CBD has most definitely caught the attention in recent times. The hemp derived compound has got high-profile endorsements from the worlds of fashion and celebrity, but what’s the appeal for menfolk whose imaginations have not been captured by glamour and glitz?
Plenty as it turns out, and we’ll focus on some areas of potential interest for modern, yet conventional, man.
The health-conscious among us are no longer happy to spend every waking spare weekend moment in the pub. No – the sports fields, arenas, tracks and gyms up and down the land are full of men trying, sometimes desperately, to hang on to the last vestiges of youth, or dreams of amateur or semi-pro glory.
However reality doesn’t comply with dreams of Wembley or Twickers, and we hold down jobs for our troubles, squeezing in the odd training session here, gruelling weights session there, in the vain hope of being at our physical best on Saturday or Sunday, before retiring to the pub to reflect on the deeds of the day.
There is a growing extent of individual experience suggesting battered football and rugby players are being helped greatly by the qualities of CBD each week as they recover from one game in time for another.
George Kruis, the England rugby player believes in CBD and the potential benefits it can offer. Kruis recently launched his own range of CBD-based products. He pointed to the better quality sleep he is experiencing since beginning to use CBD and the knock-on effect that has had on his overall ability to recover physically.
“Sleep was definitely one of the things it helped with for me,” he says. “I have low-level chronic pain and I was able to reduce the amount of painkillers I was taking.”
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Academically the link between sleep and physical performance is long-established. Christopher Winter, MD, the president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and the author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It spells it out in a recent report.
“We exercise for a purpose: for cardiovascular health, to increase lean muscle mass, to improve endurance, and more. All of these ‘goals’ require sleep. If you don’t sleep, you undermine your body.”
Of course the pro sportsman has every possible aid in getting himself right between games. The less disciplined of us have a mountain to climb to get right from one weekend to the next, what with that post match beer and kebabs binge not helping over all body disrepair.
We limp around work until Tuesday with various muscle aches making us as mobile as the denizens of the local nursing home. We dose ourselves with painkillers, rack up some poor sleep and it’s only the following Saturday when we are back to somewhere like the true physical specimens we fancy ourselves to be.
How much better would we be if we could train well midweek instead of simply surviving?
After a game or intense workout, the body breaks down, and in the process of rebuilding itself, we experience lethargy and soreness. There is anecdotal evidence, that does require further research, that CBD can play a part in recovery as an anti-inflammatory. Several studies have shown that CBD surpasses even vitamin C and D in suppressing cytokine, and chemokine production, while increasing our body’s T-regulatory cell production, in turn helping our body’s anti-inflammatory mechanism.
Whether your preference is to ingest through CBD tinctures, balms, creams, vaping or edibles, the end result is you’re giving yourself more of a fighting chance of re-entering the fray once more next Saturday.
Many of us weekend warriors must overcome long term injuries every time we go into battle. Recently speaking on the subject, William McLoughlin, a barrister and a member of Chronic Pain Ireland said the feedback he is receiving about usage of CBD oil is positive. McLoughlin suggests CBD has a part to play in overcoming physical pain, ‘as part of an arsenal of pain-management tools.’ ‘It’s definitely one that should be considered — but in accordance with medical advice.”
Most of the people he knows, who have gone on CBD oil, are still taking it a month later. “They say it reduced their pain level and increased their mobility after being on it a few weeks. It also had a knock-on effect on their mental health, family relationships, and friendships. They were engaging more positively with the world.”
The fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) no longer lists CBD as a banned substance, means regardless of how beneficial you may find the substance, you can at least be assured that you are not doping.
CBD is also known to have a positive effect on testosterone and on the male’s prolactin and cortisol levels. In a nutshell, it can deliver a boost to men’s reproductive health.
We’re not implying you have trouble in the trousers department, but recent, if not exactly extensive research, indicates we could all get a lift in sexual performance through some CBD love.
There’s two or three reasons for this connection. Firstly, CBD has a relaxant effect, although not the psychoactive bit of the cannabis plant. Sometimes bad sex or no sex comes from an inability to relax, but CBD drops can help take that excuse away!
Secondly, and speaking of excuses, some research has found evidence of CBD helping with headaches too. Its pain-relieving qualities will at least boost spirits, making it more likely that you’ll be in the mood.
In the era of Tinder, and greater access to casual sex, CBD could be a useful wing man to have around.
Thirdly, erectile dysfunction has been linked by some researchers to a toxin named dioxin. Luckily CBD has been shown to counter the presence of dioxin and prevent it returning again.
It’s not all straightforward though, as research also indicates the window for a CBD-supported male libido can be short lived.
There is evidence that cannabis can cause an increase in testosterone levels and this, in turn, improves the male sex drive. But after some time, the drug can cause a slight drop in testosterone levels, and with this, libido drops, too.
The lesson: it’s a useful ingredient for ‘Business Time’, just not the whole story (morning glory).
They say every generation faces challenges and anxieties but let’s face it men these days have more than their fair share.
Your dad bought his home for a relative pittance, and there was always two cars in the driveway; not bad on a single income household. You’ll be lucky to own a Wendy house, or dog’s kennel, even if there’s more than one income in your budget. If you do buy a car you may be forced to live in it.
You’re also metriced to an inch of your life at work, where technology has gotten so advanced that toilet breaks are quantified and reported. Don’t even mention the minefield of dating and relationships.
Life is so much more complicated now than in Baby Boomer or even X’er days. Yes there is more choice, but it’s a tyranny and it’s hard to see what it all means and how to negotiate it.
Given those external and internal pressures, research to date suggests that CBD can play a part in reducing anxiety. An admittedly small study by NYU found that taking CBD before speeches helped participants, some who had social anxiety, to very much manage better pre-public speaking nerves. Dr. Esther Blessing, psychiatrist at New York University, says that current data seems promising.
“I think there’s good evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment of anxiety and addiction” and other disorders,”But we need clinical trials to find out.”
Because of the extent of prohibition until now, research has been greatly hindered, and academics point to that lack of research for general reluctance to advocate.
One such academic is Dr. Margaret Haney, professor of neurobiology at the Columbia University Medical Center, who despite warning about the need for more research, is enthusiastic. “I actually am very excited about CBD,” Haney told Men’s Health magazine. “I think there’s tremendous potential.”
If there is a natural way to better negotiate life’s myriad challenges, here’s hoping the research backs up all that positive experience out there.