CBD in professional sport
CBD use in sport, such as oils, capsules, and balms are fast becoming widely accepted in many professional sporting leagues like the fourfivecbd UK and SA co-founders, George (England world finalist and British and Irish Lion), and Dom( Wales international, whose career saw him play on three continents and in a world cup), we asked a simple question. Is CBD legal in sports? The answer was not so simple…
Dom – “I first found out that if you are not a drug tested individual, CBD has extraordinarily little risk and potentially extraordinary benefits. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given CBD products a low-risk profile, which bodes well for those with allergies and other sensitivities alike.” Kruis tells me to always check my CBD products lab reports to ensure a clean and safe product. Another handy tip that not many brands mention is to consult your health care professional when considering taking CBD products alongside other prescribed medicines. So, CBD has been given an exceptionally low-risk profile by the WHO, but let’s focus more on the other cannabinoids, CBD’s cousins, and see what the deal is with them and how they can aid with sports injuries.
Read more on the WHO’s critical review of CBD.
So…What if I’m drug tested? I know THC is a controlled substance.
George – “Again, this isn’t as simple as one might think. If you are tested in sport, your testing body will more than likely be following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s(WADA) – ruling, which removed the compound, CBD, from it’s banned substance list early in 2018.” This basically means that CBD is legal, but all the other compounds, THC is the most prevalent still illegal. So if you are a tested individual, check your lab reports, know what you are tested for, and always buy from a reputable brand. Fourfivecbd doesn’t advise buying cheap capsules from your neighbour’s friend’s brother’ who has a connection up in Lesotho. You will more than likely get capsules or oils with variable amounts of CBD and the riskier psychoactive component, THC.
Next question to George – Why do you use CBD in Sport, and how do you dose the CBD you take?
George: “This is perhaps the most difficult question for me to answer as CBD is classed as a food supplement and we aren’t able to make any direct medical claims relating to our products. I started taking CBD back in 2018 when my then teammate and now business partner Dom recommended it to me after he used it to recover from an operation he had earlier that year. I now use it to manage the symptoms I get from the bruising routine my body endures on the pitch and in the gym.”
When looking at the potential benefits CBD can have in sport, many brands have grand claims about the wonders their products can produce, where fourfivecbd simply states things as the law allows them, as well as what the limited studies completed have taught them. So while on my fact finding mission into why CBD use in sport is so popular among athletes and activity lovers alike I learnt some really interesting and handy information.
CBD oil cheat sheet
1. CBD is the phytochemical (plant compound) from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant that can supplement natural levels of an endocannabinoid (human compound) called Anandamide.
2. Anandamide works in the cells within a regulatory system called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS.
3. The ECS is the main regulatory system in the human body which operates through two main receptors – The CB1 and CB2 receptors.
4. The CB1 receptors are found primarily within the brain and central nervous system, lungs and vascular system.
5. The CB2 receptors can be found in the immune system, bones and skin.
Studies so far have shown that the additional CBD ingested through products like CBD oils, CBD capsules, and CBD balms can supplement the naturally occurring Anandamide levels, thus helping the CB1 and CB2 receptors work around the body mentioned above to achieve the ultimate goal – Homeostasis(Balance).
Quick definition time: Homeostasis.
The steady internal state of the body which relates to chemical and physical conditions.
This can be broken down into a few simple examples.
– Overheating. When the body gets too hot, we reach a point of ‘imbalance’, we produce sweat as a response. This is with the aim of cooling the body down and reaching a sweet temperature of 37 Degrees Celsius.
– Pain and inflammation. The body reacts by sending increased blood flow to the damaged area, releases antibodies and proteins.
Read more on chronic pain and inflammation.
How to dose CBD in Sport – Oils, capsules and Balms?
Another one for Mr. Day – How do you advise fourfive’s CBD oil, CBD capsules, and CBD balm users to dose there products?
Dom:” There is no commonly accepted dosage that can be applied as a blanket across all demographics. This was explained in a great and simple metaphor once – CBD isn’t like traditional medicines that turn something off or turn something on. It supplements a naturally occurring endocannabinoid which we all produce at different levels. This means that everyone can achieve their desired result from different dosages. We always advise starting on our lowest strength products aiming for 5-10mg’s a day and building up. South African legislation dictates the maximum daily dosages is 20mg.”
The 20mg figures stuck with me as I know the figure to be much higher in other countries. In the UK, for example, the maximum daily dosage prescribed is 70mg. The truth is the research is still ongoing and no one knows with complete certainty. The few things George told me that can help one reach the correct dosage are;
– Your metabolism: Faster = more quickly processed and therefor higher dosage.
– Height and weight: More body = More distance and surface to travel to and therefor higher dosage.
– The severity of the condition: Recovering from an operation and the pan surrounding vs. recovering from a tough biceps sesh in the gym.
Fourfive’s CBD oils have spray head applicators where 1 spray squirt approximately 0.125 ml per spray. So, you will need 8 sprays to have 1ml, and 240 to finish the whole bottle. Fourfivecbd have two strengths of CBD oil, 500mg and 100mg where;
500mg x 1 spray = 2.1 mg of CBD.
1000mg x 1 spray = 4.2mg of CBD.
Fourfivecbd mix the industrial hemp(CBD) with Medium-chain triglyceride(MCT) oil which has shown to have many benefits, including weight loss, aside from the actual CBD. Bonus right? Read more about the benefits of MCT oil.
Fourfive’s CBD capsules are relatively simple to dose. The pot contains 500 capsules, all with 5mg per capsule to make the entire product have 500mg. So if you to take 2 a day these will last you 50 days! Pro tip I learned from Dom, fourfivecbd’s other co-founder. The capsules may lose some of the CBD in the digestion process where the CBD is absorbed through and filtered through the liver, so absorption can be boosted by having the capsules after eating natural fatty foods like nuts, avocado, salmon, dairy and even dark chocolate! Fourfivecbd has gone one step further with their capsules by infusing them with an active ingredient called inulin. Inulin has been shown to have multiple gut-functioning related benefits.
The muscle balm is also an easy one to dose. Simply apply when you feel you need it. The area of application will feel a lovely cooling ‘ice-pack’ sensation for the 30 minutes after the application.
That’s a wrap!
So for all you skipping to the conclusion just like I do, what have we learned today about CBD use in sport?
1. CBD has a high safety profile from the WHO and was removed from WADA’s banned substance list in early 2018.
2. Pro sporting institutions like the UFC and MLB are taking much more progressive views on cannabis and therefore BCD.
3. Always, I mean always, look for certificates of analysis(lab reports) if you are drug tested, and know what you are tested for – normally THC.
4. CBD supplements a naturally occurring compound, Anandamide, which works within the ECS – the body’s main regulatory system.
5. THE ECS works through CB1 and CB2 receptors found in but not limited to the brain, central nervous system, immune system, bones, and skin.
6. CBD doesn’t switch anything on or turn anything off within the human body, so building up your dosage until maximum perceived results are achieved is advised by Fourfivecbd.
7. There are a few variables like your age, height, weight, and condition that can help point you toward the right dosage.