Many people are looking for an edge to improve their athletic performance and are willing to go the extra mile to find it. Recently, some athletes have begun turning to CBD to get that edge, claiming that its anti-inflammatory properties help them recover faster, reduce pain in active muscles, and ultimately perform better. But is there truth behind this claim? 

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the science of CBD, exploring how it works in the body and determining whether or not taking CBD can actually influence your athletic performance.

What is CBD?

If you are curious about using CBD as an athlete, the very first place you will want to start is by understanding exactly what CBD is. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is the second most active cannabinoid within the cannabis plant. According to Nature & Bloom, which is a wonderful online cannabis resource, there are different types of CBD on the market, and to enjoy it fully, you need to understand the differences between them. 

CBD comes in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate, all of which have different effects and benefits. Although most people have formed a better understanding of what CBD is, many people still confuse it with THC. This is a crucial distinction to make since CBD does not have any intoxicating properties like THC. More importantly, CBD is legal everywhere and safe to take as an athlete. 

Pain Relief and Muscle Recovery 

The first benefit CBD can provide, especially in terms of improving your athletic performance, is that it can help with pain relief and muscle recovery. Pain, especially after training, is one of the biggest challenges of being an athlete.

As an athlete, experiencing pain can limit your development and growth since you will need to take more days off from training. Since CBD effectively improves muscle recovery rates and reduces the pain experienced, you can get back to training more often. 

Improved Sleep 

Another big benefit you can receive from using CBD as an athlete is improved sleep. If you were to talk to any of the top athletes, one thing they would tell you that is influential in their success is getting a good night’s rest. This makes sense; who would want to train when fatigued? 

Some side effects of not getting enough sleep include negative effects on mood, reaction times, psychomotor vigilance, cognition, alertness and more. All of these things will be improved when consuming CBD since it helps you get a better night’s rest.

Reduced Symptoms of Anxiety 

One of the more important benefits you can receive as an athlete when consuming CBD is reduced anxiety symptoms. You are probably very much aware of how devastating performance anxiety can be.

Not only can performance anxiety hinder your actual growth as an athlete, but it could lead to losing competitions. Since CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety, you won’t need to worry about suffering performance anxiety, which gives you more focus for your training.

Better Digestion

As important as sleep is to your performance, your diet is another crucial aspect of better performance as an athlete. Whether you are a marathon runner or bulking up and consuming a lot of calories, your digestive health is incredibly important.

With that being said, one of the benefits that you can receive as an athlete when consuming CBD is a bit of digestion and improved gut health. Not everything you eat will be absorbed and digested properly, even if you eat the right foods. CBD can affect gastrointestinal processes by activating the cannabinoid receptors within your body.

Replacement for Opioids and NSAIDS

Finally, the last benefit on this list that you can receive as an athlete when consuming CBD would be a replacement for opioids and NSAIDs. You probably know how easy it is to get opioid-like medication and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, just because these are easier to get as an athlete doesn’t mean they are good for you. In fact, opioid-like medication is extremely addictive and has a lot of harmful side effects. Since CBD offers very similar benefits to this medication, it can be used as a replacement for them. However, you should still check with your medical provider.