Athletes thrive in high-stress environments. This is because stress helps a person to perform better under pressure. At the same time, many athletes struggle under pressure and are unable to perform their best. This is because stress and anxiety can interfere with athletic performance. In this article, we will explore the role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in enhancing an athlete’s performance.
ENDOCannabinoids (ECANS): Endocannabinoids are chemical messengers that act as a signaling system within the body. We have endocannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies that react to cannabinoids such as cannabidiol. The main endocannabinoid receptor is called the CB1 receptor, which is found primarily in the nervous system, reproductive system and digestive tract of mammals.
CBD: Cannabidiol is one of more than 80 different compounds found in hemp plants called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are also known as plant-based receptors or phyto-compounds because they come from plants. There are many unique cannabinoids found only in cannabis and hemp plants including CBD and THC among others. ENDOCannabinoids bind to specific receptors throughout our bodies — notably central and cannabinoid receptors — producing various effects on physiological processes like homeostasis and perception of pain, anxiety, stress, appetite, memory and more
CBD and Sport Performance: The Research
There is a growing body of people who can use cannabis to treat many health-related issues. One of the top health objectives that people are looking to target with cannabis is performance enhancement. There is a growing body of research that suggests the potential use of CBD and other cannabinoids to enhance physical performance. The research is still in its early stages, but the potential applications could be revolutionary. In fact, a major international report released in 2016 found that
CBD might be considered as an Adjunct Treatment to Enhance Recovery and Performance after Sport Trauma.
The report was funded by the Australian Institute of Sport and analyzed the effects of CBD on numerous aspects of recovery and performance. CBD shows promise as a treatment for a number of health issues related to aging and in preventing a number of health problems that can arise in the elderly population.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of nearly 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD is one of many active compounds found in medical cannabis, but it is not the same as the psychoactive THC. CBD is non-psychoactive and is instead used for its medical properties. CBD is one of the most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is a very strong antioxidant and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, and seizures. Some studies even suggest it can be used to treat mental illness and improve memory and cognition. There is a lot of research being done into the uses of CBD as a treatment for a range of health conditions, and more research is being done all the time.
For example, CBD may be used to treat:
- Crohn’s disease
- Metabolic disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
CBD has even been proposed as a treatment for age-related conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Preventing cancer
CBD can also affect the body differently in people based on their age and overall health. As people age, they may experience:
- Lower levels of cannabinoids in the blood
- Less efficient use of cannabinoids
- Possible changes in the body that affect how cannabinoids work in the body
Therefore, CBD can affect people in different ways based on their health and overall age.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays an important role in regulating many physiological functions in the human body, including sleep, mood, memory, pain, and immune function. As we age, the ECS becomes less active, which can negatively affect health. CBD works by activating the ECS, which can help to restore normal functionality. It can also increase the amount of time a person sleeps and decrease the amount of time a person is awake, which can help to improve sleep quality. There are many different strains of cannabis, which can be used to produce different CBD levels.
Why Is CBD Important in Sports?
CBD has been shown to have a number of health benefits when used wisely. However, the main benefit that it can provide for athletes is related to its use in preventing injury and enhancing recovery. Both of these issues can be affected through the use of CBD. CBD can help to reduce the inflammation that is typically caused by strenuous physical activity. This can prevent injury and help to prevent performance declines due to cumulative fatigue. Additionally, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is important in maintaining a normal homeostatic balance between energy “production” and “consumption” during exercise. When the ECS is stimulated, cannabinoids can help to produce energy, while at the same time also helping to “restore” energy that is used during physical activity.
Safety and Side Effects of CBD in Sports
CBD is relatively safe, especially when compared to pharmaceutical medications used to treat the same health issues. There are a few potential side effects that may occur when using CBD in sports. These side effects are usually mild and temporary, and they include changes in appetite, sleep, and pain perception. These effects usually go away after a few days, and they are not usually serious enough to stop CBD use.
When it comes to enhancing performance through the use of CBD, the best strategy is to speak with your doctor about taking it. CBD is relatively new and has not been studied extensively enough for it to be approved as a medication. However, many athletes are using it as a dietary supplement, which can help to prevent injury and enhance recovery. While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done, it looks like it may be a promising natural supplement for athletes.
Healthline – CBD for Athletes: Research, Benefits, and Side Effects (Dec 13,2019) – https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-athletes
CFAH – CBD For Athletes: Does Hemp Oil Help With Athletic Performance? (Jun 28,2022) – https://cfah.org/cbd-for-athletes/