If you're an athlete, you'll know the struggle of keeping a routine whilst suffering from an injury.
Our bodies are such intricate engines. Even a couple of days of skewed routine can put your training regiment out for weeks.
No one wants that. Especially not you.
Pain medication is great if you're in mild discomfort. But the downside is that it doesn't cure anything, only masks the feeling.
So you might feel like you're ready to train hard again. That is until the pain medication wears off. Then you realize you're in a worse position than when you'd started.
Another downside - the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) keeps a tight leash on drugs. In competitive sports, you're not guaranteed clearance with all types of pain medication.
Which is why CBD is such a great option.
Why is CBD so great for athletes?
And is it even legal?
Read on to find out.
Imagine you're a pro-cyclist. You feel a niggle in your knee the day before a big event and pop some pain medication before the race. It might help in the short term, but it sure won't help in the long term.
Or you're a tennis player, and your elbow's been giving you trouble for a while. Pain medication gets you through training, but you have to ice it or the rest of the day.
If you can relate - ouch.
When your body needs to be in tip-top condition, it's difficult to draw the line. When do you get on with it and when is that unwise?
Most of the time, pain medication takes an unnecessary step across that line.
Yes, it masks discomfort and enables you to get on and perform.
But the reason that your body sends pain signals to your brain is that it senses signs of damage. Pain receptors show that whatever action you're doing - stop. You're doing some damage.
We've gathered a list of some of the more popular variations of pain killers. Check out the good and bad effects that they have on your body.
Tylenol is the most common form of acetaminophen. Whilst it won't do much for inflammation, it works well to reduce pain and fever. Doctors don't know exactly how it works, but they do know that it's pretty safe - safe enough even for pregnant women. The only thing you need to be cautious of is not going over the recommended dosage. If you're taking other medication along with Tylenol, check the label. Does it contain acetaminophen? It's a common ingredient, and you can put yourself at risk by overdosing.
Advil is a type of ibuprofen that reduces pain by blocking the COX enzyme in the body. It's a common and effective form of pain relief, which has the added benefit of reducing swelling. The catch? There is a small risk of developing cardiovascular issues, particularly with repeated use. Also, it is not recommended that women take Advil (or any ibuprofen) during pregnancy. If it's not safe for babies, how safe is it for us?
Like Advil, Aleve is an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). t works in almost the same way on the body as ibuprofen - with longer-lasting effects. This makes it great at relieving pain, particularly if you have a long day ahead of you. But the longer-lasting effects do come at a cost. Aleve can lead to cardiovascular issues, like Advil. What's more, prolonged use can have a pretty severe effect on your kidneys. Hormones in naproxen's like Aleve limit blood flow to the kidneys. When blood doesn't flow to the kidneys, they can't filter it.
If you want to learn more about pain killers, we wrote a whole article on them here.
For most of us, painkillers aren't a part of regular, everyday life. They're an every-now-and-then, once-in-a-while, only-in-emergencies type scenario.
If you're an athlete, the downsides of pain medication are magnified. It's a quick fix, will not cure your body in any way, and is, in fact, likely to delay your progress.
Whenever possible, steer clear of this lot.
The USADA decides which substances are allowed in professional sports. They ensure tests are done on athletes for banned drugs. They also check substances and observe their effects on the human body.
They are the 'gold standard in anti-doping' (according to their website). But with great power comes great responsibility - and very regulated substance use.
The USADA provides a pretty comprehensive list of what's allowed and what's banned.
The three varieties of pain medication that we mentioned earlier? All allowed.
Oxycontin, Percocet and Actiq? Definitely not.
It can be confusing to work out what is allowed and what is banned. Particularly if you compete in an international sport. Each country has its regulations, and each regulatory body has its regulations. Yikes!
Ok. Let's talk about CBD.
Before we get started here - we want to lay out a few ground rules.
By no means are we saying that you should stop taking pain medication altogether. Sometimes, those suckers do save the day. Do what you need to do.
Nor are we claiming to know better than a doctor or healthcare professional. We are neither of those things. We don't know everything that there is to know,
Also, CBD is so very new to the world of substances (legal or otherwise), and a lot of people don't like new things. Or a change of any form, for that matter. So, how's progress going in providing scientific evidence for a lot of the claims about CBD? The going is slow, that's for sure.
So if you're open to trying CBD, by all means we are here to support you every step of the way. But be wary - it's not a foolproof cure-all, it might not work for everyone, and the FDA is yet to approve it.
Now we've got that out of the way - let's get on with the show!
