Why is CBD so popular with athletes?
CBD might not immediately seem like a go-to supplement for athletes, given it is naturally found in the cannabis plant. Sports people are subject to rigorous testing regimes and must be extremely careful about the supplements they take.
Nonetheless, CBD has become synonymous with rest and recovery and it is used widely by high-performance athletes. In fact, a Rugby League team even launched their own range of CBD muscle balms.
So why are highly active people incorporating a cannabis-based product into their recovery regimes?
What is CBD?
Extracted from the cannabis sativa plant, CBD is a naturally occurring compound discovered in 1940. It is just one of over hundred cannabinoids in the plant. But it is often the most abundant.
Often mixed with a carrier oil – like hemp seed oil – CBD is widely used as a health supplement. CBD is also available in creams and is recognised as a natural antioxidant and its ability to condition and protect the skin.
Unusually, there are a lot of marketing restrictions on what brands can state about CBD, particularly, ingestible CBD. As a result, its potential health benefits are not pushed by CBD brands.
Are athletes allowed to take CBD?
Modern athletes and sports people are required to take regular drugs tests. So, it is essential that they are overly cautious with their nutrition and supplement regimes. Too often, athletes fail drug tests by accidentally consuming a banned substance.
Professional athletes though are not the only fitness-focused users of supplements. Most people want to ensure that they are taking a legal, safe product to help boost their recovery and performance.
Importantly, CBD does not cause a “high” effect. This is because it is non-psychotropic. THC – the other famous compound in cannabis – is responsible for such an effect. However, many CBD products are contaminated with traces of THC, as the complete removal of THC is inherently difficult.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. However, taking CBD carries its own risks for athletes.
UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) states the use of a CBD product is at the risk of an athlete. If the use of a CBD product led to an Adverse Analytical Finding for THC, then their use of this product would not mitigate their fault.
As a result, it is essential to consume a CBD product that is guaranteed to be THC-free. The only way to ensure this is the case is to check that the brand or manufacturer has lab results available for consumers on its website. Dragonfly CBD publishes all of its batch-specific lab results for peace of mind for all its customers.
Learn more about the legal status of CBD in the UK.
Why do athletes take CBD?
People that play a lot of sport or workout regularly put their bodies through a lot. Irrespective of whether this takes place at an amateur or professional level. As a result, rest and recovery plays a vital role in any fitness routine.
George Kruis, a decorated England Rugby Union player and CBD advocate, has spoken out about the number of painkillers he had to take just to get himself playing. For Kruis, taking CBD enabled him to reduce his reliance on prescription medication, with a natural alternative.
Two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson was looking for a way to sustain his career at the upper echelons of golf. Speaking with CNN, Watson stated that he felt he had another “eight more years of having a shot at winning some tournaments,” shortly after turning 40.
“For me it was about how I create longevity in the game of golf and spending time with my kids running around. CBD was easily a fit for me.”
CBD has become a huge part of many elite athletes’ supplement regimes. Take a look at some of the most famous cases of sports people taking CBD.