Sports games unite and fascinate us. We love pulling for our favourite teams and players, and rooting them on to victory. However, both amateur and professional athletes alike can experience immense mental and physical demands.
While there are various different therapies designed to support their health, many sports players are considering more holistic solutions to meet their needs. This has led to a growing interest in cannabidiol, or CBD.
Today, we’re sharing an in-depth guide on CBD for athletes. Read on to understand the important features to know, as well as the products to consider.
What Is CBD?
Before we dive into the benefits of CBD for athletes, let’s briefly discuss what it entails. In short, CBD is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant.
It’s one of more than 100 identified compounds, collectively known as cannabinoids. In addition, the cannabis plant also contains more than 300 other types of compounds, including:
First discovered in the 1940s, CBD is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid in the plant, after Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
While both THC and CBD are both considered psychoactive, CBD does not typically deliver the same “high” as THC. Rather, its primary interaction is with your endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system is responsible for regulating a variety of functions, including:
- Appetite and digestion
- Pain sensation
- Immune system response
- Cardiovascular system function
Your body produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, which bind to designated cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. The two primary types of endocannabinoid receptors include:
- CB1 receptors: Primarily located in your central nervous system
- CB2 receptors: Primarily located in your peripheral nervous system
When you ingest CBD, it can affect that receptor activity. While THC can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD doesn’t directly attach itself in the same way, though it can activate and influence those receptors.
CBD For Athletes: Understanding the Connection
When your body is in an ideal state of equilibrium, the effect is known as homeostasis. This means that all of your organs are functioning in optimal condition, and you’re physiologically, emotionally, and cognitively balanced. Your ECS plays a major role in enabling you to reach and maintain homeostasis.
If any type of outside force, such as a physical injury, negatively impacts your state of homeostasis, then the ECS can gradually return it to that previous state of balance.
What does this have to do with athletes?
Consider the amount of impact that these players experience on a routine basis. Not only do they experience physical force, but they’re also required to juggle ongoing demands across their personal, professional, academic, and athletic lives. These forces are enough to upset their state of homeostasis.
While CBD isn’t the only way to reset that balance, it can assist with it. When athletes ingest CBD, this compound can interact with their body’s endocannabinoid receptors to optimize ECS activity.
The Legality of CBD in the UK
Many UK athletes may be concerned about incorporating CBD into their exercise and fitness routines. They might wonder if it’s legally allowed, or if sporting regulators will penalize them for consuming the substance.
This is where quality matters. In the UK, CBD oil is considered both legal and safe for athletes, but there’s one contention. It must be classified as pure cannabidiol.
To be defined as such, the CBD oil must be derived from EU-approved industrial hemp. It must also contain no more than 0.2% THC, which is considered an undetectable level. Moreover, the compound can only be derived from the seeds, stalks, and leaves of the plant.
If the CBD product meets such standards, then it is permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This agency oversees anti-doping policies and regulations within sport organizations around the world. Athletes are free to use it, as WADA does not include pure CBD on its list of prohibited substances.
However, keep in mind that this underscores the importance of sourcing high-purity CBD oil from a reliable supplier, like IMPACT. Other CD oils and tinctures extracted from cannabis plants may include other ingredients and cannabinoids, including higher levels of THC. If an athlete consumes these products and then takes a drug test, they could receive a positive result based on the presence of a prohibited cannabinoid.
Taking CBD as an Athlete: Aspects to Consider
Are you an athlete looking to add CBD to your practice and game-day routine? If so, then there are a few important factors to consider before you begin. Let’s review the top criteria to keep in mind.
First, it’s critical to source your CBD from a reputable, legal provider like IMPACT. We’ve combined our passions for fitness, sports and nutrition with trusted research from CiiTECH, which leads the way in cannabis and consumer product studies. As a result, our high-quality products are designed with the sports enthusiast in mind, and can support anyone with an active lifestyle.
We manufacture our CBD oil from premium-quality plant extracts, grown and shipped from Europe. These extracts meet the highest EU agricultural directives for safety and sustainability. We derive them through a process known as CO2 supercritical extraction.
Widely considered to be the “gold standard” for cannabinoid extraction, this process results in a high-grade CBD oil that’s minimally processed and maximally effective. It contains all of the natural compounds you’d expect, without any damaging chemical residues.
In addition, we also follow best practices for sustainable agriculture. We source all of our raw ingredients from crops that have not been genetically modified, and we’re careful to ensure that they’re grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides.
If the CBD supplier you’re considering cannot make these same claims, then continue your search elsewhere. It’s essential to use only premium-quality, reliably-sourced CBD oil, especially if you’re a recreational or performance athlete.
A major consideration to keep in mind?
