Practicing sport is important and we should do it regularly, but commitments often prevent us from consistently pursuing our fitness goals. When you come out of a long break, recovery must be gradual: physical activity involves a very intense effort for the body, which needs time to get used to it again. It is important to follow a healthy and balanced diet and listen to the body's signals , remembering to hydrate before, during and after sporting activity. Each of us has our own sports routine and everyone knows what their body prefers. However, there are allies that improve the performance of most athletes, be they amateurs or professionals . Do you want to discover one? Obviously we are talking about CBD! We will tell you:
- What is CBD?
- What are the benefits of CBD and sport?
- Cannabis derivatives as food supplements
- CBD and doping
- Cannabis and training
What is CBD?
CBD , or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient contained in high percentages in light cannabis, the so-called legal marijuana, which has been sold legally in Italy since January 2018. It is cannabis sativa low in THC , the main responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. The THC contained in legal weed cannot exceed 2%; below this threshold the presence of THC is not considered capable of generating psychotropic effects. Light marijuana contains CBD in variable , but still high, percentages, and this makes it perfect for combating a series of ailments of the human body.
Researchers continue to study the interactions of CBD with the human body and to date there are already many positive effects ascertained by science. In fact, CBD seems to have many properties:
- analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties - reduces the perception of pain thanks to its action on the endocannabinoid system present in the human body. In fact, cannabinoids bind to receptors present in the brain and stimulate responses in different areas of the body , promoting beneficial neurological mechanisms.
- anxiolytic properties - has been shown to mitigate symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). According to various research, they are also caused by a deficiency of anandamide in the human endocannabinoid system.
- Antipsychotic properties - some scientific evidence suggests that cannabidiol helps treat chizophrenia and other mental health problems , such as bipolar disorder .
- Antiemetic properties – CBD oils can easily reduce this disorder, effectively treating rejection symptoms . CBD oils are easily digestible, do not contain chemical components and do not release the unpleasant flavors of normal antiemetic drugs, rich in antacids and bismuth.
- Anticonvulsant properties - CBD is said to be very effective in therapies to treat some forms of childhood epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome.
- Energizing properties - known for its calming effects, CBD also offers energizing properties, thanks to its detoxifying action and ability to strengthen the cells of the human body , contributing to their correct regeneration. It is also an excellent antioxidant, according to a 2008 study, even better than vitamins C and E.
CBD and sport: what are the benefits?
It is precisely its natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that make CBD so precious for athletes. Its regenerating and relaxing effect on muscles and tissues is scientifically proven and cannabidiol is even recommended for people suffering from chronic pain or inflammation .
The use of CBD is recommended by many sports trainers because it supports the body in the post-workout recovery phase , when tiredness and muscle discomfort are felt, especially in the case of prolonged efforts. At the end of sporting activity it is essential to limit the accumulation of lactic acid and this can only be done if the muscles are relaxed. This molecule, extracted from Cannabis, improves and speeds up the body's recovery through the action it exerts on the receptors of our endocannabinoid system, allowing effective muscle relaxation and the regeneration of tissues compromised by effort.
Another important aspect for athletes is the influence that CBD has on the quality of sleep . Sleeping is essential to allow tissue regeneration and muscle relaxation; if you have sleep problems, the following day it will be difficult to get back on your feet recharged and ready to face another workout. Cannabidiol can help achieve a generalized state of calm and relaxation and, if taken regularly, supports the rebalancing of our psychophysical state.
Cannabis derivatives as food supplements
Cannabis is a versatile plant , as are its many derivatives. Hemp seeds are one of the latest innovations in superfoods , thanks to the excellent nutritional value that distinguishes them. Hemp seeds are in fact very rich in amino acids , vitamins and minerals and are perfect for supplementing nutritional deficiencies or for ensuring a rich and balanced diet .
Their excellent nutritional value has even been praised by the Ministry of Health and the Istituto Superiore della Sanità. Edible hemp cannot have psychoactive effects, because the seeds can only contain very limited traces of THC due to possible "contamination". Nothing detectable in the analyzes nor has any impact on the human body. In any case, for the cannabinoids to be released, they must be subjected to a temperature between 170 and 230°.
Hemp seeds are highly protein-rich , a very rare feature in the world of plant foods and contain all the essential amino acids for the synthesis of the proteins themselves. The lipid composition of the seeds also contains a very high percentage of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids . Like linolenic and alphalinoleic acid, which are essential because they cannot in any way be synthesized by the body and must be introduced through food.
Even the vitamin content of hemp seeds is no different. They are rich in vitamins A and E , known for their antioxidant action on tissues. Furthermore, they are also naturally rich in mineral salts such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, which are essential for balancing daily nutrition.
Hemp seeds provide a nutritional intake suitable for everyone, unless you are following a low-protein diet. They are particularly beneficial for those suffering from inflammatory diseases such as arthrosis, autoimmune diseases and many forms of urticaria, for those with high cholesterol and diseases related to the cardiovascular system, muscles and nervous system. Furthermore, they are perfect for athletes who need a high protein intake, for those who follow a vegan and vegetarian diet to replace animal proteins, for growing children and for those with weakened immune defenses.
CBD and doping
Cannabidiol is the only cannabinoid removed from the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a foundation at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport. Every year, WADA draws up a list of substances prohibited for professional athletes and finally, in 2018, cannabidiol was removed from the black list .
This decision was supported by numerous scientific research which confirms the positive effects of CBD for those who practice intensive sports. Or even for those who find themselves having to find balance after a period of extreme physical effort or an injury. Furthermore, taking CBD is completely free of side effects .
Cannabis and training: a dedicated gym is coming
The legalization of cannabis - whether we are talking about the "traditional" one or the light one - has brought many new features, small or large changes in our daily routine and in the panorama of the shopping streets of our cities.
Power Plant, the first cannabis-friendly gym in the world , is about to open in America . Founder Jim McAlpine and Ricky Williams explained that the purpose of the gym will be to consume cannabis as a useful tool for increasing concentration and improving recovery . Demonstrating its multiple uses with the aim of dispelling the myth that Cannabis consumers are lazy.
“When I played football, cannabis helped me relax physically, mentally and even spiritually,” said Williams, a former NFL star where he played for 11 seasons as a running back. The opening of the gym will take place next May and in order to register you need a particular medical certificate authorizing the consumption of soft drugs, as indicated by California law.
Ultimately, there are many people who have become spokespersons for the good combination of cannabis and physical exercise , such as the wrestler Rob Van Dam or the bodybuilder Joe Rogan of the UFC. However, it is necessary to collect precise information on the interaction between cannabis and the type of sport practiced to understand when it is best to take it, whether before training or after completing it. There are many ways to take cannabinoids and it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
They range from various types of extracts, such as crystals and oil in different concentrations, to seeds or protein powder, up to the possibility of using the inflorescences with the vaporizer. There is a lot of advice and the beneficial effects of cannabinoids on the body are known. But when it comes to deciding what's right for you and your training, listen first to what your body needs.
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