We’re guessing if you’ve found this page, that you probably have some questions to ask around cannabis, its extract CBD and how it is possibly useful for football?! Yes, CBD oil comes from a type of cannabis plant, called hemp. Yes, CBD is completely legal to use in football in the UK. Hemp CBD has been used for thousands of years by warriors to aid their performance and recovery. Today it is used by over 40 million Americans and 1.3 million Brits. Considered safe by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and approved by the Olympic World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a permitted supplement, this compound is taking sports and football by storm. Indeed, several athletes have even launched their own range of CBD products for sports. Many find that CBD can help people both get on their game and recover after a touch football match. Why is it that a plant known for getting people ‘high’ and about as far from a high-performance state as possible, is now being increasingly used by athletes across a wide range of sports to help them train, perform and recover better than ever?
In football we know that your body is going to be under some serious demands; repeatedly sprinting, tough challenges and having to concentrate for 90 minutes takes its toll on the body, both physically and mentally and is going to leave you needing some serious struggles to recover from quickly.
There are many important factors that influence recovery, we know that the most important ones are sleep, nutrition, managing stress and of course reducing aches and pains and these are exactly the reasons we find people consider supplementing with CBD.
CBD is one of a hundred active organic compounds cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp, a member of the cannabis family. THC is another cannabinoid, that gives people the high we associate with cannabis. Quality UK products contain little or no THC. Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids and it is endocannabinoids that gives you the runners high after exercise. It’s believed to be your body’s own way of bringing your body back to balance after the demands of a run or tough workout. CBD is thought to provide a similar function, bringing the body back into balance.
The Olympic World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has permitted CBD to be used by professional athletes. However, THC is a threshold substance for professional athletes. So athletes need to be careful that they source their CBD from reliable companies with independent lab test results. Those products approved by the Banned Substance Control Group (BSCG) offer the highest quality and purity standard.
That said, the other cannabinoids and terpenes can offer additional benefits. Indeed, many ultra-runners find that micro-dosing THC can actually help them perform! You can read more about cannabinoids and terpenes here.
What we are really interested in, is the other completely legal and safe to take major organic molecule found in cannabis, CBD. However, unlike THC it does not cause excessive ‘psychoactive’ effects but still has some amazing potential benefits.
It’s important to understand that there are over 100 active cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant. Many are suspected to have benefits including THCA and CBDV which are thought to be neuroprotective. Research is in its early stages, but with the news about footballers have a much higher likelihood of developing dementia, it’s worth noting.
THC, on the other hand, is known as a ‘threshold substance’. This means that you can only test positive under world anti-doping regulations if you consume it in large amounts (such as consuming the cannabis plant) in periods surrounding competition.
Throughout your body, on every cell, there are receptors. These receptors bind with different signalling molecules produced in the body (like hormones for example) and depending on the interaction between the receptor and the molecule, we get different effects on the body.
We can also stimulate these very same receptors by consuming various substances that mimic the body’s natural signalling molecules. This is exactly how CBD products work, and they do this through a number of different complex systems that research is now only just starting to fully understand.
Cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD) are reported to influence a number of different pathways, primarily through the endocannabinoid system. This system has two main types of receptors dotted throughout the brain and central nervous system as well as other tissues and ‘systems’ in the body and are how cannabinoids cause many of their effects.
More recently, research into CBD appears to show that it interacts with several other types of ‘receptor’ in the body that control everything from inflammation to perceptions of pain. This research shows much promise and it is easy to see how CBD would be important in contact sports including rugby, to help us regulate injury related pain, control inflammation, reduce joint and muscle pain and help us relax and sleep to put us back together as quickly as possible and get us back in the game.
So maybe it’s worth you giving CBD a shot…
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