CBD for Athletes: What Products Are There?

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are becoming wildly popular among customers of all stripes, but they are growing particularly quickly in the athlete community. Many are turning to the cannabinoid to support healthy lifestyles and post-workout recovery.

Luckily, there are plenty of products on the market intended to do just that. Whether it’s CBD oil for general use or CBD topicals designed to target specific muscles or joints, CBD products are hitting the market with athletes in mind. If you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates health and wellness, it might be time to give CBD a try.

What CBD products for athletes are available?

Athletes have unique needs when it comes to both physical and mental performance. In order to remain at peak performance, athletes need to care for their body both before and after workouts, as well as stay focused and motivated. There are plenty of CBD products on the market that are suitable for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, whether they’re looking for something to use any time of day or specifically to help them following a tough workout or competition. Here’s a look at some of the CBD products for athletes that are out there:

  • CBD oil: CBD oil is typically taken by way of sublingual tincture, which you place under your tongue. The CBD is absorbed directly into your bloodstream using this method. These products work throughout the whole body.
  • CBD topicals: CBD topicals offer a more targeted and localized approach. CBD infused creams, sprays and gels are all popular products on the market. Many are designed with muscle and joint care in mind, making them a possible go-to soothing cream following an intense workout or competition.
  • CBD edibles: Of course, there are also CBD edibles, which take a bit longer to kick in than other forms of CBD but also last longer. These products can be ingested like any other food and include treats like infused baked goods and CBD gummies.
  • CBD protein powder: Most athletes these days use a protein powder to support muscle growth and recovery. Organic hemp-derived CBD protein powder could be a great addition to a post-workout routine as well.

There is a great variety of products on the market, but athletes naturally want to know every detail about what they put in their bodies, especially if it’s something new. Let’s take a look at how CBD works throughout the body once it’s been ingested or absorbed.

How does CBD work in the body?

Cannabis and hemp plants contain more than 100 compounds known as phytocannabinoids, which interact with the human body’s endogenous cannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is essentially a series of receptors found throughout the body. One of the most common examples of the interaction between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system is the intoxicating feeling caused by delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a prominent compound in cannabis plants. CBD, which is found without significant amounts of THC in hemp plants, interacts with the endocannabinoid system as well, although it does not produce an intoxicating feeling.

Researchers continue to examine the specifics of how cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, as well as how specific cannabinoids affect bodily functions. So far, researchers have determined that cannabinoids like CBD likely influence a wide range of processes. These include neuromodulation, synaptic plasticity, and the development of the central nervous system.

When ingested, CBD makes its way through the digestive system. It is then metabolized by the liver before entering the bloodstream, reducing the amount that circulates throughout the body. When taken sublingually, CBD bypasses this metabolization and enters the bloodstream in a higher concentration. The topical application of CBD provides for a highly localized absorption through the skin. Very little CBD enters the bloodstream this way. Finally, CBD can also be inhaled by way of combustion or vaporization. This method offers faster absorption and immediate transfer to the bloodstream through the lungs.

For athletes, the method of ingestion is a critical decision. Vaping or smoking CBD is likely a non-starter for athletes. Topicals are a great option for use on joints and muscles. Sublingual tinctures also deliver a high dose of CBD throughout the body relatively quickly, while edibles circulate CBD throughout the system similarly but deliver lower doses of CBD to the bloodstream. This information is important if you’ll want to control the amount of CBD you’re ingesting, especially if your presiding organization maintains a ban or limit on cannabinoids.

Are athletes allowed to use CBD?

Many athletes are subject to testing for performance-enhancing substances. It’s a valid concern, then, to wonder if CBD products could contribute to a failed drug test. Many professional sports organizations maintain bans on cannabis, which contains CBD just like the hemp plant. However, those bans generally extend to cannabis’s Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contents, the intoxicating compound primarily associated with the plant. Most athletic CBD products are solely hemp-derived, meaning they have little to no THC content whatsoever. That distinction is critical, as even trace amounts of THC can trigger a positive drug test.

In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the agency which provides guidance to the Olympics and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), removed CBD from its list of banned substances. Major League Baseball removed CBD and other cannabinoids from cannabis, including THC, from its drugs of abuse list. While the NCAA, NFL, and the NBA still maintain bans on cannabis, these policies typically do not include direct references to CBD alone, with some focusing closely on THC instead. The NCAA, for example, does not reference CBD specifically as a banned substance; however, it is unclear if it is technically considered a banned substance as “chemically related” to THC.

While it appears that many sports organizations are liberalizing their approach to testing for cannabinoids, it’s important to check the policies of the organizations of any connected organization before trying CBD. Hemp-derived CBD products do not contain more than trace amounts of THC, so as long as CBD is an approved substance you can’t go wrong with hemp-derived CBD products. However, since policies vary greatly and there remains a significant amount of uncertainty, it is always wise to double-check.

CBD is the best training partner for athletes of all levels

CBD can be a great training partner for athletes at all levels of competition. With a diverse selection of CBD products on the market, athletes have their pick of products to suit their unique needs and preferences. It’s important to choose a reputable CBD retailer when choosing a CBD product, though, and one that comes from a fellow athlete to boot. Core Roots was founded by Cory Slovik, a former sponsored snowboarder who discovered CBD after rough practices left him sore and uncomfortable. His experience led him back to cannabis college, so he could learn the ins and outs of this cannabinoid and how it helps support healthy joints and muscles.

All Core Roots CBD products are made from 100% organic hemp sourced from Kentucky. Core Roots is Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant, ensuring you receive the same great quality with every product, every time. Core Roots CBD products have been tested by a third-party lab and the results are publicly available for customers to review. Best of all, shipping is always free to any location in the continental U.S. When you think high-quality CBD, think Core Roots for Life.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a medical professional before taking any herbal supplements.

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