Is CBD Safe For Athletes? Should Athletes Use CBD?
Hooray for sports! Hooray for physical activity! Hooray for all kinds of wonderful muscles and the miracle of the human body!
But with all of this sometimes, especially for professional athletes and folks who are deeply committed to personal fitness, comes sore muscles and extra fatigue and distracting repetitive motion pain, among a whole bunch of other possible performance-related problems.
Enter CBD. Removed from the list of banned substances for professional athletes by the World Anti-doping Agency in 2018, CBD (isolate, so no full-spectrum products) is now used by many athletes for some of the following reasons:
- Muscle recovery after a game or workout
- Quality of rest
- Pain relief
- Protecting the brain
- Protecting the intestines
- Topically for sore muscles
Is it safe for athletes? Is it a good practice?
According to a paper published in Sports Medicine, the answer is maybe.
The paper notes a number of promising indications that CBD could be efficacious for muscle recovery, improved sleep, and maintaining GI health from other research, but notes the following issues with cherry picking these results:
- The studies are pre-clinical, meaning they’re conducted on very small groups of people or animals as a sort of proof-of-concept for the need for a clinical study, which would look at a much wider body of research.
- The studies often examine results in lab animals who are given doses of CBD that would be almost impossible to replicate in humans on a sustained basis or affordably.
- The studies mainly represent a need for more, and more focused research on CBD used in sports and exercise.
If you’d like a more exhaustive review of the paper, you can read about it on Leafly.
Still, the reasons for using CBD in general are nothing if they’re not anecdotal, and lots of athletes and companies are on board using and producing products like protein drinks and muscle-recovery supplements and ingestibles.
It’s important to elaborate, however, that CBD products often contain some amount of THC, the psychoactive, and not always legal, cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa-L plant, which is where CBD products come from.
So whether or not you’re a performance athlete or a person with a rigorous fitness program, please note that CBD products *may* cause a positive THC result in a drug test.
For many folks, athletic or not, this can have devastating personal and professional consequences. Which is one of the many reasons we remind you in every post to please work with a physician when you’re thinking about using or starting to use CBD products.
The fact that CBD products are still in a legal gray area, so mostly unregulated is another cause for concern among athletes. Please be careful to purchase CBD products from companies that provide lab test results on their products.
If you’re not sure how to review CBD companies or locate quality brands or companies, our helpful blog post can shed some light.
And here’s some helpful jargon:
Full Spectrum means products that contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids including CBD
Broad Spectrum means products that contain only non-THC cannabinoids
CBD isolate is an ingredient that’s water soluble and does not contain THC, you would find reference to this in the ingredients panel of a product.
CBD distillate is an ingredient that is non water soluble and contains CBD and THC cannabinoids.
Image Credits: flickr.com (Elemental CBD)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why Do Athletes Use CBD?
A. CBD is used by athletes for the following reasons: 1. Muscle recovery after a game or workout 2. Quality rest 3. Pain relief 4. Protecting the brain 5. Protecting the intestines 6. Topically for sore muscles.
Q. What Is Full Spectrum?
A. Full Spectrum means products that contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids including CBD.
Q. What Is Broad Spectrum?
A. Broad Spectrum means products that contain only non-THC cannabinoids.
Q. What Is CBD Isolate?
A. CBD isolate is an ingredient that’s water soluble and does not contain THC.
Q. What Is CBD Distillate?
A. CBD distillate is an ingredient that is non water soluble and contains CBD and THC cannabinoids.