As the use of cannabis and its related products becomes more accepted, athletes are increasingly turning to it as a way to help their bodies recover from strenuous physical activity.
From professional football players to Olympic gold medalists, many athletes are using cannabis-infused creams and oils for everything from sore muscles to post-workout inflammation.
As research continues into how this plant can be used medicinally, there is an ever growing list of potential benefits that athletes may experience by incorporating these products into their recovery routine.
Let’sl explore how athletes are using cannabis products to assist in recovery and look at the potential benefits that come with doing so.
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Benefits of Cannabis for Athletes
Cannabis has been used by athletes for centuries to help with pain management and recovery, but only recently have researchers begun to substantiate the potential health benefits of cannabis.
Some of benefits include:
Cannabis products have been known to reduce pain and inflammation, which is particularly helpful for athletes dealing with muscle soreness or joint injuries.
Enhanced Sleep Quality
Cannabinoids like CBD have been found to help improve sleep quality and even ward off insomnia.
Getting a good night’s rest is essential for athletes who must frequently push their bodies to the limit.
Many athletes suffer from anxiety, whether it’s related to competition or other stressors.
Cannabis products can be an effective way of managing this anxiety without the side effects of prescription medications.
Improved Focus and Concentration
Cannabis can also help athletes focus more in training sessions and competitions, allowing them to tap into their peak performance levels.
Enhanced Appetite Stimulation
For athletes who struggle to get enough nutrition, cannabis products can help stimulate appetite and make it easier to consume the right amount of nutrients.
By providing these benefits, cannabis products can be a powerful tool for athletes looking to take their performance and recovery to the next level.
Different Types of Cannabis Products
Cannabis products come in many forms, including tinctures, edibles, topicals and roll-on gels.
Athletes are using these cannabis products to relieve inflammation, reduce pain and muscle soreness due to intense activity.
Roll-on gels offer localized relief for muscles, joints and tendons without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Tinctures are a great way to get CBD and other cannabinoids into the body quickly, without having to smoke or vaporize cannabis products.
Edibles can provide a more consistent dose of CBD over time that may help with inflammation and manage pain throughout the day.
Topicals, such as lotions and creams, offer localized relief directly to the area of discomfort. Some topicals also contain THC and other cannabinoids, providing a more targeted approach to pain management.
Athletes are using cannabis products that contain both CBD and THC in order to get the benefits of both compounds without any unwanted psychotropic effects.
Regardless of which type of cannabis product is chosen, it is important to remember to use them responsibly and in accordance with the laws of your state. To minimize the risk of overusing cannabis, it may be wise to establish a microdosing schedule in which smaller quantities of the substance are consumed at regular intervals.
Also, be sure to discuss any cannabis use with your physician – especially if you are taking other medications. Doing so may help identify potential drug interactions and ensure that you are getting the most benefit from any cannabis products used.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
Cannabis products contain two primary cannabinoids, CBD and THC. Both compounds interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system to produce a variety of effects.
The main difference between the two is that THC is psychoactive, meaning it produces an intoxicating effect or “high” when consumed.
In contrast, CBD does not produce a high and is much more mild in terms of its effects.
Athletes are increasingly turning to cannabis products to help manage pain, reduce inflammation, and assist with recovery after strenuous activity.
CBD and THC have both been shown to reduce inflammation and provide relief from muscle soreness, allowing athletes to quickly recover from intense training or competition.
CBD products are also non-addictive and do not produce the same psychoactive effect as THC, making them a safe and effective option for athletes looking for an alternative to traditional pain medications.
Studies have also demonstrated that THC and CBD can improve cognitive function, which is beneficial to athletes who need to maintain focus during competition.
Cannabis products may provide relief from anxiety and depression – two common issues among professional athletes – by helping to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
The use of CBD in professional sports is still heavily regulated, with many leagues prohibiting its use altogether or having very strict guidelines in place.
It is important for athletes to be aware of the rules and regulations of their respective sport before using any cannabis product.
However, as more research comes out on how CBD can assist in recovery and performance, we may see an increased acceptance of its use in competition.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis Products
The most common side effects associated with using cannabis products are dry mouth, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dizziness, drowsiness, light-headedness, anxiety or paranoia, impaired coordination, and red eyes.
There is also a potential risk of developing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome when taken in high doses.
This condition causes severe nausea and vomiting, which can be debilitating. Long-term use may lead to cognitive impairment and cognitive decline.
It is important to remember that cannabis products contain THC, so there is always the potential for addiction or dependence, so it is highly recommended that you discuss your plans with a healthcare professional before using any form of cannabis product.
Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should avoid using cannabis products as the effects on a developing baby can be unknown.
The Future of Cannabis Use in Sports
As cannabis-based products become increasingly accepted in mainstream culture, the use of cannabis among athletes is growing.
While not all sports teams or leagues allow their athletes to use cannabinoids, we are seeing an increase in professional and amateur athletes using CBD and other cannabis products to assist with recovery and performance.
As the stigma surrounding the plant continues to decrease and the health benefits associated with cannabis become more widely accepted, it is likely that the future of cannabis use in sports will continue to grow.
The possible applications for cannabinoids are numerous and include improving physical performance, reducing pain, aiding recovery from injuries and supporting mental well-being.
As more research and clinical studies emerge on the benefits of cannabinoids, athletes and sports teams will be able to make informed decisions about the use of cannabis in sports.
With its potential to improve performance and recovery, it is likely that cannabis products will become a common part of athlete’s training regimens in the future.
This could mean that athletes are able to perform at their highest levels while also reducing their risk of injury and finding balance in their lives.
While further research needs to be conducted, the current evidence suggests it could have a positive impact on muscle soreness and inflammation relief as well as provide an overall calming effect during intense training sessions.
It’s important to note though, that athletes should always consult with their doctor before starting any new sort of supplement regime like this one.
As more states legalize cannabis use, we may see even more pro-athletes using these products in order to optimize performance and aid in physical recovery between games or events.
With continued studies into the effects of CBD oil and other forms of medical marijuana on athletic performance, there will no doubt be exciting developments ahead for professional sports teams across the U.S.