From high-level professionals to weekend warriors, more and more athletes are using hemp to help them stay in the game.
Take Christopher Steen, for example.
Steen, of Peace, Kansas, hurt his neck while participating in jiu-jitsu. “It was pretty bad,” Steen recalls. “It was this persistent pain I thought would drive me insane.”
After two weeks of suffering and desperate for relief, he purchased a full-spectrum hemp tincture.
Steen calls it “one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.” He notes that “the first time I tried it and the effects started kicking in, I was lying in bed, and I realized, ‘Hey, I feel really good.’”
Hemp’s remarkable capacities come from its effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cells everywhere in the body have receptors connecting them to the ECS; this allows it to act as the body’s master switchboard, helping to keep everything in balance.
Hemp’s phytocannabinoids fit into the cannabinoid receptors on cells. As a result, hemp acts within the body in a fashion similar to the ECS.
How does this help athletes? Here are a few of hemp’s effects.
Hemp and Pain
Christopher Steen isn’t alone. Lots of athletes turn to hemp for relief, especially those who engage in high-intensity workouts; discomfort after such effort is natural and not necessarily due to injury. Hemp nutritionally supports healthy recovery from discomfort associated with exercise or strenuous activity,* which allows it to play a role in joint and muscle comfort.†
Hemp and Sleep
Healthy sleep is crucial for everyone, but athletes especially need to achieve the kind of peak well-being that only happens when you’re sleeping properly. Hemp helps support a stage of deep sleep called REM—a lack of which can result in anxiety, irritability and difficulty concentrating—without daytime drowsiness.†
Hemp and Stress
You don’t have to be playing in a Super Bowl or a World Series to experience the pressure that comes with intense competition; many athletes feel the stress that comes with striving to be your best. Hemp nutritionally supports a sense of calm* and has shown an ability to promote healthy serotonin activity; this neurotransmitter helps control mood.†
Hemp and Digestion
No athlete wants to be slowed down by digestive troubles. The ECS helps control gut motility, or the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract; this may provide a pathway for hemp to help ease symptoms associated with bowel irritation and discomfort, such as bloating and temporary gas pain.†
Hemp and Bone Health
High-impact sports—everything from tackle football to long-distance running—put stress on an athlete’s bones. Endocannabinoids help control the cells that build up and break down bone; scientists believe that hemp promotes bone retention.†
What to Look for in a Hemp Product
Many people think “hemp” is synonymous with “CBD.” It isn’t.
CBD is one of the substances found in the cannabis plant. But it is only one of a whole family of compounds, known as phytocannabinoids. The others—CBG, CBN, CBC, CBL, CBDV, CBDA, etc.—also play crucial roles in producing hemp’s beneficial effects. In fact, more than 100 phytocannabinoids have been identified in hemp.
That makes it important to find hemp products that contain all of the plant’s helpful substances.
Some people prefer pure hemp oil. Better-quality oils come in a variety of strengths and are produced in small batches, which enables more rigorous quality control.
Some products incorporate herbs that provide additional endocannabinoid support along with ingredients that help boost absorption. And some also include ingredients to help boost hemp’s effectiveness in dealing with specific concerns.
Higher-quality products use hemp that is farmed using eco-friendly methods, with no pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and are processed with CO2 extraction. They are also subjected to third-party testing to verify potency and purity.
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.
The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.