There has always been a lot of debate over what people in the sports world can take to help them improve their performance and help them recover faster. This includes the American football field, or NFL, too.
CBD is a natural substance demonstrated to provide a range of health advantages. Reduced anxiety and improved mental health are just a few of the benefits. CBD can be especially beneficial to professional football players since it helps reduce inflammation and pain.
This can improve a player’s performance on the field and lessen the number of injuries they sustain. Soon, we’ll take a look at the many benefits of CBD products for elite athletes and how the future looks for these supplements.
Football Players Injuries: Dangers & Consequences
According to research, head and brain injuries are particularly common among NFL players. A study released in July 2017 showed that more than 99 percent of football players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Repeated brain damage leads to progressive brain tissue deterioration and an aberrant protein called tau. The following are some more common head injuries suffered by NFL players:
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussions (TBI)
- Cerebral Contusions
- Intracranial Hematomas
But sports injuries don’t stop there. According to a recent New York Times survey, present and retired NFL players misuse opiate painkillers at a higher rate than the overall population.
All of the injuries that football players receive, you see, are pretty painful. And what better way to get back in the game as quickly as possible than with heavy prescription painkillers? The problem is that narcotic medicines are generally distributed like candy in the NFL.
And, given that NFL players have grown in size in recent years, their prescribed medicines are far stronger. In time, this could cause serious health problems for active and retired players alike. That’s why it’s essential to find a natural way to relieve pain and tension.
What is Cannabinol
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, pain management, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, and analgesic effects. Experts link CBD and other cannabinoids to various health and wellness benefits, including sleep aid, stress reduction, and pain relief.
CBD is very different from THC and has medicinal characteristics that can help athletes without concerns about drug testing or the altered attitude THC causes.
CBD immediately interacts with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in the human body. This organ regulates and influences appetite, mood, pain, and inflammation.
CBD vs. THC
CBD and THC are both chemically comparable to the body’s natural endocannabinoids. Neurotransmitters that act in the brain are known as endocannabinoids. However, how these molecules are organized is responsible for their different effects. They attach to receptors and induce diverse responses in the body by imitating endocannabinoids.
The THC component is most famous for the high sensation it produces, which is a psychoactive response. It’s worth noting that this high is the very reason why THC is banned in many states. However, CBD acts differently on those receptors. So its effects are unique, and it will not get you high.
CBD’s “non-psychoactive” moniker has sparked debate in specific medical circles, even though it technically acts on the same cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain as THC.
On the other hand, CBD is a “non-psychoactive” molecule, which does not cause the high that we associate with THC. Although CBD may contain tiny (and legal) THC levels up to 0.3%, it is not enough to cause a psychoactive effect.
Many confuse CBD oil with hemp oil, which leads to many misunderstandings. Hemp oil does not contain CBD or THC, but it is high in fatty acids like omega 3, 6, and 9 and, like olive oil, is excellent in cooking. On the other hand, CBD oil is derived from the resin of the cannabis plant and then diluted with coconut or hemp seed carrier oils.
Every oil bottle is infused with active CBD, a non-toxic chemical derived from industrial hemp. But, there’s much more to CBD’s popularity than what meets the eye.
To begin with, organic CBD oil is non-toxic, which means it won’t get you high even in large quantities. According to the World Health Organization, it’s also well-tolerated (WHO). Although there are some possible side effects, they are minor and disappear fast.
Secondly, you can add CBD oil to your daily routine and diet without worry. This is because of CBD’s versatile nature as a health supplement. So, you can easily swallow a few CBD drops directly on the tongue or with food and drink, regardless of your schedule.
There’s also a variety of CBD concentrations to choose from. While some people prefer the gentler effects of a low-concentration formula, others may benefit from high-concentration oils.
Benefits of CBD for Professional Athletes
How Does CBD Improve Athletic Performance and Recovery?
The risk of unpleasant injuries and inflammation is exceptionally high for individuals who participate in sports regularly. Even if there are no physical injuries, pain and inflammation are unavoidable in sports like the NFL.
