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CBD For Recovery: How Elite Athletes Use CBD For Recovery

Did you know many pro-athletes are now using CBD for recovery? Whether they use it to reduce soreness after workouts or to help promote sleep, a growing number of elite athletes openly praise cannabidiol.

Did you know many pro-athletes are now using CBD for recovery?

Whether you’re a pro-athlete, a retired athlete, or someone who spends their nights and weekends pushing their physical potential to the max, you’re intimately familiar with the variety of things that can throw off your game.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), injuries, pain, trouble sleeping, and illness are just a handful of the factors that can get in the way of you and what matters most: being able to recover and perform at your very best. This is why we all spend countless hours learning … How much protein should I get? Should I be intermittent fasting every day? What are the best supplements that I can take to expedite muscle synthesis?

These kinds of questions lead athletes to discover the trendy supplement from hemp that comes from the same plant species as medical marijuana: CBD.

Photo: A muscular shirtless man lifts a large weight outdoors.

In this article, you’ll learn why professional weightlifters and other elite athletes are using CBD for recovery. (Photo: XWERKS)

Early research and plenty of stories around the internet suggest that CBD might be a sort of panacea for athletes. From mood regulation to fighting inflammation, this wonder-molecule is being used by some of the fittest people around in the hopes of supporting healing and optimal performance.

WHAT IS CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of phytonutrient (a compound found in plants that supports human health) found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Specifically, it’s one of around 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. These compounds, which include the well-known mind-altering compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are unique when it comes to how they interact with the bodies of humans and other vertebrates.

Over the last many years, hundreds of studies have been published on cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD. By interacting with a system in our bodies known as the endocannabinoid system, these phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids that come from plants) can reach cells throughout our bodies, including those in our brains and our immune systems.

Thanks to this interaction, CBD and THC are capable of impacting vertebrate health in many ways. These range from helping with pain and seizures to impacting cognitive function and mood.

Unlike THC, which is the compound that causes you to get high if you smoke weed, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means you can take CBD without feeling “high.”

THE UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF CBD

To understand how CBD might be able to benefit athletes, it’s helpful to have a foundational knowledge as to how CBD works in the body. Studies have found CBD to be: (Sources: 1,2,3,4,5)

  • Anti-inflammation: CBD might be able to reduce inflammation in the body, such as that from chronic inflammatory diseases or injuries.
  • Analgesic: This means that CBD can reduce the sensation of pain.
  • Antioxidant: Free radicals are molecules that can damage our cells, with damage leading to conditions like cancer. Antioxidants reduce free-radical induced harm.
  • Anti-psychotic: This type of compound may be able to help those with mental health conditions.
  • Anxiolytic: CBD has shown potential in reducing the subjective feelings and physiological manifestations of anxiety and stress.
  • Antiseizure: For some types of seizure disorders, CBD can help to reduce the frequency of seizures.
  • Neuroprotective: Neuroprotective compounds protect the health and function of our brains and the resulting cognitive abilities.
  • Blood flow enhancer: CBD may be able to boost blood flow, therefore increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, including to the brain and muscles.

It’s important to understand, however, that most of the properties listed above have been found in preliminary animal studies, not human clinical trials. While these studies provide clues as to what CBD might do in the human body, more studies in humans themselves are needed to confirm if these benefits carry over.

Athletes use CBD for recovery to reduce soreness after workouts, promote deeper sleep, and more. Photo: A man in gray workout clothes takes XWERKS CBD after exercise.

Athletes use CBD for recovery to reduce soreness after workouts, promote deeper sleep, and more. (Photo: XWERKS)

As researchers continue to investigate CBD, we will learn which of these benefits apply to the human body, and exactly what kinds of effects it can have.

WHY ELITE ATHLETES ARE TURNING TO CBD FOR RECOVERY

CBD may help speed recovery

There are many times when our bodies need to recover. The most common is after a game or a hard workout, but we also have to recover physically from injuries like concussions or sprained ankles.

The one thing that our bodies need to do to expedite recovery is to slow down an overactive inflammatory response. This is why we do things like ice injuries, get sports massages, and use compression tape.

Because CBD has demonstrated an ability to combat inflammation, it might be able to help us heal faster. This can be particularly important if you are struggling with DOMS, an injury, or when you have back-to-back games that necessitate rapid recovery.

Additionally, the antioxidant and blood-flow enhancing effects of CBD could help to reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress and deliver oxygen and nutrients to healing muscles.

CBD might reduce pain

If you’re an athlete, you understand the constant battle between performance and pain. Much of the pain that you experience is inflammatory pain, which is pain that occurs from microtears in your muscle or from an injury.

The most common way to treat inflammatory pain are a class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). With long-term or excessive use of NSAIDs tied to a variety of health concerns, many athletes do without or try to limit their use.

In animal studies, CBD has demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammatory pain in rats. Because there have been no human clinical trials, it’s up to each of us to determine whether or not CBD helps to relieve pain. You will find many first-hand accounts of people using CBD oil for pain.

CBD may help some people sleep

Getting enough shut-eye is critical when it comes to optimal athletic recovery. It’s during deep sleep that our bodies are capable or diverting resources to allow the healing needed following a vigorous workout.

Anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders like insomnia can hinder sleep. When you’re unable to sleep for any reason, you won’t be able to recover as quickly. Some researchers have hypothesized that CBD might be able to help those with anxiety and sleep disorders sleep better.

A small human study found that CBD helped those with REM sleep behavior disorder, allowing them to sleep better throughout the night. Another study published this year found that CBD helped to reduce anxiety in those in a psychiatric clinic over three months, but the effect on sleep was not as definitive.

