What is CBD and can it help you to play better golf? There's evidence to suggest it can...
Can CBD Make You A Better Golfer?
Professional golfers are all about making ‘small gains’ – it’s a popular soundbite, and with the rapid growth of one particular health trend, it’s one we’ll start to hear a lot more.
We’re talking about the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a product that’s derived from cannabis.
Walk past a pharmacy and the chances are you’ll see a CBD product of some kind displayed, for it’s widely used to treat pain, anxiety and sleep disorder, as well as a number of medical conditions and illnesses.
And it’s showing up in golf shops, too – a growing number of them, in fact, as the UK trend mirrors what’s been happening in the United States for the last few years.
How CBD Can Benefit Golfers
Why would a pro shop sell CBD oil, though?
Given that it has been shown to effectively treat pain relief and inflammation of muscles and joints, that’s one benefit for the battle worn golfer for starters.
However, CBD can help golfers in a number of other ways – and when you learn a little more about the the product itself, it’s easy to understand how using it could benefit your golf game.
Better Sleep And Recovery“CBD is the legal bit of the cannabis plant that gives you the relaxation, focus and all sorts of other benefits,” says Andy Dixon, Director, Golfer’s CBD.
“One of the big areas of interests for us is increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
“Whilst you’re asleep you go through lots of processes of replenishment and rebuilding of your body, and if you’ve put yourself under strain the previous day, having that extra REM can be vital for your physical and mental wellbeing.
“CBD targets the receptors that affect stress response and mood.
“If your stress is under control and you’re in a good mood, you’ll sleep well, and we think that’s what’s increasing REM sleep.”
With improved sleep and focus, your golf game can only benefit, and if you can recover that little bit faster, you can enjoy playing more often.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
A Calming Effect
Recreational golfers should sit up and take note of this particular benefit, for it could be a real game changer.
Take first tee nerves, for example. Perhaps you don’t cope so well with the jitters and they’re having a negative impact on your performance, not to mention your enjoyment levels.
“This is exactly where it can help,” adds Dixon. “Whether you’re on the way to the Club Championships, on the first tee, or trying to close out a round, golf is anxiety based.
“These products can help you stay calm and focused.
“It’s not an affect that comes over you and you think, ‘Oh it’s started’. It’s very subtle.
“I used to be terrible for thinking two, three, four holes ahead, that competitive golfer trying to get the handicap down.
“I found with CBD that I can stay in the moment and not worry about what’s coming up, or what my score might be at the end.”
Is It Legal?
Given that CBD is derived from a cannabis plant, it’s understandable that this question gets asked.
However, THC is the banned substance, which is the part of the cannabis plant that gets you high, not CBD, which is why both the PGA’s Anti-Doping Program and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have removed it from their prohibited lists.
So, if you hear, or see any professional golfers using CBD – and a growing number of players are doing so – there’s nothing sinister going on.
As Simon Bale, Co-Founder and Commercial Director, Golfer’s CBD, says, “it’s not performance enhancing”, and if you’ve got a bad swing, it’s not going to stop you from hooking it.
What CBD Products Can I Buy?
The next time you’re in the pro shop, you might well see a choice of CBD products alongside the Mars bars and energy drinks – and it comes in various forms.
For those golfers who prefer to take it as an edible, there are gummy sweets and jelly domes.
Others consume it sublingually, via a drop or spray under the tongue, plus it can be vaped, and whilst that’s a look some people won’t enjoy, it’s mightily effective because of the speed it enters the bloodstream.
There are a few important details to note if you are interested in taking CBD.
Firstly, it’s for over 18s only and different players will benefit from different doses, and the advice is to consult your medical professional if you are taking prescription medication and have any concerns about using CBD.
“People are sceptical about CBD, this magic potion that’s going to improve your game, it’s hard to believe,” says Dixon.
“But every time we get the product into people’s hands, it works. It will boom this year.”