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CBD Barn – CDB For Sports? Rounding up claims for the efficacy of CBD in helping with sports recovery

This is an article to explore some of the evidence that may point towards potential benefits for athletes using CBD oils. This article should not be taken as medical advice or claims of efficacy, it is simply a useful summary of the information that exists regarding CBD oil for athletes and sports.

Before the benefits of CBD oil and cannabis oil were becoming known, many athletes would recover from hard excercise using traditional NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is good for general pain relief and can help to reduce swelling, but there are numerous potential problems with long-term use of NSAIDs.

According to WebMD, “According to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), each year the side effects of NSAIDs hospitalize over 100,000 people and kill 16,500 in the U.S., mostly due to bleeding stomach ulcers.

But it’s important to put those numbers in context. The AGA also says that every day, more than 30 million Americans use NSAIDs for pain from headaches, arthritis, and other conditions. And while some experts emphasize the dangers, others stress that living with chronic pain is terrible in itself.”

So what we have is people reaching for NSAIDs to combat pain related problems, despite the potential and proven negative side effects from their long term use.

So where can cannabis products and CBD oil come in helpful? Firstly, as stated in the beginning of this article, you should not consider this as medical advice. If your doctor has prescribed you with NSAIDs then you should always follow your doctor’s advice. It is our hope that eventually doctors will consider alternatives to traditional medicine that are not based on woo or pseudo science.

I can share a personal anecdote here. I train Brazilian jiu jitsu; I have a black belt and have been training for almost 15 years. I would regularly use Ibuprofen directly after training or even the morning after if I was still sore. The ibuprofen was quite effective at pain relief but, like anything taken in excess, I was always worried about long-term use, especially when I started reading about the potential side effects. Over the last two years, I have trained harder than ever, and I have not touched Ibuprofen or any other NSAID. After each training session I will take CBD oil, either in the form of CBD Coconut Oil such as Raised Spirit, with oral drops such as Canavape, or with dried CBD Herb. Whether it is a placebo effect or not, I feel much more relaxed soon after taking it, and my muscle soreness is noticeably reduced. My joint paint from excessive gripping, pulling and pushing in jiu jitsu is also noticeably reduced, which I put down to regular consumption of CBD and the rest of the cannabinoids present in full-spectrum hemp products.

Companies producing CBD products are in a bit of a bind in terms of how they promote their goods – without paying for a prohibitively expensive medical license, they are unable to make official claims about the efficacy of CBD and other cannabinoids at treating various ailments. However, there are more and more scientific studies going on that point towards the potentially huge health benefits of CBD and cannabis-derived products, particularly in regards to anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief.

As summarised by Peter Grinspoon, MD, on the Harvard Medical Centre blog,

“The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve, if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD.

In particular, marijuana appears to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general. This is an area where few other options exist, and those that do, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or opiates are highly sedating. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely out of it and disengaged.

Along these lines, marijuana is said to be a fantastic muscle relaxant, and people swear by its ability to lessen tremors in Parkinson’s disease. I have also heard of its use quite successfully for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.

Marijuana is also used to manage nausea and weight loss, and can be used to treat glaucoma. A highly promising area of research is its use for PTSD in veterans who are returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement and clamor for more studies, and for a loosening of governmental restrictions on its study. Medical marijuana is also reported to help patients suffering from pain and wasting syndrome associated with HIV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

This is not intended to be an inclusive list, but rather to give a brief survey of the types of conditions for which medical marijuana can provide relief. As with all remedies, claims of effectiveness should be critically evaluated and treated with caution.”

According to a paper published by Peter Reynolds on the 27 February 2015 on the British Medical Journal’s website:

Studies And Clinical Trials
Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is the condition for which cannabis is most widely used. It seems to be particularly effective in neuropathic pain for which opioids, NSAIDs and other pharmaceutical medicines are not effective. It also appears to reduce the required dose
when used in conjunction with opioids. (65)
THC, CBD and other cannabinoids each have different effects both as analgesics and in the perception of pain. Patients commonly report that even if pain is not eliminated, cannabis helps them to deal with it by altering their perception and allowing them to focus
There is a large quantity of good quality evidence, including clinical trials with placebo controls, that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of cannabis in treating
chronic pain.
2007, Neurology

“Our results support the claim that smoked cannabis reduces pain, improves mood and helps sleep.” (69)

2007. Journal of Pain.

“…52% of patients who smoked marijuana had a greater than 30% reduction in pain
compared to 24% in the placebo group. In this study, smoked marijuana was well tolerated
and effectively relieved chronic neuropathic pain…” (66)

2008. Neuropsychopharmacology

“This study adds to a growing body of evidence that cannabis may be effective at
ameliorating neuropathic pain, and may be an alternative for patients who do not respond
to, or cannot tolerate, other drugs.” (67)

2010. Canadian Medical Association Journal

“Smoked cannabis was generally well-tolerated and effective when added to concomitant
analgesic therapy…” (68)

2013. Neuropsychopharmacolgy
“This study is the first to demonstrate the dose- and route-dependent analgesic
effectiveness of cannabinoids for acute experimentally-induced pain in a pain-free
population, evidence that supports the role of cannabinoids for the management of pain.”

It seems clear that there is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that CBD and Cannabis derived products can help with pain management. In fact the evidence seems overwhelming and for something as simple as muscle pain from sports, CBD seems to be overqualified.

Written exclusively for CBD Barn.

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