Over the last few years, ongoing research into the benefits of CBD has served to highlight the numerous advantages it provides. CBD is well-known for its potential to combat pain, and many people are hailing it as the next generation of medications.
Furthermore, CBD has potent anti-inflammatory qualities, making it perfect for people who suffer from inflammation due to injuries or other related conditions. This is in addition to other advantages such as anxiety reduction, improved sleep, and stress relief.
According to research, CBD can treat pain and reduce inflammation, which could be beneficial for athletes who engage in strenuous activity.
In addition, a 2018 World Health Organization report shows that unlike other pain-relieving cannabinoids such as THC and opiates, CBD does not appear to have the potential for misuse or dependence.
Many argue that the most important advantage of CBD for athletes is stress relief. Work and rest are meticulously balanced in the best training plans, keeping your nervous system on the narrow line between freshness and overtraining. That’s why many professional football players have most likely faced the challenge of dealing with stress and anxiety.
Reishi mushrooms and echinacea are the two most famous traditional adaptogens, but CBD has now joined this roster of stress-relieving, performance-enhancing plants. This is because the benefits of CBD meet the requirements.
Adaptogens safeguard the neurological and neuroendocrine systems from becoming overworked. Moreover, according to a 1969 study, Adaptogens must be stimulatory – without creating adverse effects. That is precisely what CBD does!
CBD promotes equilibrium by stimulating our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a signaling network of endogenous cannabis-like chemicals. The type of health and vitality that comes with ECS activation is the type that allows homeostasis to be maintained.
While research in this area is sparse, we know that most plant adaptogens regulate energy balance and upregulate fat burning through activating enzymes like AMPK. It’s possible that combining CBD and other adaptogens has synergistic benefits too! In other words, the two sorts of drugs might be able to aid one other’s performance.
Other Benefits of CBD for Pro Athletes
CBD can help prevent seizures in children and adults and aid with general pain management. CBD can also assist active users in avoiding issues with their muscle and joint health. For elite athletes, using CBD means that they can resume their normal activities without further challenges.
Furthermore, CBD can enhance energy levels when taken in moderate amounts throughout the day. Many people who participate in sports and fitness activities consume it before a workout.
Given the numerous benefits that CBD may provide to individuals interested in sports and athletics, it’s no surprise that so many NFL players have been eager to have it approved for use to aid their wellness and performance.
CBD Side Effects
Even when used in extremely large dosages, CBD rarely causes severe adverse effects. “CBD was tolerated in all individuals, with no symptoms of toxicity or major side effects,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
If there were any adverse effects, it was mainly due to CBD interacting with another drug that the person was taking at the same time. Always seek medical advice before using CBD, primarily if you use other medications.
Drug Test Results
Many football players are concerned about their medical supplements showing up on drug tests, and understandably so. Standard drug tests seek molecules related to THC so that THC will show up on the screen.
THC can also be found in trace levels in CBD products, but only up to 0.3 percent. Even though such a small amount would never be enough to cause any psychoactive side effects, it will almost certainly show up on a drug test.
The Future of Medical Cannabis
Despite the authorities’ disapproval, there is optimism that one day, the NFL and other professional athletes will be permitted to medicate as they like. After all, there are now many people who share the common goal of using CBD oil however they want!
Pro athletes have teamed together to help shift the narrative by learning more about the science behind cannabis. Many are even researching funding different CBD programs to help the legalization process. There were only solitary voices of individual athlete advocates before. However, the industry has now grown into a powerful force for good.
Things are changing. They are evolving, albeit not as quickly as some would want. Who knows, we may even see cannabis interwoven into all major sports, and not just the NFL, in a few years.
Medical researchers have discovered that CBD produces physiological, behavioral, and biochemical effects that benefit athletes. A key factor in this is CBD’s potential to reduce inflammatory pain associated with tissue damage, as well as neuropathic pain caused by nerve stimulation or injury.
Overall, CBD could be game-changing for endurance and action athletes exposed to intense and high-impact exercises. CBD products could also help elite athletes who spend long hours on training sessions, which can cause inflammation, irritation, and damage.
Don’t forget to check out the athletes we work with for inspiration!