Photo: A woman stretches out in bed enjoying a deep, restful sleep.

Though scientific evidence remains inconclusive, many CBD consumers report more restful sleep. This can be key to effective athletic recovery.

Even though there is no conclusive evidence supporting CBD’s role in human sleep, the research so far suggests that CBD doesn’t negatively impact sleep in the healthy population, and that some people might benefit from using CBD for sleep.

CBD might help those with chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Athletic recovery isn’t just about performing well in the next competition. For some, damage that adds up over the years can lead to chronic conditions. This is especially true for retired professional football players, as years of head injuries can take a toll long after they’ve stopped playing football.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition caused by repetitive head trauma. The chronic inflammation and neurodegeneration can lead to cognitive difficulties like memory troubles, mood disorders like depression, and eventually, to motor dysfunction similar to that in Parkinson’s disease patients.

In a study that examined the brains of deceases football players, it was discovered that 99% showed signs of CTE. And it’s not only football players, but boxer and those in the military, that are at risk of this disease.

Researchers have found that a combination of THC and CBD can help to treat CTE symptoms, such as psychosis, headache, nausea, and mood difficulties. And some believe that CBD itself might be helpful thanks to its neuroprotective effects.

HOW ELITE ATHLETES USE CBD OIL

Now that you know why CBD might offer benefits for athletic recovery, the question is, how do they use it?

The most common way to take CBD oil is orally by using a CBD oil tincture or a capsule. Oral CBD is particularly beneficial because it allows for distribution throughout your body, allowing a multitude of possible benefits.

This is contrary to topical CBD, which are products like salves and lotions that are applied directly to your skin. While this type of CBD might prove useful for things like an injury or arthritis, using it alongside oral CBD will allow additional effects of CBD for recovery in other areas of your body.

You can also find smokable CBD products like vape pens of hemp flower. These offer the highest bioavailability (meaning that more of the CBD is used by your body), however, its safety and dosage have not been researched as thoroughly as oral CBD.

WHAT ATHLETES ARE USING CBD OIL?

More athletes are coming out of the woodwork, sharing their experiences with their dedicated fan base. Not long ago, CBD was banned by the World Doping Agency, and thus using it could have gotten professional athletes in trouble. This all changed in 2018.

You will now find elite athletes from all arenas who are supporters of CBD. Some have started their own companies, and many are hard at work furthering the legality and understanding of CBD. These include (among many others):

  • Julie Anthony (pro tennis)
  • Tatum Bell (NFL)
  • Brita Schwerm Bolane (pro volleyball)
  • Shannon Briggs (pro boxing)
  • Steve Cantwell (mixed martial arts)
  • Avery Collins (Ultramarathoner)
  • Julian Davidson (pro skater)
  • San Juanita Fetuuaho (Rugby)
  • Greta Gaines (pro snowboarding)
  • Al Harrington (NBA)

As you can see, professional sports players from many backgrounds are coming together to support the use of CBD for elite athletes.

ARE YOU READY TO START USING CBD OIL?

If you would like to try CBD yourself, the first step is finding a high-quality CBD oil product. Look for a product that offers third party lab-results, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA), that show the quantity of CBD and THC as well as other phytonutrients. All CBD products should be clearly labelled, making it easy to find the full list of ingredients and amount of hemp extract in each product.

Next, you will want to decide between full-spectrum hemp oil (FSHO) and CBD isolate. The general rule is that FSHO likely offers the greatest benefits, but CBD isolates are more cost effective. Additionally, you might want to look for a CBD oil products that contains 0% THC if you do undergo any type of drug testing. Be sure to check with the company that does testing to ensure that a 0% THC CBD oil won’t show up as a false positive.

Photo: An athlete holds CBD capsules in their hand.

Oral use of CBD, such as taking CBD capsules, allows for easy and convenient dosing after a workout. (Photo: XWERKS)

Remember, most athletes will try an oral product like a full spectrum oil or hemp extract capsules for optimal effect throughout the body. Try starting with a small amount once or twice per day, and slowly increase your dosage until you find what works best for you.

FINAL THOUGHTS: USING CBD FOR ATHLETIC RECOVERY

With elite athletes standing behind CBD and other cannabis or hemp products for recovery, many weekend warriors are beginning to learn about the potential benefits of this plant compound. CBD might help to speed recovery from exercise-induced stress and injuries, and might help to expedite recovery in other ways as well, such as encouraging restful sleep.

With increased legality, you can now buy CBD oil online or find it at stores throughout many states in the U.S.

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Cannabis & The NFL: Using CBD & Cannabis In Professional Sports

While the NFL still bans players from using cannabis and CBD, attitudes in other professional sports are beginning to change. Former players, doctors and others are working to let pro-football players and other athletes use CBD and medical cannabis.

With more research shining light on the impact of injuries and treatments of injuries from professional sports, more athletes are coming to the same conclusion: the key to their well-being lies in the cannabis plant.

Professional sports are some of the most well-loved activities of American culture. The mega-arenas of NFL are filled with thousands of ravenous fans screaming for the players to smash into each other as hard as they can, all waiting with nervous energy in hope that their team wins. Watching professional sports can be an exhilarating experience, matched only by adrenaline fueled events such as skydiving or cliff jumping. They also provide fans with an opportunity to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Many fans make their favorite teams a part of their personalities.

Something that tends to get lost in the excitement and joy of being a sports fan are the players themselves. People take their favorite athletes for-granted, never really knowing the extent of dedication and arduous work they do to perform well in the field, octagon, or court. These athletes quite literally give their life to their sports, missing holidays and important family events all to train and play in the sport they love. 

