Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK since 2018, but can only be attained through a doctor’s prescription and for special, indicated medical needs. However, CBD is sold freely in small doses and can also be used by healthy individuals to support and improve their sense of well-being. But what about athletes? Does implementing CBD products make sense for them, too? And what about doping control? Surely that also exists in the amateur field?
What Are Some Of The Reasons Athletes Turn To CBD Products?
1. Motivational Boost
Whether in the gym or on a new track, it’s always about going all in. Pain, tiredness and stress are burdensome companions, let’s leave them behind.
Our bodies contain a substance––the endocannabinoid anandamide––whose effect is strengthened by CBD. It’s no accident that in Sanskrit, ananda means “bliss.” So why not boost the happiness a bit in sports training and competitions?
CAN YOU FEEL IT?
At the same time, CBD is able to influence the regulation of our pain system. Thanks to its chemical structure, it can link onto various receptors (for example, the 5-HT receptor) like a train car to positively influence our pain sensations, our heart and circulatory system, and the body’s defense system. Looks like we’re perfectly equipped to start our day with fitness.
But how’s our motivation? Looking for a little pill to swallow and overcome one’s inner couch potato? Unfortunately, we have to let you down here; medicine isn’t that easy! Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the prerequisites for a well-motivated leap out of bed and into your workout gear. Sleep is number one, and we mean healthy sleep. Anyone who approaches exercise with a mindset of high performance and commitment knows how important a well-rested mind and body are.
2. Give Pain The Cold Shoulder
Maybe you still remember where that scar on your knee came from and how badly it bled. That skateboard has long since been rusting away in the garage, yet the possibilities for injury in life have only multiplied. The majority of injuries today happen in the household, followed closely by exercise. Don’t think that your body is invincible. “It’s not going to happen to me” doesn’t exist. Are you really concentrated and physically able when you go to the gym or get on the track? You’ve seen how important it is to care for oneself. The likelihood of injuring yourself is quite high. Too often, accidents are caused by carelessness.
What happens if your ankle cracks and you feel blinding pain? Sport injuries usually affect the bones and the connective tissue which stabilises the joints. This includes ligaments, muscles and tendons. Even your cartilage can be painfully affected.
Why do I need pain?
Pain is important, even for athletes. It shows us where our limits are. Before it goes as far as an injury, pain sets in through excessive strain and overuse. Those are warning signals you can suppress; there are loads of cooling sprays and pills out there. Sooner or later, however, your body will pay you back for treating it that way. If your exercise and health are equally important to you, consider another approach.
Once your leg’s in a cast and the doctor’s standing over you, that’s when your pain will shoot you the clear message, “We’re doing nothing for a while.” Nobody will expect you to go about your day with crippling pain.
Can CBD Alleviate Pain Sensations?
CBD presents the possibility to not only ease your pain but also to support your healing process. The purpose of the cannabinoid CBD isn’t to shut down your pain receptors. Rather, it acts as an antispasmodic, gently alleviating the source of the pain.
Pain during exercise is usually attributed to joint problems. The muscles and ligaments are trying to make up for the stability lost during the accident. This means, they tense up. The pain grows, leading to constant tension. If you manage to counteract this constant tension in good time, you can successfully alleviate some of the pain.
The same thing happens when you try to cram a whole week’s worth of workouts into one day. Your body probably won’t be used to that level of exertion. Your muscles will get overworked and begin to hurt and cramp up in distress. This should deter you from pushing any further.
Here’s where our VAAY SPORT Sports Gel can be implemented for support. It’s cannabidiol-based effect lets the muscles relax and can, for example, reduce soreness. Its effect is enhanced through the gently warming capsaicin and clove oil.
Does CBD Protect Athletes Against Inflammation?
Like pain, inflammation is an important part of the recovery process. Where’s what happens in an inflammation: the brain directs messenger substances to hurry to the injury and essentially carry out first aid on the spot. Typical signs of inflammation include swelling and noticeable heat on the injured body part. The purpose of swelling is to hinder the injured joint in further movement. Regularly pushing your limits during exercise will result in injuries time and again.
CBD & Inflammation
A glance at our body’s defense system shows the importance of cannabinoids in the inflammation process. Humans would be long extinct were it not for our own personal hemp plantation that we carry around in our body. The endocannabinoid system is an extremely complex construct, and a constant companion in our mobile first aid kit. It takes care of us when we’re in pain, tells us when we need to go to sleep and when it’s time to eat. In a nutshell: it cares for our wellbeing.
In order to be at the operation site as soon as possible, the cannabinoid system is in constant exchange with endogenous substances like the bliss molecule, anandamide. Research has been able to show that cannabinoids, the way they’re contained in cannabis (CBD, THC), have a very similar effect. So, it makes sense to support our endogenous cannabinoids with additional plant substances.
Can CBD Also Fight Off Muscle Soreness?
Soreness occurs due to tiny tears in the muscle fibres. These micro-injuries evoke inflammations of varying pain and intensity. Who hasn’t felt that every movement hurts the day after a tough workout? The least trained muscles are always hit the hardest. If you already know that you want to train weaker muscles on a certain day, you can prepare for muscle soreness with CBD by applying VAAY Sports Gel to the affected muscles before or after your workout.
3. Recover Faster After Exercise
A successful training program strikes the right balance between training sessions and sufficient recovery time. If you’re training for a competition, this might make you a bit impatient. Nevertheless, recovery is extremely important for preventing potential pain and inflammations.
