A natural alternative to painkillers, cannabidiol or CBD is used by many athletes for post-workout recovery
Art by Tricia Guevara
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural compound that has gained popularity in sports over the past few years. CBD is said to benefit muscles and regulate homeostasis in the human body. It’s also been dubbed one of the most promising chemicals found by recent medical research.
It’s a natural medical treatment for athletes and is considered a muscle recovery supplement. Wondering what makes CBD a a medical alternative for athletes? Learn more about the substance and how it impacts performance:
What is it?
CBD is one of the many active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). It’s derived directly from the hemp plant and is an essential component of medical marijuana. In the past few years, there has been evidence that it actually works for athletes when it comes to recovery, training adaptation, and performance enhancement. CBD products are also known to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to regulate internal physical and chemical conditions maintained by the body’s organs.
How does one take it?
There are many types and forms but the most common ones used in sports are oils, creams and lotions, capsules and pills, gel caps, and edibles and vapes. A sports brand called Floyd’s of Leadville even sells fitness supplements (protein recovery powder and carb drink) containing the substance.
Is CBD considered marijuana?
Both CBD and marijuana come from cannabis but both have distinct effects on the body and mind. Marijuana consists of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which create a mind-altering “high.” On the other hand, CBD does not change your mental state because it does not have THC in it.
What are the advantages for athletes?
It provides relief for musculoskeletal pain and stiff joints from exercise, has anti-inflammatory properties, and alleviates chronic pain. It’s used to relax tight muscles, reduce anxiety and improve sleep. According to Scott Douglas of Runner’s World, CBD is a natural alternative to painkillers like ibuprofen and is a great post-workout booster.
What are the disadvantages?
Organic CBD may cause drowsiness since it promotes relaxation and sleep. It also affects people differently, which means different people will need different amounts of cannabidiol to get their desired results. CBD is also a chemical in the cannabis sativa plant, which means that taking it would result in a positive stative drug test.
How popular is CBD?
CBD has been popular in the United States for the past few years. In 2017, U.S. hemp-derived product sales reached $820 million on THC food and beverage products. In the Philippines however, the use of medical cannabis isn’t legal yet. The availability of CBD products in the Philippines will depend on the status of the law permitting medical marijuana.
How does CBD work?
The human body has two receptors for cannabinoids called CB1 and CB2. CB1 deals with the brain’s coordination (movement, pain, emotions, thoughts, mood, appetite, memories, and other brain-related functions) while CB2 receptors are found in the cells of the immune system (inflammation, body pain, and pathogens).
Research suggests that CBD does not bind directly with either CB1 or CB2. Instead it stimulates both types of receptors. It also modifies the receptors’ ability to bind to cannabinoids—the chemicals the body makes that are involved in pain, movement, memory, and appetite.
Although it’s a natural medical supplement that could be considered an alternative to painkillers or even processed chemicals, CBD may still take time to be utilized in the Philippines. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that consulting a doctor or medical expert is crucial before seriously considering using CBD products for sports purposes.