WHY MMA FIGHTERS LOOK TO CBD FOR RECOVERY

Mixed Martial Arts, otherwise known as MMA, has been around for centuries now. These days, the sport has become so popular that you can find it at gyms and fitness studios in all the states. You can also watch the competitions on ESPN and other popular sports networks.

MMA is a type of full-contact sport combines with different kinds of martial arts styles. These include Judo, kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Some even incorporate other fighting styles such as wrestling and boxing.

MMA is an excellent way for anyone to get a high-energy and intense workout. While practicing MMA, performing the workouts can be very tiring as they involve power, cardio, strength, and core training for extended periods of time so you can gradually build your endurance.

Because of the intensity of MMA workouts, it may cause strain to your body over time. Therefore, you also need to take the necessary steps to care for your body and help it recover post-workout.

Although there are plenty of ways to recover after working out, MMA fighters are now starting to use CBD. The reason for this is that they may help the body heal at a faster rate by reducing inflammation. This, in turn, results in the lesser downtime between their workouts.

CBD in the world of MMA

Nowadays, a lot of MMA fighters turn to CBD for recovery, relief, and so much more. It’s considered a safer and healthier alternative to painkillers and other pharmaceuticals as these can be very addictive and may come with serious side effects.

Unlike THC, CBD-based products won’t get you high. Still, such products remain controversial even though they’re already widely-used. In the world of MMA, one of the most famous instances which involved CBD was when we saw Nate Diaz using a vape pen while at a press conference after UFC 202.

For MMA fighters, their profession doesn’t end after each fight. Fighting is just one part of their profession. They also have to undergo intense training to stay in shape and keep up with their competitors. Once they step into the ring, their goal is to knock their opponent out. But all the hits they get in the ring may cause lasting damage which might only manifest after some time.

CBD is very effective because of how it affects the body. Although it’s derived from the same plant species as THC, it won’t get you high. Instead, it works in such a way that they mimic the effects of the body’s natural endocannabinoids which is very important for our mental and physical wellbeing.

The MMA fighters who use CBD do so because it helps in their process of recovery. CBD doesn’t come with severe side effects, but it promotes and hastens their healing time. Because of this, the fighters have chosen to make the switch from the more conventional medications.

How can CBD benefit MMA fighters?

CBD oils and other products have become very popular in a very short amount of time. The recent legalization of CBD made it even easier for MMA fighters to access the products whenever they need to. Most MMA fighter who use CBD do so to help in their recovery.

As aforementioned, MMA involves a lot of strenuous workouts, but aside from this, the fighters may also get injuries when they participate in fights. The most common injuries include knee injuries, hand injuries, and broken bones. Sometimes, fighters may also suffer significant blows to their faces or heads. Because of all these reasons, some fighters have started using CBD because of all the benefits it provides.

According to research, vaping CBD may help reduce the effects of these injuries. It may also help hasten the recovery time of these injuries. Because of results of the research and the testimonies of the fighters who swear by CBD, its demand is rapidly growing.

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  1. The Benefits of CBD for Athletes
    1. CBD & Muscle Recovery
    No matter how often you exercise, you still need to allow your muscles to recover between workouts to avoid injury.

    When it comes to professional MMA athletes, the more time they can spend training the more ready they’ll be for the upcoming fight.

    In fact, this is the leading reason so many fighters end up using banned PEDs — they allow them to train longer and recover faster.

    As such, supporting muscle recovery is one of the most common reasons athletes look to CBD.

    So, how does it help?

    Every time we exercise we cause microscopic tears in the fibers that make up our muscle tissue. The body’s response to this damage is to trigger inflammatory responses in the area — leading to soreness for a few days after the workout.

    In the short term, this inflammation is a good thing. It helps bring blood to the area, along with the nutrients and oxygen needed to repair the damage. However, in many cases the inflammatory process lasts too long, slowing recovery and keeping athletes out of the gym.

    In the worst cases, inflammation can lead to chronic health conditions. For example, UFC ex-champion Tyrone Woodley made headlines when he said he was afflicted with chronic hand arthritis at the age of 37.

    This is where CBD comes in.

    CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory effects — which works to speed up the recovery process, so inflammation doesn’t linger for any longer than it needs to. So you can get back in the gym as soon as possible.

    On top of the anti-inflammatory effects, CBD is a potent antispasmodic — meaning it calms down hyperactivity in the muscle fibers that cause shakiness and muscle twitches post-workout.

    2. CBD & Sleep
    Every professional fighter understands the importance of getting a good night’s rest. In fact, good sleep is arguably the most important thing for recovery and overall performance for any person — MMA athlete or not.

    Getting enough high-quality sleep is a common problem for fighters. They are kept awake not just by pain and soreness, but also the stress and pressure placed on them by the nature of their sport, which includes things like weight cutting.

    Studies have also shown that sleep disorders are common in people who’ve experienced head injuries in the past — which is a regular occurrence in any professional fighter’s life.

    The good thing is that CBD is an excellent natural sleep aid. CBD can promote sleep indirectly by reducing anxious thoughts — one of the leading causes of being unable to fall and stay asleep.

    Most notably, CBD has been shown to support a neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA, which slows down the activity of neurons and promotes relaxation as a result.

    This is one of the primary mechanisms through which CBD reduces anxiety and helps us feel relaxed and calm.

    3. CBD & Pain
    Injuries happen, and although there are a lot of things athletes do to prevent them from occurring, they can never be avoided completely.

    The conventional treatment for pain has been opioid pain-killers, which can not only cause addiction but also bring a long list of undesirable side effects.

    CBD, on the other hand, has very few side effects — and is not addictive. The most common side effects experienced by CBD is sleepiness and dry mouth — both of which are relatively minor and go away as soon as the effects of CBD wear off.

    This isn’t the case with opioid painkillers. Once addicted, it can take weeks to reverse the effects. And some people report digestive disturbances that remain several months after stopping treatment — which is less than ideal for someone performing in front of millions of fans around the world.

    CBD is a powerful pain-killer, exerting its effects in two main ways:
    Blocks pain signals from reaching the brain — CBD activates a series of receptors in the brain and spinal cord (including, to some extent, the opioid receptors) that work to dull the pain signal before it reaches the brain.
    Reducing inflammation — as mentioned previously, CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory. One of the key facets of the inflammatory response is pain. By reducing inflammation at the site of injury, we can effectively reduce the number of pain signals being sent to the brain. This is how drugs like Aspirin work to reduce pain.
    4. CBD & Brain Damage
    Damage to the brain is a serious, yet common problem for professional fighters.

    After all, taking repeated blows to the head — many of which result in losing consciousness — can result in both short and long-term neurological damage.

    Just look at the damage Nate Diaz took in his second fight with Conor McGregor. The cuts and scrapes are superficial, but it’s more than likely his brain took a serious beating in the fight as well.

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