Elite and competitive athletes are always on the lookout for supplements that can help them perform better, recover faster from grueling workouts, avoid injuries, and heal more rapidly when injuries occur. For an increasing number of high-level athletes, CBD fits the bill. As the legal barriers restricting the use of cannabis continue to fall away, there has been a rising tide of individual pro athletes willing to go on record about their use of cannabis and the benefits they’ve experienced, having gravitated towards it for potential performance advantages, as well as its non-addictiveness and numerous other health benefits.
The trickle-up effect on sports leagues speaks to the power of this important and long-overdue societal shift. In June of 2018, the professional basketball league, BIG3, became the first pro-sport league in the U.S. to green-light CBD for both professional and college players; a watershed moment for CBD in pro-sports. Many of the major sports leagues, including the NBA, NFL, and NHL are also showing interest, as reported in a recent article in Forbes magazine, and will likely be following suit in the near future by increasing their acceptable limits and decreasing penalties for those who test positive.
Positioning your CBD product line to take advantage of the rapid growth in this sector makes smart business sense. The average recreational or fitness level participant takes inspiration and guidance from their sports heroes and heroines, so marketing to athletes can broaden your overall marketing reach considerably.
What the Research Says
Anyone who’s heard about CBD or uses it currently knows that CBD helps with pain management, which makes it particularly attractive to athletes. What else does CBD have to offer elite athletes, as well as fitness buffs and rank-and-file healthy lifestyle aspirants? Following are some of the exciting takeaways from recent research and what the results of these studies could mean for the role of CBD in improving athletic performance, health, and fitness:
Hale and Hearty: CBD Improves Heart Function
Some studies are showing that CBD has the ability to help normalize heart muscle contractility and may help the heart recover from certain stresses that cause it to overwork. This is particularly important for endurance athletes or anyone who participates in sports that are particularly demanding or taxing on the body. And, though we don’t condone the weekend warrior lifestyle, it might also be helpful for protecting those more occasional athletes from potentially detrimental effects of their overly-enthusiastic though well-intentioned efforts.
Breathe In – Breathe Out: CBD and Respiratory Function
CBD has been found to improve lung function by preventing inflammation and damage to the lungs. Endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners, can be susceptible to airway inflammation by their activity alone. However, CBD may also be helpful for anyone with respiratory allergies or other chronic respiratory conditions in which there is inflammation of the airways that limits their ability to participate in sports or fitness activities. In a clinical trial a group of patients with allergic asthma who used CBD showed reduced inflammation and fibrosis, a form of scarring, in their lungs.
Better Blood and Tissue Oxygenation
Endurance athletes, those who travel from a low elevation to a higher one to compete or train or those who are pushing themselves to reach their “next level” can often exceed their body’s aerobic capacity. When this happens, the athlete can become hypoxic, meaning their blood oxygen level drops, potentially resulting in dangerously high spikes in blood pressure as the body tries to restore itself to a safe balance. Preliminary research has shown that high doses of CBD may help the body to be more resilient to such conditions by helping prevent these dangerous blood pressure spikes. CBD has also been found to protect the brain and improve heart function, circulation, and breathing in hypoxic situations.
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Performance Anxiety: CBD Quells Anxiety
From simple pre-race jitters to performance-crushing worry and agitation, anxiety can afflict athletes of all ages and levels. One of the main areas of CBD research has to do with its ability to decrease anxiety safely and without side effects. This makes CBD a powerful ally for professional athletes who need to perform at their best as well as recreational or aspiring competitive athletes whose goal is to simply make it to the finish line.
- Cannabis For The Win: Sports Leagues See The Light On CBD .
- WADA approve CBD oil for athletes.
- Prohibited in-competition.
- Effects of cannabidiol on contractions and calcium signaling in rat ventricular myocytes..
- High-Dose Cannabidiol Induced Hypotension after Global Hypoxia-Ischemia in Piglets..
- Arterial desaturation during exercise in man: implication for O2 uptake and work capacity..
- Neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol in hypoxic-ischemic newborn piglets.
- Cannabidiol improves lung function and inflammation in mice submitted to LPS-induced acute lung injury.
- Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.
- Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders..