Amid speculation that Tiger Woods chewed CBD gum and Phil Mickelson used CBD oil at the Masters Tournament this year, CBD is becoming increasingly popular in sports as people learn more about the benefits of CBD for athletes, both pro and amateur.
Golf, one of the most conservative of sports, may be one of the last places we expected to see CBD being adopted, but it seems it is happening. At the PGA Show in January, one of the new products displayed was a CBD line for golfers.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, which governs and drug tests Olympic athletes, removed CBD from the banned substances list in late 2017. However, the PGA issued a warning to players, advising them not to use CBD products. The organization said CBD products “have limited government regulation and may contain THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that is prohibited.” The PGA also advised the athletes using CBD products could test positive in drug tests.
CBD sold legally can’t have more than .03% THC, so it doesn’t have the psychoactive properties of marijuana – it won’t get you high. Quality CBD sellers post results of product testing on their websites so buyers can be assured the products meet the legal limits and are free of contaminants. CBD used in normal amounts is unlikely to cause a failed drug test.
Pain Relief Benefits of CBD
Other pro athletes are subject to more severe injuries, and in many sports, athletes are encouraged to play through the pain because injuries can mean lost field time – or even the end of a career. In a study of 644 former NFL players, 52 percent said they used prescription pain medication during their playing days and 71% of those players said they misused the pain medication.
One benefit of CBD for athletes is that it can be a great alternative to prescription drugs. CBD is non-toxic, non-addictive, and virtually free of side effects. CBD products can replace over-the-counter pain relievers, which with regular use cause health problems of their own, or stronger drugs that pose the threat of abuse and addiction.
Athletes who put substantial wear and tear on the bodies can benefit from CBD. Studies indicate the cannabinoids in CBD suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
“CBD is excellent for long-term therapy, without the side effects that conventional painkillers bring. This, therefore, gives an athlete freedom from reliance on medication,” according to Sports Daily.
Hall of Fame Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis said he believes using CBD would have extended his career by lessening the damage done to his body by playing football. A knee injury led to retirement at 29 years old.
“Any time you can help your body heal—you can take out the swelling, the inflammation and you can do it in a way that’s natural—I feel like absolutely it would have assisted in that,” he told TMZ Sports.
The US government holds a patent for some of the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis. The application for the patent (which was filed in 2003) says CBD can be useful in treatment and prevention of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and may limit neurological damage following trauma. “No signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers even in large acute doses.”
Relief for Runners
Runners, especially have discovered the benefits of CBD and find it helps with joint pain and aids digestion. Many in the trail running and ultra-marathon community, consider CBD a key part of their regimen. In 2017, some 75 percent of ultra-marathoners said they used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen during races. In a Stanford study, where ultra-marathonerss took one pill every four hours during a 50-mile ultra-marathon, they doubled their risk of acute kidney injury.
CBD Isn’t Just for Pro Athletes
You don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy the benefits of CBD. It can help with the exercise-induced inflammation experienced after a daily workout, yoga session, run, tennis match or golf game. CBD interacts with brain receptors to produce anti-inflammatory effects that reduce pain, reduce pre-event anxiety, and help you sleep so you heal faster.
Dr. Alan Beyer told US News & World Report that CBD is most promising as a way to help patients recover from exercise-related injuries. He said he often recommends that his patients apply CBD salve to the injured area.
CBD can interact with some prescription drugs, so if you are on medication, consult your doctor before use.
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