We’ll be taking a look at what CBD is actually, prior to exploring the most important advantages for your fitness, health and performance in sports.

What exactly is CBD?

Is it a drug? Can it be considered a medication? No, it’s a ‘recovery super-supplement’ – and no, it’s not going make you feel high. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the newest kid on the mainstream recovery block and, like many other quick-fix supplements there’s plenty of hype about CBD. The substance is one of more than 100 chemical compounds (known as cannabinoids) of marijuana.

In the UK, the government has categorised CBD as a “new food’. CBD is available in numerous forms, from drops and oils as well as creams, sprays drinks, and Gummies.

The list of supposed benefits is extensive including better sleep, reduced inflammation, pain and anxiety relief being among the top benefits. Certain brands have also mentioned that CBD can reduce the severity and frequency of seizures, help protect the brain, promote healthy skin, relieve nausea, benefit cardiovascular health and control weight.

CBD & Elite Athletes

There’s support from professional athletes, too, since WADA approved it, including the support of athletes all the way from UFC from triathlon to golf and rugby. Former players of the NFL where opioids are been used extensively for painkillers, also have spoken out in support of CBD.

Despite the fact that there is no evidence of CBD benefits on humans – the majority of studies focus on the effects of CBD on rats – it was a huge market at the close of the decade. It’s predicted the industry that is in the UK alone will amount to PS1bn in 2025.

The CMC can be viewed as part of a massive international pro-cannabis lobby, which may have contributed to boosting sales, but numerous reports of the benefits contribute to the increase.

Benefits of CBD

Higher doses of CBD have been shown to balance neurotransmitters within the body. It can also help with a variety of anxiety-related issues. Even though we’ll need to conduct more research, there is evidence that CBD activates neurons in the brain. This causes an increase of dopamine released. This increases not only the amount of energy, but also mood.

CBD may also help to relax your central nervous system, which is supported by several studies.

Recent research has revealed that CBD may reduce pain and inflammation. It does so by influencing the endocannabinoid receptor system, which is part of the nerve system to alleviate pain via neurotransmitters.

Watch out for THC

However, the NHS cautions its users on its website: ‘Some cannabis-based products can be bought on the internet without prescription. The majority of these items… may contain THC and might not be appropriate for use.’

The THC issue has been an issue of contention in the CBD market. Until recently, many have believed that the law is open to interpretation on allowable levels of less than 0.2 per cent (which is not enough to create the desired effect) and include the psychoactive ingredient in their products.

Sports bodies, including UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) recommend caution.

‘Despite the permitted status of CBD oil UK, there is still the possibility of a danger to athletes,’ states UKAD. “Athletes must take into consideration the risk of inadvertently ingesting a CBD product that contains a higher THC concentration than they expect or contains another chemical that sports bodies are not allowed to use.’

Are all cannabis-based cannabinoids legal for sport?

Other than CBD, all cannabinoids other than CBD are prohibited in sport. And, USADA says they can remain in your system for quite a while after you have used them. USADA also states that it is almost impossible to obtain the pure CBD extract or oil from the cannabis plant.

Confused? There’s more. It’s not just the CBD. World Health Organization (WHO) declares that CBD is ‘generally well tolerated with a high health profile’. However there was a Harvard Medical School publication claimed nausea, fatigue and irritability are potential adverse reactions.

Although CBD remains a popular choice of potential and fans but it’s not cheap.

Ultimately, until researchers undertake more studies of a larger scale in the future, the benefits of CBD are likely to be largely speculative. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

A lot of people have reported truly excellent results from regular CBD consumption. But if you are interested taking CBD, ensure that you build the dosage slowly. Also, don’t feel too down if it doesn’t change your fitness and health.