Cannabis Health takes a look at some of the famous sporting faces who have publicly voiced their support for CBD.
Several well-known sportsmen and women, from backgrounds as varied as MMA to golf and football, have spoken out about the use of cannabidiol and the benefits they have experienced. In fact, many are now actively working with companies to endorse, and even launch, products.
If it’s good enough for them…
Dominic Day and George Kruis
As professional rugby players, Day and Kruis were no strangers to injury, but after using CBD for their ailments, they realised there wasn’t a product on the market that they could trust – so they decided to create their own.
Day said: “We knew a lot of professional athletes using CBD who would’ve been in same situation as us, so we decided go out and source what we think is the safest product on the market.”
Now, the duo’s company fourfiveCBD offers a range of CBD products, including topical products and supplements, and is stocked in over 130 Boots stores across the UK.
Following defeat at UFC 202 in 2016, Mixed Martial Artist Nate Diaz hit the headlines after using a CBD-infused vape pen at a post-fight press conference. The UFC investigated the move, but he was cleared of all charges, CBD was removed from the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and Diaz continued to vocalise the benefits of CBD use.
MMA fighters regularly suffer from concussion, soreness and inflammation, amongst several other painful ailments and traumas. By addressing all these problems, CBD helps them recover quickly and continue performing at 100 per cent.
Now, Diaz has taken his advocacy for CBD to the next level – partnering with his brother Nick to launch Game Up, which offers a variety of top-quality products.
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe turned heads when she announced she would be sponsored by Mendi, a company focused on making CBD sports recovery products for athletes, which also happened to be chaired by her sister Rachael.
However, the partnership wasn’t solely based on the footballer’s passion for using CBD for recovery – Rapinoe was also keen to ensure female-led brands were represented in the industry.
Discussing her use of CBD, Rapinoe said: “I wanted a healthier, more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, relaxation while flying, and general recovery.
“If this is an industry that is really going to serve everyone, then everyone needs to have a seat at the table.”
After using CBD during his career as an England rugby international, James Haskell has now teamed up with All Blacks star Ben Franks to launch their own CBD brand, Impact Sports.
Discussing the move, and how modern athletes are reacting to the use of CBD, James said: “There’s a lot of confusion and people associate it with getting high. So, in the sporting world, the primary concern by any professional athlete is, ‘will I pass a drugs test?’.
“But there’s an appetite from people to find a substitute to help with the rigors of sport and to deal with the issues on your body. People are reaching out to me all the time now that I’ve launched [Impact Sports]. They want to know, they want to deal with it, they want to test it out – and I think it’s something that is only going to get bigger and bigger.”
Four of the best CBD transdermal products
Ruby Deevoy, picks the best CBD patches and transdermal products for joint and muscle relief.
Cannabis journalist, Ruby Deevoy, picks the best CBD patches and transdermal products for joint and muscle relief.
One of the most common reasons people choose to try CBD is to relieve pain – whether that’s discomfort from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and MS, or temporary muscle aches from an intense workout.
In many cases, with a high quality transdermal product, CBD and whole plant cannabis has been reported by users to have a hugely positive impact on these and many other joint and muscle issues – and the science backs it up.
CBD for arthritis
Both topical and oral CBD has been used in both human and animal model studies to demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Although many people are a little sceptical of how effective topical application can actually be, results from this research has revealed remarkable potential, with one study showing that transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane. This resulted in relief from arthritis pain with no notable side effects.
Interestingly, although THC and CBG (both of which directly activate CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system) are usually found to be more effective on pain than the CBD molecule, when it comes to inflammatory conditions like RA, it’s CBD that stands out.
CBD acts on CB2 receptors, which decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilisation, as well as acting on other receptors involved in pain and inflammation modulation, such as serotonin and capsaicin
Although the International Association for the Study of Pain presidential task force on cannabis and cannabinoid analgesia have expressed that they feel there are still a lack of trials proving that CBD is an effective treatment for pain, other research bodies and anecdotal evidence say different.
CBD for DOMS
DOMS (or, delayed onset muscle soreness) is the proper name for those sometimes debilitating aches and pains many people experience after a workout. Although this pain is generally a good sign, indicating that your muscles are healing, strengthening and growing, it can stop you going about your day and prevent you from smashing it at your next session. Fortunately, CBD can help.
Once again, a large part of this is down to the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, as many studies have shown that CBD can reduce muscle and joint inflammation. In addition, CBD has also been shown to stimulate muscle spasticity and accelerate muscle recovery via transdermal and internal products.
Topical vs Transdermal – what’s the difference?
