The value of the CBD (cannabidiol) market has grown to a whopping $3.08 billion in 2018. According to market experts, this will rise further to become a $2.2 trillion industry come 2026.
After all, CBD, an extract that comes from cannabis plants, has shown to have many health benefits. From pain relief to easing swelling, cannabidiol has shown to exert all these effects.
With all its potential, it’s no wonder that a lot of athletes now also attest to CBD sports cream benefits.
The question is, how exactly can the use of CBD help athletes and sports goers? Are these benefits even scientifically-proven?
We’ve rounded up the answers to these questions in this post, so be sure to read on!
1. Potential Pain Relief
The most common reason people use CBD products is to experience relief from pain. Its pain-relieving effects aren’t only anecdotal though — many studies have confirmed this. There’s no doubt a need for more research, but current findings do show that CBD can relieve pain.
It appears that this cannabinoid disrupts how pain signals work and travel to and from the brain. By interfering with these processes, they may help lessen pain severity and frequency.
2. May Help Reduce Swelling
Arthritis and sports-related injuries both result in inflammatory responses. Arthritis causes mostly joint inflammation, although it can also affect other tissues. Whereas sports injuries often cause swelling in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
One study found that topical CBD reduced joint pain and swelling in arthritic rats. In another study, CBD was also found to have similar benefits in rats with osteoarthritis. In both cases, the researchers say that it’s due to cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory effects.
In this way, topical CBD products may also help athletes who suffer from inflammation. They may find relief from both pain and swelling when they sustain muscle or tissue injury.
3. Powerful Antioxidant Properties
Vitamin C is a key vitamin in athlete health, as it’s a powerful antioxidant. In this way, it may help prevent or even reverse some of the cellular damage that occurs during exercise. This vitamin also helps boost the immune system, which may then help keep muscle damage at bay.
Vitamin E, another antioxidant, also benefits athletes by keeping the muscles healthy. Furthermore, this vitamin has shown muscle-healing effects. This is especially true in cases of muscle tears, which is very common in athletes.
CBD, however, has shown to have an even greater antioxidant effect than both vitamins. As such, it may also bring the same kind of healing benefits, but to a greater extent.
That said, CBD cream may not only help ease pain and swelling of an injury — it may also help heal it faster.
4. May Help Ease Redness and Itchiness
Athletes are more prone to skin redness and itchiness because they sweat a lot. Their perspiration can also interact with their garments, further causing irritation and itchiness.
As CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, it may have a positive effect on these symptoms. Applying CBD cream on these affected parts may help diminish both redness and rashes.
5. May Help Alleviate Athlete’s Foot
Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a type of fungal infection. The fungus that causes it loves moist and warm conditions, such as sweaty running shoes. However, it can also thrive on surfaces, such as gym floors, as well as fabrics like towels.
CBD may help in the treatment of athlete’s foot, seeing as it also boasts of antifungal properties. It also has antibacterial effects, which may help tone down bacterial infections.
6. May Aid in Acne Reduction
Acne is another common skin malady that affects many athletes. They’re especially prone to acne mechanica, which is due to the combination of heat and sweat. These two, plus sebum and dirt, can then trigger acne breakouts.
Sebum is the skin’s natural oil, but too much of it can easily clog up the skin pores. It also traps dirt, which if left unwashed, can irritate the skin. The accumulation of sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells can all contribute to acne.
The good news is, topical CBD has shown to help control the production of sebum. This, plus CBD’s powerful antioxidant effects, may then help reduce or prevent acne.
7. Non-Addictive Properties
About 50% of athletes use oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This makes it the most common drug for treating pain, swelling, and other sports injuries. They’re effective, no doubt, but they may also cause drug dependence, albeit indirectly.
Research has found that NSAID use has a connection to increased risk for opioid use. Opioids are pain-relievers more potent, and unfortunately, more addictive than NSAIDs. They’re also the drugs associated with about 70% of drug overdoses in the US in 2018.
While pain relievers do help athletes, their long-term use can cause serious harm. CBD products, on the other hand, carry little to no risk of misuse or dependence. In fact, some studies suggest that CBD may even help treat opioid addiction!
8. Safe for Athletes
All that said, the next thing you may have thought of is CBD’s risk of “psychoactive effects”. After all, CBD does come from cannabis sativa plants.
Don’t worry, as CBD doesn’t have a “stoning” or euphoric effect. It’s the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, that gives some cannabis species that property. While THC is 20 times more potent than aspirin, it’s also the reason for marijuana’s signature “high”.
This means that as long as you avoid a THC cream and use a pure CBD muscle balm instead, you won’t get “high” or feel “stoned”. Instead, you may only experience reduced pains and aches.
9. Legal and Easily Available
Pure CBD-based cannabis ointment and creams are federally legal, so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. That’s why you should go for CBD products that use isolates, as these have little to no THC at all.
CBD isolate topicals are also easily available, and you can even shop for them online! Getting them online also gives you access to discount coupons. Make sure you look for these deals to help you save money on quality CBD products.
Use a High-Quality CBD Sports Cream to Treat Common Athlete Maladies
There you have it, your ultimate guide on how a CBD sports cream or ointment may benefit athletes. While we definitely need more studies on CBD’s potential, it does hold a lot of promise. Besides, CBD is non-addictive, so it won’t hurt to try it as a treatment for your sports-related maladies.
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