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Why do athletes use CBD?



A number of famous athletes have spoken about using CBD

The use of CBD by athletes is increasing due to studies showing that it can benefit the human body.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency allowed CBD to be used by sports professionals after recognising its beneficial effects. However, it is still recommended that CBD products are not used before any competitions in case traces jeopardise their career with anti-doping regulation violations.

Through lotions, capsules and droplets, many athletes are now using the remedy to increase performance and optimise the body’s recovery. Here, Cannabis Health explains the effect CBD can have on athletes. 

Strengthen the immune system

According to research, CBD can act as an immunosuppressant by reducing the immune system’s inflammatory responses and preventing rapid cell growth. Although this sounds like a negative, CBD’s nature may be able to help deal with hyperactive immune systems that often attack themselves. By strengthening cells, the athlete’s body will become more resistant to stress and infection.

Anxiety reduction

No matter the level of the athlete, everyone will encounter anxiety and stress during training and competing, which can have an effect on motivation. CBD can help the body to relax by increasing the rate that Anandamide is produced. It is proven to reduce anxiety symptoms and limit the stress response to working out. 

Enhanced recovery

Athletes will often experience wear and tear and, as it is well known that CBD offers pain relief, many are turning to the remedy to counter this. During muscle damage and injuries, CBD can speed up recovery by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the function of immune tissues. By activating this system, it can help to soothe sore muscles and calm the nerves in the body, so they repair at a quicker rate. 

Help to sleep and relax

It has been widely reported that CBD can be useful when struggling to relax. As sleep is an important time for the body to recover, this can help athletes rest on a night and therefore achieve optimum results during training. 

Increased endurance

A study has found that CBD can lead to increased endurance. The substance could help to boost endorphins while an athlete is working out by balancing the endocannabinoid system and offer a ‘runner’s high’. This is a huge athletic advantage for those training, but struggling with motivation.

Increased muscle gain

CBD is known to speed up the recuperation of your body and can help muscles to grow. The products can benefit those who are power building through an enhanced recovery process and, by preventing inflammation, muscle mass will expand a lot faster without putting the body under too much stress. 

It’s also been found that the anti-catabolic properties of CBD ensure athletes can build muscle more steadily without injury and with reduced pain. 

Controlled weight gain

Some studies have shown that CBD can boost metabolism while reducing the amount of body fat and appetite, while others show an increase in appetite. This could be useful for athletes who are ‘bulking’ to increase muscle mass or those who need to improve their eating habits.

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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