CBD Oil - The New Panacea for Ailments and Athletes?
Did you set your goals for 2019 after reading the blog last week? If so, we would love to hear what you are going to achieve this coming year! Share with us (and fellow ‘stachers) on social media.
One of my goals this coming year is to dive deeply into the world of biohacking. You might be asking yourself what is biohacking? Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle (and your own biology) to become your best self both physically and mentally. As I move through my own personal journey of biohacking, I will definitely be sharing what I learn with you so make sure to check back often!
The first biohack I started researching is CBD oil. It seems to be quite the buzz for so many ailments, and the market for CBD oil and products made with CBD oil continues to expand exponentially. Is CBD the panacea we have been waiting for? Keep reading and decide for yourself!
CBD Oil – What is it?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of more than 120 compounds in a group called cannabinoids. A variety of plants contain these compounds, but they are most commonly linked to two species of cannabis -- hemp and marijuana. CBD can be extracted from these plants as its own compound, usually in the form of an oil or powder, and can be used without experiencing the mind altering high that is associated with marijuana use (which is a result of a different compound - tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)). Once the CBD oil is extracted, it can be sold in a variety of strengths and concentrations, and the compound is being added to a variety of products that can be ingested or applied to the skin. It is important to remember, however, that not all CBD oil is legal in all states, so make sure you understand your state regulations prior to purchasing any products online or while traveling with these products.
What are the benefits and risks of CBD oil?
CBD oil is thought to help a variety of medical problems including seizures, anxiety, inflammation, and sleeplessness. CBD is also thought to be beneficial for acute and chronic pain and aids in muscle recovery. CBD works by stimulating the already existing endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. This system produces some cannabinoids of its own, which are called endocannabinoids, which are used to regulate functions such as sleep, pain, and immune system responses. CBD oil works by influencing the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively. For example, CBD stops the body from absorbing anandamide, a compound associated with regulating pain; therefore, increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream may reduce the amount of pain a person feels.
The risks of using CBD oil is largely a result of CBD not being a federally regulated substance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD oil for consumption, and research for CBD is not federally funded (resulting in research efforts being less abundant); this means that the purity of the CBD oil you may be purchasing could not be true to their claims and/or CBD consumption may have some side effects that have not yet been heavily monitored. Further, all the hype on CBD consumption may be causing a placebo effect, and the results are more mind over matter than the actual usage of the oil itself. Finally, CBD oil may interact with other prescribed medications. Without more research funding for controlled studies and FDA regulation of oil purity, it is advised that anyone looking to start a CBD regimen talk to their medical provider, and source their oil from a reputable company (cheaper is definitely not better).
How is CBD Oil Used? How Can Athletes Benefit From CBD?
So you have done your own research, you talked to your doctor, and you are going to try to use CBD oil for an ailment you have. CBD oil can be inhaled, ingested, sublingually absorbed, or applied transdermal. You can purchase CBD oil on its own or you can purchase products with CBD oil as part of the ingredient including candy, bath bombs, lotions, and more.
As previously mentioned, CBD oil is being used/marketed for chronic and acute pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness, but it is also being used in a new way by athletes as a recovery tool. When training, we break down our body just a little in order to build it back up stronger, this leads to that post workout sore we all love to hate and hate to love. Using CBD oil assisted recovery to help relieve that soreness instead of taking a daily dose of ibuprofen (which can damage your body long term) may help athletes recover quicker and more effectively. Further, using emollient with CBD can help relieve muscle soreness in targeted areas, and CBD can also help aide in exercise related injuries. In the future, Dr. Stuart Titus of Medical Marijuana, Inc. sees CBD as becoming more than just a tool for healing ailments, but part of our everyday lives much like daily vitamins. Titus states, "We really believe that at some point there will be a fixed daily recommended serving size of CBD. Just like people take something like vitamin C on a regular basis to improve their overall levels of health and wellness, at some point these non-psychoactive cannabinoids could garner that too, with enough research."
CBD oil is thought to have many benefits, but these benefits have not been evaluated in depth by the FDA and/or through effective research. Further, because CBD oil is not regulated at a federal level there are no conventions in place to ensure purity and standard. However, the buzz around CBD oil can help provide a positive narrative for the healing effects of incorporating it into your daily routine, and CBD oil may help athletes recover quicker and provide relief to targeted muscle soreness through emollients.
If you choose to start utilizing the CBD biohack, make sure to source your CBD oil from a reputable supplier, check your state laws, and talk to your primary care doctor before taking any supplement.
Do you use CBD oil in your recovery routine or for any ailments you are overcoming? Are you a biohacker and want to share some tips? Start a conversation with us!
Talk to you soon ‘stachers