NFL BANS ALL FORMS OF HEMP AND PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS

Athletes are constantly straining their bodies with their workouts and with the impacts absorbed in play. With the constant strain on their body, they sustain considerable damage to their muscles, joints, and sometimes even to their brains. The long-term implications of these injuries are extremely dangerous and can even be life-altering.

A professional football player dives for the end zone while holding a football, dressed in a helmet and other typical gear. Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Despite other sports organizations beginning to soften their position on cannabis, NFL athletes are still barred from using any form of cannabis and avoid CBD.

Unfortunately, the NFL has banned the use of psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) in all capacities. This also includes all products that are derived from the cannabis plant, whether it’s for recreational or medical use. Currently, the players are drug-tested during the start of the off-season training camps, usually for THC. They are subject to random drug tests, but for the most part, are only tested once per season. With regards to CBD, the NFL’s rules are very murky. CBD supplements can also sometimes cause positive drug tests. As a result, players simply refuse to take CBD products, with the fear that they could lead to suspension due to the severity of punishments regarding cannabis.

Below, we will explore the impact of injuries sustained by athletes in the NFL and how the medications prescribed to treat them create a vicious cycle. We’ll also look at how an NFL player and a doctor put their careers on the line to fight for medical cannabis treatments, and how other sports organizations are dealing with the relaxing regulations around all forms of the cannabis plant.

THE TRUE IMPACT OF FOOTBALL ON PLAYERS’ HEALTH

In a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 110 of 111 tested former NFL players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease that is caused by constant impacts to the head area, something that NFL players are no strangers to. Some of the symptoms are memory loss, impaired judgement, depression, anxiety and impulse control issues.

It’s important to note that the only way to test for CTE is if the subject is diseased. Meaning, that the median age subjects in the study were 67 years old, with a median participation in football for 15 years. The sample that they tested were more representative of an older generation of football players, where impacts were harder, and equipment dramatically worse. But this is no defense for the modern game of football, where there are still many players who suffer traumatic head trauma. Players like Chris Borland and Jahvid Best were forced to walk away from the game due to repeated concussions and fear of further neurological damage.

Football helmets sit on a football field. Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

Despite advances in safety gear, football players still face repeated injuries and treatment can leave them addicted to painkillers.

This idea of head trauma has been around for a long time, we have just never really had a name for it. Modern scientific studies and popular movies like “Concussionhave propelled the problem to the public eye. Chronic pains caused by concussions aren’t the only long-term health problems professional athletes face, they can also face long-term damage to muscles and to their joints (especially the knees), which are all treated by prescription drugs.

What this creates is a vicious cycle, where athletes’ bodies are constantly being whittled down by their sports, and their team doctors prescribe them to highly-addictive anti-inflammatories and painkillers, many including opioids. Many athletes get addicted to these drugs, some cases as extreme as taking over 100 pills per week, and many carry these addictions with them outside of their playing careers. This effectively not only breaks down their inhibitions, but also their well-being and family life.

RETIRED FOOTBALL PLAYERS ADVOCATE FOR CANNABIS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

Clearly this is a serious & widespread problem, and a lot of professional athletes are speaking up and fighting for better & healthier methods to cope with the damage of sports. Possibly the biggest proponent of medical cannabis treatments is former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Selected as the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Monroe played in the league for seven years, where he saw playing time for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens.

One of the top offensive tackles of the game, Monroe retired after being released by Baltimore at just 29 years old. At the time of his retirement he had the highest paying contract on the Ravens and was widely speculated that he was released for his medical cannabis advocacy. In a letter to The Players’ Tribune, Monroe explained his decision:

“I’m only 29 and I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some. But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future. The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.”

Since retiring, Monroe has been extremely involved in advocating for cannabis medical treatment for athletes. He was the first active NFL player for cannabis treatments and has worked with many organizations to try and spread the word for cannabis as a viable medicine such as the “When the Bright Lights Fade” campaign.

The campaign features other NFL players such as former pro bowl Quarterback Jake Plummer who face a similar situation to Monroe’s. Created by the non-profit Realm of Caring, they aim to convince the NFL to change the narrative around medical cannabis and are working with researchers at John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania to study the impact of cannabinoids on former and current football players. Monroe has donated $80,000 to the campaign and has continued to actively support many different campaigns fighting for the use of medical cannabis.

THE TRAILBLAZING DR. SUE SISLEY

Another key player in the fight for medical cannabis is Dr. Sue Sisley, who has spent the majority of this decade researching and supporting the medical efficacy of psychoactive cannabis.

Like a lot of us, Dr. Sisley was a skeptic of the medical effects of cannabis, but after working with veterans at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, she saw for herself the medical power of the plant. After her first-hand experience, Dr. Sisley decided to dive head on into the medical marijuana scene. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, Dr. Sisley has been part of the first ever government-funded study into the effectiveness of treating PTSD with marijuana. She also took part in the first attempt at treating an NFL player with medical cannabis, outlined in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary series on the plant. She’s even been appointed the role of Medical Director for Nuka Enterprises who produce the 1906 brand cannabis edibles. She does all of this while continuously providing medical care to patients in her private practice (who she runs with her mother, Hanna Sisley). Dr. Sisley is nothing short of remarkable.

Over 90 percent of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified. — Former NFL player Eugene Monroe

While mostly researching the effects of cannabis in veterans, she has also started to do work with athletes, including NFL player Mike James who we mentioned above. She believes that cannabis can be the solution to the opioid and painkiller addictions that run rampant through the NFL.

When asked about the biggest setback that is preventing medical marijuana to be administered to willing patients, Dr. Sisley told us that “the government has systematically impeded studies that reveals the effectiveness of the different application methods of cannabis.”