CBD's great. We've seen the effects of its greatness first hand. And from what professional studies, testimonials, and our research is suggesting, the greatness gets even greater for athletes...
CBD can be a great alternative to all the pain medications we mentioned earlier. It's common and natural for athletes to experience pain from time to time.
A lot of people turn to pain medication in such instances. A lot will continue turning to pain medication.
But some are searching for an alternative that doesn't have so many side effects. And their search is leading them straight to CBD.
A lot of athletes are finding that CBD has the same effect on pain as traditional pain medication. That is, they feel a reduction or complete dissipation of pain.
No signs suggest that CBD damages the liver, kidneys or cardiovascular system. Also, traditional pain medication leaves the source of pain to become aggravated. It's only the feeling of pain which goes away, not the pain itself. This is not the case with CBD.
Not only can CBD reduce pain in the short term, but it can also lower inflammation and improve long term pain.
When you take CBD and feelings of pain subside, it's not only because pain signals don't reach your brain.
It's because pain is being treated at the source. The source of pain attracts CBD. Here, CBD combats inflammation, assisting the painful area on its path to recovery.
We don't need to tell you that your best performance days are when you are present, alert and focused.
CBD lets you deliver your best self. It blocks out distractions, giving you the brainpower to stay on task and on-the-ball.
Sleep is an absolute must for hard-working bodies and minds. If we don't get a good night's sleep after a hard training session, life becomes 10 times harder the next day.
Research suggests that the reason CBD affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The purpose of the ECS is to keep the body in homeostasis – that is, to keep everything balanced.
When we need to be alert and focused, we are alert and focused. When we need rest and sleep, we get to rest and sleep.
So if you take CBD before going to bed, you'll likely notice a sense of calm. A lot of people are finding that they get to sleep faster with the help of CBD and feel better rested when they wake up.
If you have a big game day or event coming up, it's pretty normal to feel anxious about it. A little bit of nervous energy can stimulate performance. But it's not fun when anxiety gets out of hand, or when you feel nervous to the point where you can't eat.
If this is you - CBD might take the edge off.
A lot of people are using CBD to help deal with stress and anxiety of everyday life.
It works in the same way for key performances and athletic events.
CBD can calm the background chatter in your mind, and the butterflies in your stomach. It's a great tool to use on the big day and during training. CB will keep you focused on the bigger picture.
And also, no.
You see, not all CBD is created equal.
The reason that a lot of people question the legality of CBD - it comes from cannabis. However, the part of cannabis which makes you high is THC - CBD's older, controversial cousin. Aka, a compound which comes from cannabis, like CBD.
When CBD concentrates contain too high amounts of THC is when the USADA says CBD is a no-go.
Competing and non-competing athletes can use CBD Oil with less than 0.3% THC.
Most good CBD products from reputable brands (like Specktra) contain next to no THC. But if you're a professional athlete, you do have to be careful about where you get your CBD from.
Always buy lab-tested CBD products, so you know that what's on the label is what's in the bottle. Also, when browsing online for CBD, make sure the company is reputable (like ours is). The quickest way to tell if a brand is serious about CBD is if they include their lab test results on their website.
The product page features lab test results from each of Specktra's products.
We've crafted a unique CBD Patch to help athletes recover fast.
A CBD Patch works like a plaster that you would put over a cut or graze. But instead of putting it over an external wound, you put it over an internal one.
Our patches are sticky enough to be waterproof, and comfy enough to go anywhere.
They're about 50% larger than any other CBD Patch on the market. So there's more surface area to get the good stuff into your system.
We love patches for their versatility, usability, durability, and simplicity.
Versatility: you can pretty much use a CBD patch anywhere. On your knee, shoulder, ankle, groin… anywhere with a surface area.
Usability: a CBD patch is a pretty good all-rounder. Although designed to target muscle and joint soreness, the CBD will still be beneficial to your whole body. Another bonus – transdermal medications affect more than just a localized area. By entering the bloodstream, the medication can be transported around the body. So if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, place a patch over the inside of your wrists, for a short-cut route into your bloodstream.
Durability: We can’t speak on behalf of all CBD Patches in the world. But we can attest that Specktra’s Patch will give you 96 hours of relief if stuck on well to clean, dry skin.
Simplicity: Everyone’s stuck a plaster on a wound before, right? It’s pretty much foolproof – and a CBD Patch is no different. If you’re struggling, we’ve even included instructions on the back of the packet.
Click here if you want to learn more about CBD Patches, and why we think they're so great.
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