Contact sports such as rugby, football, basketball, martial arts, boxing and wrestling are physically demanding, necessitating both a high degree of mental focus and extraordinary tolerance to pain. Participating in these sports at competitive levels or simply for pleasure requires excellent body conditioning to sustain the physical endurance and toll it inevitably takes on the body, especially when recovering from any related sports injury sustained during training or competition.
“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom”… Dalai Lama
Although the medical and therapeutic effects of cannabis in sport are generally unknown, the debate continues whether cannabis use in sport is regarded as ergogenic (enhances) or ergolytic (impairs). Further research needs to be undertaken to fully understand this debate. However, the benefits of cannabis have long been associated with sport in general, with many elite athletes and sportspeople using CBD to help focus, relax and aid recovery. In other words, they adopt a three-phase approach: pre-recovery, recovery and the management of injury, including acute and chronic pain.
Getting pre-competition ready: Pre-recovery
Using full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or THC free CBD rich supplements prior to competition can help optimise the athletes physical, mental and emotional well-being in the lead up to their contact sport event. As part of their overall fitness and health regime, CBD helps combat stress, controls systemic inflammation, reduces muscle tension, calms mental state, provides relief from anxiety, and facilitates restful sleep prior to competition. Many athletes observe a noticeable improvement in in-game performance as the inevitable build-up of physical and mental anguish related to impending performance is minimised.
A good pathway for recovery from competition is essential for all sports personnel. Elite and non-elite athletes need to achieve optimum performance as soon as possible to continue to achieve the best of themselves after competition and while maintaining their training and body conditioning.
Many athletes have their own post-competition recovery strategy to deal with any injuries sustained during contact sport competition including the use of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or THC free CBD supplements. Cannabis is known for its therapeutic benefits providing rapid relief for fresh strains, bruises and abrasions as well as deeper impacting injuries commonly associated with contact sports like sprains and gouges. Ingesting and applying topically, cannabis helps to relax those stiff aching muscles in a way that promotes restorative stretching and quicker healing, is an effective anti-bacterial and fosters better quality rejuvenating sleep. As a naturally occurring substance, cannabis does not trigger negative side-effects in the way non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or prescription drugs may do.
Management of Injury
Unfortunately, injury and associated pain is a major part of the process of any contact sport, therefore managing these setbacks is critical to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the athlete. The use of cannabis and full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or THC free CBD supplements is effective in managing acute and chronic pain with minimal if any, negative side effects. It is a gentle analgesic without any of the associated problems that can be experienced using NSAIDs or prescription medication. Elite athletes have been using and will continue to use CBD to help heal and relax their bodies from injury and pain.
In conclusion why CBD used in Contact Sport
In summary, the words of the Dalai Lama “Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom”. Using CBD has helped and continues to help sports performers, especially those involved with contact sports, step away from conventional pharmacological medicines. Many professional and amateur athletes have are setting up initiatives, such as Athletes for Care (https://athletesforcare.org) in the hope athletes struggling with pain on any level find a path, towards a safe journey of recovery, giving freedom from pain.