Have you heard of cannabidol?
By Neil Mumby
Thanks to the World Anti-Doping Agency (and, by extension, the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Organisation) removing cannabidiol (CBD) from their respective banned substances list in 2018, many professional golfers are turning to this wonderful cannabinoid to help alleviate certain sports-related ailments.
Former World No.2 Bubba Watson is one player who has officially endorsed CBD and its benefits.
He told CNN that his choice to use CBD “was about how [to] create longevity in the game of golf and spending time with [his] kids running around”.
Likewise, PGA Tour Champions golfer Scott McCarron, also believes CBD can provide increased longevity and success in the world of professional golf after using it daily for almost two years.
Speaking with ESPN, McCarron says CBD has helped improve his sleep—a very important part of any sports person’s daily routine—and further emphasises how it can boost a golfer’s overall game performance by reducing anxiety.
Just from these statements alone, you can really grasp how important CBD can be for not only professional golfers but for all golfers around the world as well, no matter their skill level.
Let’s look at this in more detail...
CBD is said to be a loyal anti-inflammatory
It’s no secret that golfers experience inflammation. Golfer’s elbow (otherwise known as medial epicondylitis) is one of the most common inflammatory conditions golfers experience. The condition causes pain and inflammation in the forearm tendons that attach to the elbow. Back pain and inflammation is also a common condition.
The main problem here is it’s imperative for golfers to utilise the forearm, elbow, wrist, and back when swinging the golf club. When inflammation rears its ugly head in any of these bodily regions, it can be detrimental to their swing technique and overall game performance.
In fact, severe and intense golfer’s elbow and back inflammation can put a golfer out of action for a number of weeks. If inflammation like this is left alone and untreated, it can result in chronic, debilitating nerve damage and pain. Surgery may also be needed in the worst cases.
Luckily, research into CBD as a viable anti-inflammatory is incredibly promising.
Whilst CBD doesn’t interact with cannabinoid receptors the same way as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does have more of an affinity with other receptors — namely the vanilloid receptors (TRPV-1). Research on rodent test subjects shows that CBD’s stimulation of TRPV-1 receptors produces anti-inflammatory and anti-analgesic qualities.
For golfers, this is a godsend! It’s more than possible that CBD can help with golfer’s elbow and other inflammatory problems. Of course, we can’t recommend this with 100% certainty, but the studies above are definitely compelling.
CBD may help alleviate game performance anxiety
Anxiousness to perform at a high level is common amongst golfers. It can cause a loss of focus, lack of attention, and poor performance, which may result in increased frustration, agitation, and, at times, depression.
If a golfer is prone to game performance anxiety (often known as “first-tee jitters”), research suggests CBD might be the answer.
A group of researchers in 2011 experimented with CBD’s potential ability to calm the nerves of 24 patients suffering from social phobia disorder in a public speaking setting. They divided them up into two groups. One group received a placebo; the other received 600 mg of CBD.
Interestingly, the researchers state “the increase of negative self-evaluation during public speaking was almost abolished by CBD”. In other words, the CBD dose alleviated the negative self-talk brought on by stress-related performance anxiety.
So, what does this mean for golfers?
Well, there’s scope to suggest that a dose of CBD may help reduce anxiety before or during a golf game.
Of course, we can’t say that with absolute certainty, but it’s certainly worth considering CBD oil’s anti-anxiety potential based on this study.
CBD as a potential sleep aid
It doesn’t matter whether the sport is golf, athletes, cricket, football, or horse riding, every athlete across the board needs sleep. It’s such a vital part of their daily routine. Without adequate sleep, athletes lose focus and experience a lack of cognitive sharpness
Even in the off-season when golfers practice, train, and hone their craft, a consistent sleep cycle is vital. If a golfer is experiencing sleep disturbances or an inconsistent sleep schedule for months leading up to the on-season, it could lead to frequent bouts of daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and stress.
However, research on CBD’s effectiveness for sleep and sleep-related issues is fascinating and could prove to be an effective way for golfers to get some well-deserved nighttime rest.
It’s typically true that people who experience poor sleep have high levels of cortisol running through their bodies at the wrong times. In most people who have a quality sleep cycle, cortisol is at its peak in the morning.
However, those with unhealthy sleep patterns tend to have higher cortisol levels at night, usually as a result of stress or anxiousness.
Studies show that oral delivery of CBD (300-600 mg) may reduce cortisol levels in people with sleep problems. A more recent study suggests 25 mg of CBD is the most effective dose when combating both cortisol-induced anxiety and sleep issues.
Based on this research, it’s worth considering using CBD oil for sleep-related problems, especially if you’re a golfer.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
CBD is perfectly legal in the UK — but there’s a slight catch. It has to be sourced from industrial hemp containing less than 0.2% THC. CBD sourced from marijuana plants is a huge no-no, simply because they carry way above the 0.2% THC legal threshold (anywhere up to 35%).
The reason for this is simple: marijuana is a Class B drug and completely illegal to grow, distribute, and/or possess. Any products sourced from marijuana in the UK are strictly prohibited, so if you see a product containing above 0.3% THC, assume it’s fake or a scam.
The Verdict on CBD for Golfers
In order for us to truly know how well CBD can work for golfers, more clinical studies need to be conducted. However, from what we do know, CBD has the potential to do great things for golfers on and off the golf course.
If you’re a golfer (or someone who’s simply interested in CBD’s power) and this article has piqued your interest, why not check out the range of CBD products on offer?
You can find out more at www.cbd-guru.co.uk.