How Cannabis & CBD Help Combat Sport Athletes

by Mike Bitanga

Slipping on a pair of leather gloves, biting down on a mouthpiece, and stepping into a ring or cage to try and prevail over the person across from you mentally and physically is a grueling task. Combat sports athletes are a different breed, which is why their preparation and recovery looks different compared to everyone else. And, it’s why many of them integrate the use of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) products in their routines. 

Although you may not participate in combat sports, the reasons mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes use cannabis and CBD could benefit you as well. We’ll cover how cannabis and CBD help combat sports athletes in their journey of making the body savage while keeping their minds at peace. 

A Day In The Life Of A Combat Athlete

Combat athletes typically train in a few disciplines, as MMA is very popular since the sport allows a combination of most fighting styles. The use of a combination of fight styles instead of just one makes the matches more exciting for both the participants and the audience. So, their bodies are contorted, beat down, and pushed to the edge almost every day. Professionals have a strength and conditioning routine, a session to learn concepts and drill them, and reserved time for sparring — simulating a fight without full intensity to practice all of your skills. Of course, the intensity depends on the person and how invested they are in the lifestyle. However, even combat athletes who participate in some form of martial arts without entering any amateur fights or competitions still drain their bodies. Many train hard 4-5 times a week, heading to their respective academies right after work. It’s no wonder they’re turning to cannabis and CBD products to help them keep up with the martial art(s) they love. 

Post-Workout Recovery

One of the top reasons combat sports athletes use cannabis and CBD products is that it aids in post-workout recovery. Cannabis is widely used as an anti-inflammatory, and CBD topicals help many with their aches and sore spots after a training session. Some fight athletes believe it helps in preventing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is a degenerative brain disease that you may get after repeated brain trauma. The world of combat sports refers to it as being punch drunk. After taking multiple shots to the head, your brain experiences excitotoxicity in which neurons are damaged or killed. Some studies show that cannabis may reduce these effects. However, much more research is needed. For those who have CTE, cannabis may help treat its symptoms, including depression and memory loss. 

Relieves Anxiety

Cannabis and CBD products are used by many people to help reduce apprehension, although there is not enough evidence of their direct effects. We can define anxiety as excessive worrying about possible future events, resulting in physiological responses that include chest tightness, irritability, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. Combat sports athletes have to deal with the psychological demands of fighting or sparring in class, which is strenuous. And, preparing for an amateur or professional fight competition will give anyone at least moments of anxiety. CBD and low levels of THC are commonly reported to improve relaxation and aid in combating sleep deprivation. Microdosing THC may work with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates your emotional responses, to reduce anxiety. CBD may affect your brain’s serotonin levels, which play a pivotal role in your mood, to calm your nerves. Many professional MMA fighters turn to full-spectrum cannabis or CBD to keep their composure on their journey toward their next fight. 

Aids In Recovering From Injury

For those who make a martial art or MMA a part of their lifestyle, injuries are bound to happen. If you’re a professional fighter, injuries happen more often. Cannabis and CBD products are starting to become more popular alternatives to acetaminophen and ibuprofen. THC inhibits the electrochemical reaction of your peripheral pain receptors, resulting in potential short-term pain relief. So, that can help a combat athlete perform physical therapy exercises to get certain muscles back or close to 100% much faster. Both cannabis and CBD products may also assist in the healing process of fractures and broken bones by numbing the pain. And, although more data is needed, there is a possibility that CBD may be effective in helping with fracture healing

Helps Combat Athletes Rest

A combat athlete needs a good night’s rest to get back to 100% for the next day of training. Along with hydration, nutrition, conditioning, and mental preparation, sleep is one of the five pillars that support ideal athletic performance. Fatigue and sleep deprivation negatively affects the body’s immune system and have been linked to a higher risk of injury. In general, cannabis may help you relax and get to sleep easier. Cannabis strains that contain more THC than CBD may be more effective in helping you adjust your sleep cycle. With several hours of uninterrupted sleep, a combat athlete will improve reaction time, muscle recovery, motor function, focus, and more. The quantity and quality of sleep also play a factor, and cannabis may help you experience deeper sleep, so you wake up refreshed. 

Boosts Creativity

There are many cases where people use cannabis to tap into their more creative side. Combat athletes may experience improved focus and moments of innovation when they’re using cannabis as well. Studies show that the frontal lobe of the brain is linked to creativity. And, cannabis and CBD may boost creativity by increasing blood flow to that area. In MMA, innovation is crucial to success. Linking different moves, seeing different striking angles, and creating new techniques is what allows you to prevail, as the sport is in a constant state of evolution. Martial arts may influence the growth of new brain cells within the hippocampus, so by itself, it can already boost creativity overall. However, it’s common for combat athletes to fall into predictable patterns in the ring. By using cannabis to change one’s perspective, MMA athletes can break tired patterns and expand their combat creativity. 

Whether you’re a combat athlete, practice a specific sport, or do a daily workout, cannabis or the cannabinoid CBD may be a beneficial addition to your routine. However, we’ve just scratched the surface of the potential of cannabis. To learn more about the plant’s effects on your body and how it may be utilized for a variety of ailments, check out Green Flower’s Patient Care Certificate Program. Developed by leading healthcare specialists and educators, this program will help you understand the plant’s effects on human physiology. 

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