Without these studies, scientists and doctors are left in a world of chaos when dealing with cannabis. Not only does the impediment of these studies effect the research of application methods, but it effects the research into the plants themselves. With thousands upon thousands of strains, doctors do not know which are more effective with which disease or which ones are good for medical use and for recreational use.

Dr. Sisley also says that there is “no oversight” within behind the cannabis markets yet, at least none that are effective. This, we know, leads to quality control issues within cannabis products. Even the governments’ own approved farm, specifically used for clinical trials, located in the University of Mississippi, has its own quality issues.

Basically, without the support of the federal government, there will always be a lack of understanding behind the medical efficacy of the cannabis plant. This means that veterans and athletes will be left on their own if they seek medical cannabis help.

CANNABIS & HEMP NOW AVAILABLE TO MORE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

The UFC is another major sport organization that has had players speak up on the medical effects of cannabis. Fighters such as Yair Rodriguez and Nate Diaz are advocators for the neuroprotective properties of CBD. In an infamous post-fight press conference, Nate Diaz vaped CBD oil. He told the press that it helps him recover from fights. That particular fight was UFC 202, where Diaz fought for the Welterweight championship belt against Conor McGregor, was a five-round bloodbath. It only shows just how important CBD can be to athletes such as Diaz, where they face can face extraordinary injuries in their sport.

Ice Hockey players embrace on the ice during a game. Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

Other major leagues, like the NHL, have softened their attitudes toward cannabis in professional sports and allowed players to access medical cannabis treatments or CBD.

As a result of Diaz’s advocacy and changes to World Anti-Doping Authority Standards, the UFC removed its restriction on CBD at the beginning of 2018. Other major sports leagues such as the NHL and MLB have also allowed players to take medical cannabis treatments, as they tend to focus on cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs rather than federally-banned substances.

The NFL can learn a lot from these other leagues. After all, Football is the most dangerous of America’s major sports. Football not only has higher rates of injury, but the injuries that can be sustained are often much more serious.

A GREENER FUTURE FOR CANNABIS & CBD IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

In a country that is slowly changing the narrative around the cannabis plant, we hope to see major sports leagues join the change in order to preserve the health and well-being of their players.

With more states legalizing the use of recreational or medical marijuana (such as Michigan) we can only hope that the federal government will start to ramp up its support too. Without backing from the federal government, the cannabis industry and the community around it are forced to fend for themselves, and researchers are left to depend on private donors to fund studies into cannabis.

But, despite all of these setbacks, the cannabis revolution marches on. With advocates like Dr. Sisley and Eugene Monroe working so hard to promote access, we’re confident in the future of cannabis in professional sports.

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CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment Relieves Aches & Pains To Keep You Exercising

If you’re an athlete, CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment might just be the fix to your post-workout aches and pains. After trying this CBD topical, our reviewer recovered quickly and was able to get to the gym more often.

If you’re an athlete, CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment might just be the fix to your post-workout aches and pains.

If you do workouts consisting mainly of bending, jerking, and lifting movements, you are well aware of the joint pains that come with them. Specifically, lifting weights can affect the wrists, knees, elbows, and your back. So, when we heard of the chance to review the CBDMEDIC ointment that targets those sore areas, we jumped at the opportunity.

Our reviewer tried CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment for about a week and reported great results. While they didn’t completely eliminate his aches and pains, they reduced them so much he no longer had “any excuse” to skip going to the gym, even on the next day after a workout. CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects, and CBD topicals are the perfect way to take advantage of this when reducing soreness. This ointment even reduced the pain in our reviewer’s thumbs and hands after marathon “Red Dead Redemption 2” video game sessions on winter break.

In addition, we loved the light, non-greasy feel of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment. It absorbed into our skin easily, and didn’t leave a residue behind unlike some other muscle ointments we’ve tried.

A tube of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment posed with a pair of pink sneakers in a locker room.

CBDMedic Active Sport Ointment is specially designed to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, helping athletes get back to working out.

CBDMEDIC paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on for our full review of CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment and to learn more about what makes their CBD topicals stand out in a crowded marketplace.

CBDMEDIC FOCUSES ON TOP-QUALITY CBD TOPICALS THAT TARGET INFLAMMATION AND PAIN

CBDMEDIC’s focus on top-quality CBD topicals is unique among CBD. They designed each topical to target a different kind of pain. CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment is specially designed to decrease inflammation and increase blood-flow. This helps athletes like our reviewer stay active and recover more quickly. While the muscle damage that naturally occurs from workouts causes inflammation, CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory.

CBDMEDIC is the first brand of CBD products registered with the FDA Over-the-Counter registration system. As a result, pharmacists and medical professionals have been recommending CBDMEDIC products since 2016.

CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment (Ministry Of Hemp Official CBD Review)CBDMEDIC ACTIVE SPORT OINTMENT OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: CBDMEDIC Active Sport Ointment provides joint & muscle pain relief in a long-lasting, natural, and effective fashion. It’s great to apply before, during, or after your workout.
  • Strength: This ointment is available in a 40g tube, a 10-pack of single-application packets, or a 20G pain stick
  • Price: $29.99 – $49.99
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Flat-rate shipping is available for $5.00.
  • Independent Test Results: Available on request.
  • Texture & Scent: This CBD topical has a light texture. It reminded us of  vapor rub by combining potent menthol smell with healing CBD. It’s perfect for quick application.
  • Key Ingredients: CBD plus Camphor & Menthol
  • Full Ingredient List: Full-spectrum Hemp extract with Menthol, Camphor, Beeswax (organic), Clove oil, Sorbic acid, Cottonseed oil, Eucalyptus oil, Jojoba seed oil, Peppermint oil, & Tea Tree oil

CBDMEDIC uses only organic ingredients, including organically grown hemp, in all their products. They also make CBD topicals designed for arthritis pain and for relieving back & neck pain. While we love the quality of these CBD topicals, we did notice it’s difficult to tell exactly how much CBD is in each product and we’d like to see clearer labelling in the future.

