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Sports and CBD: Resolving the Legal and Health Issues

Every athlete wants to maintain optimum fitness levels to succeed. But physical injuries and pain can stand in the way. With traditional analgesics, such as ibuprofen, posing their own set of adverse effects, many sportspersons are increasingly turning to cannabidiol products to manage pain and address other related health issues. However, what are the benefits of CBD? Is CBD oil for pain relief safe and legal? Could testing positive for CBD ruin your career as an athlete? Let’s find the answers below.

You Can Use CBD in Sports; it’s Legal

You don’t have to worry about ruining your career after using CBD oil if you’re playing a WADA-regulated sport. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency legalized cannabidiol (CBD) after removing it from its prohibited drugs and substances list. With that said, the organization still outlaws all marijuana derivatives that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—a psychoactive compound.

So CBD products that don’t have THC are acceptable in the world of sports. But before you start using any such therapeutic solutions, get familiar with the anti-doping rules of your league or sports organization.

CBD for Sports has Known Therapeutic Effects

Contact sport athletes are prone to physical trauma that may sometimes threaten their career. But incorporating cannabidiols in their fitness regimen can help in ways such as:

Pain Management

When CBD enters the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it changes the way the brain and the entire central nervous system responds to pain. Athletes struggling with persistent pain can use CBD oil to regulate their neurotransmitters for much-needed pain relief.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Your immune system can trigger the painful swelling of body parts after a vigorous or aggressive physical activity. CBD can reduce such inflammation by binding to CB2 receptors and decreasing the production of cell messengers partly responsible for the swelling.

Better Sleep Quality

Athletes need to sleep well to wake up physically and mentally fresh. CBD can help them when they have sleep problems. It obstructs adenosine reuptake in the body, letting it build up and bind to neurons in the brain. The process reduces neurotransmitter activity in the brain, causing calmness and sleep.

Reduced Dependence on NSAIDs

Repeated use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen sodium, can lead to kidney or even heart complications like stroke. Fortunately, athletes involved in extended injury-prone physical activities can avoid the dangerous effects of NSAIDs by using CBD products to manage pain.


Are There Known CBD Side Effects?

Researchers think that CBD has no serious side effects based on the data available so far. The substance is not addictive either. But before you buy it online for therapeutic use, be sure to talk to your doctor about it, especially if you’re also taking other prescription drugs. You need to be aware of any potential drug interactions.

Is There a Particular Sport for Which CBD is Ideal?

There’s no scientific basis for saying you can’t use CBD in soccer, tennis, boxing, or any other sport. But numerous valid reports are pointing to the successful use of cannabidiol for pain relief in martial arts and even football. These sports have one thing in common: players or participants are susceptible to severe knocks and injuries in sensitive body parts, such as the brain. Fortunately, CBD has had positive therapeutic outcomes in some of these injury cases.

For example, UFC fighter Nate Diaz once told journalists that he used CBD before and after matches to deal with inflammation and pain. He said the treatment helped with the healing process.

The Bottom Line

What cannabidiol product works for one athlete may not have the same outcomes in another. But the fact remains that CBD oil is legal in sports, provided that your anti-doping authority has not blacklisted it. Equally important, the non-psychoactive cannabis extract offers proven healing benefits, including pain relief and anti-inflammation properties.


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