At Red Eye Chronicle, we are not only cannabis enthusiasts but sports fans as well. This post was written by Adam Kemp and covers a topic that we are very interested in, CBD in sports. When Adam approached us with this idea, we were very excited to hear what he had to say on the topic.
As a professional basketball player, stepping into the world of cannabis products is not an easy task.
The stigma around all cannabis use is the image of the “lazy stoner,” regardless of which cannabis product you’re talking about.
When most people hear the words “CBD,” “cannabis oil,” or “cannabinoids,” they instantly think of dangerous, illegal substances.
However, I am hoping to change that negative-connotation for good.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has played a significant part in my life since I began using it in October of 2017, and I am confident it will become an increasingly large part of lives of many athletes.
Personally, I began using CBD products after fracturing my spine in a game this season.
Without CBD, I would not be nearly as healthy as I am today.
CBD products are the perfect natural medication for athletes, keep reading below to find out more!
What is Cannabidiol, and What Does It Do?
For those of you who do not know anything about CBD at all, it is a non-psychoactive compound found on the cannabis plant.
Unlike the well-known compound THC, CBD is legal throughout much of the world.
In the United States, it is effectively legal everywhere!
Although cannabis has been on this earth for thousands of years, it has a unique history in our society.
Commonly recognized as a useful medication only over the last year or two, CBD first began to rise in popularity back in 2013.
CBD became well-known in 2013 when a young girl named Charlotte Figi was featured for treating “Dravet Syndrome” with CBD products.
Dravet Syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy, causing the young girl to have nearly 300 seizures per week!
In an innovative move, a high CBD- low THC strain of cannabis was extracted to oil form and used to help Charlotte treat her seizures.
Now referred to as “Charlotte’s Web,” the extracted CBD oil calmed the young girl’s seizures down within an hour.
After this minor “medical miracle,” CBD quickly became more well-known.
Overall, there are numerous benefits of cannabidiol products.
Although there is no conclusive evidence on any “disease” CBD can cure, it has shown promise with treating a variety of different diseases and disorders.
Health Issues CBD Has Shown to Be Helpful in Treating Include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
- Mood Regulation
- High Blood Pressure
- Seizures (such as from Epilepsy)
- Motor Twitching Disorders (such as Tourette’s Syndrome)
- Symptoms of Cancer
For athletes, there are numerous benefits of CBD to take advantage!
What is the Difference Between Full-Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate?
As you begin to learn more about cannabidiol products, you are going to start to see products labeled either “full-spectrum CBD’ or “CBD isolate.”
Although CBD isolate is still useful in certain ways, full-spectrum CBD products are going to provide you the benefits you want!
I will explain this concept further below, but full spectrum CBD products can contain up to .3% THC, and they also retain a full-spectrum of other Phytocannabinoids and plant terpenes.
These additional cannabinoids and terpenes are necessary for the cannabinoid CBD to react the way it is supposed to medically.
If you want to experience the benefits of a cannabidiol product truly, you want to look for the full-spectrum form!
What are the Benefits of CBD Products for Athletes?
For an athlete, there are numerous benefits to using cannabidiol products.
Not only does it reduce chronic pain and inflammation, but it also manages stress and anxiety.
As an athlete myself, I can tell you managing stress and anxiety is as difficult a process as managing my body!
CBD is a powerful pain medication, but it does not come with nasty side-effects like other strong pain meds.
Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have more side effects than CBD products!
One recent study on Ibuprofen showed the connection between it and infertility in men.
When I first injured my back, I was playing basketball professionally in Bulgaria. Since Bulgaria does not have the medical standards we have in the United States, I misdiagnosed originally with only a minor back injury.
To treat the pain in my back, and keep me playing, the doctors in Bulgaria gave me loads of NSAIDs and a few corticosteroid injections.
These medications are not nearly as dangerous as opioids, but they still made me feel horrible!
