CBD Benefits for Golf
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about this miracle thing called CBD. Everyone seems to be jumping on the CBD train, but does it work for golf?
First of all, taking CBD isn’t the same as smoking marijuana, and it won’t get you high. Instead, it might actually improve your cognitive function. Research on this compound continues to grow, especially for athletes. More than one famous golfer uses CBD to help their game, and it’s possible you can too. Even if you’re just a casual player, CBD’s health benefits extend beyond the green.
Before we get into the details of CBD for golf, let’s make sure to cover the basics of CBD and the science behind it.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for the longer cannabidiol, a chemical compound in the cannabis plant. Cannabis, while long associated with drugs, is actually grown for a variety of different reasons. People use cannabis products to make clothing, build structures, as food sources, and more.
Cannabidiol is just one of many ingredients in this versatile plant, sort of like different fruits and vegetables have different vitamin properties. In contrast to THC, cannabidiol will not get you high. It’s known for its calming effects as an all-natural relaxant.
How does CBD Oil differ from Hemp Oil?
The cannabis sativa plant can be grown to limit its THC content. When agriculture yields a cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC content, it can legally be called hemp. While only one version contains THC, both plants carry CBD.
CBD oil can be taken from either plant, but when extracted from hemp, it can be called hemp oil. As there’s a risk of THC contamination when it’s drawn from cannabis itself, CBD oil from hemp is best for golfers. It safely and effectively manages anxiety, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep quality.
Is CBD even legal for golfer’s to take?
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced legislation that made hemp legal to grow and sell for consumption. Using sophisticated CO2 extraction methods, labs pull CBD out to form a legal plant product, according to the law. But what does that mean for sport?
According to the Executive Director of the Anti-Doping Program at the PGA Tour, CBD itself is not prohibited. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the organization that governs banned substances for events like the Olympics recently removed CBD from its prohibited list. It’s careful to distinguish CBD from its cannabis counterpart, THC, which remains illegal.
As supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s up to manufacturers to control the purity of supplements. CBD can come from cannabis or hemp, as previously mentioned, and the former will likely contain the banned substance THC. Athletes always face a risk with supplements, so golfers should triple check the manufacturing processes for pure CBD oil.
Golfers who use CBD
Plenty of great golfers on the PGA tour reportedly use CBD to enhance their game. Scott McCarron, for example, recently partnered with a Colorado-based CBD company to regularly improve his focus on the course. A cannabis-based company sponsors both Bubba Watson and Lucas Glover in their success. Fans recently spotted Phil Mickelson using it at the Masters. These players, while great on their own, tout the health benefits of CBD as a safe, non-pharmaceutical intervention for performance enhancement.
If you want to hear more opinions about CBD Benefits for golf, check out this video from MyGolfSpy. Otherwise, read on and decide for yourself how cannabidiol can work for you.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Golf
While golf isn’t an aggressive, contact sport, long days at the range can produce overuse injuries. Stress on the elbows, shoulders, hips, wrists, and more tend to pop up during long-hauls of 18-holes. CBD can reduce inflammation and pain in athletes, as well as promote injury recovery.
CBD also helps sleep, emotional regulation, and stress-reduction. For golfers, this means optimizing your focus and mental state, lowering your strokes per hole. The top benefits of CBD for golf include:
- Stress reduction
- Better focus
- Sleep improvement
- Injury recovery
- Inflammation management
Check out the amazing benefits of CBD for golf below, and learn how it can improve your specific game.
CBD can lower your anxiety
Research shows that CBD can regulate neurotransmitter release by interacting with your endocannabinoid system in the brain. Your brain releases these neurotransmitters during times of stress. In certain dangerous situations, this can save our lives, allowing us to sprint away or fight an enemy. But during golf, this anxiety makes it incredibly hard to succeed.
Studies indicate that taking CBD before a stressful task, such as public speaking, can lower anxiety. If you’re prone to first-tee jitters, CBD oil might be the solution for you.
CBD Oil improves concentration and focus
In that same vein, managing arousal maximizes your concentration and focus. An ideal performance mindset for any athlete requires a delicate balance between alertness and nerves. You can’t be too low-energy, or you won’t bring your A-game. But you also don’t want to be over anxious.
