Our bodies are thought to produce endocannabinoids by the billions every day. “We always thought the ‘runner’s high’ was due to the release of dopamine and endorphins. But now we know the euphoria is also from an endocannabinoid called anandamide,” its name derived from the Sanskrit word for bliss, says Joseph Maroon, MD, clinical professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We produce these natural chemicals all day, but they fade quickly because enzymes pop up to destroy them. That’s where CBD comes in: By blocking these enzymes, CBD allows the beneficial compounds to linger.


But CBD has recently become a major player in the world of athletics for two reasons. First, it has proven anti-inflammatory properties. This has been pretty firmly established through a number of studies. For example, in a 2009 lab study, researchers found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory pain by activating glycine receptors at the spinal level. CBD is also a known analgesic, meaning it has pain-relieving properties. Many athletes use CBD after intense workouts to help manage pain from aching muscles and joints. And recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances, opening the door for professional athletes to make use of the extract for pain relief.

Chronic Pain: The body’s ECS plays a role in alleviating and managing pain, so CBD oil can work as a supplement for individuals with medical conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil also increases levels of adenosine in the brain; adenosine is a neurotransmitter that aids cardiovascular function and eases painful inflammation.


Dry Mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
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