In the wake of CBD products exploding in popularity, a new product genre is entering the market — CBD creams. Washington dispensary shops and other places in the States that make these natural cream products have boasted that the CBD ingredients in them can do wonders for pain management for both intense workouts and chronic pain sufferers. But are these “magic” creams really all they are drummed up to be, and if so, how much? Let’s take a practical look at what CBD is, how it works in a cream for sports applications, and what you can do to take advantage of the stuff.
So What the Heck is CBD, Anyway?
By now, you would probably have to be living under a rock to not hear about CBD at this point. Those who do may recall sights of the infamous seven-tipped leaf and sounds of tripped-out 70’s music. This image is only natural, albeit confusing, as CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants.
The technical answer is that CBD is short for cannabidiol–one of at least 100 variations of special plant compounds called cannabinoids. And, as it turns out, your body has something called the cannabinoid system inside. This newly discovered system is a network of receptors that are very closely connected to the nervous system. These receptors are made to receive cannabinoids and process them for many complicated functions inside the body. Many are beneficial, and some are even essential. This is where CBD comes into play.
Your body makes its own cannabinoids, but it can process cannabinoids from other sources, too. CBD is one such example, and it can provide many benefits, such as mental clarity and pain relief — a boon for athletes. It is now a popular ingredient to put into oils, creams, and even gummies.
But is CBD safe? The short answer is yes. Unlike its cousin cannabinoid THC, CBD does not make you high. In fact, studies show that CBD can actually dampen the psychoactive effects of THC. Both cannabinoids are present in marijuana and hemp plants but at different amounts per plant species. The THC content in marijuana is much higher. But with hemp plants, the opposite is true. THC in hemp is barely noticeable. CBD in hemp is significantly present.
Commercial CBD products are perfectly fine to use as long as the THC content is certified below 0.3%. With amounts this low, the chances of getting high are impossible, allowing the consumer to enjoy the full spectrum benefits of CBD with peace of mind.
Is CBD Cream Effective for Athletes?
We mentioned earlier how CBD is formulated for creams. The companies who make them begin with the extraction of full-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, and add it into a carrier oil like hemp oil. Most of the time, full-spectrum CBD is used for the oil. The CBD oil is then blended into the cream as an ingredient. A growing number of CBD creams have entered the market, claiming to rejuvenate sore and tired muscles. But how effective is CBD as a cream? Let’s take a closer look at how it might work for boxing and other sports activities.
In short, there aren’t enough studies yet to confirm exactly to what extent CBD creams can provide topical pain relief. The CDC, however, is currently investigating if CBD cream is as effective as ibuprofen, and that’s a good sign. Some research suggests that CBD does indeed have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The CBD in cream may provide relief from achy joints and inflammation associated with intense workouts and conditions like arthritis. It may also be beneficial for individuals with pain related to neuropathy and other nerve damage.
CBD cream shows promising signs of other benefits, too. It may improve the inflammation associated with skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. In short, CBD cream is a good alternative to conventional drugs and may complement other natural pain relief ingredients like arnica montana, helping you perform at your prime and recover faster after a boxing session. The best part is, CBD cream is now legal to use in national professional sports as long as it meets the standard 0.3% THC threshold. CBD is nonaddictive and may even reduce withdrawal symptoms that are common with addiction recovery.
One caveat to keep in mind: being a potent cannabinoid, any CBD product can interact with other drugs, so you might want to talk to your sports therapist first if you are on a prescription. Some people have reported side effects from CBD such as tiredness, diarrhea, and a change in weight. The chances of these side effects, however, are very small, and even smaller than comparable drug products.
CBD Cream for Athletic Performance: The Verdict
Already, boxers are experimenting with CBD cream and other products with glowing reviews. Today CBD is legal to use in professional sports across the United States. Boxers may benefit from CBD cream in its ability to alleviate inflammation and pain related to the sport. CBD cream may also improve nagging skin conditions, and benefit individuals with nerve damage.
There is still much to learn about the effectiveness of CBD cream, which may be different for everyone. But since CBD products are generally safe, it is certainly worth a try. Ask your doctor first to see if CBD cream is right for you. This product is common to find in many places such as a Washington dispensary and local CBD shops in other states.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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