Athletes who participate in extreme and high-impact sports are increasingly turning to CBD to help their body recover.
Extreme sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding and mountain-biking, can be pretty tough on the body.
Those who take part face the risks of injuries ranging from broken bones to bruising, and know that to minimise these risks, they need to look after their bodies.
As a result, many are now turning to cannabidiol to ease their stress, help them focus and improve recovery times.
CBD has become so widely used that skateboarder Tony Hawk, perhaps one of the most famous extreme sportspeople today, has even created his own balm containing the remedy.
So, just how can CBD help extreme athletes?
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are well received by a growing number of athletes who swear by balms, lotions and oils for the positive effect on recovery and inflammation.
Many studies have shown that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, as cannabinoids bind to existing CB2 receptors in the body, which may reduce cytokine (cell messengers) production.
According to a 2018 review, CBD reduces inflammation and helps improve pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” the review study’s authors wrote.
Aid rest and recovery
Resting allows the body to heal itself, allowing us to recover. However, many athletes and extreme sportspeople don’t have the time to recover, as they may be training long hours daily without taking time off to heal.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help speed up the recovery process from overexertion, while its overall regulatory effects may offer more widespread recovery by promoting homeostasis.
Helping to focus
Key to avoiding injury, especially when it comes to extreme sports, is concentration.
While cannabis – which contains high levels of the psychoactive THC – has been associated with impaired cognitive function, studies have found that the use of CBD oil can actually help improve cognition.
Despite all the protective gear, any extreme sport can give rise to the risk of concussion, temporary unconsciousness or confusion caused by a blow to the head.
While more research is needed, early findings show that cannabidiol may help prevent the more serious impacts of a concussion by regulating the neurological function that can become damaged by this type of event.
Furthermore, it can also potentially help with the other symptoms, including pain.
Muscle spasms can be a common occurrence after training, as overuse of the muscles can cause the tissue to spasm uncontrollably.
Research in animals has found that CBD may help to reduce these spasms, with studies showing that it offers unique antispasmodic properties in mice.
CBD is available in many forms, and extreme sportspeople looking to try it may need to consider which method of delivery would be best.
Edibles, such as gummies, take longer to have an effect, but may be more long-lasting, while oils and tinctures could offer a quicker fix.
Creams and balms, on the other hand, may be more useful to target muscle tightness and pain, as they work immediately on the source of the pain, as well as often being combined with other soothing ingredients such as menthol.
With CBD becoming more popular among athletes and sportspeople, it appears that those at the extreme end are also becoming more aware of its advantages.
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