Most people have considered athletes to be heroes amongst us. Whether it’s a football star or a top-performing ballet dancer, these people give us something tremendous to look up to, inspiring us to question the limitations we perceive the human body to have. 

As incredible as the human body may be, it can’t always bounce back from these achievements as smoothly as we would like. Sporting injuries don’t only affect these famous athletes - they can affect anyone that tries to push the limits to become faster, stronger, or more practised. In the arena of professional athletes, recovery is essential especially when you have a team depending on you. 

Athletes are looking for new innovations for faster and better recovery - whether it’s healing from an injury or getting your body ready and recovered for another round of endurance. These innovations won’t simply benefit the professionals but will also aid your everyday gym-goer, ballerina, team sports player, or athlete. With so much demand for a product that can give you improved recovery, cannabis extract has recently started gaining popularity among professional athletes. What are the benefits of hemp's compounds and supplements for athletes?

The medical benefits of this plant's extract

CBD contains many chemical compounds responsible for significant clinical research going into the plant. So far, we have a pretty hefty list of positive reviews of the effects of these compounds with anecdotal references and a wealth of new research (still in progress) to suggest that CBD extract really packs a punch when it comes to muscle and general sports recovery. 

One of the top uses for this extract by athletes is for muscle recovery to prevent stiffness. What are the benefits of the CBD oil in muscle recovery?  Before we give CBD its moment, let’s look at how stiffness and muscle activity works. 

Whether you’re absolutely broken after a workout (and in pain for days) or simply feeling like you’ve worked, there are always after-effects. That’s because the physical strain on the muscle actually causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibres. This damage triggers your body to rebuild - and it rebuilds stronger in order to be more resilient against these “injuries” and that’s how you get stronger, faster, and more skilled. However, during this process, there’s a degree of inflammation. 

That inflammation can cause pain and slow down the healing process. Enter hemp - one of the most potent all-natural anti-inflammatory compounds. What does science say about this, is there proof? Yes. 

According to this review of 132 studies (published in Frontiers in Neurology): “CBD is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective”. Aiding the prevention of stiffness and speeding up muscle recovery is not the primary reason so many athletes, past and present, are turning to the cannabis plant for support.

When an athletes body is fallible (a reminder that we’re all human)

Athletes, like the rest of us, grow older and retire. They stop pushing their bodies to the limits. Often, the years of magnificent performances take their toll in the later years - as we see when we look at retired NFL players who often live the remainder of their lives in pain. Soccer players, according to thisstudy, also retire to become an orthopedic surgeon’s number one patient. This has fuelled the opioid crisis, with many retired athletes relying on potent pain relief methods that come from pharmaceutical manufacturers. What are the benefits of CBD oil to athletes after retirement, dealing with the painful aftermath of years and years of compounded injuries?

A small number of athletes started to find relief in these products, but at that stage, all cannabis products were still widely illegal and in fact, banned by the organisations that run these athletics events. You could be stripped of your titles if you tested positive. What are the benefits of hemp oil in blood tests, now? Is it still a banned substance? That’s a yes and no answer. 

Now that the world is adopting a mindset shift towards the product in lieu of its medical benefits, the laws have eased and many organisations have removed cannabidiols from their banned substance lists. 

Famous names that advocate the use of CBD for athletes

What are the benefits of CBD oil being allowed by many sports institutions, have there been any negative events? On the contrary. Since then, big names have come forward to support the use of CBD extract for both current athletes and retired athletes. These names include Eugene Monroe, MMA fighters the Diaz brothers, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Amy Van Dyken, cyclist and triathlete Andrew Talansky, and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson 

NFL player Nate Jackson reports his experience: “By the time I tore my groin off the bone, in 2007, I was medicating only with [hemp],” he wrote. “The team doctors cheered the speed at which I was healing, but I couldn’t disclose to them all that I was experiencing — no pain, no inflammation, restful sleep, vigorous appetite, a clear head.” Jackson said that despite these results, he — and others — “had to remain generally mum about cannabis.”

How to incorporate CBD products into your recovery routine

Unlike many pain-relief protocols and medications, there’s no real danger in accidentally overdosing. To dose correctly will help your products to last longer and give you the best results possible.  What are the benefits of CBD oil when it is consumed through various methods, do the effects vary?

  • If you are dealing with muscle pains, it’s helpful to apply topical products.

  • Ingesting the compound will give you an overall benefit and improve the body’s inflammation levels. 

  • Some of the most popular ways to include hemp in your diet include gummy sweets, pure CBD oil (available in a variety of flavours including refreshing lemon, peppermint, and others). 

  • The oil is particularly popular because it’s easy to include in a protein shake, in a smoothie, or in your morning java.

  • Some athletes prefer to use CBD capsules, they contain the same superb grade extract in an easy-to-swallow capsule form.