Cannabis at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games? Well, not exactly, but Olympic anti-doping authorities (WADA) have allowed CBD, so it has a foot in the door. It is worth going over why high-performance athletes might be interested in consuming this all-natural pain, inflammation, and stress reliever, as well as their options for how, when and in what form to consume the cannabinoid.
The Tokyo Olympics are making history by being the first to accept the legal use of CBD as a healthy option for high-performance athletes.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has been widely accepted worldwide in recent years. For this reason, different brands have taken on the task of developing products with this cannabinoid to help patients in the treatment of muscle pain and inflammation. Both of which just happen to be very common problems among athletes, including those competing in this year’s Summer Olympic Games.
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CBD for high performance athletes like those at the Tokyo Olympics
Mendi, a cannabis brand founded by Brett Schwager and Rachael Rapinoe, aims to provide natural solutions that enhance performance and promote a sense of well-being among high-performance athletes.
Under this philosophy, Mendi hopes to access a market of consumers seeking a natural approach to health and wellness. In the case of high-performance athletes, the firm aims to displace the use of traditional pharmaceuticals that serve as treatment for pain and anxiety.
Rachael noted that, during her years as a professional soccer player, she was often prescribed very strong medications, including some of the opioid type, to help her manage the pain caused by the many injuries she inevitably suffered.
“We really believe there are a lot of people who want healthier alternative medications. They don’t want what we’ve typically been prescribed in the US, whether it’s over-the-counter medications, prescription opioids or sleeping pills. So we want to give athletes the healthiest option to stay at the top of their game longer,” said Rachael, in a video call interview for Forbes.
Benefits of CBD for high-performance athletes
According to the entrepreneur, the consumption of CBD products by athletes participating in Tokyo is not a process that takes a few weeks or months; there are athletes who have been consuming CBD for at least two years. The results are visible in different areas of their lives, ranging from inducing deep sleep, decreasing recovery time from injuries, to improving their performance.
In this regard, it is important to mention that recent medical research suggests that CBD strengthens the immune system, which benefits not only athletes, but also just about everyone else!
Likewise, research also suggests that the use of CBD reduces stress levels, which, in the case of Olympic competitors, is present when they feel overwhelmed and unable to compete, which can often happen before sporting events.
In this regard, Megan Rapinoe indicated that the change of policy at the International Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) benefited high-performance athletes, since the possibility of using various CBD formulations gives them a plus to stay healthy at the top.
What does consuming CBD look like for a top tier Athlete like Megan Rapinoe?
“CBD has become part of my all-natural recovery system that I use throughout the day to calm pain and inflammation, stabilize my mood and sleep better. Instead of taking Advil or other pain management medications, I have replaced them, almost exclusively, with CBD products. I use these products immediately after training; I take a gum or gel capsule, then another gum in the afternoon to relax and the tincture at night right before bed to sleep better. It’s really part of my whole day,” the famous US soccer player revealed in an email to the aforementioned media outlet.
What kind of CBD products do athletes consume
Now, regarding the presentation of the products that athletes should use, many brands and athletes themselves have opted for topical products, as they offer a more effective and faster anti-inflammatory effect.
Regarding the dosage and appropriate use, it is necessary to consult a health professional to find the appropriate dose. In the case of the Mendi brand and the Rapinoe sisters, they revealed their preference for the use of gummies with CBD, as their preferred product for consumption.
“It’s my go-to choice for calming down after a hard workout or game, as well as for sleeping. I have noticed a significant difference in my stress and anxiety levels when I consistently use CBD products compared to when I don’t,” Megan Rapinoe explained.
Are Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics consuming CBD?
It is worth mentioning that, in addition to Megan Rapinoe, Mendi’s team of athlete ambassadors currently participating in the Tokyo Olympics includes hurdler Devon Allen, softball outfielder Hayley McCleney and WNBA champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird, who is engaged to be married to Megan.
In addition, it is important to clarify that, despite WADA’s approval, these CBD-using athletes have restrictions imposed by Japan. The host of this year’s Olympics did not allow the entry of products, such as CBD creams and gummies, as the stigma about cannabis dependency and risks is something that still weighs on CBD in this day and age.
(Featured image by Bryan Turner via Unsplash)
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