CBD Oil and Chronic Pain

Why Athletes Are Turning to CBD Oil for Chronic Pain Management

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As athletes push their bodies to the limit, they often experience chronic pain and inflammation that can hinder their performance and recovery. For many athletes, traditional pain management options, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids, come with unwanted side effects and risks. As a result, more and more athletes are turning to CBD oil as a natural and safe alternative for managing chronic pain and inflammation. In this article, we will explore the legality of CBD oil for athletes, the basics of CBD oil, its benefits, and how athletes can use it for pain management.

Is CBD Oil Legal for Athletes?

One of the primary concerns for athletes considering CBD oil is its legality. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis. This means that CBD oil is legal at the federal level, but it is important to note that it is still considered a Schedule I substance by the DEA, alongside marijuana. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in 2018, allowing athletes to use CBD oil without fear of penalty.

What Is CBD Oil and Is It Safe?

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a type of oil that contains a concentration of CBD, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil is extracted from the plant using various methods, such as CO2 extraction or solvent extraction, and is then usually mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil, for better absorption.

CBD oil is believed to have a range of potential health benefits, such as reducing anxiety and depression, alleviating pain, and improving sleep. However, the research on the efficacy of CBD oil for these conditions is still limited, and more research is needed to confirm its benefits.

As for safety, CBD oil is generally considered safe for most people when used appropriately. However, some people may experience side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite or weight. Additionally, CBD oil can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider before using CBD oil if you’re taking any medications.

It’s also important to note that not all CBD oil products are created equal. The quality and potency of CBD oil can vary widely, depending on factors such as the extraction method, the source of the plant, and the manufacturing process. To ensure you’re getting a safe and effective product, it’s important to buy from a reputable company that provides third-party lab testing results and follows good manufacturing practices.

Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

Drug tests are designed to detect THC and its metabolites, not CBD. Full-spectrum CBD oils typically contain 0.3% THC or less, making it highly unlikely to produce a false-positive result for THC on a drug test. However, consuming an excessively high amount of CBD, around 1,900 mg daily, could potentially result in a positive test for THC. In this scenario, informing your coach and requesting a retest may be necessary. To avoid any risk of testing positive for THC, individuals can opt for broad-spectrum CBD or isolates. Broad-spectrum CBD includes all the compounds present in hemp, with THC removed during the later stages of extraction. CBD isolate, on the other hand, refers to pure, separated CBD with no odor or flavor, and contains 99% cannabidiol.

6 Benefits of CBD Oil for Athletes

1. Alternative to NSAIDs

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly used by athletes to manage pain and inflammation. However, long-term use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal issues, liver and kidney damage, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. CBD oil offers a natural alternative to NSAIDs without the unwanted side effects. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation and pain without damaging the digestive system, making it a safer option for athletes.

2. Alternative to Opioids

Opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are powerful painkillers that can be highly addictive and pose a risk of overdose. In recent years, the opioid epidemic has become a major public health crisis in the United States. CBD oil offers a non-addictive and non-toxic alternative to opioids for athletes managing chronic pain. CBD has been shown to reduce pain and improve quality of life in patients with chronic pain conditions, without the risk of addiction or overdose.

3. Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health problems, including pain, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective treatment for chronic inflammation in athletes. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, CBD reduced inflammation and improved mobility without causing adverse effects.

4. Settle Your Gut

Digestive issues, such as nausea and vomiting, are common among athletes, especially those who engage in high-intensity exercise. CBD has been shown to have antiemetic (anti-nausea) properties, making it an effective treatment for digestive issues. In a study of patients undergoing chemotherapy, CBD reduced nausea and vomiting without causing adverse effects.

5. Improve Sleep Quality

Sleep is essential for athletes to perform at their best, but chronic pain and anxiety can interfere with sleep quality. CBD has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety in patients with insomnia. In a study of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CBD reduced the frequency of nightmares and improved sleep quality. Additionally, CBD has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, which can also contribute to better sleep quality.

6. How to Use CBD Oil

There are several ways athletes can use CBD oil for pain management. Oral consumption is the most common method, with CBD oil available in tinctures, capsules, and edibles. Tinctures are usually taken sublingually, or under the tongue, for faster absorption. Capsules and edibles are swallowed and take longer to take effect, but offer a more convenient option for athletes on the go.

Topical application is another option for athletes experiencing localized pain and inflammation. CBD-infused creams, lotions, and balms can be applied directly to the affected area for targeted pain relief.

Inhalation through a vaporizer is a less common method of CBD consumption, but can provide rapid relief for acute pain and anxiety. However, it is important to note that inhalation can have potential risks to lung health, and athletes should consult with their healthcare provider before using this method.

Dosage and frequency of CBD oil use will vary depending on the individual athlete and their specific needs. It is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, while monitoring any potential side effects.

Our Final Thoughts

In conclusion, athletes are increasingly turning to CBD oil for chronic pain management due to its potential benefits and safety profile. While CBD oil is legal for use by athletes, it is important to note that THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is not permitted in competition. CBD oil is a non-intoxicating compound derived from hemp or marijuana plants that has been shown to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and promote relaxation. Although research on CBD oil is limited, studies have shown promising results for its effectiveness in managing pain and anxiety. Finally, it is important to note that athletes should always consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD oil into their regimen and to be aware that some drug tests may detect even trace amounts of THC in CBD products.

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