People with seizure disorders have traditionally been discouraged from participating in sports. Depending on the type of sporting activity, suffering from seizures can pose a hazard, both to the patients as well as other athletes around them.
But these days, seizures are not letting athletes stop them from doing what they love. In fact, there are plenty of professional athletes who suffer from some type of seizure disorder who have been successful and made a living in professional sports despite their condition.
It also helps that there are several sophisticated treatment options to help athletes keep their seizures at bay. Although the pharmaceutical world certainly has their own products that are helpful, there are other more natural and even safer alternatives that athletes who are prone to seizures can take, including CBD products.
How Does CBD Work to Reduce Seizures?
CBD oil can alleviate a host of symptoms, including seizures. Perhaps the best-known and earliest example of the role that CBD oil can play in reducing seizures is what’s known as “Charlotte’s Web.” Named after a young girl who suffered from hundreds of seizures per day, the cannabis-derived oil was shown to significantly reduce the seizure frequency and severity in the child in the child.
Since then, numerous studies have continued to be conducted on CBD oil and its impact on reducing seizures from various neurological disorders. The results are so promising that CBD is even being touted as a legal treatment for specific types of seizure-related disorders.
Just recently, the FDA approved the use of CBD to treat two rare forms of seizure-inducing epilepsy. Epidiolex, which is a form of cannabidiol, is an FDA-approved treatment for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe forms of epilepsy.
Epidiolex was shown to be effective in reducing the number and frequency of seizures in study participants who suffer from either one of the two syndromes mentioned. It’s even approved for treatment for children who suffer from these debilitating disorders.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
The miraculous effects of CBD on the neurological system and its ability to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures comes down to how this cannabinoid affects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This important system is tasked with keeping all the systems of the body in proper balance, or “homeostasis.”
The ECS is able to maintain balance through naturally-occurring cannabinoids which are similar to compounds like CBD that are found in the cannabis plant. These endocannabinoids stimulate receptors of the ECS that are found all throughout the body and work to keep the systems of the body in balance.
When any one of these systems are off balance, that’s when disease and disorders creep in. That’s exactly what happens to epilepsy patients because their neurological systems are not functioning as they should. As such, they may suffer seizures.
Endocannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body are supposed to maintain homeostasis. But when they are unable to do so, external sources of cannabinoids – such as CBD oil – can step in to help out.
By interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil is able to help the ECS maintain balance in the body, which has a healing effect on several types of ailments in addition to seizures.
Why Athletes Should Take CBD as Part of Their Regimen
Any athletes who are prone to seizures from whatever ailment they suffer from can incorporate CBD oil into their daily regimens. They’ll find that not only can CBD help to alleviate their seizures, they’ll also be able to potentially protect their brains from any further damage as a result of contact on the field.
Studies have shown that CBD is able to limit the size of damaged brain tissue in rodents when administered just before or after a head injury. The cannabinoid may be able to provide neuroprotective effects in the brain and essentially protect this vital organ against damage related to head trauma.
This all stems once again from CBD’s ability to influence the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates – among other things – cerebral blood flow, neuroplasticity, and inflammation.
Endocannabinoid levels in the brain dramatically increase immediately following a traumatic brain injury, and the cannabinoid receptors can protect against neurological damage as a result of trauma.
Athletes will also find CBD hemp oil useful for treating pain and inflammation. It’s not uncommon for athletes to feel pain following vigorous training or performance on the field or court. And rather than taking NSAIDs or opioids to alleviate their pain and inflammation, CBD hemp oil can do the trick the natural way.
Many professional athletes are already incorporating CBD oil into their daily regimen. NFL players Derrick Morgan, Eugene Monroe, and Marvin Washington are known to use CBD oil to treat pain and even protect against brain injury, and UFC fighters Nate Diaz and Yair Rodriguez have also touted CBD’s effects on their pain management and how it helps them get back into the ring faster.
CBD oil is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Any athlete who battles seizures that would otherwise compromise their performance or ability to participate at all can find solace with CBD oil. This miraculous cannabinoid can do things in the body that only the most potent pharmaceuticals can, but without the negative side effects.
And now that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recently taken CBD off its lists of prohibited substances, athletes can be confident that they’re using an effective substance without having to worry about any repercussions.