While many sports people are reporting its benefits in aiding recovery, others remain skeptical and reluctant to take the risk – so what is the official consensus on CBD?
Rugby players James Haskell and Dominic Day, footballer Meghan Rapinoe and MMA star Nate Diaz are just a few of the athletes who have spoken out about their use of cannabinoids, or CBD, and the benefits they have experienced.
CBD is one of around 110 known cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD won’t lead to users feeling ‘high’ – which is why many have turned to it as a remedy for conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical ailments and pains.
Its seemingly positive impact on pain is what has led to athletes of all sports turning to CBD to support them through injury and recovery. But, despite its popularity continuing to rise, many are still skeptical over the use of the remedy – so, is it safe for athletes to use, and how exactly can it help?
First and foremost, CBD is not currently listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List and, as a result, is permitted to use in sport. However, all other cannabinoids such as cannabis, marijuana and THC are prohibited in competition due to the receptors activated in the brain which cause a ‘high’.
In terms of the UK Anti-Doping’s position on cannabidiol in sport, it advises that CBD products should be considered in the same way as all other dietary supplements and used at the athlete’s risk.
However, if an athlete did use a CBD product that led to an Adverse Analytical Finding for a prohibited substance, their use of the remedy would not mitigate their fault.
This means that, despite the permitted use of CBD, athletes must still consider the risk of inadvertently ingesting a CBD product that either has a higher THC concentration than expected or contains another cannabinoid that is prohibited.
From excessive training to long roads of recovery when injured, there’s no denying being an athlete is tough on the body – but with proven effects such as weight loss and improved sleep, CBD could be the ideal remedy.
One 2018 review assessed the impact CBD has on relieving chronic pain. The review examined a number of studies, concluding that CBD was effective in overall pain management and didn’t cause any other negative side effects.
In addition, it has been suggested that CBD can speed recovery and fight fatigue – welcome news for athletes suffering from long-term or recurring injuries. When you exercise, stress is put on your body to encourage it to grow. This physical stress leads to increased oxidative damage, which can harm performance and slow recovery if too high. By reducing oxidative damage, it is believed that CBD can help athletes recover faster and perform better.
Even athletes at the top of their game are known to suffer from stress, anxiety and/or depression, all three of which are known as motivational disorders and can deter us from getting active. Research is still ongoing, however several studies so far have shown that CBD may help combat these mental health issues, in turn improving mood and athletic performance.
While it would seem that CBD is safe and unprohibited for athletes to use, it’s important to keep in mind the risk of inadvertently ingesting similar products which aren’t permitted.
Five tips for coping with life after lockdown
As much as many of us can’t wait for life to return to normal, after over year of living with some form of restrictions, it’s normal to be feeling a little bit anxious about life after lockdown.
From March 8 onwards, the UK will start to slowly emerge from lockdown, with schools opening first, followed by non-essential shops and leisure facilities over the coming months.
And while there are things about the return to ‘normal’ that we will all be looking forward to, it’s not unusual to be feeling a little apprehensive, or even anxious, about re-entering society.
Luckily, there are a number of ways you can manage your anxiety – and the sooner you start, the more effective it will be.
Take it slowly
If you’re feeling worried, it’s probably best not to book tickets for a festival or a round-the-world cruise. Instead, aim to maybe meet up with one person at a time, or have a coffee at an outside café. Whatever you choose, it’s best to do something, as the longer you leave it, the worse your anxiety will be.
Keep in touch
While Zoom and text fatigue have definitely set in after 12 months of lockdowns and distancing, now is the time to rekindle some of those connections.
Even if you don’t meet up in person just yet, it can be good to chat through your anxiety with a friend – chances are, they’ll know exactly how you’re feeling.
Try something new
Try to vary your routine so you see different people and situations until you find what you’re comfortable with. Maybe your usual walking route is very busy in the mornings; now the nights are getting lighter, try going out in the early evening.
Trying something different can also break any negative connections you may associate with lockdown; if your local streets were as far as you travelled during lockdown, a walk around a different neighbourhood gives your brain a clear signal that something has changed.
Have a plan
While you can’t control everything, you do have power over some aspects of returning to a more normal life. If you’re feeling worried or anxious about going out, make yourself an action plan of how you’re going to handle it – and how you’ll respond to anything unexpected.
A little extra help
CBD is well known for its calming effects, and many people use it to relieve symptoms of anxiety. Although more research is needed to understand the science behind using CBD as a treatment for anxiety, plenty of people anecdotally report a positive impact on their symptoms. A 2019 Gallup Poll discovered that 37 percent of CBD users take the supplement for anxiety.
CBD is thought to work by changing serotonin signals in the body through the interaction with CB1, a receptor found in the central nervous system.
Low serotonin levels are generally linked with depression, however there is also evidence that it could be a cause of anxiety.
In another study from 2019, researchers gave 300mg of CBD (or a placebo) to 37 Japanese teenagers suffering from social anxiety.
The results found that the group who received CBD experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms and concluded that “the results indicate that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety.”
What are CBD patches and do they work?
Transdermal patches are a relatively new concept in the CBD world but they could be one of the most effective ways to reap the benefits, the team at Hapi Hemp explain.
