there is a deficiency in these substances, physical complications may occur. There are at least 85 active cannabinoids, many of which are known to have therapeutic value.
The cannabinoid that is responsible for giving the marijuana plant its ability to produce a euphoric high is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. In order to study the medical effects of cannabinoids without giving test subjects an unwanted high, a strain of marijuana plant was created with low THC levels.
Cannabidiol or CBD is derived from these marijuana plants with a THC content of less than 1%. CBD, which makes up as much as 40% of the cannabis extracts, has long been legal because it’s non-psychotropic. This basically means you can’t get high when taking it. You can also take it in high doses without suffering any unwanted psychological side effects.
In fact, CBD extracts are available as oils, allowing many people to enjoy their health benefits without having to take marijuana the “usual” way (by smoking it). This is of particular importance to athletes who want to take advantage of what CBD can offer without the risk of being labeled a pothead and compromising their careers. For a good overview of CBD oils currently on the market check out our article here: https://www.anabolichealth.com/cbd-oil-for-sale/
Here are some of the ways in which CBD can benefit athletes:
CBD Can Help Treat Chronic Pain
Pain is a reality that athletes have to deal with on a daily basis since they put their bodies under so much stress. They constantly face the risk of injuries such as broken bones and torn ligaments, as well as the possibility of chronic pain and resulting premature end of their careers.
Typically, athletes turn to heavy painkillers such as opiates in order to manage chronic pain. However, these drugs can lead to abuse and addiction in the worst case scenario, thus are always a great risk.
CBD has emerged as a much safer alternative. Studies have shown that CBD may block chronic pain without the body developing a tolerance for it over time.
CBD Can Help Alleviate Sleep Disorders
One of the most effective and accessible ways in which athletes can maintain peak performance is by getting enough sleep. However, that’s easier said than done as their high-stress lifestyles could make it difficult for them to get a good night’s rest.
One-third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. Insufficient sleep is associated with a higher risk of developing conditions such as type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and depression. Studies indicate that CBD may be helpful for treating insomnia and has therapeutic potential for other sleep disorders such as excessive sleepiness during the day and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
CBD Can Suppress Cortisol
CBD may also help athletes deal with stress by suppressing the secretion of cortisol. Cortisol is known as one of the most powerful “stress hormones” in the body, released as part of the physiological response to stress. Its effects include muscle tension, increased blood pressure, frequent respiration, and elevated heart rate. All of these changes can take a heavy toll on the body if left uncontrolled.
CBD Can Help Reduce Appetite
Ask any athlete what is one of the most difficult things about being in training, and they will tell you it is maintaining a healthy diet. Luckily, CBD may be able to suppress appetite to help you eat less. A study found that rats that were treated with a number of cannabinoids including cannabidiol and cannabinol (CBN) experienced opposite effects on their feeding habits. CBN increased the subjects’ appetite while CBD reduced total consumption of food during the test period. In other words, this cannabinoid has great potential to become the next breakthrough in obesity treatment.
CBD Can Reduce Your Risk for Type-2 Diabetes
Many athletes find it difficult to maintain their ideal weight because the body continues to store fat. One common factor causing this is insulin resistance, which means your body is no longer able to effectively use insulin to guide glucose into your cells. Glucose is used to generate energy, but excess glucose is stored in the body as fat.
When you are insulin-resistant, your body ends up producing more insulin to compensate for the hormone’s ineffectiveness. However, this just makes the resistance worse, and you end up being with constantly elevated blood glucose levels. Over time, this would result in the development of type-2 diabetes. CBD and other cannabinoids may help in decreasing fasting insulin levels, thus improving insulin resistance and reducing the risk of diabetes. Additionally, the same study revealed a connection between cannabinoids and smaller waist circumference.
How to Take CBD Oil
One of the biggest issues with CBD is that the body absorbs only a small part of it. Studies have shown, however, that taking it with low-chain triglycerides such as coconut oil can greatly enhance its bioavailability.
The most common way to take CBD oil is orally. You can ensure that it would be absorbed as effectively as possible by placing a bit of CBD oil plus some coconut oil under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing the mixture. This allows the CBD to reach the bloodstream more quickly since it bypasses the digestive system and avoids being broken down.
However, since some people cannot take CBD orally, know that you can also inhale it or apply it topically on the skin. The advantage of inhaling CBD (through vaporization, for instance) is that the lungs offer a larger absorptive area and allow the cannabinoid to reach the bloodstream almost immediately.
You can apply CBD topically in the form of salves and balms. But a topical application is the least effective method since the skin has low permeability, meaning you’ll have to apply it in great amounts to reap the potential health benefits of CBD. Once CBD enters through the pores, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors rather than entering the bloodstream.
Taking CBD helps you enhance your physical performance and dominate your athletic goals. Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to use only high quality CBD oils and take it in the way that ensures you get the most out of it.