It looks like sports and cannabis are going to share a future together. Despite prejudices many cannabis users are also dynamic competitive people, and professional sport players now started relying on cannabis for their post-performance recover. CBD, THC and other cannabis compounds have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, tranquilizing properties which are finally being applied to sports medicine.
THE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL CASES IN USA
Athletes put their body at serious stress. After intense training or competitions they feel tired, sore, or even nauseous. Torn ligaments or muscles, broken bones, different kind of traumas are frequent. A single banal accident can lead to long-term pain, and even early retirement. In USA, many common ailments threatening professional or amateur athletes are now beginning to be openly treated with cannabis.
A 2011 study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that 52% of retired National Football League players used opiates during their career, while 71% of them reported some sort of painkillers abuse. At the same time, it is belief that at least 50% percent of actual NFL players use cannabis in one or more of the various medical forms. A similar situation is there in the National Basketball Association, where it is estimated that 80% of NBA players are self-medicating with cannabis derivatives.
This massive use of cannabis among professional players is just a smart attempt to avoid addiction problems coming, as an example, from over-prescription of pain medication. Retired and active NFL players started believing that CBD is an effective alternative, or at least a supplement, to painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication they receive during their career or just to get through a season. More and more athletes suffering from traumatic injuries or chronic pain are using cannabis infused balms and oils for treating pain and muscle spasticity, and even as a help for healing broken bones. In United States and Canada the majority of people today believe professional players should be allowed to use non-psychoactive cannabis derivatives as a recovery tool, without having to face penalties.
BENEFITS IN PAIN MANAGEMENT, MUSCLES AND BONES TREATMENT
Effective chronic pain management with minimal side-effects is a challenge for patients, athletes and physicians. CBD and THC are proven analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents, and the advantage of CBD stays in the possibility of using it both during and after exercise thanks to the absence of psychotropic effects. The same anti-inflammatory action of both CBD and THC may protect heart, lungs, and brain right after an injury, and during its treatment. The reduction of muscle spasms is another post-workout application of CBD extracts, while the anti-emetic effect of this cannabinoid may help athletes reducing nausea.
Finally, the role of CBD in sleep regulation is another interesting effect athletes are searching for. A good quality sleep each night is fundamental for muscles growth and recover. The quality of sleep can seriously influence athletes’ performances, and pre-performance stress can turn in restless nights. The relaxing and sedative effects of cannabinoids are well known, with many people reporting better sleep patterns and reduction of insomnia. The hemp-based products with high amounts of CBD are preferred for improving sleep quality, thus providing a natural physical and mental recovery.
BACK TO TRAINING WITH CBD OILS AND TOPICALS
CBD is a cannabinoid with a wider scope of therapeutic benefits even in small doses. Athletes are appreciating the fact that hemp-based CBD can reduce pain and injuries, inflammation, and muscle spasm even without the help of prescription drugs. The post-routine recover and the eventual healing process after concussive injuries are shorter, making possible to get back faster into training. Research is progressing, and the neuroprotective effects of CBD in the brain are now studied for treating sports concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
In most countries the law is partially spoiling cannabis’ actual and future promises for sports medicine. One big concern for the athletes that use cannabis is that its compounds may show in the drug tests providing false positives to antidoping controls. Topical cannabis products such as oils and balms do not show up in any drug test, no matter the CBD/THC ratio, as the skin acts as a barrier preventing these substances to reach high concentrations in the bloodstream. Ingested, smoked or vaporized CBD shouldn’t be a concern since CBD is a legal substance in all countries of the world. Have a good workout!
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