We previously covered ‘best CBD skincare’, where a number of excellent topical products were listed. This review is specifically looking at transdermal products which, although applied to the skin, contain permeation enhancers in the ingredients to create products that go into the body through the top three layers of the skin. Topicals target the skin, but are not as readily absorbed, so will not be as effective on internal discomfort.
Transdermal CBD products, like muscle balms, gels and patches, have been designed to reach deeper tissues, like your muscles, and even further into your body.
If you’re keen to use products made entirely from natural ingredients, you’ll be pleased to hear that many terpenes naturally present in cannabis can act as permeation enhancers. There’s also certain fatty acids, glycols and over 350 other chemicals that brands can choose to use in their transdermal formulations.
If you’re unsure whether a product is topical or transdermal, don’t be shy to ask the brand you’re buying from. Of course, all the ones listed here are transdermal.
Do CBD patches really work?
CBD patches are an exciting addition to the CBD market, and they can be really effective! Even though they’re new to the CBD industry, they’re not new in pharmaceutical administration, so there are a number of studies explaining how they work and showing that their effects can be comparable to oral dosing, if not more effective.
One mouse model study revealed that a low dose of CBD delivered via a patch (on a knee-joint swelling) provided better absorption than oral administration.
Using a CBD patch allows you to target areas of the body for a slow release, which bypasses ‘first pass metabolism’ – a process that occurs when taking CBD capsules or edibles, where the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before circulating in the body. What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest that transdermal patched prolong the effects of the drug being delivered, with less fluctuation in dose.
Four of the best
Biosportart 2,000mg Gel, £49 biosportart.co.uk
Interestingly, this potent gel is made using citrus-derived CBD, rather than cannabis. I was sceptical at first as an avid advocate for the cannabis plant, but there’s no denying that this is seriously effective – almost like a numbing gel! It’s pricey, but worth it if you’re in a lot of discomfort.
The Tonic CBD Patches, £27/£40, thetonictribe.com
Long-lasting, discrete and great for reducing swelling of inflamed muscles. Patches are ideal for people who are keen on ease of use, aren’t great at remembering to reapply products and aren’t keen on feeling wet or greasy after application! They’re available in two strengths and you can leave them on for up to 36 hours.
Grass & Co Ease Balm, £39.50, grassandco.com
Perfect for post-workout muscle recovery, thanks to 300mg CBD alongside arnica, peppermint, camphor and eucalyptus. Testers found they were able to recover faster after putting their muscles to the test when using this product.
Dermactiva Warming Muscle Cream, £24.99, dermactiva.co.uk
An honorary cannabis seed oil mention! There’s no CBD in this cream, but a Colombian heritage blend of cannabis seed oil, ginger, chilli, horse chestnut and calendula makes for a great product that works particularly well on aching hands.
How CBD may help ease hay fever symptoms
UK pharmacies are reporting a shortage of hay fever medication – could CBD offer an alternative option?
With UK pharmacies reporting a shortage of hay fever medication – could CBD help ease symptoms?
Pharmacies across the UK are reporting a shortage of Chlorphenamine maleate, the active ingredient in commonly used allergy medicines, such as Piriton.
High-street giant Boots, told the BBC on Monday 9 May, that a “small number of lines” are currently out of stock due to an “industry-wide shortage” of the ingredient.
According to the Met Office pollen counts are expected to remain medium to high for the rest of the week.
Boots has said that it still has a number of other medications available to treat hay-fever symptoms, however, if you’re looking for a natural alternative – without some of the side-effects – it could be worth giving CBD a go.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is particularly common at this time of year, as it is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.
While there is no cure or treatment, a number of over-the-counter antihistamines that can help alleviate some of the symptoms – such as Chlorphenamine maleate.
But even when they are available, many of these carry side effects – the most common of which are drowsiness and dry mouth – meaning that many people prefer not to use them during the day.
Some promising studies suggest that the CBD’s beneficial properties could be helpful for hay fever sufferers.
Cannabinoids and allergies
More research is needed, but while there have been no human studies so far, a number of animal studies have shown some positive signs.
A 2013 study gave a number of guinea pigs an antigen to stimulate a contraction in their throat muscles, which can be a common symptom of hay fever. Researchers found that “cannabidiol reduced … airway obstruction”, adding that CBD “may have beneficial effects in the treatment of obstructive airway disorders”.
Two years later, in 2015, another study looked at the link between the mediation of CB1 receptors and mast cells, which are responsible for releasing the histamines that cause the symptoms of hay fever.
Although the results were inconclusive, they suggested that CB1 receptors may mediate the hypersensitivity of the immune system, which in turn could be used to lower histamine levels.
