Whether you're a yogi, a marathon-runner, a professional athlete, or just a casual gym-goer, you know that workouts can take it out of your body. If you've lost focus or are feeling the effects of sore muscles, it's important to slow down, take stock, and help your body get back into homeostasis.
When it comes to re-establishing your equilibrium, CBD oil could offer some powerful benefits. As a well-known analgesic and a lesser-known brain protector, hemp oil interacts with the bodies and minds of athletes in some surprising ways:
1. Sore Muscles: CBD for Topical Pain Relief
At the end of a long session of dance, jiu-jitsu, or tennis, you're going to feel incredible—and probably sore. Though achy and sore muscles are a natural symptom of exercise, it can be incredibly rejuvenating to soothe those aches and pains. Hemp oil has been studied extensively for its ability to mediate chronic pain when taken internally, but it can also be used topically to great effect.
In one study, researchers found that topical application on rats with arthritic symptoms significantly decreased their pain. In addition, researchers found what many of us already know: the CBD application relieved arthritic pain with no side effects. It's such a powerful analgesic that it's been suggested by researchers as a possible alternative for opioids in cases of severe pain.
So if you had a rough day at the gym or on the track, consider using a CBD ointment or balm, or even taking a tincture—it might just help decrease pain and soothe your muscles.
2. CBD to Focus and De-stress
As an athlete, you know how key it is to maintain mental focus. This is important in high-intensity competitive sports, but is also relevant in solo activities like yoga or pilates, where it's crucial that you calm your mind and find stillness in the moment.
The active component in hemp oil can help decrease anxiety and calm the mind through its interaction with your brain's neurotransmitters. Quick science lesson: neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that get transmitted throughout your brain and impact your mood.
CBD has been shown to activate the 5-HT1A receptor, which is responsible for regulating serotonin in the body. You may have heard of serotonin, which is known as the "happy hormone" and creates a feeling of well-being and relaxation. So if you're feeling stressed or anxious about a big event, consider CBD oil as a way to unwind.
3. CBD to Decrease Inflammation
Though exercise has a range of incredible benefits for our bodies, heavy workouts can also create inflammation in the body. Often, symptoms of inflammation like soreness and redness simply signal that we need to limit physical activity for the time being and indulge in some much-needed rest. Especially if you practice contact sports or martial arts, it's a great idea to gently help your body decrease inflammation in between bouts or practices.
CBD has been studied for its ability to decrease chronic inflammation in the body due to its interaction with the body's a3 glycine receptors, which are related to neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Researchers have also studied our endocannabinoid system and its relation to inflammation in the body, linking CBD's benefits to its direct interaction with this system.
4. CBD as Neuroprotective in Brain Injury
It's vital to practice caution and protect your head, especially in extreme contact sports that put your brain at risk for potentially damaging brain injuries. Incredibly, studies have shown that CBD can help in cases of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The U.S. government holds a patent pertaining to CBD and its role as an antioxidant and neuroprotective. This means that it's been studied for its ability to protect the brain from things like strokes and TBI's. Though researchers are still studying these unique abilities of CBD, they think it might have something to do with the way CBD acts against brain ischemia—or restriction of blood flow. This could make it a very powerful tool for athletes in high impact sports.
This powerful, all natural, plant-based oil can offer a bevy of benefits for even the most overworked athletes out there. Next time you're looking to incorporate a soothing balm into your post-workout routine, or take a CBD tincture to unwind and focus, contact us.