Sports training is of paramount importance to an Olympic athlete. However, physical training is a double-edged sword. While it can promote faster adaptation and better performance of your muscles, it can also expose your body to trauma and wear and tear, which may lead to pain and injury.
To cope with their rigorous training process, some athletes use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) regularly. Chronic use of these pain relievers may promote opioid addiction, which may even lead to death.
Because of this, many in the sports industry have decided to seek out healthier and more effective alternatives. With all the buzz surrounding the potential effect of CBD in pain relief and athletic performance, the use of CBD in the Olympics has garnered a significant amount of attention.
If you want to know more about using CBD in the Olympics, keep on reading.
Are Olympic Athletes Allowed to Use CBD?
Yes, the use of CBD is allowed in the Olympics.
As we all know, drug rules in the Olympics are very strict. In fact, the International Olympic Committee established an agency called the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999. The purpose of this agency is to ensure that competitive sports organizations are free of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
From 2004 until October 2017, WADA's list of banned substances included CBD. In mid-October 2017, the drug-testing agency finally removed CBD from the list.
Why? In the statement made by Director General Olivier Niggli of WADA, he explains that experts from their agency examine the substances in the list by reviewing the scientific and medical research trends as well as the information provided by the pharmaceutical companies and law enforcement.
This information allowed the agency to determine that CBD is not addictive, unlike opioid medications, and that it does not violate the spirit of sports. This new WADA policy took effect in 2018.
Please keep in mind that this is the rule only inside the sports industry, and it will, in no way, bypass the legality of CBD in your federal state and local area. That's why it is always better to check the laws in your area.
Famous Athletes Who Use CBD
Numerous athletes were pleased with the removal of CBD from the list of banned substances by WADA. Here are a few of the Olympic athletes who state having used CBD.
Gabby Douglas (Olympic gymnast)
According to Douglas, her experience in using CBD led her to believe that her gymnastics career could have been more pain-free if only CBD was allowed earlier. She also added that she is now happy that athletes from all Olympic sports are given an opportunity to experience the potential benefits of CBD products.
Lolo Jones (Olympian track and field and bobsled athlete)
Jones said that she had incorporated CBD products in her daily routine, and ever since she started doing so, she noticed a positive change in her recovery speed.
Kerri Walsh Jennings (Olympic beach volleyball player)
According to Jennings, who is also a mother, she incorporated CBD products into her daily routine and has noticed improved sleep quality and a significant change in her overall health and well-being.
The Potential Benefits of CBD in the Olympics
No matter how long you have been an athlete, the training process will always be a tedious, painful, and risky experience for you. In addition to the risk of injuries, there are a whole range of challenges that you may have to deal with—slow recovery, body aches and pains, low energy, depression, and anxiety are just a few. Research on CBD is being conducted to see what solutions, if any, it may offer to some of these problems.
CBD and Inflammation
Inflammation and pain are two of the most common things that an athlete may experience during training and competition. Inflammatory pain is the type of pain that occurs when you overwork or injure your muscles.
Some athletes have sought relief from this type of pain by taking CBD orally or topically. When this substance enters the bloodstream, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This is the same system that is responsible for delivering anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects to the body.
CBD and Recovery
When you train, you are putting stress on your body, which will facilitate its growth and strength. This type of stress can boost oxidative damage in the body, slow your recovery, and even cause physical and mental fatigue.
The term “oxidative stress” refers to the condition where there is an imbalance between the oxidants and antioxidants in your muscles. In this situation, the oxidant levels in the body are much higher, which comes as a result of aerobic metabolism that occurs during a workout.
Some studies conducted sought to determine whether CBD has antioxidant properties that might be beneficial in reducing oxidative stress and thus speeding recovery.
CBD and Sleep
Lack of sleep can cause mental and physical fatigue. After all, it is during sleep that your body heals and recovers. If you don't get quality sleep, the body will not be able to achieve the recovery that it needs.
There are a few studies that aimed to explore the effects of CBD on sleep quality. To understand this, we must understand how sleep takes place. When we use carbohydrates for energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is broken down. It accumulates in the brain, and more adenosine binds to neurons and prevents the release of neurotransmitters and induces sleep.
One factor under research is whether CBD can bind to these receptors, block adenosine reuptake, and help users sleep quicker and better.
How to Choose and Use CBD in the Olympics
Even though WADA has already approved the use of CBD in the Olympics, they can still prohibit the use of other cannabinoids during competition. In line with this, you should keep in mind that certain CBD products may contain banned cannabinoids.
To stay on the safe side, you should learn how to choose and use CBD correctly. Here are some tips:
Use products that contain CBD Isolate.
When you shop for CBD products, you will come across different types of CBD extracts—full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. To ensure that you do not consume prohibited cannabinoids, you should understand what these terms mean.
Full-spectrum CBD is an extract that contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and not more than 0.3% of THC. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD is the type of CBD extract that contains CBD, all other naturally occurring cannabinoids, and no levels of THC. Last but not the least, CBD isolate is 99% CBD extract—no other cannabinoids or THC.
With this in mind, a CBD isolate may be the best type of CBD extract for you if you are an athlete and need to undergo drug testing. However, you should confirm this with your medical specialist before taking it.
Do not take CBD oil a few days before your drug test.
The worst thing that can happen to an athlete is to test positive during a drug test. If you take full-spectrum CBD products, there is a chance that this may occur because of the presence of THC in the product. To prevent this, avoid taking CBD products seven days before your scheduled drug test. If drug tests are conducted randomly, you obviously must take this fact into account.
Choose CBD products or brands that offer a Certificate of Analysis.
A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a third-party lab report that accurately indicates the content of a product. By checking the product's COA, you can confirm how much CBD the product has and ensure that it does not contain any prohibited substances, toxins, and other harmful ingredients.
Reliable manufacturers have these reports on hand, often posted on their website or provided to the consumer when they ask for it. In fact, at buyCBDproducts.com, we make it available to you on the packaging of every product.
Studies have shown that around 30% of CBD products sold in the market are inaccurately labeled. The COA will ensure that the labelling information provided by the company is accurate.
Know which types of cannabinoids are still banned by WADA.
WADA may have removed CBD from their ban list, but they still prohibit athletes from using other natural and synthetic cannabinoids like marijuana, hashish, and cannabis. You should also avoid consuming products and drinks that contain cannabinoids since you may have a harder time controlling the dosage.
Due to the potential benefits of CBD, its use has become a growing trend for Olympic athletes. However, please keep in mind that further research and experiments are needed to explore the benefits and potential side effects of these products, so you should exercise caution in taking them.
Finally, remember that you should follow the drug use policy in your area, not the WADA policy.