Thanks to CBD, golfers can sit right in this sweet spot. Managing arousal with CBD before tee-off can take many forms. Most athletes prefer to take it orally, with vaping being the quickest and CBD edibles lasting the longest.
Taking CBD can help you sleep
Did you know that sleep itself can be a performance-enhancing “drug”? If you don’t believe it, try going a night without sleep and then playing 18 holes in the morning.
Our bodies need sleep. Without it, our moods drop, we become confused, and overall suffer from low energy. Not only that, but studies show our spatial relations and visual attention drop significantly with sleep deprivation. It’s not just that losing sleep is a problem – getting more can make you even better. A Stanford study showed that increasing sleep by a few hours each night improved free throw accuracy in basketball players.
Accuracy and knowing how far away the hole is, not to mention the distance from your club to the tee, is pretty important to golf. Taking CBD increases sleep quality, onset, and REM sleep when taken regularly.
CBD Oil helps you recovery from injury
Most golfers experience residual aches and pains from playing, such as elbow tendonitis, knee pain, wrist injuries, and back pain from swings. While they might not be acute or career-ending, these issues can be a boon to your game.
Thanks to your internal endocannabinoid system, taking extra cannabinoids can help. CBD oil interacts with vanilloid receptors in your body to reduce the perception of pain. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and treatment for arthritis. As arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, it makes sense that CBD oil would be used to treat sports-induced inflammation as well.
Repeated movements in golf are made smoother with CBD treatment. You can either take it internally, to build up a base, or utilize topical CBD creams on specific locations.
How can golfers take CBD?
Maybe you’re convinced that CBD should be your game-changing go-to, but are lost on how to take it. Don’t worry – we’re going to go in to the different method of CBD administration so that you can make an informed decision. Check out the differences and pick which works best for you.
Basically anything can be infused with CBD these days, but here are the most common ways to take CBD:
On its own, CBD in this form can be taken in a capsule or be added to foods. To avoid THC content, choose oils derived from hemp. CBD oils tend to take a while to produce an effect, but they’re great for building up your internal stores of cannabinoids.
Tinctures tend to be the more concentrated versions of CBD, as they are alcoholic extracts from the plant. No, it won’t get you anywhere near drunk, as you just take a few drops under the tongue. They also come in a variety of flavors, can be put in food or drinks, and are great, discreet ways to take CBD regularly.
Hemp powders contain health benefits like protein and fiber, which most other CBD products miss. Hemp is considered a superfood, so if you want CBD along with other qualities of hemp, pick a protein powder.
These act like traditional pain creams, but with a natural, holistic solution. They’re perfect for managing muscle soreness or joint pain after a long day on the course.
You can still smoke CBD, of course. Using a vape pen heats up CBD oils in to a vapor that you can safely inhale before golf. It’s the fastest acting method, as it quickly enters the bloodstream through your lungs. If you’re looking for immediate relaxation and focus, choose a vape pen.
Conclusion – Can CBD help your golf game?
There’s plenty of research and anecdotal evidence about the benefits of CBD. As it’s still a newly legal and popularized product, science needs to conduct more conclusive studies. But preliminary results say yes, it’s very possible that taking CBD can help you with golf.
It won’t win you the green jacket overnight. You still have to work hard, take care of your body, and practice, practice, practice. But CBD’s anxiety reduction and pain-relieving qualities make it a nice counterpart to eating well and spending time practicing.
Whichever method you choose, research your product to ensure they practice third-party testing for quality and purity. Check out the NSF Certified for Sport list for a good reference. Make sure to start with smaller doses to see how your body handles it.
As always, check with a medical professional if you have any chronic conditions or health concerns before taking CBD regularly. There are no known side effects, but it’s always important to get a professional, medical opinion first.
Overall, if CBD can get you time on the golf course to improve your stroke mechanics, then we say that’s a plus. Even more, if CBD helps calm you down so those skills perform under pressure, what do you have to lose? Now’s the time to try it out, and you just might see a difference.
Aidan Lehane is a serial entrepreneur and scratch golfer who loves to get out on the course as often as possible. Aidan loves testing out new golf products and bringing his views to the public