Even the top athletes in the world can feel tired and sore after difficult training sessions or strenuous competitions. This is because the body's natural way of building itself up is to first tear itself down. Top athletes know how to walk the line between healthy strain and debilitating damage to the body, thanks to expert guidance.
But recovery is a major factor to success. So let’s take a closer look at why and how CBD for athletes has become a preferred tool to help bodies that have been put through the wringer.
Pain as a Way of Life
Muscles become sore, and joints ache when you push your body to the limit.
For as long as athletes have gone the extra mile, they have sought relief from these inevitable discomforts. They know these feelings are only temporary and a sign of progress in some cases. But rolling out of bed the next day and struggling to keep up is no one’s idea of a good time. And it’s impossible to perform to your full potential in this state.
Delayed onset muscle soreness only lasts a couple of days. But minor joint and muscle injuries can take longer to heal. Add to that; many professional athletes play through the pain of endless strains and sprains. In other words, they may not have the chance to simply rest and let the injury heal.
In some cases, they constantly aggravate the problem area. That’s especially true among players who play multiple games per week, such as those in the NBA, MLB, and NHL.
Amateur athletes may have the option to sit out of their next game or skip a training session. But no one wants to ride the pine over a tweaked ankle or a pulled hammy.
So athletes at all levels are looking for ways to train harder and stay in the game.
Is CBD for Athletes a Good Choice?
Thanks to recent rulings by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), products containing CBD (cannabidiol) have been removed from their lists of prohibited substances. Major sports governing bodies like the NFL and MLB have also started to revise their policies on cannabis and its derivatives.
This clears many athletes to use CBD products during training and competition.
Athletes are trying CBD for a wide variety of reasons, and many report positive results. Perhaps most commonly, active people use products containing CBD for recovery after tough training sessions. More research is needed for us to truly understand what CBD oil benefits exist for people in sports. For now, we can only rely on the feedback of individuals and wait patiently for the science to catch up.
Then there’s the question of whether athletes should use CBD before or after workout sessions. The answer depends on your goals and your preferred method for using CBD with your exercise routine.
What’s the Best CBD for Athletes?
This is a loaded question. That’s because CBD, or cannabidiol, is just a single substance. Isolated from everything else, CBD is just CBD – nothing more, nothing less.
The more appropriate question is, “What are the best CBD products for athletes?”
First of all, many athletes prefer to avoid CBD products that contain THC – the compound known to give marijuana users a “high.” THC is still a banned substance under many policies, including those set forth by WADA. And since all full spectrum hemp extract products contain small amounts of THC, they’re not suitable for many athletes.
Instead, the best products with CBD oil for athletes are those that contain non-THC* broad spectrum extracts from hemp.
But there are numerous options for athletes. So let’s break down a few of the most common CBD product types and how they can be useful for people who train and compete their hardest.
Oral CBD Oil Products
CBD tinctures, capsules, gummies, and infused drinks fall into this category. Most take at least two hours to reach your bloodstream, so you wouldn’t use them to feel immediate effects.
However, CBD oil tinctures can work a little differently. If you’re putting the oil directly in your mouth, you should hold it under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. This allows some of the CBD to absorb into your bloodstream through the small blood vessels under your tongue.
Athletes usually use oral CBD oil products as an overall wellness supplement. But there are some specialty sleep formulas that are used differently.
CBD Sleep Formulas with Melatonin
Good sleep is critical for everyone, especially athletes. In fact, active people need significantly more sleep than those who live more sedentary lives. That’s because the body handles a lot of repair work while you slumber. In other words, sleep is one of the ultimate recovery tools.
Pain Relief Topicals with CBD
Pain relief topicals that combine long-trusted temporary pain relievers like menthol, lidocaine, and histamine dihydrochloride with CBD have become particularly popular. Unlike oral products, topicals can go directly on the sore, achy areas.
As we discussed earlier, pain is unavoidable for athletes. Minor strains, sprains, tweaks, and general muscle soreness are just part of life for anyone who works their body hard. As a result, temporary pain relief can be particularly valuable during training sessions and competition.
CBD Bath Bombs
CBD bath bombs are used like any other bath bomb. You simply drop them into a warm bath, let them dissolve, and soak in all the goodness.
Bath bombs may sound like a “glass of wine and Adele” kind of thing. But athletes, including professional fighters, love the way bath bombs help provide deep muscle relaxation after strenuous training sessions or competition.
CBD and Athletes in the Future
CBD is currently a major focus for researchers, so we’ll likely learn more about CBD’s benefits in the next few years.
And CBD for athletes has also become a point of interest for physicians and the governing bodies of major sports.
As we learn more, CBD will likely take a larger role in the rest, recovery, and general health routines of athletes – professionals and amateurs alike. And specialized supplements for fitness that contain CBD and other ingredients are likely on the horizon.