With the rise of the “weed generation” comes a new understanding of the role certain cannabinoids can play in recovery, and in the treatment of pain and inflammation…
If you walked down any major metropolitan street just a decade ago and asked the average person if they had heard of CBD, you would most likely have been met with some confused faces. But, with the slow rollout of both medicinal and recreational cannabis into many states in the past couple of years, the general public is starting to clue into not only weed but also the cannabinoids themselves.
And sure, while most people would struggle to name more than the main three – THC, CDB, and CBN – (even though we have now isolated over one hundred separate cannabinoids), this huge shift has brought with it an understanding that weed and its derivatives can be useful to more than just your average stoner. In fact, top sports stars from multiple sporting codes are now openly using and advocating certain products, most of which are CBD based as THC remains on the banned substance list.
So what benefits, if any, would CBD products offer to sportsmen and women?
Well, in terms of peer-reviewed studies with conclusive evidence, these are unfortunately few and far between (mostly thanks to the almost century-long federal ban). As the cultural and political landscape shifts, so does access to high-quality cannabis for these studies to take place.
There are some preliminary studies out there showing a range of positives related to CBD as a therapeutic. These studies have had a wide-ranging focus, from the treatment and reduction of both pain and inflammation, to anxiety and depression treatment, the reduction of seizure-based illnesses, and help in treating addicts in recovery.
Most sports people that use CBD do so to help with recovery. CBD, unlike THC, has zero psychoactive properties which is one of the main reasons why it is allowed to be used by athletes in competition.
Are there any side effects that athletes should look out for?
Athlete or not, CBD (just like any treatment option) does come with a few side effects to be aware of, but these are pretty limited and not as severe as most other therapeutic options. They include:
- Gut irritation
- Dry Mouth
- A reduction or increase in appetite, and cravings for unhealthy food options
- General fatigue
Although CBD is on the approved list of supplements for almost all major sports, competitors that are subject to drug testing should be very careful. While CBD itself will not cause a failure for any drug testing scheme, there are multiple reports of athletes failing drug tests after using tainted CBD products. If you are not 100% sure that what you have in front of you is a certified CBD isolate then it is probably best to steer clear, especially if you are an athlete that is undergoing testing.
Your other option (if you live in an area where cannabis cultivation is legal) is to grow your own. Cannabis genetics have come a long way in the last 5 years, and these days it is possible to get certified autoflower seeds that contain high levels of CBD with THC production lower than 1%. Autoflowers are perfect for anyone new to growing weed, with the whole process taking less than 10 weeks from seed to harvest.
So, if you are an athlete looking for alternative treatment options for pain or inflammation, there has never been a better time to check out CBD and all it has to offer.