Why Wrestlers and Extreme Athletes Advocate for CBD

Why Wrestlers and Extreme Athletes Advocate for CBD

August 28, 2019

When it comes to cannabis, the world has been changing the way it views the controversial substance. What used to be something that’s regarded as dangerous and actually banned at a Federal Level, is now seen as a lucrative opportunity for business and has been legalized not only in key areas but among major nations like Canada.

CBD Companies Work with Athletes to Figure Out CBD Benefits

It won’t be long before the U.S. will most likely find itself in a similar situation — the 2018 Farm Bill has just been passed, and with it comes the possible full legalization of hemp cultivation, a cousin of marijuana, but one that doesn’t bring any of the psychoactive effects that have made it controversial in the first place.

But more than just a business opportunity, the acceptance of cannabis is due to the fact that it has numerous health advantages. The cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD), in particular, is known to be a great source of cannabis health benefits without the danger of getting high.

The WHO, what, when, where and why of it all

Its health benefits are so recognized that the World Health Organization (WHO) actually became one of the strongest voices to encourage government and medical sectors to do further research on the medical benefits of CBD, one of the 200-plus compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Based on an initial report of the WHO’s narcotics arm, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), on CBD, the compound showed some significant therapeutic value for seizure due to epilepsy and related conditions.

CBD from cannabis is life-changing for athletes who already retired from sports. The report was based on both animal and human studies and was shared during the annual meeting of ECDD, where they review several psychoactive substances and recommend whether or not they must be placed on the list of drugs under international control.

According to the WHO report, there is evidence that shows that CBD is not likely to be abused or create dependence compared to other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Apart from addressing epilepsy, CBD is also known to address insomnia, chronic pain, mild anxiety and various types of inflammation.

CBD and athletes

Among the advantages, addressing inflammation and chronic pain directly benefits athletes. Always pushing their bodies to the limit, most athletes end each training or competition with pain in their muscles, or as with some extreme sports, permanent damage to some parts of their body.

Cannabis, or CBD in particular, helps in relieving inflammation of the muscles due to extreme activities, which eases the pain. This allows athletes to continue with training and sports by making the pain manageable.

Professionals using CBD

The use of cannabis is not unheard of in sports. In this article from Forbes, it was shared that BIG3 became the first professional league in the U.S which allowed the use of CBD to help athletes manage pain. 

The U.S. Pro Hockey teams are also known to be lenient when it comes to cannabis use. Other leagues like the National Basketball Association and the National Football League which have a pretty progressive idea of using cannabis in sports. CBD can help former athletes suffering from CTE such as football players

How athletes are consuming CBD

Now there are many CBD products available for athletes — from tinctures, edibles, and creams. With more products out there than ever, a fantastic lineup of hemp-derived CBD products is available. CBD Vapes can be used to help athletes relax and ease his or her anxiety before and after a game, Edibles like CBD Gummies and water soluble pre and post workouts and are also great alternatives to vapes and deliver the same relaxing effect.

CBD Creams like ”The Pain Master” are topical CBD lotions specially designed with the athlete in mind. Approved by NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, LT Pain Master CBD cream goes to work right on contact. This high-performance topical CBD lotion is formulated for the unique needs of high-intensity athletes. All products are carefully monitored throughout the production process and include 100 percent natural, lab-tested CBD. Its products are now available in over 10,000 retail outlets all over the U.S.

Harbinger Research declared POTN as an emerging market leader in March 2018, having the potential to be a first-mover in target markets. POTN’s knowledge of online and brick and mortar marketing channels can help them reach a broad number of CBD users, most especially athletes. CBD continues to pave its way as a mainstay the sports world, helping athletes deal with pain and serious injuries.

CBD research announced by UFC and Canadian CBD Company

Earlier this summer, it was announced that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athletes will serve as test subjects to find out if the cannabis compound CBD can treat the aches and pains that come hand in hand with their violent sport.

The research is part of a partnership between the professional mixed martial arts league and Canadian CBD company Aurora Cannabis (ACB). Aurora and the UFC plan to conduct clinical trials on the use of cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, in elite athletes and then employ the results to develop a line of hemp-derived CBD topical treatments targeting elite athletes.

Aurora and UFC officials say they hope the studies will show the effectiveness of CBD and specific formulations of the compound in areas such as wound care, recovery, injury, pain and inflammation.

The efforts would be first of their kind in the research of how elite athletes could potentially benefit from cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, according to Dr. Jeff Chen, director of UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative. The subject is an increasingly hot one in professional sports leagues. Organizations of current and former athletes — including cannabis activist group Athletes For CARE and the National Football League Players Association, the union that represents NFL players — have called for leagues to allow cannabis-based alternatives to addictive painkillers.

Support for CBD in the NFL

Earlier in 2019, the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to explore studying the pain management effects of cannabis. For now even taking CBD, which is not psychoactive, would be a problem for NFL players. The risk involved with taking the non-psychoactive CBD products is that they can contain some trace amounts of THC, which could trigger a potential suspension, said former NFL player Nate Jackson, who is a member of Athletes for CARE.

“It’s hard to regulate this industry in a way that makes athletes comfortable with what they’re putting in their bodies,” Jackson said during a panel on cannabis use in athletes at the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo Thursday hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association. 

Dr. Chen, who is not involved in the Aurora-UFC research, spoke to CNN Business following the Cannabis Business Summit athlete-focused panel, which he moderated.

The structure of the study is right out of the “Pharma textbook,” in which a company designs a study, supplies the product for research and provides funding, Chen said. However, firms typically contract out the research itself to a third-party such as a university, if they want to garner US Food and Drug Administration approval.

“It’s not uncommon to see this of companies [that] are just going for one study to have the marketing to back up a nutraceutical product,” he said, referencing dietary supplements that are fairly unregulated.

Goals of CBD for Athletes Research

The studies will be conducted to the highest scientific, safety and ethical standards, Jason Dyck, Ph.D., the chair of Aurora’s Global Scientific Oversight Committee, said. The results will go through an independent ethics review and a peer review process and be submitted for review and publication in a leading scientific journals, Dyck said. The selection of the journals will be dependent upon the area of research, an Aurora spokesperson said.

Dyck, a University of Alberta cardiovascular research scientist who joined Aurora’s board in 2015, will lead the studies with Kelly Narine, Ph.D., Aurora’s vice president of global research and medical affairs, and a team of sports performance researchers at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.

Based on CBD research that’s been conducted to-date, Dyck is optimistic Aurora and UFC’s efforts will lead not just to one study and one product but to multiple studies and multiple products.

“I think there are far, far-reaching applications,” he said.

About 30 UFC athletes have expressed interest in volunteering for the study, a UFC spokesperson confirmed CNN Business.

“Collaborating with Aurora is the best way to educate ourselves and our fighters about the impact of CBD on MMA athletes and our sport,” Dr. Duncan French, UFC’s vice president of performance, said in a statement. “We want to apply science and see where it leads us. Ideally, these studies will give us the clarity we need to determine the effectiveness of hemp-derived CBD on athlete health and injury recovery.”

Still a Long Way to Go When it Comes to CBD Research 

Admittedly, this particular research structure — led by private enterprise with a product in mind — is not an ideal solution to fully advance research into cannabis and athletes, Anna Symonds, a professional rugby player and cannabis advocate who was also on the panel, told CNN Business. But when cannabis research is hamstrung by marijuana’s status as a substance illegal under federal law, studies like this are a good start. Make sure you stay on top of the latest CBD research with myCBD.org! 

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