Introduction – CBD’s Role in Sporting Performance
The rising popularity of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has raised many questions in regard to the health benefits of its effect on the human body. Several studies have shown that the compound can have the potential to produce positive outcomes in individuals, especially athletes. CBD has the ability to target specific properties within the body that play a vital role in sporting performance, both directly and indirectly. Some of the advantages that athletes can benefit from by using CBD include anxiolytic and stress reduction, as well as pain and inflammation alleviation. First though, it is important to understand what exactly CBD is in order to gain a full understanding of the compound and its role sporting performance.
CBD Accepted in Sporting Communties
CBD is one of more than 120 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is a major cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, as it is the second most prevalent to the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, CBD is more concentrated than THC in the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, this compound does not have any psychoactive activity and does not cause a “high” by itself. According to the World Health Organization, CBD does not exhibit effects that indicate dependence potential or abuse.
CBD has recently become an accepted supplement in the athletic world due to the broad range of advantages it offers to people participating in sports. One of the effects CBD can place on the body is the liberation of anxiety and stress. In sporting activities, athletes can experience chronic and acute anxiety, as well as mental and physical stress. Another effect that CBD can have is the reduction of pain and inflammation. This is essential for athletes as they are continuously placing their bodies through rigorous activities that can cause soreness, discomfort, and damage to the individual. Targeting all of these specific health properties in athletes can also have a chain reaction that leads to other beneficial effects that could improve overall sporting performance. But, exactly how does CBD aid in the fight against anxiety and stress as well as pain and inflammation? Does it matter what the product is? Both of these questions will be addressed in this article.
CBD Effect on Anxiety and Stress
CBD interacts with several receptors in the body that are known to regulate anxiety and stress related behaviors. This includes the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. CBD functions as an indirect agonist at the cannabinoid type 1 receptor by increasing anandamide, which is an endogenous cannabinoid, through fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH) inhibition or augmentation of the receptor’s constitutional activity. Although not fully understood, it is proposed that the activation of CB1 receptors produces anxiolytic effects and reduced fear expression. CBD functions as a direct agonist of serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, which are an established anxiolytic target. Serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonists, such as buspirone, are approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Activation of this receptor causes anxiolytic effects, as well as prevents the adverse effects of stress and enhances fear extinction. In addition to the receptors mentioned above, there are many other targets that CBD regulates that play a role in anxiety, both directly and indirectly. These include the transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 55, the equilibrative nucleoside transporter, the adenosine transporter, additional TRP channels, and glycine receptors. Besides interacting with specific receptors, the CBD compound also inhibits synaptosomal uptake of many neurotransmitters involved in anxiety and stress suppression, which includes noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and GABA.
The reduction in anxiety and stress is crucial for an athlete partaking in sporting activities. Anxiety from the pressure to perform in training and competition can have a significant impact on an athlete’s performance. CBD offers an option to relieve the associated anxiety in order to calm the individual and help them perform to the best of their ability. The suppression of anxiety will also help an athlete sleep better, which in turn will aid in the recovery process and mental function. Individuals can also experience stress through intense training and exercises. CBD has the ability to also reduce the bodies stress response and allow individuals to continue training without the body reacting in a negative way. When an individual performs a vigorous workout, the body is introduced to stress. Cortisol levels and temperature are raised, muscle proteins are broken down, and stored sugar is almost completely vacant. Sensing this stress, the body produces endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide, to correct the imbalances. Introducing the body to exogenous cannabinoids like CBD can speed up the recovery process and avoid quick burnout. Overall, the positive influence that CBD has on anxiety and stress may allow an athlete to achieve improved performance and reach higher goals.
CBD Effect on Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation are common modalities in individuals who partake in sporting activities. This is often due to intense stress placed on the body during an activity. Pain and inflammation are often times co-existent, although pain can be existent without evident inflammation. The presence of inflammation, however, typically tends to cause pain. CBD, as mentioned prior, holds the ability to alleviate both of these conditions. It produces this action by interacting with receptors associated with pain modulation and anti-inflammation. This include the cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor, serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, TRPV1 receptor, adenosine A2A receptor, and mu/sigma opioid receptors. CBD is an antagonist and an inverse agonist at the CB2 receptor within the body. This has direct anti-inflammatory effects. CBD is an agonist at both the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and TRPV1 receptor. Agonist action at the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor causes pain relief, while agonist action at the TRPV1 receptor produces both pain modulation and anti-inflammatory effects. The adenosine A2A receptor is not directly affected by CBD, however, the compound indirectly enhances adenosine concentrations which places anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Lastly, CBD acts as a positive allosteric modulator at the mu and sigma opioid receptors. This essentially leads to pain reduction and an increase in pain tolerance, similar with other opioid receptor regulators.
The reduction in pain and inflammation in an athlete can be a vital part of recovery and performance. When the body is trained excessively or intensively, pain and inflammation can occur. CBD offers the potential to reduce both pain and inflammation in order to speed up the recovery process for an athlete after a workout or injury. CBD may also help an individual have a higher tolerance for pain if pushing through an injury due to the effect on the opioid receptors. Lastly, the alleviation of pain will eventually lead to improved sleep. Sleep is essential for the healing and recovery process within the body and pain/inflammation make it difficult to achieve adequate sleep. Overall, CBD’s effects on pain and inflammation have the ability for athletes to break through previous stress-induced limitations and push themselves to new limits, both faster and more comfortably.
Choosing the Right Product
Although CBD has the possibility of providing the advantages to athletes mentioned above, it ultimately depends on the specific product consumed. It is essential that the CBD product is of the broad-spectrum variety, instead of a CBD isolate, in order to obtain the full benefits. This is because broad-spectrum hemp extracts contain valuable compounds like terpenes and flavonoids, which work together to enrich CBD’s positive effects. This is exactly what Remedy+ offers. Our products are top-quality CBD blends that consist of a diverse mixture of cannabinoids for maximum effectiveness, without containing THC. Remedy+ tinctures, energy shots and gel-caps are made using custom proprietary blends of natural, premium quality, performance-oriented ingredients that work together to produce the best result and do not put the consumer at risk of THC exposure. Remedy+ formulations are everything an athlete, or an individual with a high-performance lifestyle, needs in order to gain the most benefit from CBD; which includes superior relaxation, performance, and recovery.
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