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Exercise-induced endocannabinoids reduce anxiety, says study

Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety in women



Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety

An increase in endocannabinoids circulating in the body after exercise has been found to have psychological benefits in women.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety and fear of threat in women both with and without PTSD.

Researchers believe this is potentially due to the exercise-induced increases in concentrations of endocannabinoids circulating in the body.

Similar to cannabinoids, endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body when it needs them, to keep things functioning well.

While exercise is known to induces changes in mental state and wellbeing, previous findings suggesting an increase in concentrations of endocannabinoids after a work out could be responsible for these changes.

A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US examined the impact of moderate intensity exercise in women with and without a history of trauma and PTSD.

Anxiety and fear ratings to electric shock administration and mood states were measured, as well as circulating concentrations of endocannabinoids following 30 minutes on a treadmill at 70 to 75 percent maximum heart rate. 

Findings revealed that anxiety and fear ratings to ‘predictable and unpredictable threats’ were significantly lower following exercise, compared to rest.

Analysis also indicated that those who saw greater increases in endocannabinoids experienced greater reductions in anxiety and fear.

There were also ‘significant’ reductions in fatigue, confusion, total mood disturbance, and increases in positive affect following exercise for both those with and without PTSD.

Writing in an abstract, the authors stated: “The mechanisms responsible for the anxiolytic effects of exercise are not fully understood, although recent studies suggest a role for the endocannabinoid (eCB) system.”

They concluded: “Results from this study suggest that aerobic exercise exerts psychological benefits in women with PTSD, potentially due to exercise-induced increases in circulating concentrations of eCBs.”

READ MORE  Pro-skateboarder owned performance brand, Just Live to launch CBD sparkling water


Pro-skateboarder owned performance brand, Just Live to launch CBD sparkling water

A professional skateboarder and multiple X Games gold medalist Paul Rodriguez co-founded the brand with NBA, motocross and pro-soccer players.



Pro - skateboarding: A man on a skateboard jumps into the air

Just Live an athlete owned performance CBD brand has partnered with wellness company, Vertical Wellness and canafarma to release a line of sparkling water.

A professional skateboarder and multiple X Games gold medalist Paul Rodriguez co-founded the brand with professional soccer player and World Cup winner, Alex Morgan. They were joined by NBA Championship winner Klay Thompson and motocross competitor Travis Pastrana.

The CBD infused sparkling waters will include flavours such as meyer lemon, cranberry raspberry, lime with mint, clementine, mixed berry and grapefruit. Each drink will contain 25 mg of CBD and are THC and alcohol-free. The launch in late 2021 will focus on six different U.S. markets, with national expansion estimated for 2022.

Smoke Wallin, the CEO of Vertical Wellness said: “There’s no brand out there with this kind of athletic support. I couldn’t be more excited to be introducing Just Live CBD Sparkling Waters with our national distributors to our major retailers and hospitality partners in select markets.”

Pro-skateboarder: A black banner advertising sports CBD oil

Professional skateboarder injury recovery

All of the athletes involved in Just Live have their own CBD experience. Motocross, soccer, basketball and skateboarding can cause a range of injuries especially as an athlete’s career progresses.

Skateboarding in particular can cause high impact blows to the body. While it can cause cuts or scrapes, the most common skateboarding injuries are fractures, especially the wrists. Paul Rodriguez has won countless major professional skateboarding events such as the 2014 X-Games where he took gold in the street event. His first major injury occurred while skating a stair set where his right leg went the opposite way from his body leaving him with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), torn right and left meniscus and a tear in his MCL.

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Following surgery, he chose to replace opioids with CBD before incorporating it into his daily routine as well as professional skateboarding training.

Co-founder Alex Morgan is known for being one of the youngest members of the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team. She won a Gold Olympic Medal against Japan in the Summer Games in 2012 and co-captained the U.S team to victory in the FIFA World Cup 2019.

