Imagine all the physical trauma that MMA fighters endure, both while competing and training. That's the name of the game with MMA fighting, but when the matches are over, athletes are typically left to deal with a plethora of aches and pain that may last months post fight.
But rather than reaching for NSAIDs or other common painkillers that can have negative side effects, these athletes can use something much safer and more natural than pharmaceuticals: Cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
How Does CBD Oil Work to Combat Pain?
Several studies have already been conducted on the effects of CBD hemp oil on the mind and body, and research is constantly uncovering new data. As of late, CBD hemp oil has been found to be effective for a variety of different purposes, including alleviating pain and inflammation.
That's exactly why many athletes such as fighters use Cannabidiol oil. But how does this cannabinoid work to reduce pain?
The studies that have been conducted thus far point to CBD's ability to work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. This system produces its own cannabinoids and has receptors that these chemicals interact with. When cannabinoids are introduced to the body from external sources - such as CBD from the cannabis plant - they can mimic what the body's natural endocannabinoids can do.
The ECS has been implicated in many different physiological functions and responses in the body, including pain. It is made up of a host of receptors throughout the body, primarily in the brain and immune system. When CBD interacts with these receptors, a number of things can happen, including pain alleviation.
For this reason, CBD oil can have powerful therapeutical effects in the body and can be used as a useful alternative to traditional medications that are also meant to reduce pain and inflammation.
Today, you'll find an increasing number of MMA fighters touting the benefits of CBD oil and claiming to use this cannabinoid to help them deal with their pain and recover faster so they can get back in the ring sooner.
MMA Fighters Choosing CBD Oil Over Traditional Medications For Recovery
The following MMA fighters have already been using Cannabidiol oil to alleviate pain and speed up their recovery, and it's just a matter of time before we'll be hearing of more.
This MMA fighter is not only brave enough to participate in this vicious sport, but he's also courageous for coming out and admitting to using CBD oil before this cannabinoid started gaining acceptance. In fact, he actually vaped CBD oil right in front of the media during a post-fight press conference.
When asked what he was vaping, Diaz quickly and honestly replied, "CBD oil." He wasn't afraid to admit that he uses something that many still view as nothing more than a drug, he also used it publicly. At the time, he opened himself up for risk of being penalized for vaping CBD in public, because at the time it was still considered a banned substance.
Since then, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has dropped CBD from its list of banned substances, probably in part due to the support of Nate Diaz. He backs the use and encourages other athletes to do the same, due to the incredible benefits without any unnatural performance-enhancing or mind-altering effects.
Diaz explained to the press that CBD products help him with the healing process and inflammation after intense training and fights. He claims to use CBD oil both before and after fights and training to combat pain and speed up recovery so he can hit the ring faster and alleviate pain.
American-born Filipino MMA fighter Brandon Vera is an active supporter of CBD oil for recovery in sport. He's been featured in interviews with CBD oil supplement companies and talks openly about CBD in interviews with reporters. He has formerly competed for UFC and WEC and is the 2005 WEC Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion and the current ONE Championship Heavyweight Champion.
Vera has discussed how athletes who participate in particularly rough sports can relieve their pain while enhancing their performance and health benefits. He's particularly vocal of his support for CBD because of its non-psychoactive properties, unlike THC which also has its place in the world of medicine and sports therapy.
Users of CBD products can reap all the rewards of including cannabis compounds like CBD in their regimes without the mind-altering effects that tend to come with THC products.
Former MMA world champion Bas Rutten has hailed CBD oil as a potent anti-inflammatory substance that he favors over traditional anti-inflammatory medications. He fully supports the use of CBD oil products over opioids, in particular for pain management. Not only does CBD oil rival the pain-relieving effects of opioids, but it also does so without the risk of addiction. In fact, Rutten was once addicted to opioids that he was using to treat chronic pain. Luckily, he managed to find an alternative to pain in the form of CBD oil which not only conquered his pain but his addiction as well. Rutten believes that had he been introduced to CBD oil in the first place, he wouldn't have risked becoming addicted to painkillers.
Cannabis and its cannabinoids may still have some level of stigma attached to them, but people like the above-mentioned MMA fighters who are publicly speaking out about the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil are helping to weaken such stereotypes surrounding the substance.
With real-life examples of how CBD oil can help with pain and recovery in the world of sports, it remains to be seen how many more professional fighters - and athletes in general - will continue to come out of the woodworks as supporters and users of CBD oil.
Kai Pattison, M.S.
Athlete Relations x Physiologist
Kai Pattison was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Kai graduated with a Master’s degree in clinical physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. He is very passionate about human physiology and the applications in sport performance, recovery and clinical diagnostics. Kai has specialized in cardiopulmonary diagnostics, exercise induced energy expenditure and metabolism. Kai has also gained extensive research experience at UCSD on Parkinson’s disease. He enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of exercise to reduce risk of multiple inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. His passion for alternative medicine enables him to strive when promoting health and wellness.