CBD For eSports: Why Professional Gamers Are Using CBD
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As eSports becomes more and more popular, players are looking for ways to improve their performance.
Competitive gaming requires intense focus, quick reflexes, and near-constant alertness. Some professional gamers believe that using CBD oil can help them play at their best. Many people use CBD oil to help with anxiety and stress relief, two things that can be beneficial for anyone who wants to perform at their best in any endeavor.
In addition, CBD oil is also known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, which could help to reduce pain and swelling from injury and muscle overuse. We'll look at some considerations of taking CBD as a professional gamer in this article.
- CBD products work by supporting the endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of maintaining the homeostasis of various health functions.
- CBD offers various potential benefits for eSports athletes, from supporting sore muscles and stress to regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
- Only hemp-derived CBD products are permitted in professional eSports leagues as these organizations follow the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.
- Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, which is why CBD can be used both topically and internally.
- Many professional athletes turn to CBD to support muscle recovery, stress and feelings of nervousness, and focus.
What Are eSports?
eSports. What are they? Some people might say that they're just video games, but there's much more to it.
eSports encompass a wide variety of games that can be played competitively. Some of the more popular ones are League of Legends, DOTA 2, Fortnite, and Halo 5. Gaming events can be watched online or in-person at live tournaments, where people from all over the world congregate to watch some of the best gamers in action.
eSport events are gaining massive popularity as contestants gain fame. In 2018, eSport sales were $8997 million a year. Several people have become famous professional eSport players—often using the screen name for the competition.
N0tail won an international Dota 2 title in Shanghai, China.
The man has been given $3M in cash and other prizes.
N0taill won $6886,182 through competition, becoming one of the highest-paid eSport contestants ever. This is above the average salary but as with any other organized professional event, including teams, owners, managers, etc.
Are eSports Really Sports?
It seems like every day, there's a new debate about whether or not something is a "real" sport.
Golf? Chess? Poker? Curling? Are any of these activities really sports, or are they just games with set rules and standings?
eSports, or competitive video gaming, is a rapidly growing industry that has taken the world by storm. Though it's been around for a while, eSports has only recently begun to be recognized as an actual sport. With viewership numbers rivaling traditional sports, eSports is quickly becoming a mainstay in the sports world.
Many people consider gamers as "slack" or physically "unempowered," especially when compared to traditional athletic events like gymnastics, wrestling, or volleyball.
Some people argue that playing video games doesn't require any physical skill and is simply entertainment. Others claim that eSports are legitimate competitions because of the amount of training, strategic thinking, and quick flexes to succeed at them.
Successful eSport athletes must maintain full attention, have excellent fine motor capabilities and reflexes and make essential decisions under constant tension—which is similar to many traditional sports athletes.
Is CBD Oil in The Electronic Sports League Allowed?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has become popular for its alleged health benefits. Some people are now wondering if CBD can also be used to improve athletic performance and recovery, including in eSports athletes.
The world's largest gaming organization, Electronic Sports League (ESL), has banned the use of marijuana and its derivatives during tournaments, except for hemp-derived CBD.
This was done in compliance with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules regarding illicit drug use in major sporting events, which concerns potential injury and messing up the organized gambling odds during the tournament season.
The most considerable substance of concern around eSports gamers is stimulants like Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is sometimes called the study drug as its popularly abused by students for its effects on keeping one's mind mentally alert, calm, and energized.
Many competitive gamers admitted that Adderall was their drug of choice to give them an unfair advantage during gaming sessions. Random drug tests are now conducted for eSports gamers during major sports events to ensure fair games and player safety.
How Are Gamers Using CBD For eSports?
Gamers are using CBD oil to give them an advantage for specific eSports tournaments. Some people believe that CBD oil can help improve focus, reduce anxiety, and provide other benefits to help them prepare for professional events.
While more research is needed to determine whether CBD oil helps gamers perform better, some people are already swearing by its effects.
Whether you're a gamer interested in trying CBD oil or just curious about what all the hype is about, read on to learn more about this new trend in eSports.
CBD May Support Muscles & Joints
Many gamers swear by CBD to support their aches and pains as it's gentle enough to use regularly without forming an addiction or causing a long list of side effects while being highly effective for increasing their comfort.