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How Endurance Athletes Use CBD: CBD Oil Helps You Go The Extra Mile

Marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists, and other such athletes push their bodies and minds to the limits, and many of them find themselves in states of constant physical pain or mental exhaustion. CBD can help them feel better and go further.

Every day, an increasing number of endurance athletes use CBD to go further and feel better.

The potential benefits of CBD and its balancing properties are just beginning to gain recognition. CBD can help almost anyone who has general pain, anxiety, or other day-to-day physical and psychological issues. Many of us undergo a lot of physical and mental stress in our daily lives, and endurance athletes are no exception. Marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists, and other such athletes push their bodies and minds to the limits, and many of them find themselves in states of constant physical pain or mental exhaustion.

THE MANY WAYS ENDURANCE ATHLETES USE CBD

As CBD has become more prominent, it’s become more and more recognized in the world of athletics. The biggest potential benefits for endurance athletes are CBD’s potential to reduce inflammation and stress or anxiety, improve recovery time, and even control appetite.

A silhouette of a runner jogging during a sunrise. Distance runners, triathletes, professional cyclists and other endurance athletes use CBD because it helps them perform better and longer.

Distance runners, triathletes, professional cyclists and other endurance athletes use CBD because it helps them perform better and longer.

Endurance Athletes Use CBD To Reduce Inflammation and Soreness

For athletes who put a lot of miles on their bodies, inflammation is one of the biggest concerns. Constant use of muscles and joints can cause inflammation and soreness. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory that also can protect cells from oxidative damage. Studies have shown that CBD might be an alternative to over-the-counter pain medicines like Advil and Tylenol.

CBD Can Increase Energy

When taken in smaller doses, CBD actually activates the same adenosine receptors that caffeine does, providing a boost of energy. This can be great for training or race days that might seem like too much otherwise. The boost of energy is just one way that CBD might help improve recovery times.

CBD Will Reduce Stress and Anxiety

CBD has also shown potential in reducing stress and anxiety. This is due to its ability to regulate the endocannabinoid system. Essentially, CBD acts on the cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for responses to stress. Some athletes have found that CBD helps them recover from the stress of making time for training in their already busy schedules and from their workouts. It can also be helpful for race/event days to calm pre-race nerves or to help fall asleep the night before. Since our bodies don’t repair themselves as well when under stress, this benefit of CBD may help endurance athletes recover from heavy training or injuries more easily.

Control Appetite Your Appetite With CBD

Finally, CBD might help control your appetite. If you are on a strict training diet, CBD has been shown to not only slow appetite, but also help feel full for longer. This could be a great benefit for athletes who are trying to put the healthiest foods into their bodies without overeating. Some studies have even shown that CBD helps boost metabolism and increase the body’s ability to burn fat.

WHICH ENDURANCE ATHLETES USE CBD?

Athletes who are constantly training or competing may find that CBD provides relief from the stress of the endurance world. Triathletes, distance runners, cyclists, and athletes who do similar sports will likely appreciate CBD’s potential as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory.

Cyclists race on a roadway in a tight pack, wearing sponsored pro cyclist gear and helmets. Some endurance athletes use CBD to reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical painkillers to relieve the soreness of workouts.

Some endurance athletes use CBD to reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical painkillers to relieve the soreness of workouts.

While scientific studies on CBD’s potential athletic benefits are yet to be done. Anecdotally, many endurance athletes say that they have stopped using all painkillers in favor of CBD. Others say that CBD helps them focus and improves their stamina when taken before running or other forms of exercise.

And the benefits aren’t just there for endurance athletes: CBD might help athletes who participate in many other sports. Preliminary research suggests CBD is a neuroprotectant. That means CBD could help the brain recover from concussions. Soccer players, football players, and other athletes who might get hit in the head could find CBD useful.

BEFORE YOU BUY CBD

CBD is still being researched, so there are not a lot of regulations on how it is produced.

If you are interested in trying CBD, the most important thing to do is research whether CBD is legal where you live. If so, you can begin your search for a CBD company. You’ll probably find a few options online. Like with anything on the internet, do your research on these companies.

A reputable CBD company will have its products tested by third parties, who will check that the product is, in fact, what it claims to be. CBD companies should provide the results of the tests; and if they don’t, it’s best to look elsewhere. And, while there is evidence that CBD can help with a variety of ailments, there are no conclusive proofs about it yet. Make sure to avoid CBD companies who promise to cure every problem you are experiencing.

Otherwise, whether you are an athlete or not, we hope that if you try CBD, you are pleased with the outcome!

 

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DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Working Out With CBD: How CBD Supports Muscle Gain & Boosts Stamina

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing.

Let’s look at why so many leading athletes are working out with CBD.

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. In capsule or oil form, CBD is an important part of any holistic health and wellness routine. Whether you’re a professional athlete, amateur jogger or busy mom, this beneficial supplement made from hemp can help. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing.

Since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted its ban on CBD, many fitness professionals and athletes use CBD as the staple for their high-performance fitness regimens to build muscle and boost stamina. CBD can do a lot of ‘good’ for the human body. That being said, it’s important to use the highest quality CBD from natural hemp oil, from a CBD supplier you can trust. Bargain priced “CBD” products frequently contain very little CBD content by volume. If you’re going to buy CBD oil, be sure it is 100% premium and pure from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content – which will ensure it is legal in all 50 states.

