CBD for Inflammation in Athletes
Both seasoned and recreational athletes are no stranger to the occurrence of inflammation-related pain. Whether you are a leisurely runner or a professional competitor, discomfort from exercise-related inflammation is nearly inevitable, and commonly treated by physicians by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Despite the prevalence of over-the-counter pain medications, research suggests that long-term NSAID use is related to adverse effects on the body’s healing processes .
In an attempt to offer athletes a way to stay active and avoid the unwanted risks and side effects of NSAIDs, researchers are investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabidiol, or CBD. Clinical trials have observed that cannabinoids - the active components of CBD - have the ability to suppress the inflammatory response, subsequently relieving symptoms of pain resulting from inflammation .
Research results indicating the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have not gone unnoticed; in 2017, the Health and Medicine Division of the US National Academies concluded that there is substantial clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of chronic pain . Similarly, in 2018, the FDA released a statement approving the use of a “purified form of [...] cannabidiol (CBD)” .
Though clinical research on the effects of CBD in humans is limited, current data suggests that Cannabidiol products show promise in the effective management of various inflammation-based pain conditions .
With an estimated 50% of athletes currently using NSAIDs regularly to treat exercise-related pain, researchers and healthcare professionals are concerned about the high potential for drug misuse and the risks associated with long-term use . As a result, many athletes are choosing CBD products over NSAIDs for inflammation support.
While further research is necessary to explore the risks and benefits of CBD further, early studies suggest that CBD is a safe, effective alternative to NSAID anti-inflammatories. Speak to your healthcare provider before using CBD to treat inflammation or any other condition.
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