After returning home to the United States and discovering that my back injury was more severe than originally thought, I immediately began using cannabidiol as my only pain-relief medication.
Between topical CBD products, and orally ingestible CBD, I managed the back pain of a fractured spine with cannabidiol alone!
One of the other additional benefits of CBD products, as I stated before, is that they are excellent for managing stress and anxiety.
For me, this was as important as managing the pain!
CBD and Tourette’s Syndrome
I was ten years old when I first developed Tourette’s Syndrome, and it has been apart of my life ever since.
Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary “tics,” either vocal or physical.
For me, I have only ever had the physical “tics.”
Tourette’s Syndrome causes me to have involuntary twitching in different areas of my body, and I have never found a legitimate treatment option for it.
When I am overly stressed or nervous, the twitching is always substantially worse.
Certain stress-reducing techniques do help me, but I have never found a certain medication or product which I can rely on.
Well, until I finally found cannabidiol products!
My recent back injury caused me to have one of the worst periods of constant twitching in my life, and I felt completely hopeless until I realized how beneficial CBD products could be.
Whether it is the stress of being injured or the physical pain of the injury, injuries have always made my motor tics much worse.
Amazingly, CBD was able to reduce the ferocity of my twitching within a few hours of use, and I have been using it ever since.
Even professional athletes deal with anxiety, stress, and mental health issues; often more than anyone understands.
Whether it is for physical or mental reasons, CBD products are amazing for athletes!
CBD is Great for Athletes- But is It Legal?
If you are still wondering about whether CBD products are legal, since they come from the “cannabis plant,” you are probably not alone.
For CBD products to be legal in all 50 states, it must contain less than .3% THC.
If a cannabis plant contains less than .3% THC, it is considered to be “hemp.”
If the cannabis plant contains over this amount of THC, it is “marijuana.”
Although recreational and medical marijuana is legal in various places throughout the United States, they are still illegal in the eyes of the federal government.
Hemp, on the other hand, is completely legal.
There is still hassling about the difference between hemp and marijuana in some states, but it is becoming increasingly normal throughout the United States.
For athletes, 2018 has marked the beginning of a new era for CBD use.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially removed cannabidiol from its banned-substance list.
Although professional sports league can still determine their own doping rules, most follow the guidelines of WADA.
THC is currently banned in the WADA banned-substance list, but athletes can now use CBD products at their desire!
As the benefits of CBD listed above show, this is an enormous movement for athletes around the world!
What is Next for CBD in Sports?
If you are interested in learning more about my thoughts about CBD products in sports, you can check out my website AdamKempFitness.com.
Personally, I have found CBD products to be exceptionally helpful for managing my body through a serious injury, and also dealing with Tourette’s Syndrome.
If I didn’t have cannabidiol while healing my recent back fracture, I would not have made it through this time without wearing my body down with terrible pain medications.
I am very confident of that!
Although CBD products are off the WADA banned-substance list, it does not mean it is now the end of the journey.
In fact, it is only the beginning.
Recently, the North American Premier Basketball League (NAPB) adopted CBD as “Official Alternative Nutrition for the NAPB.”
The NAPB became the first, and only professional sports league to adopt CBD as a part of its medication or nutrition program, space which CBD desperately needs to be.
It is one point for athletes to understand that CBD is beneficial for their body, that is half the battle.
However, doctors and nutritionists must understand the advantages of cannabidiol products as well!
As more conclusive scientific research is completed on the benefits of CBD products, you can expect it to be adopted by more sports leagues around the world!
About the Author:
Adam Kemp is a professional basketball player who is in his 4th year of playing basketball professionally in Europe.
In 2015, Adam was selected to play for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Summer League.
Adam graduated from Marist College in 2014 with a degree in Sports Communications.
With this wife, Adam has become a strong advocate for the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp products.
Together, they are working to normalize the culture of CBD and hemp use, so a wider-range of people understand the benefits of these amazing products.