Elsewhere a more recent study found that a synthetic cannabinoid, designed to replicate THC, could prevent peanut allergy, as well as reducing the effects of anaphylactic reactions.
One thing that CBD is well-known for, is its anti-inflammatory properties.
These can prove invaluable during an allergic reaction, working to reduce any swelling or irritation and limiting further histamine production.
In fact, CBD’s interaction with the human endocannabinoid system has been shown to reduce almost all of the most common side effects that accompany an allergic reaction, such as opening airways to make breathing easier, easing nasal pressure and relieving congestion and mucus.
CBD may not be a proven treatment for the prevention of the symptoms of hay fever, but at the very least it can help to ease them – even if just until the shelves are restocked.
CBD without the chemicals – UK retailer launches ‘pure’ cold-pressed oil
The Good Level has launched cold-pressed organic CBD products, made without chemicals.
People who enjoy the purported benefits of CBD can now get their hands on cold-pressed products that don’t use chemicals and are entirely organic.
It’s thanks to the cold-press extraction method, developed by British retailer The Good Level and its partners, that cannabidiol (CBD), from the hemp plant, avoids potentially harmful elements while at the same time delivering the full spectrum of touted benefits.
CBD has exploded in popularity in recent years, and most products are classed as “novel foods“, under UK and European Union regulations. However, because cold-pressed CBD uses the most natural extraction process possible, it is not labelled novel.
An expanding product range now encompasses everything from oils to moisturisers and teas, taken to help a range of ailments, including sleep trouble, anxiety and pains, as well as faster recovery from sports and also skincare, to aid in the reductions of blemishes and wrinkles.
Careful control of hemp, grown in Britain
The Good Level, which operates an online store, as well as a physical shop, in London, created a 5% cold-pressed CBD oil that’s chemical-free and only uses extra-virgin olive oil sourced from various European countries. The company’s hemp comes from a British farm where it’s organically grown without the use of pesticides.
“CBD has been around for thousands of years, in its pure form, in Egypt, India and China,” said Jonny Alberto, co-founder of The Good Level. “What we’re essentially doing is relaunching the product for the modern world.”
The company has a range of educational materials on its website to provide information about CBD and its uses to a public that may have little or no knowledge about the substance and its professed benefits. They conducted a nationwide survey*, of British adults, to find out what people are thinking about CBD. Among its findings were:
- A majority both knew something about CBD products and their claimed benefits (53%) and would be willing to try CBD to help with ailments, sleep and other issues (62%).
- 10% had never heard of CBD while 7% use CBD products and 19% had no opinion.
- Just 4% falsely believed CBD is illegal in the UK.
CBD: A recipe for success
The boom in CBD has led to different ways of using the products, and many people are now adding drops of their favourite CBD oil to various dishes they make, as well as drinks. Popular choices for CBD additions include soups, curries and casseroles, and drops can be mixed in with a salad dressing too, to give an entirely different flavour, and experience.
Drawing inspiration from CBD bars in such places as Los Angeles and Sydney, some are also mixing CBD oil with mocktails — providing the relaxation they need from stressful work days but without the alcohol, or killer hangover. Popular mocktails include Mai Tais, CBD Juleps, Hemp Hot Toddies, Gin and CBD Tonics and lots more non-alcoholic creations to help you unwind.
And, says Alberto, cold-pressed provides the full spectrum of benefits that people seek with quality CBD products, while the company is able to keep an eye on hemp farming because it’s done in the UK and not abroad.
“We’re controlling the quality all the way through, from farming to the extraction process, because that’s what our customers want,” he said.
You can check out The Good Level’s new range of cold pressed CBD products here.
- How THC and CBD work together in the brain – new study
- Four of the best CBD transdermal products
- Grow Pharma launches new low-priced flower range for UK patients
- New grant funds for “life changing” medical cannabis prescriptions in Jersey
- Research to shed light on how UK clinicians view medical cannabis
- Why patients in Europe are accessing medical cannabis
- News2 years ago
Community extends support to cannabis icon Rick Simpson
- News2 years ago
Cancer survivor claims cannabis oil helped her beat brain tumour
- Case Studies2 years ago
CBD oil and fibromyalgia – a case study
- News2 years ago
NHS lines up cannabis medicine manufacturing
- News2 years ago
Living with chronic fatigue – my CBD story
- News1 year ago
UK grants second licence to grow high-THC medical cannabis
- Insight2 years ago
I’ve gone from a wheelchair to walking thanks to cannabis
- Feature2 years ago
Medical cannabis could help long-term effects of COVID-19, says David Nutt