CBD and Sports - Which Athletes are Fans of the Plant and Why

Reading time - 14 minutes

“Why are athletes drawn to CBD?” you may ask. The answer: because Cannabidiol is sweeping through the market, leaving its mark on a variety of industries across the globe! The use of CBD has notably picked up as it has proven itself to be a worthy natural alternative to conventional and prescription medications for various conditions.  From Kim Kardashian to Jonah Hill, celebrities have expressed their love for CBD based on their own use of the compound for a variety of ailments. Whether it’s the need to relieve anxiety, chronic pain, or to reduce acne scarring, the number of CBD users who experience positive and lasting results is growing rapidly. As studies are ongoing and more research is required to fully understand cannabinoids, the industry is fortunate to have prominent voices speak on its behalf. CBD has gained immense popularity in the world of sports because CBD naturally possesses qualities that are excellent for supporting muscle retention and improving general physical performance; qualities that will be explained in this article. We will also talk about CBD’s ability to work powerfully against the sensitivity and pain that an athlete’s body undergoes during extensive physical training.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, popularly recognised by its acronym 'CBD', is one of 113 cannabinoid compounds produced and found in a part of the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD’s association with the cannabis plant means that it is often confused with other cannabinoids like THC, which has very different effects on the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is a chemical compound which causes the feeling of intoxication, the ‘high’ sensation that is linked to recreational cannabis use. CBD, on the other hand, does not actually have any intoxicating effects and is entirely safe for human consumption.

So, we’ve established what CBD is. Let's now dive into the nitty-gritty details of how it actually works! CBD attaches itself to specific receptors in the brain, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are involved in various functions in the body like movement, mood, emotions, appetite, and memory. CB2 receptors, however, affect inflammation and pain and are primarily found more commonly in the immune system.

With such a massive rise in the use of CBD for different health concerns, there is now an ever-growing market for various ways of taking CBD. You can inhale CBD through vapes and e-cigarettes, absorb it in topical oils, or ingest it in the form of drinks, creams, and softgel capsules. Because CBD is still a relatively new product, there is no significant research on which consumption method is the best, but Infused Amphora is leaving its mark with its high-quality vapes and CBD vape oils.

As the effectiveness of CBD products grows in recognition by individuals suffering from numerous symptoms such as chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, myalgia, insomnia and more, CBD is penetrating the lifestyles of popular culture and alternative treatment. CBD advocates include a plethora of athletes, TV personalities and celebrities who have either personally endorsed or use CBD products & brands themselves. Athletes have recommended various CBD products and have reported positive experiences when taking CBD for their pain, anxiety and improved quality of sleep.

Different ways to use CBD

The most popular ways to use CBD are to ingest it orally in the form of capsules, oils or pills. You can apply it topically in the form of balms, oils and tinctures. Another extremely popular way to use CBD is to inhale it, using CBD vapes. The oral forms of CBD such as capsules, pills and softgels are somewhat similar to one another but are also often used for very different reasons. They vary slightly in how they feel, and what they can contain, and in their bioavailability.

First up, topical application. CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors present in the skin which may help various forms of therapeutic situations, including for joint relief and muscle pain. Those with localised concerns in the knees, hands, and feet for example; find topicals to be beneficial. Topical application of CBD is therefore very popular with athletes who are using CBD to alleviate pain and inflammation in specific muscles and joints. Although the bioavailability of topical CBD products is not as high as those that are absorbed sublingually, or when vaped, it nevertheless presents a range of benefits for those looking to achieve targeted, localised relief.

Another popular form of using CBD is to inhale CBD through vaping. The process of vaping is quite simple, for this you require a vape pen or an e-cigarette, which heats a liquid up to generate vapour, that can then be inhaled. There are all kinds of vape liquids and oils out there today, and CBD vape oils now exist that are designed specifically for vaping. The bioavailability of CBD when vaped is thought to be the highest of all currently available CBD products and therefore is very advantageous. Although many vape products contain nicotine or other harmful substances which make them especially unsuitable for athletes, our CBD vape oils at Amphora contain only CBD extract as well as terpenes that act as all-natural dilutants and thickening agents, and that give our vape oils their unique flavours!

CBD in Sports

Athletes in all sports are tasked with upholding an incredibly high standard of fitness, which can result in a heightened susceptibility to the physical discomforts that come with sport. With products such as CBD-infused topicals, some of the sport's premier athletes have discovered a new favourite way to support their bodies both before and after a game.

