The cannabidiol market has made its way into most corners of society, it seems. Products like CBD edibles, tinctures, and topicals are hot commodities. The non-intoxicating cannabinoid seemingly has a myriad of potential properties. Users purchase CBD because it could help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease pain
- Manage everyday stresses and anxiety
- Improve the sleep cycle
All of the above is based on a growing number of studies which we outline later. Those involved in combat sports suffer from pain, inflammation, and anxiety, and could use the extra recovery provided by more sleep. Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that MMA and CBD oil are now seen as a compatible couple.
Indeed, it seems that MMA fighters have taken the lead regarding the use of CBD in sports. One British combat sports journalist, Gareth Davies, believes that mixed martial artists had anticipated the cannabidiol trend before others. This is because they are frequently on the lookout for better and healthier pain management techniques.
Aside from issues with legality, developing a reliance on powerful painkillers could lead to a dark path. This is something that CBD oil doesn’t inflict on the MMA world. There is no research to date which suggests that cannabidiol is addictive.
The cannabidiol market has grown exponentially in the last couple of years, but the link between MMA and CBD oil goes back a little further.
The Vape That Shook the MMA World
Nate Diaz is a man who tends to make his own rules or break those imposed on him. In retrospect, it isn’t a surprise that he’s the MMA fighter who lifted the lid on CBD use in the UFC. Diaz ended Conor McGregor’s 15 fight winning streak via submission in March 2016.
Diaz lost the August 2016 rematch via majority decision. During the press conference, after that bout, Diaz took out a vaporizer and started using it. There were rumors that he was using cannabis. As it transpired, it was CBD. However, it was also banned during competition.
There was a suggestion that Diaz would receive a suspension. Instead, common sense prevailed via the Nate Diaz Rule, which was created in 2018. It stated that MMA fighters could use CBD oil and other products during competition.
Leslie Smith was one of the first female MMA fighters to grace the UFC. She also used CBD during her career. She admitted using CBD after an MMA fight or sparring sessions. Smith used a 5,000mg full-spectrum tincture, though she didn’t state how much of it she took.
There is another remarkable story surrounding CBD oil and MMA fighters that is seldom told. Roman Mironenko fought for several years before retiring to teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu; however, the toll from his fighting days was severe, and he suffered intense pain from a disc herniation. The agony forced him to stop training, and it seemed unlikely that he would ever return to it.
However, he began using CBD oil sublingually twice a day. Incredibly, he was able to return to training with minimal pain after an extended layoff. His story is just one of dozens involving CBD oil and MMA.
What Could CBD Oil Do for MMA Fighters?
One of the most apparent issues faced by those who compete in combat sports is the excruciating pain they face. The conventual treatment is opioid painkillers, which are incredibly addictive and have a vast array of side effects. CBD has a handful of relatively minor adverse effects and shows no evidence of being addictive.
A study published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management in 2008 looked at cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. The author, Ethan Russo, reviewed several studies on the subject. He found that CBD had immense potential as an analgesic and warranted further investigation.
One of the primary facets of our body’s inflammatory response is pain. While some inflammation is essential, an excessive level can result in severe pain. Reducing inflammation at the site of an injury could reduce the number of pain signals sent to the brain. Drugs such as aspirin work in this fashion.
A study published in Antioxidants in 2019 found that CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. The study authors wrote that CBD was a weak agonist of the CB1 receptor in humans, rats, and mice. Activation of this receptor increases a pro-inflammatory response.
There is even a suggestion that CBD could support the GABA neurotransmitter, which promotes relaxation. The result is likely an improved sleep cycle, a pivotal part of any athlete’s recovery.
Ultimately, research suggests that MMA and CBD oil is more than just a fad combination. There’s a chance that cannabidiol could reduce pain and inflammation and boost recovery. This sounds ideal for fighters coming off the back of strenuous training and brutal Octagon matches. If you are an MMA fighter and are interested in CBD, look for a top brand like PureKana to get your money’s worth.