CBD Oil Is Revolutionizing How Athletes Recover

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The hemp plant extract is being adopted by athletes of all stripes to help reduce exercise-induced inflammation and support better sleep cycles

Randy Nantz has always prided himself on being superfit. It’s what allowed the Texas native to join the Army in the wake of 9/11, at the ripe age of 33, and endure Green Beret training. It’s also what helped him survive the roadside bomb that tore through his Humvee in December 2006. Nantz suffered third-degree burns to 22 percent of his body and eventually lost his left leg to amputation. Throughout recovery, he worked hard to return to an active life.

But earlier this year, nearing age 50, Nantz had to admit he’d let things slip. “I was just sitting around getting fat,” says retired U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Nantz. “I was in the worst shape of my life.” That’s when he committed to a nine-week course with the Dallas-based Adaptive Training Foundationfor injured soldiers, first responders, and adaptive athletes. Nantz was no stranger to the grueling workouts, but some of the techniques used to help ease pain and increase mindfulness were new to him. One of the tactics introduced to him during his time with the ATF was cannabidiol (CBD) oil, an extract of the hemp plant that, athletic proponents believe, reduces inflammation from exercise and relieves stress. Nantz, in characteristic fashion, asked his trainers to make his course as hard as possible. The CBD oil, he says, let him push his aging body to the limit.

Nantz isn’t the only athlete who’s recently discovered CBD. Chances are good you’ve recently read about, or one of your friends recently started taking, CBD. Either way, it’s probably helpful to get one thing straight: This hemp-based product is not an intoxicating drug.

CBD oil is derived from selectively bred hemp plants—it’s not marijuana. CBD extract contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gets you high. Because of that, you can find CBD oil at health and wellness stores in all 50 states and you can order it online.

While clinical research is still in process, it marches forward.  CBD oil is already being widely adopted by outdoor athletes who have (anecdotally) discovered the exercise-induced inflammation-supporting power of the extract, which is taken orally via a capsule or tincture. It can also be applied to the skin via a topical cream or balm.

So how, exactly, does it work for athletes? It’s believed that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, the chief purpose of which is to maintain proper functioning of cells and coordinate healing. But like many parts of the body, the endocannabinoid system can get out of whack. That’s where CBD comes in. It’s theorized that the phytocannabinoids mimic some of our natural neurotransmitters and, by interacting with receptors, quell the immune response that causes inflammation—one benefit of which might be enhanced calm and focus.

Not all CBD extracts, though, are created equal—the quality and CBD concentration varies from company to company.  Some versions of hemp-based CBD are weaker than others. That’s why the Stanley brothers—Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared, Josh, and Austin (Austin’s name begins with a J too, in case you’re wondering, he just goes by his middle name)—created Charlotte’s Web in 2011. The brothers wanted to produce a high-quality CBD product with predictable levels of the compound that could be used by anyone looking for it’s wellness properties.

One such person, in particular, was a special little girl Charlotte Figi, for whom the company is named. Her response to the Stanley Brothers’ extract was fantastic. They don’t say that they changed Charlotte’s life, but rather that she changed theirs.

Fast forward to today and Charlotte’s Web is one of the most prominent CBD brands in the country, helping advance research and expand awareness about CBD-based products. The company continues to elevate the industry and partners with organizations like the ATF and athletes like Steph Davis.  “Specifically, we want to help reduce exercise-induced inflammation,” says Jesse Stanley. “Plus, some athletes use Charlotte’s Web to support their sleep-cycles, and the body needs to be in resting mode to support general wellness. Whether you’re a hiker or use the weight room or go swimming, CBD supports multiple facets of athletic pursuits. We want to support every athlete we can.”

Athletes like Randy Nantz. Today the former Green Beret is helping to train fellow injured and adaptive athletes as a coach. Using a CBD product is something he wouldn’t have done on his own, but now he reaches for CBD to help recover from workouts. “CBD oil helped me make it through those nine weeks,” says Nantz. “I can’t be more thankful for Charlotte’s Web.”

Source: https://www.outsideonline.com

 

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