In a statement on the Just Live site, she says she uses CBD to unwind and also to help with shoulder pain. “I have a convincing experience when I sprained my shoulder and had a match 3 days later. I’ve used CBD on muscle aches and pains ever since. I also have a hard time winding down after a game, and have found that I am able to go to sleep earlier after a game and feel more rested when I have a CBD capsule or tincture following the match.”

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Case Studies

CBD brand created by a Welsh athlete releases report on potential health benefits of CBD

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heroes to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products. 



Welsh: A cbd oil bottle containing yellow oil has a dropper being placed into it

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heros to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products.

The Welsh HTC led by Swansea University Medical School collaborated with Swansea and Ireland based company, Hemp Heros. Hemp Heros was co-founded by  David Hartigan and martial arts athlete John Philips.

The report was the result of several months of research into the benefits of CBD- based products on a range of conditions. These included epilepsy, side effects of chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis (MS), stress and anxiety.

Speaking with Cannabis Health News, Hemp Heros co-founder David Hartigan explains how an interest in martial arts helped him to meet John and start the company.

Athletes and CBD

David said: “It’s a bit of an interesting story how myself and John met. My background is in business consultancy and I’ve always been into martial arts since I was a kid. John asked my brother who is a musician to do some walkout music for UFC. As John was only newly signed at that time, I wondered if he had anyone to help him with marketing and sponsors. I became John’s manager.”

He added: “I started looking at CBD companies because athletes were starting to use it. I thought there was a huge opportunity to get John sponsored by a company. We did get a few samples from different companies but the quality was hit or miss. Even the instructions when you were trying to read it could be confusing.”

John’s first experience with CBD was not actually on himself but his dog, Alfie. When he became ill, John began treating him with CBD after realising that Tramadol was not working. The vet had exhausted all options for treatment but CBD helped him to recover.

David said: “I have an uncle who is a powerlifter and he has a couple of Irish records. He has a number of injuries he started taking CBD for pain and inflammation. At one stage, he couldn’t even change the gear stick in his car but he has much better mobility and pain management now. So between my story, John’s and the lack of transparency in the industry in the market, we decided to try an investigation.”

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David spent six to eight months researching the whole industry speaking to anyone he could about hemp or CBD. He also joined the board for the Irish Hemp Cooperative. They spent months researching everything before finding a supplier to get them started. The brand has now grown from three or four products to over twenty including a successful pet range.

Hemp heros: A man wearing a black t-shirt stands next to a dog

Welsh university study

The brand partnered with Swansea University and are part of the accelerator programme there. They had planned to participate in studies on CBD but unfortunately, COVID hit just as they began to start the studies. The Welsh Accelerate programme aims to create lasting economic value by helping innovators in Wales to translate their ideas into solutions, enabling them to be adopted in health and care.

David explained: “Dr Daniel Rees, who is one of the researchers at Swansea University reached out to us. He had seen our products around the place and wanted to know if we would be interested to do some studies in the life sciences department.”

“The whole idea of the Accelerator programme is to identify potential services or products that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It improves the lives of the end-user. Dan highlighted that very little research was done on CBD in this context. We are passionate about transparency so we really wanted to push the research. However just as we had hoped to start lab tests, COVID hit.”

The COVID situation didn’t force a complete shutdown but changed the direction of the study for the researchers. As the colleges were closed, there were no ways of getting anyone into a lab for testing so David and the team decided to go down the road of research producing a report on the effectiveness of CBD. The initial study paves the way for future research activities around four key pillars: pain, sleep, anxiety, and recovery.

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Lab study to research reports

“What we did was change gears so instead of a lab-based study, we are going to do a more research-based one. We researched the case studies for CBD and hemp-based products along with the history behind them. We looked at different cannabinoids like CBD or CBDA, different terpenes and then unique extraction methods. We went into deep dives on what studies were there for cancer, sleep, inflammation, pain and took them as different pillars. This is what our report contains.”

