In recent years the cyclist community has struggled to endure the negative press surrounding the myriad of doping scandals, most visibly the illegal doping uncovered in the Tour de France.
At the elite levels of cycling, the sport is a grueling, punishing and extremely injury prone endeavor. It is not for the faint of heart. Because of this, elite athletes in cycling are at the forefront of exploring performance enhancers and post workout recovery agents. They are exploring any available technique to get an edge over their competition. Hence, CBD oil for cyclists is gaining some traction in the sport.
It's valuable to highlight that CBD oil for cyclists, both amateur, and athletes, is no longer a banned substance by the World Wide Anti-Doping Agency. According to their 2018 Prohibited List, cannabidiol (CBD) is explicitly exempt. Other types of cannabinoids, including THC heavy and synthetic cannabinoids, are prohibited. 
Why is CBD Oil for Cyclists Increasingly Popular?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the Cannabis sativa family of plants and is best known for its ability to treat drug-resistant forms of epilepsy, a story covered widely in the media. It is non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and seems to have a positive benefit over many internal processes within the human body. Because cannabinoids are known to interact with the endocannabinoid system, they are now undergoing intense scientific study for their potential as medicine.
Still, there have only been relatively few clinical trials on the compound, and although likely imminent, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve it. Despite the early stages of research, and the lack of FDA approval, cyclists are earlier adapters of CBD for performance enhancement, as well as for post-workout recovery.
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As mentioned, the doping scandals of the past loom over the world of cycling today, which is why the explicit approval of CBD oil for cyclists by the World Wide Anti-Doping Agency is crucial to its popularity in the sport. Floyd Landis, one of the whistleblowers in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, has voiced his support of cannabinoids for cycling. He’s set to launch a new business that treats athletes with cannabis-infused tinctures, creams, and gels. This is strong evidence that there is support for CBD oil for cyclists from the top professionals in the industry.
What Does the Research Say on CBD Oil for Cyclists?
At the moment, nothing. There is little to no research on CBD oil for athletes available because most of the investigation into CBD oil is in the early stages. But there is a push in society, and in the medical community, to determine just what medicinal and therapeutic applications this compound may hold. In all likelihood, more robust clinical trials will be underway soon, but until then we must examine the early research to get a good idea of where it will lead.
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CBD for Pain
Pushing yourself to the limits of physical endurance is arguably an important aspect of cycling. However, often with the grueling push comes the inevitable pain, sometimes long-lasting and difficult to manage. Interestingly, there is some research now exploring cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, for the treatment of chronic and difficult to treat pain.
Cannabidiol has a handful of properties which characterize it as an endocannabinoid modulator, and as we know now, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for our perception of pain. According to a recent systematic review on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, by The National Academies Press, they concluded: “There is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.”
As The National Academies Press reported, there is evidence, in states with legal access to cannabis, of a substantial and measurable reduction in conventional prescription pain medication. Could cannabinoids represent a new frontier of natural pain control for athletes? Perhaps with more research, cannabis-based products and CBD oil for cyclists will replace the more conventional options.
RELATED: How Useful Is CBD Oil for Pain Management?
In this case, the research covered both restricted (THC) and non-restricted (CBD) substances under the World Wide Anti-Doping regulations. Further research is required into the specific pain control offered through CBD.
CBD for Inflammation
A second, but a perhaps more crucial area of research for CBD oil for cyclists, is for its anti-inflammatory effects. According to Active.com, “By better managing post-exercise inflammation, you can recover faster, enhance your training adaptations, perform better in workouts and competitions and possibly avoid injuries.” Could CBD oil help manage the inflammation associated with cycling for shorter recovery and better performance?
Although there are dozens upon dozens of recent studies logged in the database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information covering cannabinoid’s potent anti-inflammatory applications, one stands out in particular. Researchers out of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine have discovered in an animal trial the topical CBD has anti-inflammatory properties.
They also found a substantial reduction in pain. Although this study focused on arthritis-related pain, there is much more to explore for topical CBD oil, considering there is already a large market for topical post-recovery solutions for cyclists.
What we know now about CBD oil for sports performance and post-workout recovery is just in the early stages, the tip of the iceberg, if you will. Cyclists are already taking advantage of what they have found to help manage their pain and inflammation; there are even cannabis companies in Oregon sponsoring cycling teams. It looks like the future of CBD oil for cycling is going to get very exciting, and quickly.
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