CATABOLIC HORMONES PLAY A KEY ROLE IN BUILDING MUSCLE

Catabolic hormones are those in the body which cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. For athletes and others with the goal of increasing muscle mass and improving muscle tone, reducing the levels of catabolic hormones, such as cortisol, is imperative.

Cortisol is a hormone that reduces protein synthesis and actively prevents tissue growth. Excessive cortisol levels are usually the culprit when those who work out diligently fail to achieve the muscle building results they expected from their rigorous fitness routines.

A woman seen from behind holding a weight on her shoulders. Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

The key to understanding cortisol’s negative effect on muscle-building is to recognize that cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day. The hormone is secreted by the adrenal gland. Cortisol levels are usually higher in the morning, decreasing throughout the day, and at their lowest at night. This explains why muscle recovery happens most efficiently while we sleep.

Of course, cortisol does provide some important benefits, or the body wouldn’t produce it. Cortisol is instrumental in the liver, helping to remove toxins from the body. Cortisol has other roles in the immune system regulating blood sugar levels, and enhancing short-term memory. At natural levels, cortisol is quite beneficial and CBD oil can help maintain a healthy cortisol balance.

CBD’s ANTI-CATABOLIC PROPERTIES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

From research done on the Endocannabinoid System, we know that CBD oil consumed engages CB2 receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain, the control centers of the Endocannabinoid System responsible for regulating sleep and mood. Nearly 25 percent of Americans struggle to achievedeep REM sleep. However, with the support of CBD, regular deep REM sleep can be achieved to augment protein synthesis for building muscle tissue at the most optimum time when growth inhibiting cortisol levels are at a minimum. This is one indirect way CBD helps to manage cortisol levels.

A preliminary study published in September by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research suggests CBD works directly with the Endocannabinoid System to interfere with cortisol secretion as reported by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, where subjects experienced a significant decrease in cortisol levels in their blood. This means that CBD can slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle.

We know about CBD’s calming anti-anxiety and mood-regulating effects when working in natural harmony with our Endocannabinoid Systems. It’s easy to see how CBD’s multiple and very beneficial therapeutic effects, and its direct anti-catabolic action all combine to keep cortisol at the properly balanced levels to benefit our systems.

WHY HIGH-STRESS WORKOUTS AND OTHER STIMULANTS MAY BOOST CORTISOL LEVELS

Increasing levels of the hormone testosterone with intense periods of weight lifting is the well-known mechanism for building muscle mass, but the level of cortisol which also increases during an intense workout has the exact opposite effect.

Cortisol levels rise significantly in response to stress no matter what time of day or what the situation. That’s why the fitness community calls cortisol “the stress hormone.” An intense heavy workout routine is a source of physical stress. That’s in addition to the unavoidable day-to-day environmental stresses everyone experiences.

A woman works out with handheld weights in a gym.

High intensity workouts can actually produce harmful stress hormones in the body. Working out with CBD may counteract some of these negative effects of intense exercise.

When cortisol levels soar in response to extreme workout stress, the high amount of the catabolic hormone can cause high blood pressure, lower bone density, and eat up muscle tissue negating the positive benefits of the workout. In the worst-case scenario, unregulated cortisol can cause the physical condition to nosedive. That’s the exact opposite result of what your fitness regimen is trying to achieve.

This is (unfortunately) similar to the effect that caffeine causes. It has been demonstrated that as little as 2-3 cups of coffee per day can cause cortisol levels to rise. However, CBD oil’s natural stimulating effects provide all the energy-boosting benefits without the jitters while maintaining cortisol at beneficial levels.

Pre- and post-workout CBD oil supplements can balance cortisol levels to let you optimize results from your workout time. But, as always with CBD, there is good news and more good news.

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA AND HELPS YOU ‘FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS’

Stamina is something that each person desires for their workout or work day.

The most understood feeling of stamina is what we all know as the “runner’s high” that you can get from any long-form workout. For years, endorphins have gotten the credit for maintaining stamina through long, cardio-focused workouts. However, recent research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is the true generator of the legendary “runner’s high.” Findings show that it’s the rush of anandamide, the natural endocannabinoid compound regulated by CBD via the Endocannabinoid System, which deserves the credit for the sudden onset of the euphoric, pain-free, calm sensation.

Now within a CBD-optimized homeostasis where you are “firing on all cylinders,” stamina and energy levels are improved, breathing is well-regulated, and CBD’s anti-inflammatory action keeps muscles cramp-free while balancing dopamine at proper levels to promote smooth movement and balance. Some scientists refer to this homeostasis as “the Goldilocks Zone.” It’s that state in which mind, body, and spirit function together and everything is “just right.”

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA BY REGULATING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

The last key to building muscle and boosting stamina is maintenance of our blood sugar levels. Contrary to common belief, we can do this through more ways than just a balanced diet.

A runner is crouched on the starting line, ready to race on a track. Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Chronic inflammation has long been established as a cause of insulin resistance resulting in Type 2 diabetes. As reported by Diabetes.co.uk, the immune system, cell growth, sugar metabolism and heart function all also appear to prospectively benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

When blood sugar is regulated, less insulin is present and therefore less fat is stored. When less fat is stored, your body works in an anti-catabolic mode to help produce more muscle.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORKING OUT WITH CBD

CBD oil’s anti-catabolic properties are making it the most recommended supplement in fitness regimens where increasing muscle mass is a primary goal. CBD’s additional benefits for runners, yoga enthusiasts, professional athletes and more in the health and wellness world strongly suggests that this is not a fad, but a supplement that is becoming the norm. More and more people are beginning to second-guess western medicine and are looking for a more natural way to help fight disease and pain – and CBD is increasingly the answer.

