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