Athletes regularly put a lot of stress on their bodies, getting both positive and negative effects. Stress from training has been shown to stimulate adaptation and improve overall physical performance. However, physical trauma and the inability to relax can cause many issues like injuries and pain. Even though modern pain management options are effective, not every athlete prefers them and looks for more safe and natural solutions. And in the search, many professional athletes are asking about CBD, which is now one of the teddy ingredients in the wellness sphere.

Since chronic use of over-the-counter pain relievers can cause many health problems in the long-term perspective, today's scientists create more safe solutions for a vast range of purposes, like improving concentration, boosting physical performance, speeding up recovery and more. This is why most professional athletes came to CBD supplements that are specially designed for them with extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support their overall wellness and make it much easier to achieve their goals.

But what is CBD, and how can it benefit your workout life?

What is CBD & is it Legal for Athletes?

CBD is a short name for cannabidiol. It is thought to be one of the most prominent chemicals naturally present in industrial hemp strains. CBD is absolutely safe and does not have any of THC's psychoactive properties. THC is the main intoxicating cannabinoid which is associated with marijuana consumption.

CBD is also safe and legal for athletes. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited chemicals. However, it is worth noting that only cannabidiol has been removed from the list, meaning THC is still prohibited and can't be consumed by professional athletes in or out of the competition.

What Type of CBD is Suitable for Athletes?

As CBD is on the rise as a valued supplement, there are many options to choose from when deciding where to buy CBD oil. CBD is now available in three types known as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum is the purest one which contains all-natural plant elements present in hemp. These include all cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and THC traces (less than 0.2%). Even though the amount of THC is insufficient to cause intoxication, this type isn't suitable for athletes.

Broad-spectrum is extracted from the full one and also contains all nutrients but without THC. However, in some cases, this type still has minor amounts of THC, which may show up on a drug test. Full and broad-spectrum CBD may provide a theoretical entourage effect.

CBD isolate is considered the most purified form of cannabidiol. It comes in a white powder or crystalline form while also being tasteless and odourless. CBD isolate contains up to 99.9% CBD and is completely free from THC, making it an ideal form for professional athletes who might be required to pass a drug test.

Benefits of CBD for Athletes

Speed Up Recovery

CBD-infused topicals, like salves, balms, creams and others, can be effective in easing inflammation and speeding up recovery time due to CBD's anti-inflammatory properties. Such products are usually made with CBD isolate and other beneficial ingredients, like menthol or ginger - depending on the purpose.

This makes CBD-infused topicals a great choice for any professional athlete who is looking for long-lasting relief, as active compounds first have to be absorbed through the skin and then deliver a positive effect. In addition, some CBD topicals may also nourish the skin.

Boost Mental Sharpness

CBD oils and capsules are a favourite choice among golf players, as they allow them to quickly maintain inner balance and boost mental sharpness. According to one 2015 review published in the Neurotherapeutics journal, CBD appears to reduce anxious behaviours in people with certain anxiety disorders. Therefore, since professional athletes should take care of both physical and mental health, CBD could become a handy companion in this journey.

Taking CBD oil sublingually allows the compound to quickly absorb through tiny capillaries in the mouth and delivers the effect faster. However, oral tinctures are not very convenient to take as they require experience and cosy places where no one is watching. CBD capsules are hassle-free and easy to take even on the go, but it might take some time to experience the first positive effects. On the other hand, such a method of intake provides long-lasting benefits.

Improve Sleep Quality

Getting more quality sleep is one of the most effective ways for any person and an athlete, especially to recharge and achieve better training gains. Anecdotal reports show that athletes who consume CBD supplements for sleep more easily fall asleep and get a more restful night's rest. This is because CBD helps maintain inner homeostasis and helps reduce racing thoughts that disturb you from relaxing before sleep.

In addition, most CBD supplements for sleep also contain other beneficial nutrients that help to release melatonin - our sleep hormone, allowing both these ingredients to work together to provide a better night's sleep. This makes it easier for you to wake up refreshed and energised while also allowing you to stay focused and calm during workouts.

Bottom Line

Since modern athletes are more aware of their health and worry more about it than about physical goals only, they are constantly looking for supplements that are safe and natural. Even though options are still limited, CBD has become a start in the field with its purported benefits, safety and a vast range of purposes. Therefore, professional athletes can now boost their athletic performance, sleep, increase energy and concentration and maintain inner homeostasis for improved well-being. 

Being available in the form of an oil, capsule, topical, gummies and beverages, CBD is now used by sports people all across the world to achieve the best goals. However, it is vital to choose supplements with only CBD isolate and discuss the use of any new product with your healthcare provider.