CBD patches are not just another item on a list nor are they a fad, these patches are not only unique, but they are also smart and incredibly effective.
Even though these patches are extremely simple, the actual ‘how’ is a little more technical, which we explain below.
What are CBD patches?
Transdermal patches may be relatively new in the world of CBD, but the concept has been around for years. They work in a similar way to nicotine or hormonal patches, with a few twists that ensure the patch can effectively deliver CBD into your bloodstream.
The Hapi CBD patch is made from organic hemp extract, taking goodness from this wonderful plant ensuring the full benefits in a THC free transdermal format.
One of the benefits of using CBD patches is the fast delivery of CBD into the bloodstream. The CBD doesn’t have to go through other bodily processes, so you start feeling the effects in a matter of minutes after attaching the patch to your skin.
How do CBD patches work?
CBD patches pass CBD directly into our skin cells. Because our cells are made of lipids, and cannabinoids are also lipids, CBD readily diffuses through our cells, eventually making the way to our blood vessels. In other words, they deliver cannabinoids into your bloodstream through the skin, which allows the CBD to reach your endocannabinoid system, where it binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce a variety of beneficial effects.
The Benefits of CBD Patches
One of the benefits of using our CBD patches is the fast delivery of CBD into the bloodstream.
The CBD doesn’t have to go through any processes throughout the body, so you start feeling the effects within minutes of applying the patch.
There is also the added bonus of CBD activating the skin cells directly (without needing to travel through the blood), which can also be very beneficial for our skin.
CBD patches allow you to target specific areas of the body. For example, if you had a particular area you are thinking to use it, you could apply the patch directly onto that area, so it receives the direct full flow of CBD fast.
CBD patches allow for the steady and consistent delivery of CBD over the course of 24 hours and have the added bonus of a faster intense delivery.
Then the next day simply remove the patch and apply a new one. One day you may decide to apply the CBD patch to your arm, another day you may apply it to your shoulder – the choice is yours and you are in complete control.
Testers who have tried these patches have been surprised at just how effective they are.
One lady said: “The beauty of this is I can put it on where I want, I can stick it on my shoulder one day, then another I can stick it on my foot. I have decided that when I can finally go out I will pop it on my bunion before I put my heels on!”
Beyond efficacy and efficiency, our CBD patches offer one of the easiest and most effective deliveries of CBD.
The Hapi CBD patch comes in three different packs – a Six patch pouch, 18 patch pouch, 30 patch pouch – so you have the option to try first if you wish, however the feedback we have had back from our testers is remarkable.
Order online at www.hapihemp.co.uk
Is it safe to take CBD with other medication?
With potential to ease symptoms in conditions such as fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression and many more, the use of CBD is rapidly rising.
But there’s one resounding question that needs to be taken into consideration before turning to the remedy – is it safe to take with other medication?
Considering the nature of the conditions many medicinal CBD users suffer from – chronic pain, mental health issues and so on – it’s likely they will already be taking prescribed medication to aid their symptoms before branching out into CBD. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the effects these remedies may have on each other.
When you take a medication, your body must metabolise – or break down – the substance. This ‘drug’ metabolism happens throughout various parts of the body, with the gut and liver playing a particularly big part in the breakdown.
In these areas, a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP450) converts foreign substances so they can be easily eliminated from our bodies. However, some medications affect CYP450 by either slowing down or speeding up drug metabolism.
So, what does this mean in relation to CBD? This change in metabolism rate can alter how your body processes the medication or supplements – such as CBD – that you take, causing a drug interaction.
It has been found that CBD can interfere with the CYP450 family of enzymes, meaning the system can’t work as effectively to break down the medications in your system. In reverse, if the medication you are taking inhibits the enzymes, then your body will struggle to process the CBD as effectively.
This lack of breakdown can then lead to more medication in your system than intended – even if you take a recommended dose – or not enough of the medication to combat the health issue.
With this in mind, researchers are working to understand interactions and effects of specific medications and CBD.
For example, a study of 25 children with hard-to-treat epilepsy found that when patients were given both clobazam and CBD, there were elevated levels of the clobazam. This led them to conclude that while taking CBD and clobazam at the same time is safe, it’s important to monitor medication levels and any potential side effects.
Similarly, an investigation into adverse drug events (ADEs) between traditional anti-epileptic drugs and CBD found that the effective does of CBD was mostly well tolerated when co-administered with clobazam, stiripentol or valproate in adults, and that ADEs only occurred in patients for which there was no dosage titration.
Another area to consider before adding CBD to your supplement list is the potential ‘doubling-up’ impact it could have on existing side effects. While generally safe, CBD has been known to cause symptoms such as nausea and drowsiness in some users. Therefore, taking this with medications that cause similar symptoms may lead to an enhanced effect.
Ultimately, the consequences of CBD and drug interactions can depend on many factors, including dosage, age, health conditions and more. So, it’s important to consult your doctor or a medical professional if you intend to try CBD.
From there, your doctor should be able to advise whether it’s safe for you to proceed, whether to alter your dosage, and which product is likely to work best for your needs.
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