Public interest in cannabidiol (CBD) is on the rise among sports fans, due in no small part to world-famous athlete endorsements. And while CBD use (among many other things) can result in fines or even jail time at this year’s World Cup in Qatar, budding professional footballers, casual athletes and retirees alike would do well to understand what CBD can do for them after their days on the field. In this post, we go over everything you need to know about the therapeutic potential of CBD for active and inactive football players.
The Benefits of CBD on Chronic Pain
Retired footballers often suffer from chronic pain due to a lifetime of strenuous physical activity. Football is a high impact sport that puts significant strain on the body as players constantly run, kick and jump throughout their time on the pitch. Additionally, contact between players can lead to injuries that cause long-term damage.
As retired soccer players age, they may experience joint pain, muscle pain, back pain or other chronic conditions due to the physical toll of playing soccer for many years — all of which can negatively affect their overall quality of life long after their final game.
According to HempHash, a top CBD product manufacturer in the UK, CBD can be used to effectively reduce chronic pain in individuals. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which help reduce and manage pain caused by inflammation or nerve damage. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that CBD helps to regulate the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known for their role in modulating pain perception.
Further research indicates that CBD may work by blocking the transmission of pain-signalling molecules (e.g. prostaglandins) from the brain to the body, further reducing chronic pain in individuals. Finally, CBD has also been found to reduce spasticity and muscle contractions associated with chronic pain, providing relief for those who suffer from the condition.
On Joint Inflammation
Retired football players are also particularly prone to joint inflammation, which is caused by repeated movements and rapid changes in direction that put strain on the joints. During their playing career, these athletes tend to overuse certain parts of the body (e.g. knees, ankles) in order to perform at their best, leading to an imbalance in movement patterns. This can cause strain and wear-and-tear on joints and muscles alike, resulting in inflammation.
As players age, their bodies are not able to handle such movement stresses as well as they used to, leading to an increased likelihood of joint pain and inflammation even when performing garden-variety chores or other low-intensity movements.
Existing cannabis research suggests that CBD may be viable in treating joint inflammation owing to its established anti-inflammatory properties. It works by reducing the production of certain compounds in the body that cause inflammation and pain, such as cytokines. CBD also has powerful antioxidant effects, which can help reduce oxidative stress caused by inflammation. In addition, it can increase levels of anandamide, a natural substance in the body that helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Studies have shown that CBD can be used to significantly relieve symptoms of arthritis, as well as other chronic inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia. Furthermore, researchers have found that it is an effective treatment for reducing many related symptoms of joint inflammation, including stiff joints, tenderness, and swelling.
As more studies are conducted to further understand the potential benefits of CBD for treating joint inflammation, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this natural compound can be a safe and effective supplement or add-on to conventional treatments and courses of medication.
On Sleep Disorders
Sleep dysfunction is another range of conditions retired footballers are particularly at risk of developing, largely due to their susceptibility to chronic pain. As athletes age, their bodies experience wear and tear from long-term physical activity, which can lead to joint injuries, spinal misalignments, muscle tension, and more. These issues may lead to chronic pain that can prevent retired soccer players from getting restful sleep.
Sleep deprivation can also contribute to physical fatigue, mental fogginess, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, all of which can take a toll on general health and well-being whether on or off the field.
CBD has been found to be an effective treatment for sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. By binding with receptors in the brain, CBD helps to regulate sleep cycles and can help those who suffer from sleeplessness fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. It also reduces anxious thoughts often associated with difficulty sleeping, making it easier to drift off and stay asleep.
It’s worth noting that CBD is not a direct sleep aid in the traditional sense, as temazepam and zolpidem are. Instead, it can promote wakefulness during the day, dramatically impacting the severity of sleep disorders that manifest as daytime drowsiness (e.g. narcolepsy) whose disruptive effect on sleep patterns can cause cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and even hallucinations if left unaddressed.
By promoting healthy circadian rhythms through hormonal balance and mitigating sleep disruption, CBD can improve the overall quality of sleep for football players.