CBD, Aging & Athletic Performance

As our society grows more health conscious, we are always looking for ways to fight the aging process. Physical activity is great for the mind and body, but chronic inflammation wrecks havoc on the body, especially as we grow older. I’ve been an athlete most of my life and after many years of competition and knee injuries, my joints are not the same. Unfortunately, we commonly resort to over the counter anti inflammatory drugs with harsh side effects to combat this. Not only do NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and naproxen cause stomach ulcers, but they are hard on your kidneys. As a med-surge nurse, I can attest to how many patients I have had with GI bleeds and kidney failure. 

We have all experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  DOMS typically occurs for several days after unaccustomed and strenuous exercise. It was originally hypothesized that there is a correlation between lactic acid build up and DOMS, but not so recent studies have debunked this theory. [2] DOMS is actually micro-trauma to your muscles. We know that CBD can help to reduce inflammation. So, can CBD be used as an aid to exercise performance and recovery? CBD quiets the immune system, thus quieting the cascade that occurs during the chronic inflammatory response. Studies suggest that CBD reduces inflammation by inhibiting cell proliferation, inducting apoptosis, suppressing cytokine production, and inducing T-regulatory cells [1].

Although CBD is still being studied, this is a great supplement for both serious and recreational athletes. Professional athletes are looking to gain an edge could have a faster recovery period and be able to increase training volume. Aging athletes can also use CBD to improve overall health and prevent injuries. During my 7 years as a Certified Athletic Trainer in the high school setting, treating overuse and repetitive stress injuries was always something I found to be challenging. In my experience, 99.9% of athletes do not want to be told they need to take a few days of rest and recovery. Surprisingly, in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances. Although THC is still banned, many athletes are now using a THC free alternative called Isolate CBD to combat against overuse injuries.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD can also help to aid sleep. I cannot stress how important sleep is for athletic performance. Our bodies heal and recover, both physically and mentally, while we sleep. A 2014 article by Babson & Bonn-Miller indicated that over 83 percent of surveyed patients taking cannabis for pain said they experienced improved sleep. [3]

So how can you incorporate CBD into a healthy exercise routine? Always check with your healthcare provider first before starting any supplements. It is very important your provider know in order to effectively treat you. At Two Moons CBD, we have topical CBD lotions, salves and roll-ons. These products are excellent for targeting specific areas of pain and inflammation. For more of a systemic and preventative effect, I recommend a daily sublingual tincture. If you are interested in learning more about how CBD can aid you in injury prevention and athletic performance, please join us at Two Moons CBD on June, 19th at 5:30 PM for our much anticipated presentation, “CBD & The Aging Athlete”. I look forward to meeting you and helping guide you on your journey to wellness!

Works Cited

1. Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs” Future Med Chem. 2009. 1(7): 1333-1349.

2. James A. Schwane, Bruce G. Watrous, Scarlet R. Johnson & Robert B. Armstrong (1983) Is Lactic Acid Related to Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness?, The Physician and Sports medicine,  11:3, 124131, DOI: 10.1080/00913847.1983.11708485

3. Babson, Kim A., Bonn-Miller, Marcel O. (2014). Sleep Disturbances: Implications for Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Cessation, and Cannabis Use Treatment. Current Addiction Reports, 109-114.

FDA Disclaimer

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.