A Guide to Using CBD for Better Athletic Performance

A Guide to Using CBD for Better Athletic Performance

The use of CBD in sports medicine was once a controversial topic. Many people didn’t understand the distinction between CBD and any of the other cannabinoids that existed within the plant, leading to the widespread misconception that CBD use somehow constituted doping. 

Now that CBD’s effects are well understood, many world sports organizations and national leagues have moved to permit their players and athletes to use CBD, and this has dramatically changed the landscape. 

While CBD is encouraged to help aid in muscle soreness and muscle damage, many professional athletes and Olympic medalists are candid about their use of CBD. Some go as far as to partner with their favorite CBD brands to create products or accept sponsorships from CBD companies. 

If you’re looking to train like the athletes you admire and become the best version of yourself, here’s how CBD may become a supportive tool in your journey to greatness. 

CBD Is Legal for Most Athletes To Use

The World Anti-Doping Agency reviewed CBD and specifically excluded it from the list of prohibited substances for athletes. CBD often comes in conjunction with small amounts of THC, which the organization still bans. 

Individual sports leagues make their own determinations about CBD and athletes. The NHL has always been the most lenient about cannabinoid use among its athletes. Since the NHL is a Canadian league rather than an American league, it doesn’t adhere to the same rules and standards that American sports adhere to. 

Major League Baseball is the most progressive American league in terms of cannabinoid use among its athletes. The NBA is still behind, and the NFL is making meaningful efforts to catch up. The NFL has announced its intention to fund research into the benefits of cannabinoids for athletes in terms of their ability to reduce discomfort and improve recovery due to GI distress like nausea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal angina, and vomiting. 

The PGA follows WADA standards, and many professional golfers are loud and proud CBD fans. Golf is a very inclusive sport. Many golfers don’t go pro until they’ve reached their 30’s, and it isn’t unusual to see pro golfers compete until they’re well into their fifties. Its gentle nature welcomes athletes with conditions like arthritis and joint mobility issues, and many people who live with these conditions find that CBD improves their quality of life. 

The Way CBD Interacts With the Mind and Body

CBD provides two core wellness benefits that athletes find incredibly useful while they train and compete. These same benefits are helpful for athletic recovery, where relaxation and adequate sleep play crucial roles in helping the body repair itself following rigorous training sessions or muscle-building exercises and workouts.

Promoting a Sense of Calm

Early stage clinical studies suggest that CBD may help aid those in stress-inducing situations. CBD’s mood-boosting benefits are one of the primary reasons why people incorporate CBD into their daily lives. Many people find that CBD helps them to feel less stressed, particularly when they use CBD in conjunction with meditative or calming rituals. 

If your nerves tend to get the better of you before you attempt to accomplish an essential athletic goal or hit the ground to compete, soothing your emotions can help you clear your mind and focus. You’ll perform your best when you feel calm and in control. 

Easing Tension

When you’re experiencing emotional tension, you’re likely also experiencing physical tension. Mental stress can affect the entire body. It can escalate your heart rate, change your respiration, and contribute to muscular tension throughout the body. 

An essential part of keeping your body limber and agile is promoting a better emotional state. 

While CBD is not a proven treatment for conditions like anxiety disorders, it may be a valuable complementary treatment when used under the advice or supervision of a health professional. It can also help ease occasional tension that arises as a natural part of life, especially when used in conjunction with soothing, de-stressing activities like meditation, aromatherapy, or massage. 

Promoting Better Sleep

Are you feeling a sense of loss of sleep? CBD’s calming effect may lend a helping hand to the sleep process. CBD isn’t a sedative. Using it won’t directly put you to sleep. It won’t leave you feeling groggy or “hungover” the following day because it doesn’t inherently trigger a sleep state within the body.

CBD helps you relax, and you need to be relaxed to fall asleep. If you’re having difficulty settling in for the evening, using CBD at bedtime can help you unwind. Get comfortable, turn off your screens, and focus on something relaxing. Sip some chamomile tea and use some melatonin if you want a natural boost to your bedtime routine. 

Does CBD Relieve Discomfort

CBD is being studied for the potential impact it may have in assisting the body in resolving discomfort. THC also acts as an agonist at CB2R (CB2 receptors) -- the cannabinoid type 2 receptor, which is located on immune system cells. Meanwhile, CB1 receptors are found throughout the brain, spinal cord, and tissues. 

Although many people have made anecdotal claims that CBD seems to impact their pain perception positively, more research is needed to substantiate these claims. 

If you’re dealing with pain or swelling, you should speak to your doctor. You may have a severe injury or an underlying condition that requires adequate treatment. If you’d like to make CBD a part of that treatment plan, you can raise that suggestion at your appointment. If your doctor approves, you can integrate CBD into your daily wellness ritual. 

How Athletes Should Use CBD for Best Results

If you’re looking to incorporate the wellness benefits of CBD into your athletic ritual, the two most important things to consider are timing and consistency. 

Using CBD at the Right Time

You should use CBD at least once daily, but you may enjoy its benefits twice daily. Once the CBD begins to work, its effects will linger for anywhere between six to 12 hours, depending on your metabolism and the high doses of CBD you take. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the full effects. 

Timing and scheduling will assure you feel the benefits when you need them most. 

Athletes who train early in the day usually choose to use their CBD right before breakfast. They typically use CBD at the same time they use their other daily supplements and vitamins. 

By the time they’re done with their morning ritual and ready to hit the gym, field, ring, or track, they should be experiencing the benefits of their CBD.

After a hard training session, athletes need time to rest and recover. CBD’s relaxation benefits come in handy at this time, especially when athletes are looking to get a good night’s rest. Using CBD to unwind at the end of the day may help to promote restful sleep. 

Consistent Use Is Key

It can take up to 30 days to begin to experience reliable and consistent benefits from using CBD. If you’re looking to make CBD a part of your wellness ritual, you need to be using it daily.

There is no risk of overdose from CBD, and side effects are extremely limited. CBD is generally regarded as safe, so using it every day doesn’t pose any measurable risk to your well-being. 

Even though CBD takes up to 30 days to reach and sustain the peak of its benefits, most people will experience some of the benefits almost immediately. 

CBD will work the first time you use it, but long-term benefits like promoting better sleep and sustaining a more relaxed mood come from consistency. If you try it once and find that your sleep quality remains the same, stick with it. Within a few weeks, you should notice a difference. 

The Risks and Side Effects of CBD

CBD is generally well tolerated by most people. The maximum recognized safe daily dosage is about 1,500 mg, which is very excessive. The average person will only need a meager fraction of that amount to experience the benefits of CBD.

Some people report a slightly upset stomach or changes in their bathroom habits, but it isn’t the CBD itself that causes these side effects. It could be a result of CBD oil, which can also be ingested in forms like capsules, tinctures, beverages, and gels. If you find that your CBD doesn’t agree with your endocannabinoid system or digestive system, try taking it with a meal. This may help to offset the effects of the carrier oil. 

Peels Is All CBD, No THC

Although athletes are permitted to use CBD, they aren’t permitted to use THC. 

THC is the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and virtually all CBD products are made from cannabis plants. After all, hemp is a cannabis plant, and it naturally contains tiny amounts of THC.

Peels makes our bioidentical CBD from orange peels, and oranges do not contain any THC. This makes Peels compliant with WADA standards for athletes. Train smarter, recover better and make Peels a part of your ritual. 

 

Sources:

Cannabinoid | World Anti-Doping Agency

The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review | Journal of Cannabis Research

CBD Dosage: How Much to Take for Pain, Anxiety & Sleep | CFAH

Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research | Sports Medicine