Why CBD Can Be More Beneficial Than THC for Athletes

July 18, 2018

Using cannabis products before, during, and after training is becoming increasingly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Here’s a look at the advantages offered by CBD.

Many athletes and exercise enthusiasts have started to use cannabis products because they believe it augments their training and helps them perform at their best.

Cannabis is able to elicit its natural effects due to its compounds, called cannabinoids. While there are hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis, the two most abundant and well-understood are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Many athletes looking to experience the natural benefits of adding cannabinoids to their training have found CBD products more beneficial than ones containing high levels of THC. Here’s a look at the advantages CBD has over THC for athletes.

CBD Vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

Like all cannabinoids, CBD and THC interact with your body through your endocannabinoid system, a vital signaling network responsible for keeping in balance a wide array of functions.

While the two cannabinoids share a similar atomic structure, they have distinct differences that influence how they interact with the endocannabinoid system and the natural effects they elicit.

The most distinguishable difference between CBD and THC is whether they cause a “high.”

When it comes to THC, yes — it is the cannabinoid most think of when they think of marijuana and it does cause a high. THC binds directly with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors, triggering the euphoric effect.

CBD, on the other hand, won’t get you high. This is because CBD doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors. In fact, it’s shown to suppress CB1-activating qualities of compounds like THC.

For athletes, this difference between the two cannabinoids is significant. It means that they can benefit from the natural balancing properties of CBD without their physical performance being impacted negatively by euphoric side effects. Also, because CBD-rich hemp oil only contains trace amounts of THC, it will not show up in drug tests, in most cases.

CBD Won’t Slow Down Your Reaction Time

Athletes can take CBD before and during training or competition and not have their reaction time adversely impacted.

When talking about sports, reaction time refers to the amount of time it takes an athlete to detect, process, and respond to any type of stimulus. Having good reaction time plays a direct role in physical performance in nearly all sports. Being able to quickly change directions to stay with an opponent on the basketball court or football field, for example, requires a high level of reaction time.

THC’s euphoric effects impair reaction time, putting an athlete at a disadvantage. This is because CB1 receptors are found in the cerebellum and basal ganglia, areas of the brain that regulate various functions, including reaction time.

Because it doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors, CBD won’t impair reaction time like THC, allowing athletes to react and respond to situations on the field or court quickly.

basketball player cbd benefits

CBD Won’t Adversely Impact Your Coordination

Athletes can incorporate CBD into their daily routines without having to worry that doing so will impair their coordination.

Coordination is the ability to repeatedly execute a sequence of physical movements accurately and smoothly. For an athlete, a high level of coordination is crucial. It’s why you spend hours and hours perfecting the synchronization of movement to excel at your sport.

All sports require the coordination of eyes, hands, and feet. Many sports also require hand-eye coordination to accurately manage an implement or control a ball. Simple motor skills like running and jumping require gross motor coordination, while actions like throwing a baseball, shooting a basketball, or serving a tennis ball require fine motor coordination.

In addition to regulating reaction time, the cerebellum and basal ganglia also influence coordination. This means taking products containing high levels of THC can impair coordination, limiting an athlete’s ability to excel on the field or court.

CBD does not adversely impact your coordination, allowing athletes to still coordinate motor actions efficiently.

athlete cbd good

CBD Compliant with Many Sports Organization’s Policies

Competitive athletes have to be careful about any and all substances they incorporate into their training. Sports governing bodies each have their own respective policies on what is and what is not permissible for a participating athlete to take.

The use of THC and marijuana by athletes is still prohibited by all major sports governing bodies. Consuming products containing THC, therefore, puts many athletes at risk of being in violation and subject to penalties.

As CBD has become increasingly popular among athletes looking for an all-natural, non-toxic product to boost performance and assist in recovery, more sport’s governing bodies have adapted their policies to permit athletes to use CBD before and during competition, as well as for recovery afterward.

While hemp-derived CBD products contain little to no levels of THC, athletes who participate in competitive leagues and organizations and looking to avoid all THC have options with CBD products with non-detectable levels of THC, such as Dixie Botanicals® CBD Isolate, and Dixie Botanicals® Kicks.

speed skating cbd benefits

Hemp CBD Doesn’t Require Doctor’s Permission

Derived from imported hemp, CBD oil products are federally legal in the United States and available without a doctor’s recommendation.

While individual states are able to pass their own laws regulating hemp-derived CBD, and some states have chosen to do so, full-spectrum CBD products are available in most states. CBD products that do not contain detectable levels of THC, such as Dixie Botanicals® CBD Isolate, Kicks, CBD Vape Cartridge, and Salvation Balm, are available nationwide.

THC, which remains illegal under federal law, can only be obtained legally in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

Start Adding CBD to Your Athletic Routine

Because CBD can help athletes like you reach your peak performance and encourage faster recovery, CBD products are a natural choice for those looking for an edge in training and competition.

Get started with CBD today through the HempMeds® online shop. You can learn more about the many benefits of CBD for athletes on our blog.