CBD can be ingested in capsule form, oil form or topically as a cream. CBD creams and salves also have a place in the fitness industry for topical inflammation, pain relief and flexibility – three things that are key to a safe and successful workout. It’s important for each fitness enthusiast to research the different ways to leverage CBD’s benefits and test dosages to see what works best for your body. The future is bright with CBD.

 

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Natural Pain Relief: Why CBD Might Be Better Than Opiates

Consider CBD oil as a safe and effective alternative to opiates for natural pain relief. Many doctors remain opposed to cannabis-derived medicine, despite scientific research which shows that CBD has powerful pain relieving properties, especially for sports injuries.

Consider CBD oil as a safe and effective alternative to opiates for natural pain relief.

Hemp-derived products like CBD oil were legalized under the 2014 Farm Bill. However, you are unlikely to be prescribed CBD by a doctor. Many doctors remain opposed to cannabis-derived medicine, despite scientific research which shows that CBD has powerful pain relieving properties, especially for sports injuries.

CBD oil, derived from industrial hemp, is often a viable option for natural pain relief

CBD oil is an increasingly popular option for natural pain relief of many symptoms.

While there is certainly a place for opioids and other medically prescribed painkillers, you should be hesitant to take these before you consider alternatives.

CBD OIL: NON-ADDICTIVE, NATURAL PAIN RELIEF

In America, dozens of people die everyday from opioid overdose. This is an epidemic that we have so far failed to address. Millions of patients are entering hospitals in search of a solution to their pain, with no history of addiction. They are leaving with an addiction which can ruin or even end their lives.

Fortunately, those seeking treatment of painful sports-related injuries or conditions which cause chronic pain have an alternative. ‘Addiction’ is a loaded term and not always clearly defined. However, scientific studies suggest that those who take CBD as a pain reliever are less likely to become dependent. There is also some evidence that CBD alters the addictive pathways in the brain, potentially helping those with opioid dependency to overcome their addiction.

CBD IS NATURAL PAIN RELIEF WITH FEW SIDE EFFECTS

Opioids work by preventing the release of a chemical known as GABA, which controls the dopamine supply to the brain. Without GABA, a huge hit of dopamine is delivered, creating a high for the patient. CBD, when consumed without THC, provides no such rush. It simply removes the pain.

natural pain relief without pharmaceuticals

For some people recovering from injuries, CBD oil offers natural pain relief without the need for opiates or other prescription painkillers.

As a result, even if there were negative effects, people would stop using it. However, most people don’t experience any side effects from CBD at all and most people who take it report feeling fine. Opioids, conversely, can cause vomiting and nausea in the short-term. In the long-term, such painkillers increase the risk of heart attacks and are potentially deadly in an overdose.

HOW DOES CBD PROVIDE PAIN RELIEF?

One of the main ways CBD can help with chronic pain is due to its anti-inflammation properties. This reduces the swelling of cells, preventing much of the pain that would normally occur.

The brain also contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which contains some of the neural pathways that signal pain to the brain. CBD interacts with the ESC in order to decrease the body’s pain signals. Other painkillers likely do not affect the ECS in the same way, which may help explain why there are some types of pain that appear untreatable.

Science is in its early days when it comes to research on CBD on the brain, just as all neuroscience is in its infancy. However, there is clear evidence that CBD does have a pain relieving effect.

CBD may not work for everyone or for all conditions and there is a place for traditional pain medication.

However, research suggests that CBD can often effective with none of the side effects or addictive properties. If you are suffering from chronic pain, start with CBD and see what it can do for you.

 

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Jetpack Included: Hemp CBD Protein Powder Lifts Off At NoCo Hemp Expo

On April 7 at the NoCo Hemp Expo, former pro-basketball player Will Carr teamed up with Apollo Flight Labs to mark the launch of Willpower Products new CBD-infused protein powder in a big way. One thing we learned: jetpacks are loud!

Why launch a jetpack at a hemp expo? More like: why not?

On April 7 at the NoCo Hemp Expo, former pro-basketball player Will Carr teamed up with Apollo Flight Labs to mark the launch of Willpower Products new CBD-infused protein powder in a big way. While undeniably flashy, the jetpack stunt drew a huge crowd out of the Ranch Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. One thing we learned: jetpacks are loud!

There’s more to Carr’s offering than just a flying gimmick, however. In our interview, he explains why his new ReGen protein powder is the perfect choice for athletes and anyone who lives a fit, active lifestyle. Carr also explains how he discovered the benefits of CBD oil first hand after an injury:

Last August, I had my first encounter with CBD. I had turf toe, and I’d been taking ibuprofen for two weeks and it wasn’t helping. I took CBD and within 30 minutes my toe didn’t hurt anymore and I was like, “What in the world is this? Why have I never heard of this before?”

Stay tuned: we’ll be sharing our experiences with Willpower’s CBD protein powder and more from NoCo Hemp Expo in the coming weeks.

Apollo Flight Labs jetpack branded with the Willpower Products logo takes off at NoCo Hemp Expo

A jetpack takes flight at the NoCo Hemp Expo to mark the launch of Willpower Protein Powder. (Backstage Flash)

Jetpack footage courtesy of Backstage Flash. Video produced by AJ Film

 

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Exploring CBD To Treat Chronic Pain And Sports Injuries

After a spinal injury sidelined Adam Kemp’s basketball career, he learned the value of a remarkable natural supplement: CBD oil. Adam explains why CBD is becoming a vital part of sports medicine and many athletes daily routines.

I believe that cannabidiol (CBD) products are not only useful, but vital for athletes.

