The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in 2018, took CBD off its banned list. After that, numerous athletes have started using CBD. It's well-known for it analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, which help relieve muscle soreness from training and acute athletic injury pain.
CBD or cannabidiol, is the pain-relieving, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. Along with pain relief, CBD provides various other health benefits, including anti-cancer properties, reducing inflammation and neuroprotective benefits for athletes who could be prone to traumatic brain injury, like MMA fighters, and football players.
A lot of athletes across various sports haven't been able to use CBD because of the WADA ban. But, since WADA's recent release of their 2018 updated prohibited list, and with CBD no longer being prohibited for athlete use, more and more athletes are jumping on board. Unlike opioid pain medicines, CBD hasn't been found to be addictive. And, some research has even found it to actually help reduce addictive use of opioids, by blocking the reward pathways leading to addition.
Is this a big deal?
For Nate Diaz, it is. Diaz is a cannabis-friendly athlete who gained worldwide attention after he vaped CBD at a post-fight press conference. Both he and his brother advocate for cannabis.
The USADA gave Diaz public warning after he admitted during the press conference that he consumed CBD in competition. His brother received a five-year suspension by USADA after he repeatedly failed drug tests in 2015 for cannabis.
CBD's antioxidant properties could help ease the oxidative stress in damaged muscles, which could speed up recovery times. Also, a huge part of the success of an athlete is mental state, and CBD oil has been shown to help:
- Improve sleep
- Improve mood
- Relieve anxiety
Because of these outstanding benefits, athletes have been wanting to give it a try for themselves, but because the market was so saturated, it was hard for them to find the best products.
Athletes need to beware, though. The American Medical Association published a JAMA study n November 2017 that documents some CBD product mislabeling. According to the study, 69 percent of the products evaluated had different CBD levels than what the labels identified. And, in 21 percent of the products, THC was detected, and in some of the products tested, the THC content was enough to produce impairment or intoxication.
Unfortunately, with the saturation of CBD products out there, it's impossible to know if there is THC in a product, and the exact amount simply by reading the label. So, its up to athletes to do their research, and find reputable companies who offer certifications like CBD potency certifications and No THC certifications, to ensure they're receiving a quality CBD product.
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