Playing sports is not for everybody. That’s what my elementary school soccer coach told me at least once a week. Even watching sports doesn’t appeal to a great deal of people. That being said, there are many who enjoy competing and participating in sports. Cannabis users are no exception.
The idea of cannabis users being lazy homebodies who never exercise is outdated. As society becomes increasingly accepting of pot smokers, more and more pro athletes are opening up about their cannabis use and how it helps them in many aspects of their lives. From major organizations like the NBA and NFL to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and even Ultimate Frisbee champions, many of the top players use cannabis daily.
This is not exclusive to the top athletes of these sports either. Everyday people that play sports have found that cannabis makes an excellent addition to their game.
The Threat of Injury
However, under the influence of cannabis or not, sports and outdoor activities, no matter how basic or complicated they may be, have risks. Even simple outdoor activities like running or biking can cause injuries. Loose gravel or uneven surfaces can cause you to slip and fall, resulting in a sprained ankle or a broken bone. Then there are contact sports like football and MMA and the multitude of injuries one can get from them.
Minor outdoor activity injuries like a sprained ankle, sore muscles, and superficial cuts and lacerations are temporary. They typically resolve on their own once the injured part has healed.
Unfortunately, injuries like torn ligaments and tendons, stress fractures, torn meniscus, and dislocated joints can cause long-term, life-changing effects. It can prevent a professional athlete from playing their respective sport. It can also cause persistent health problems like chronic pain, arthritis, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Long-lasting injuries like these affect a persons’ day-to-day life. They also affect the mental health of the individual, resulting in depression, mood swings, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Conventional medications like painkillers and antidepressants can help control the symptoms of outdoor activity injuries, but sometimes, their therapeutic effects are not enough. Moreover, long-term use of these drugs can lead to addiction and overdose as well as heart, kidney, and liver problems.
With the legalization of cannabis, many athletes and outdoor lovers are trying CBD and THC products for symptom control. They find that the medicinal benefits of cannabis are similar to or maybe even better than conventional drugs.
But how does cannabis benefit injuries? Is it effective? Moreover, can professional athletes also use cannabis or CBD oil for sports?
The Benefits of CBD and THC
Research studies have shown that CBD and THC have numerous properties that benefit the human body, especially when it comes to symptom relief. As someone who plays sports or spends a lot of time doing outdoor activities, you might want to try and see if the cannabis benefits your injuries. Below are some of the therapeutic effects of cannabis oil.
It Relieves Pain
When you sustain an injury, be it a small wound or a bone fracture, the damaged tissues immediately release pain signals that travel to the brain. The brain, in turn, will activate several analgesia systems in the body to modulate pain perception. One of these systems is the endocannabinoid system, a function of which is to help regulate pain.
Both CBD and THC stimulate the endocannabinoid system. Their activation of this system results in the reduction of pain. Additionally, CBD and THC also stimulate other systems responsible for pain control. This is one of the reasons why cannabis is a powerful analgesic, and why many people using cannabis tincture report improvement in their pain.
It Controls Inflammation
When there’s tissue damage and irritants, the immune system sends special cells to the injured site to control, engulf, and neutralize them. The blood vessels also widen to allow blood (which now carries these special cells) to reach the injured site faster. The increased blood flow is also why injured sites become red, swollen, and feel hot to the touch.
Inflammation also contributes to pain. It triggers the cells to release more pain signals, and the chemicals involved in inflammation itself also irritate the nerves. This is why we tend to protect swollen injured sites.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled inflammation does not help the healing process. Instead, it worsens pain, slows down the recovery process, and contributes to chronic health problems.
Studies have shown that CBD and THC have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They stop immune cells from releasing chemicals that worsen inflammation, and they also induce the death of abnormal immune cells. Through these effects, inflammation is reduced.