Plant-based cannabinoids have an undeniable positive influence on our immune systems. When excessive inflammation mechanisms are partly switched off, the healing process of bones and connective tissue is promoted to the same extent.
In our training ambitions, psychological effects like stress and fear of failure are often overlooked. Sufficient sleep also contributes significantly to increased performance; CBD has been used to successfully treat sleep disturbances. Placebo-controlled studies have proven the anxiety-reducing effects of this hemp compound. Keep in mind, however, that psychological problems should not be approached exclusively with medicinal products, but should be discussed with an experienced psychotherapist or doctor.
4. Help Out The Masseuse
Our musculature plays a role in almost all sports injuries. Regardless of whether it’s a bruise or a broken bone or joint, the muscles are almost always directly or indirectly participating. In the event of an accident, your muscles tense up to prevent the further movement of the injured part and protect the body from further, more serious injuries.
We feel all this and rely on the healing hands of physiotherapists. The first thing the masseuse feels is your muscle. Hard as a rock. Not very helpful! If you’re lucky, you get an experienced therapist who can loosen up your protectively tensed muscles.
You can, however, also take a little weight off the therapists’ shoulders before your appointment. Apply VAAY SPORT Active Gel to the skin over the tensed muscles. This can speed up your recovery as well as yield better results. The CBD’s antispasmodic power also comes into effect here.
Can CBD Make You Faster Or Stronger?
CBD won’t make you run faster or build more muscle. Having said this, you can improve your athletic performance yourself, with its support. As we said, the best athletic performance is achieved through a balanced training program. That means intense drills without risking injury, combined with a chill routine on your days off. Persistence is as important while relaxing as it is while training. For your desired results, don’t forget about a balanced diet and adding in any meaningful targeted products of your choice for extra support.
CBD & Recovery
CBD has only recently become so well known. By contrast, marijuana’s effects have been known for thousands of years. Soldiers were already applying hemp leaves to their wounds for pain reduction 5,000 years ago. They bounced back quickly and were able to get back into battle. Back then it was the battlefield, today it’s athletic competitions that can lead to injury and drops in performance.
In the case of military commanders in China and India, the end justified the means. By contrast, the list of forbidden substances in competitive sports is long. Barely a week goes by where a doping scandal isn’t being exposed.
The Harmless Offspring
Cannabidiol is considered legal and can be purchased in the UK as long as it meets certain requirements. The class ‘hemp’ - cannabis - contains various types. Read more on this in our Hemp Wiki article, Cannabis vs. Hemp.
Each type has some different characteristics, such as the THC content. Hemp is classified as narcotic if its THC content is more than 0.2%. If it contains less than 0.2% THC, it falls in the industrial hemp category––that’s what our products are made of.
Back to CBD. A CBD product can be distributed without complications as long as it’s made from hemp and contains no THC. It’s best to keep your hands off anything else. Especially if you’re planning on working out. For comparison, hashish has a THC-content of 8-16%.
Clear message! Right?
In 2017, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) lifted its ban on CBD. WADA is a non-governmental organisation committed to informing athletes and protecting them from dangerous performance-enhancing substances.
Should I use CBD before or after training?
How you use CBD depends on several factors. You can massage it in as CBD oil, consume it orally or get cosy and let it do its thing in the bathtub. Every dosage form comes with a recommendation. If you’re noticing effects, you can maintain that dosage form.
Before training, or after with lots of water? What matters is the effect
If your feet feel tired and heavy after your last workout, it makes sense to massage CBD into the affected points. If you’re looking to avoid sore muscles tomorrow, it makes more sense to use the CBD before or directly after your workout.
Think about whether you’re trying to treat existing aches or prevent future ones. See? You already have the answer.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects!
Absolutely. Even if the list of side effects isn’t as long as a dictionary.
‘More is more’ is definitely the wrong approach here. For an injured little finger, for example, a low dose will be enough. Sore thighs, on the other hand, could benefit from a larger dose. If you stick to the given dose recommendation, you shouldn’t have much trouble with side effects. If you do, see the bold print above again!
Profound side effects are not described on the label. Your concentration might temporarily go a bit fuzzy. Sometimes people experience dizziness, usually if they already have high blood pressure. If you’re pregnant, you should ask your doctor before taking CBD. Same thing goes if you have a condition resulting in abnormal blood coagulation, or you’re already on any medications.
Want to learn more? Be careful during your web research! Don’t be lured in by false promises
Here at VAAY, we want to offer you the best CBD products. We love our products and regularly use them ourselves. If they didn’t have that added value for us, we wouldn’t be able to convey our enthusiasm to you. If you decide to buy a CBD oil or CBD gel, you’re being guaranteed a personal CBD experience; you’ll notice the effects of the CBD product. It’ll just vary by user and type of use.
Have a glance at our guide for better sleep. You’ll understand that simply buying CBD won’t cut it. It can support and improve your sleep when used correctly at the right time. If you implement the CBD products while also practicing a healthy night routine and making an effort to maintain a restful sleeping environment, you’ll feel the most noticeable improvements.
In a nutshell: we’re offering you the best possible CBD products for support. We’re not making unbelievable claims that’ll just disappoint you later on. However, you’ll inevitably run into those while researching CBD products online. The bright side: you’ve informed yourself here first and won’t fall into their marketing trap!
Athletes, you can breathe out now. CBD is yours to purchase and use. With the WADA’s approval, you no longer need to worry about doping controls etc. Competitive athletes can join the rest of us in using CBD to treat pain, reduce inflammation and support our immune systems. We think that’s pretty cool.