While it's true that eSports gamers are performing from their chairs and there's no physical contact with other contestants, professional gamers and amateurs alike are prone to sore muscles and joint pain. Some of the common injuries professional eSports players encounter include lower back pain due to poor posture, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis.
CBD has been shown to have some pain-relieving effects and anti-inflammatory effects that may help to support injuries and overuse of joints and muscles .
CBD May Support Healthy Stress Levels
No one would dispute the fact that esports is a mentally demanding industry. Players put in countless hours of practice and competition, coaches push their teams to the brink, and organizers constantly juggle schedules and logistics. It's no wonder then that stress is often a part of the equation.
In the short term, stress is a helpful physiological response that can give eSports gamers heightened reflexes. However, when stress lingers in the body for too long, it can result in chronic stress that may lead to mental and physical health issues.
Many people turn to CBD oils to support healthy stress levels. CBD has been shown to interact at GABA receptor sites in the brain to act as a brake pedal to the stress response. Higher levels of GABA are associated with increased mind and body relaxation .
To get on top of their stress levels and the pressure that comes with professional gaming, many eSports gamers will use CBD products to counteract the negative impact that chronic stress has on the brain and body.
Related Article: CBD For Stress
CBD May Support Mental Acuity
eSports players have been shown to have a more robust mental acuity. This may be because eSports players are constantly learning and problem-solving. The skills required for success in esports, such as hand-eye coordination, patience, and strategic thinking, all help improve cognitive function.
Mental focus takes a large amount of energy—long gaming periods can affect one's energy levels, mood, and motivation, often contributing to burnout and poor gaming performance.
CBD may provide a neurocognitive boost indirectly through its interactions with serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, which have a significant role in motivation and mental alertness .
How eSports Gamers Are Using CBD?
Cannabidiol is a very versatile compound, and you can find it in a wide range of products from oil, capsules, gummies, vapes, and even topical creams for sore muscles and joints.
There are a few considerations when shopping for CBD products for professional gamers.
- Hemp-derived CBD. CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Only hemp plants with less than 0.3% are federally legal. Marijuana use is strictly prohibited in professional sporting events, so always ensure that the CBD product comes from legal CBD sources.
- Third-party lab tests. The only way to verify the contents of your product is to reference the lab reports. Reputable brands will test their product for cannabinoid profiles and potency.
- High-potency CBD products. Most of the studies investigating the benefits of CBD are with higher doses. Look for a product that can deliver at least 25 MG of CBD per serving. This is a decent starting point that will allow you to gradually build up your doses without experiencing adverse side effects.
- Try topical and internal CBD. CBD works through the endocannabinoid system. For localized support for sore muscles and joints, it may be best to combine topical and internal CBD. CBD massaged onto the skin is fast-acting with targetted use as it doesn't enter the bloodstream.
- Speak with your doctor. Most people tolerate CBD very well, and it's considered a safe compound—but it's not for everyone. If you're on other medications or have an underlying health condition, you should speak with your doctor before introducing a new compound to your health regimen.
CBD Oil And Concern For Professional Gamers
Most of the concern over CBD oil and professional gamers is its legal status and safety.
CBD is found in cannabis flowers—both hemp and marijuana strains. To avoid disqualification, you need to be 100% certain of the source of your CBD products, as marijuana is a prohibited substance. Only shop from reputable CBD suppliers that provide a certificate of analysis from an accredited third-party lab to show you the cannabinoid levels.
While severe side effects of CBD use are infrequent, there are specific adverse effects you should be aware of, including:
- Upset stomach
- Changes in appetite
These side effects can be mitigated by lowering the doses, and they don't last longer than a few hours. If these persist, you should stop taking the CBD product altogether and seek professional medical advice.
The Takeaway: CBD For Pro Gamers
Whether they're playing in front of a live audience or streaming to hundreds of spectators online, the pressure to win is immense. Some esports gamers are now turning to CBD oil to help them cope with the stress.
While more research is needed on the potential benefits of CBD for athletes, some players say it helps them stay focused and calm during competition.
Others use it as a post-game recovery aid to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. Whatever your reason for considering CBD oil, it's essential to do your own research before making any decisions.
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- Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
- Zlebnik, N. E., & Cheer, J. F. (2016). Beyond the CB1 receptor: is cannabidiol the answer for disorders of motivation?. Annual review of neuroscience, 39, 1-17.
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