Which athletes are fans:

CBD has gained immense popularity as sports stars are starting to speak more openly about their use of CBD. Here is a quick look at some of the athletes that have expressed their love for this new cannabinoid:

1.Terrell Davis

Terrell Davis is one of the most prolific running backs in the history of the NFL. He admittedly believes that his career would have lasted longer if he had started using CBD earlier. Davis is a prime advocate for cannabis use in sports, and his track record with CBD ranges over several years.

2.Conor McGregor 

Conor McGregor is a renowned Irish MMA fighter, who uses CBD oil regularly. He has close ties with the MMA marketing legend Hans Molenkamp, who has sponsorship involvement with brands like Monster and other major MMA stars like the Diaz brothers.


3. Eddie Hall

Eddie Hall is one of the strongest men in the world, Just three years ago, he won The World's Strongest Man championship. Eddie Hall is a long-time fan and advocate of CBD and he regularly speaks about the vital role it plays in the lives of many athletes. It’s said that Eddie drinks a CBD-infused beverage before or after every training session or workout he does! Eddie Hall has made a significant contribution when it comes to raising awareness about CBD, its legality and its benefits. He has gone to great lengths to demonstrate and publicise the fact that CBD is an entirely natural compound with only negligible amounts of THC, the intoxicating component of the cannabis plant.

4. Charley Hoffman 

Charley Hoffman is a 42-year old golf player. He is not only a regular CBD oil user but is also involved in the promotion of a newly introduced line of CBD supplements. It seems that CBD is well-loved in the golfing community; Charley is one of several pro golfers such as Phil Mickelson and Lucas Glover, who have signed agreements to endorse the compound with manufacturers since it was taken off the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned supplements in 2018. 

5. Birmingham City Football Club

The Birmingham City Football Club is the first sports club in history to enter into a partnership with a CBD drinks brand. With this positive level of growth amidst various sporting clubs, we can expect more sports sponsorship from CBD brands to happen over the coming years as the market continues to grow in the sports world.

6.Caleb Marshall

Caleb Marshall is a dancing guru, fitness coach and trainer. He also offers online classes to teach individuals how they can shape their body by observing a balanced diet and maintaining an effective workout routine. According to him, excessive dance practice and extensive workouts can cause extreme soreness and exhaustion to your muscles. He claims, however, that the regular use of CBD oil maintains a healthy balance in the body, allowing one to attain peace of mind.

7. Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas is an Olympic gymnast who uses CBD for pain relief. Her experiences in using CBD have led her to believe that she could have been more pain-free throughout her gymnastics career if CBD had been allowed by sports regulations previously. Douglas said "I am glad that athletes across all Olympic sports will now have the opportunity to use these products and hopefully experience their benefits".

8. Ben Franks

Ben is one of the world's leading rugby players with two Rugby World Cup titles to his name! Franks has been playing Rugby for over two decades, whilst currently playing for Northampton Saints. He has actually been using CBD for years - before it was even popular - after a fellow athlete recommended it to him, and has been swearing by it ever since. What is quite impressive, however, is that Ben is the co-owner and founder of Impact Sports CBD alongside James Haskell. They are working together to spread awareness amidst sportspeople, teaching individuals how they can use CBD and what its benefits are.

9.James Haskell

James Haskell is a retired British & Irish Lion and one of the UK's most famous rugby internationals, with over 78 senior England Caps to his name. He is equally renowned for his impressive physique and extreme dedication towards fitness training. James is a social media mogul and personality and has a great fan base through his social media platforms.

10. Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings is an Olympic beach volleyball player. As a mother, sleep is essential for her lifestyle. She stated that "Implementing cbdMD's CBD PM into my routine has improved my sleep, and I see a change in my overall well-being."

The use of CBD in sports has become popular as it's practical qualities have proven to impact many athletes as an alternative form of treatment for common ailments and aches associated with intense, regular exercise. Several studies have shown that CBD has multiple beneficial effects on the human body; as a result, CBD is increasingly accepted and used in the sports world. We'll now delve into the key reasons why athletes at various levels have integrated the use of CBD in their daily lives, to improve their performance.

CBD’s success in sports

Originally, CBD was primarily used as a nutritional supplement but has now progressed to the point of being used by many athletes to increase performance, speed up body's recovery process and optimize muscle functions. Here are some of the ways CBD can help athletes.

Inflammation

One of the most notable and well-tested features of CBD is that it is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. The process of inflammation is a natural response of the body to an injury and is often triggered by excessive strenuous exercise. Inflammation can inhibit athletes from participating in competitions or commencing their training schedule according to their plans, and therefore solutions for inflamed muscles and joints are always highly sought-after.

Recovery

The use of CBD in the form of lotions, creams or ointments has been deemed useful for alleviating the pain associated with recovery from sporting injuries, such as inflammation and chronic pain. CBD, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory properties, therefore helps to speed up the recovery process.