It Kills Bacteria
Infection complicates your recovery from outdoor activity injuries. Left untreated, infection not only damages the tissues but also increases the risk of blood poisoning. In some sports like wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the risk of getting a staph infection is an ever present fear. When a gym is hit with it and the mats are contaminated, it’s only a matter of time until it starts spreading like wildfire.
Scientists have found that CBD and THC have potent antiseptic effects. They found that these cannabinoids can even kill superbugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a type of antibiotic-resistant version of a typical staph infection. Using cannabis to help clean your skin can help combat these nasty infections.
It Helps Control Mood
As mentioned earlier, chronic health problems caused by injuries can contribute to the development of depression and anxiety. These mental health issues slow down the recovery process. More importantly, they can also prevent you from enjoying life.
One of the benefits of cannabis is its potential to relieve depression and anxiety. It can boost your mood and make you feel lighter and happier meaning you’ll feel more energized and maybe even motivated to go outside again and enjoy your usual activities. Just take it slow!
It Can Help You Sleep Better
For faster recovery from outdoor activity injuries, you need ample rest and sleep. However, chronic debilitating pain can prevent you from getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep, in turn, can worsen your symptoms. It’s a horrible cycle that anybody who has had an injury can tell you is near maddening.
Cannabis oil benefits people who have sleep problems. Not only can CBD oil and THC reduce pain, but it can also relax the muscles as well. By controlling pain and muscle soreness, you’re able to fall asleep faster and longer helping your body heal.
Cannabis is significantly safer than opioid painkillers. CBD oil for pain won’t cause addiction or dependence, nor will it increase overdose risk. It’s also safer for your kidneys, liver, and heart.
Precautions to Take Prior to Using THC-Infused Products During Activities
There are some precautions though in using cannabis for sports and outdoor activity injuries.
- Cannabis, especially strains or edibles with high THC content, should not be used if the outdoor activity or sport could result in you getting injured because of delayed reaction times. If you’re going to take THC-infused products for pain control, try and do so after the activity.
- If you have a THC intolerance and can’t tolerate its side effects, it’s best that you use CBD oil for pain. CBD is non-psychoactive and won’t get you high. Just be sure to get the right CBD oil from a trusted source like JustCannabis to be sure it is not cross-contaminated with THC.
- Cannabis for sports may not be good for those with severe heart and lung problems. The cannabinoids are known to lower blood pressure, increasing the risk of sudden hypotension which can result in loss of consciousness.
- If you’re a professional athlete and want to try cannabis oil for sports, know that cannabis is still prohibited in many competitions. Using THC-infused products for your injuries could mean you test positive on a drug test. If your sample went above a specific concentration, it can result in a doping violation. Thankfully many athletic bodies and commissions are coming to their senses and loosening their restrictions on cannabis use but there is a long way to go.
If you want to try cannabis for sports and outdoor activities, be sure do your research first. For professional athletes who need medical cannabis, you should complete the necessary documents for medical exemption.
Some Of The Other Best Products for Dealing with Injuries
Purebud (Releaf) – CBD Cool Stick
Great for those needing quick relief from muscle, joint, and back pain. Once applied, you will immediately feel the cooling effects. Long lasting, soothing, and convenient.
ActiHemp – Gel Caps 1:1 CBD:THC (10mg)
They are considered highly effective for pain relief, anxiety, spasticity, fibromyalgia, insomnia, nausea, and appetite stimulation. A 1:1 can be a good starting point for many due to the multitude of conditions it may treat with minimal impairment. If you find the dose works for you, you can try using more or less THC or CBD based on your needs.
Indica – Death Bubba
A strain like this is best used for depression and stress as it has both sedative properties and mood stimulating effects, giving you that burst of joy and relaxation you yearn for. Because of its ability to numb the body, this product is highly recommended for chronic pain, inflammation, and spasms.
Cannabis can benefit athletes and outdoor lovers who sustained an injury if used correctly. THC-infused and CBD oil for pain not only controls pain but improves other symptoms as well such as inflammation and infection. It can also help relieve mental health problems associated with severe injuries.