Having played professional basketball in Europe for the past 4 years, and playing basketball and other sports my entire life, I feel like my story is important for understanding the role of CBD in sports medicine to manage chronic pain, inflammation, and mental stress.

As many people already clearly know, athletes deal with chronic pain, anxiety, and stress daily. Personally, I have been using CBD products for about four months now, and my results have been amazing!

Would you like to learn about why I think cannabidiol is the future of sports medicine? Just read the rest of this article …

WHY DID I BEGIN USING CBD PRODUCTS?

Although I had learned a bit about cannabidiol in the past, I didn’t begin using it myself until October of 2017.

As a professional basketball player, dealing with injuries and pain is a simple occupational hazard.

CBD in sports medicine: CBD can treat injuries from basketball

A basketball player prepares to throw the ball. CBD oil can help ease the inflammation of injuries, chronic pain issues and other health problems associated with sports.

This past September though, I suffered a spinal compression fracture which ended my season pre-maturely. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason though, because if I had not had this injury I might not have ever discovered how beneficial cannabidiol products are for myself and other athletes.

I started using CBD for pain relief as soon as I came back home from Europe (I was playing in Bulgaria).  While I was in Bulgaria, I had been administered a “cycle” of corticosteroid injections for my back, as well as daily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. After just a couple of weeks of being treated with this medication regiment, my body was already starting to wear down.

These type of injections and medicines can be effective for reducing pain and inflammation, but the side effects are horrible! The injections made my body sweaty and jittery, and they kept me up all night. The NSAIDs were wearing my stomach and digestive system out by the day, and the pain relief wasn’t even very effective overall.

After trying to survive by using these medications for about a month, I can confidently say I would never want another athlete, or person in general, to have to use this type of “medicine.”

CBD IN SPORTS MEDICINE: RELIEF OF CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

If there was ever an occupation that made you predisposed to dealing with chronic pain and inflammation in the body, professional sports is certainly that.

Cannabidiol is especially important for athletes at this time because 2018 is the first year in which it has been off the World Anti-Doping Agency Banned Substance list. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the standard for drug testing for athletes throughout the world, and having them remove CBD from their banned substance list is a huge step for athletes.

Dealing with chronic pain impacts your quality of life, as well as your ability to perform at your job. For an athlete, CBD is the natural answer to dealing with many challenges that your body is going to face each year.Studies have shown the ability of CBD to reduce inflammation and help treat arthritis, which plagues many athletes as they get older.

Furthermore, there have been widespread anecdotal reports of the anti-inflammatory power of CBD. Inflammation in joints and muscles is the cause of most chronic pain for athletes, which is why using a natural anti-inflammatory product is so effective.

Without even talking about dealing with the stress and anxiety of competing in sports at a high-level, it is clear that CBD is a wonderful product for athletes to use!

HOW DO I USE CBD IN MY OWN LIFE?

Since beginning to use CBD products about four months ago, I have been steadily using different “forms” of CBD and different amounts of CBD per day.

In general, I have developed a routine for CBD use which has allowed me to live happy and (relatively) pain free even with this spinal compression fracture in my back.

Adam Kemp in Detroit

Adam plays basketball in Detroit.

One aspect which is unique about CBD is that every person will need a different dosage of CBD to get the full benefits. The routine that I talk about below works for me but it took me a few months of learning my own body to figure out. Your body could need similar amounts of CBD per day, or it could be totally different!

My routine is to wake up with one CBD capsule, normally ranging from 25mg to 50mg for my first dose of the day.

I drink this first capsule immediately upon waking, and I can begin to feel the pain relief and calming sensation that CBD provides within about 15 to 30 minutes normally. I start every day with this amount of CBD, and a warm cup of tea. If I can tell my back is feeling a bit “creaky” on certain days, I will also put a few drops of a CBD oil tincture in to my morning tea.

Following this, I normally head to do my physical therapy for the day.  I love CBD in the morning before training because I am also a firm believer in the power of intermittent fasting for overall health. Using CBD before intermittent fasting helps me to have some additional natural energy, and it does not “break” my body’s fasted state.

After I am done with my training for the day, I normally only use one more CBD capsule in the evening, a couple hours before I head to bed.

Along with this though, two times during each day my wife will apply a topical CBD relief product on my back, and any other muscles that are particularly sore that day. We both use CBD topicals twice per day, and it is especially effective for the issue with my back.

Although there is no conclusive proof at this time, CBD has been shown to be effective for reversing osteoporosis, and even helping to heal fractures!

Due to this, I have been making sure to use both orally ingestible CBD and CBD topicals.

It has worked wonders for me, and many other people have experienced similar benefits as well.

SHOULD DOCTORS USE CBD IN SPORTS MEDICINE?

Without having conclusive medical proof of the benefits of CBD products, it is obviously difficult to make any bold claims about who should and who shouldn’t use cannabidiol.

However, from my own personal experience, I believe CBD is one of the best medical treatments possible for athletes.

doctors should embrace CBD in sports medicine

A doctor examines an athlete’s ankle. CBD in sports medicine is now a serious option thanks to changes in global drug policy by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

If you would like to learn more about myself and my own journey with CBD, you can check out my website!

This has been a great few months for CBD since it has been officially removed from the WADA Banned Substance List, and the World Health Organization declared it safe for use as well.

I recommend wider use of CBD in sports medicine because it can neutralize inflammation-based issues such as muscle pain and tendonitis, relieve the chronic physical pain that sports can induce, and help athletes to manage stress and anxiety from needing to perform at a prominent level every single day.

There are certainly tons of other benefits of CBD, and as more research comes out it will be great to have a further understanding of how best CBD can be used to help athletes and everyone else.

At this point in time, I still rely on it to manage my ongoing back pain and help me live a pain-free life!

 

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