He added: “We wanted to show some form of evidence for how CBD could possibly work for Parkinson’s by looking at the findings, how the studies are performed? What is the wider picture for sleep or inflammation? This could give us a foundation to build on.”

The next step

Hemp Heros started to submit an application called Smart Partnership to the University for the management side. This would allow them to secure funding to get an associate who would work between the Welsh brand and the university.

“It gives the company the tools and techniques to use these findings and apply them so you can continue your work. We have all of this anecdotal evidence on why people use our products but then the smart partnership would allow us to do a deeper dive and validate what our understandings are.”

He explained: “We have set out three pillars essentially. Sleep is one that we want to investigate and they have a sleep lab there. We want to start out with something quite simple like 20 participants with sleep issues and give them a protocol. They log everything then they take a set dose of our product for a week to see what the impact is. The next step would be to go into the sleep lab to actually monitor what someone’s sleep pattern is, how quickly it works and what the effects are.”

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Welsh: A man walking a dog on a lead across a beach

As well as the studies and research they have conducted, the brand is still planning to work with different athletes.

“Should athletes be using prescription pain medications to help with their pain to get through the day? They could have a more natural alternative with no side effects. Your body is already built for cannabinoids, not really for painkillers. That’s why a lot of people have issues with their kidneys when they are on painkillers for so long because they are trying to process everything.”

David is also involved in the advocacy side. He believes that Ireland needs to match the European level to make sure it isn’t left behind. He sits on the Irish Hemp Cooperative Board who are trying to change the laws.

“There are a couple of TDS (Ministers) who said that they would be interested in the sports angle. We aren’t looking for full-blown cannabis legal for everyone but we actually want to just look at hemp and the production because you can get a license but then technically what you grow is illegal. There is a massive gap in the law where the two laws don’t match and we don’t match at the European level. We need to make sure we are on par with our international counterparts.”

Read more: Pain, anxiety and sleep are the most common reasons people use CBD

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WADA to review cannabis ban after Sha’ Carri Richardson forced to miss Tokyo Olympics

The ban will remain in place during the review which is set to take place in 2022.



The decision to review cannabis follows American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson being forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the substance.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is to review if cannabis should remain a banned substance for athletes. It comes after the American sprinter was forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC.

Cannabis is currently a prohibited substance in competitions and the ban will remain in place for 2022 according to WADA.

An advisory group for WADA will start a scientific review next year. While Richardson’s case was not mentioned in particular, WADA said the decision to review its place on the list of banned substances came from a number of requests from stakeholders. The list of prohibited substances for 2023 will be finalised next autumn.


Richardson: An advert for Impact CBD

WADA ban

The news comes just under three months since Richardson was banned from running at the Olympics earlier this year. She said she had used cannabis after hearing from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away less than a week before she began the Olympic trials.

Her trial results were disqualified after she tested positive for THC. Prior to that, she has been seen as a top contender after winning her 100m test race with a time of 10.86 seconds. She was given a three-month sanction which was reduced to one after Richardson agreed to attend a counselling programme. Although her 30-day suspension technically ended during the Tokyo games, US Athletics chose not to include her in the team.

The decision to ban her from competing in Tokyo was met with widespread criticism and calls for a review of anti-doping rules. Cannabis remains been banned by WADA despite its legal status in 18 states across America. This includes Oregon where Richardson said she consumed cannabis.

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Banned substances

WADA banned cannabis in 2004 when they first drafted the list of prohibited substances. The items must meet two of three criteria in order to be banned.

1: They harm the health of the athlete

2: They are performance-enhancing

3: They are against the spirit of sport

Sha’ Carri Richardson is not the only athlete to experience a ban. Michael Phelps was banned from competition for three months in 2009 and subsequently lost his Kellogg’s sponsorship after photos of him smoking cannabis were revealed online.

Read more: Hawaii bans some hemp-extract products including CBD edibles

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