To avoid any type of psychoactive effects, athletes should look for CBD products that don’t contain any THC. The selections we’ll discuss below contain 0% THC (less than 1mg/pack), which is within UK safety limits. They’re also made from legal EU hemp, offering a high degree of quality and purity.
Sold as a Food Supplement
As you research the best CBD oil for athletes, be wary of any supplier that advertises any sort of health claim about their products. In the UK, CBD can only be sold and marketed as a food supplement.
At IMPACT, the CBD products we sell are meant to be consumed as food products. Always consult your physician before making changes to your current routine, especially if you currently take any kind of medication.
Keeping these factors top of mind, let’s take a look at your different options.
CBD Oil Spray for Athletes
CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD compound from the cannabis plant. From there, the compound is combined with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil.
You can take CBD oil sublingually by ingesting under your tongue. Or, you can purchase CBD capsules. You can also add CBD oil to smoothies and other edibles.
These products make it easy to incorporate CBD into your daily fitness routine. If you prefer ingesting CBD oil, then take a look at our IMPACT Pro CBD Oil Spray. Available in two different strengths (400mg and 1600mg), it’s easy to use and delivers an exact dosage every time.
The 1600mg spray has a guaranteed dosage of 20mg of CBD per spray, while the 400mg spray has a guaranteed dosage of 6mg of CBD per spray. If you’ve ever tried administering oil from a dropper, then you know that it can be difficult to ensure an exact amount each time. Our spray bottle eliminates this issue, so you never have to second-guess your dosage.
Made with MCT coconut oil and terpenes, our IMPACT Pro CBD Oil Spray is even vegan friendly! Depending on your dosage needs, simply administer one to three spritzes under your tongue, and hold the oil there for up to one minute. If you’re new to CBD, then start with a single spritz, adjusting over time depending on your needs and preferences.
Soft Gel CBD Capsules
Don’t want to contend with the potential mess of spilling your CBD oil? Or, would you simply prefer to take a CBD supplement rather than spray the oil into your mouth?
In either case, consider our IMPACT Pro Soft Gel CBD Capsules. Each bottle includes 30 capsules, and each capsule contains exactly 20mg of CBD.
Made with fish gelatin and devoid of meat bovine, these soft capsules deliver an accurate dose, every time. Athletes on the go will appreciate that they travel well and are mess-free! You can take the capsules on their own or couple them with your CBD oil spray to achieve your ideal dose.
CBD Balms and Other Topicals
It’s not uncommon for athletes to visit the drugstore in search of balms and creams that can support their muscle recovery. While these products can be useful, CBD balms are increasingly flavoured.
If you’re interested in topical CBD products, then start with our CBD Cooling Power Balm. Infused with natural ingredients and essential oils, it delivers a cooling effect that can invigorate tired muscles. The balm contains 300mg of pure CBD isolate and is 100% natural.
Designed to be applied directly to your skin, it’s non-psychoactive, suitable for vegans, and made right here in the UK. We also batch-test it and verify it to ensure legal THC levels (less than 1mg) in every bottle.
If you’re shopping for the athlete in your life, then our IMPACT Sports Gift Box is a natural choice. This set includes a Power Balm, as well as a pair of high-density sweat wristbands!
Prefer a heating sensation? In that case, check out our new IMPACT Heating Arnica Balm. Made with natural arnica oil, it includes the same characteristics as our Cooling Power Balm, but with a unique heating formula that athletes love.
When it’s time to hit the shower after an intense workout, you can also bring your CBD with you there! Our CBD Oil Shampoo contains 200mg of ultra-pure CBD isolate. Enriched with Omega 3, 6, 9 and Vitamin F, it doesn’t include any of the additives you don’t need, including parabens and sulfates.
CBD Lozenges for Athletes
When you’re revving up for a workout, you need CBD that’s easy to take and dose. Our mint-flavoured CBD Lozenges offer a slow release under your tongue, for long-lasting and effective delivery.
Each container includes 25 individual lozenges, made with premium-quality EU cannabis Sativa extract. The formula ensures maximum absorption of the active ingredients. These lozenges are easy to take with you to the gym or anywhere you work out, and are convenient and easy to use!
Learn More About CBD Oil for Athletes
Whether you’re a world-class sports star or more of a hobby player, it’s important to prioritize your everyday wellbeing.
As you learn more about CBD for athletes, we encourage you to browse our selection of gifts and products. Depending on your preferences, you can find a variety of items designed to accommodate your interests and lifestyle. Remember to ensure that any supplier you support follows stringent guidelines for safety, purity, and legality.
Have any questions about any of our CBD products? Want to learn more about our process and partnerships? Feel free to reach out to our team today!