Anyone who considers themselves an athlete knows that athletic activities can cause pain. Many athletes experience pain and inflammation due to years of repeated movement. Some athletes are injured while engaging in their sport(s), and therefore, pain can be a more significant issue.

Pain management has become a tricky task for athletes this day in age. Medications, both prescribed and over the counter, have harmful side effects ranging from something as little as nausea to impact as broad as severe addiction and sometimes death.  Given these adverse side effects, it is no wonder that athletes are curious about CBD’s promised pain relief and reduced inflammation.

Until recently, it was not legal for athletes to use CBD for pain management, but in 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances and the US Anti-Doping Agency soon followed suit [1]. However, the only CBD was removed from the list, not THC, which is the other main cannabinoid found in marijuana. This is important to note because there are many manufacturers of CBD on the market, and it is possible to get CBD that is not entirely free of THC. Of course, this would create a violation for an athlete and have severe penalties.

Aside from the rules for professional athletes, CBD now being used by all types of athletes for pain management and reduced inflammation. It has been proven that CBD can reduce inflammation by binding to the CB2 receptors found in the human brain. Though there is little hard evidence due to the prohibition of marijuana until recently, CBD does appear to relieve pain effectively for many athletes [1].

Many athletes have found that CBD can replace their use of over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium) for exercise-related pain. It has been found that said over-the-counter medications can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, so, logically, athletes are now seeking pain management alternatives.

It is well known that opioids are highly effective for pain management, but also have a significant risk of addiction and death by overdose [1]. Therefore, it is reasonable that many athletes are seeking alternative treatments for pain, and CBD has helped in many cases. CBD is not as effective as opioids are for high-intensity pain, but CBD can be used as a form of long-term pain management, whereas opioids cannot without significant risks.

As with most uses of CBD, there is not much scientific evidence yet to support that CBD can be used for inflammation in athletes. However, recent studies and user reports show that CBD is effective for pain management and reduced inflammation in athletes as well as other people.

References

[1] https://trainright.com/cbd-for-athletes-cannabidiol/