Stress and Anxiety

It is completely normal to undergo a flurry of emotions and to feel nervous before races, competitions and matches. The body also experiences various levels of stress and anxiety as a result of intensive training and exercise. CBD has been reported by many consumers to help the body relieve anxiety and stress, and can, in this way, help athletes overcome the high-stress situations they often encounter.

Pain Relief

When the body undergoes hardcore training, it experiences significant levels of pain. If the area in pain is not treated, a case of muscle strain may develop after training further, which can significantly impact the athlete's performance and also be a threat to their career. CBD can therefore support athletes by alleviating post-exercise aches and pains.

Sleep and Relaxation 

CBD may also give a certain calmness that is necessary for a night of enjoyable and relaxing sleep. Sleep is incredibly vital for the recovery of the body; a factor everyone is well aware of! This plays a significant role for individuals with strenuous careers, such as athletes, when they want to showcase an optimal level of performance.


Endurance and Fitness

CBD works to activate and balance the endocannabinoid system in the human body, and, as a result, improving both the endurance and the overall condition of your body. Because of the way the ECS and CBD interact with processes of inflammation, which can impair endurance and fitness levels, CBD is can improve and support athletes’ endurance and fitness levels.

Muscle gain and relaxation

CBD may also help muscles revitalise through their recovery process. In the area of muscle gain, CBD products are particularly beneficial for athletes whose primary goals are power building and muscle gain. Through an enhanced recovery process and prevention of inflammation, athletes can build and expand their muscle mass faster. An array of muscle relaxant balms are made in the attempt to help athletes relax after extensively straining them.

The legality of CBD, the big question mark for athletes

In 2018; the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. However, major sporting leagues alongside athletic organisations (with the recent exception of Major League Baseball) still forbid the usage of THC infused products.

The biggest question arises regarding whether or not CBD will cause a positive or negative test for THC or other illicit substances. Researchers have found that you do not test positive after ingesting CBD isolate and THC-free products and, as a result, CBD can be used by competing athletes. If you do choose to take CBD, however, it is advised you read product labels and do your research to be sure you're getting a high-quality product. Make sure that the product your purchasing is certified as THC free; always check for a third-party tested Certificate of Analysis (or COA).

Is CBD Legal?

In the UK, CBD is legal as long as it does not contain more than trace amounts (more than 0.2%) of THC, which is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

CBD is also legal in the UK provided it has been derived from a hemp strain that is EU-approved or comes from outside the EU.

The future of CBD in sports

There are still plenty of athletes and retired sports stars who have inculcated the use of CBD in their daily lives but are apprehensive about associating it with marijuana, fearing it to tarnish their name. Many more will undoubtedly surface as the CBD market continues to grow, especially once an increase of CBD company sponsorships becomes popular in the sporting world.

As the knowledge of the potential benefits of CBD grows, so will the number of athletes and celebrities trying it so that they can benefit as much as their competitors. The industry is hopeful for more prominent users to speak up about their experiences with CBD in order to continue research and development of new and better products, in turn benefitting users.

About Infused Amphora

Infused Amphora brings the richness of previous centuries, together with modern quality assurance practices. This unique feature enables them to provide you with affordable CBD products for those daily moments of luxury; to enhance health, wellness, and get you closer to your personal lifestyle goals. Infused Amphora values transparency and consumer trust. We print QR codes, manufacture dates and batch identification numbers on all our CBD products so you can easily find lab test results and rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality.

Simply scan the QR code on your Infused Amphora CBD vape oil cartridge packaging and use the batch number or manufacturer's date to find the lab results of your product. Test results can be found under each specific product in our shop, or you can also search for the COA of the product you have purchased on our CBD Lab Testing Results page.

Lab testing for CBD products - What is a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?

A certificate of analysis is a certified lab report which provides information on the chemical contents of a product. Amphora products undergo testing by accredited independent, third-party laboratories to ensure that our CBD products meet our high standards of quality. A Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is a document issued by an accredited laboratory that includes a compositional analysis of a product. Infused Amphora COA's consist of a list of cannabinoids, potency, and any contaminants.

 

 

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Written by   Infused Amphora Team 

The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.  

Contributors  |  Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell 

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Angus Taylor    |    LinkedIn   IPI website
CEO Infused Products International Ltd.


IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of 
effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field. 

 

Dr Gaylord Wardell BSc, MD, FRCP    |     LinkedIn   IPI website  
Chair, Infused Products International Ltd., Science Advisory Board       



Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain managemen
t, medical practices and education.  Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.   

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Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.