Stress response is a vital component of all sports. From golf to go-karting, how well you respond in the face of adversity will often mean the difference between lifting a trophy and settling for second. This applies to both professional and amateur sports people across all kinds of competitive sport.
Of the many products that can improve stress response and overall performance, there has been lots of talk about CBD since both the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and the PGA Tour removed it from their banned substances list in 2018.
CBD has gone from being golf’s best kept secret to having several high-profile players name it as an invaluable asset for their performance. In this article, we’re going to look at why the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Darren Clarke have found CBD so instrumental in improving their game. Here are the benefits of CBD oil for golfers.
CBD can increase physical recovery
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD mean that it can significantly prevent joint inflammation after a game. If you often experience DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) from playing, CBD can help alleviate the soreness that comes from the exertion and straining of your muscles.
Think about how a golf swing activates muscles in both the upper and lower body; this repetition can cause elbow tendonitis (otherwise known as ‘golfer’s elbow), rotator cuff tears, bursitis and more.
Golf places stress on various muscle groups which then causes soreness, elongating your period of recovery. When used alongside proper rest and nutrition, CBD can help your body recover so that you can play more and for longer periods of time.
Enjoy improved sleep quality
Central to physical recovery is sleep, something that CBD can help with. A 2014 study looking at four patients with Parkinson’s Disease found that CBD significantly helped to improve the symptoms of REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). This disorder is frequently associated with poor sleep. What the study achieved in regards to CBD’s effect on sleep quality is to prove that CBD is able to control the symptoms of RBD and, by association, the many other symptoms of poor sleep quality.
As a golfer, getting an adequate amount of sleep is vital for performance and recovery. Not only does it aid physical recuperation, it sharpens the mind and helps prevent physical and mental fatigue. What does that mean for your game? You can play more frequently, make clearer decisions that are less blighted by anxiety, and generally improve your game to become a better golfer.
CBD can reduce your anxiety
At whichever level, just one round of golf throws up a variety of scenarios that you need to tackle to get through the game. Progression depends solely on how well you overcome these scenarios, and far from telling you how golf works, the importance of this idea shouldn’t be underestimated.
You can psych yourself out of your short game just as much as your long game.
. How do you plan on getting out of this bunker? You’re one putt away from your personal best - how are you going to play it? The questions we ask ourselves during a game can heighten the suspense and for some, anxiety levels, which then makes it harder to perform.
A 2015 study into using cannabidiol as a treatment for anxiety disorders demonstrates CBD’s efficacy with regards to fear anxiety, fear and their relationship with our cognitive thinking. Overall, the study was not only productive in demonstrating the potential of CBD for anxiety treatment, it also showed how it acutely enhances ‘fear extinction’ (a neuroscience term which describes the incremental decline in fear responses).
The result? Clearer decision-making, sharper concentration and a relaxed mind. In golf terms, these are three areas that will go a long way in improving your performance.
CBD can also help reduce the physical symptoms of nerves
As an added point to the above, CBD has also been shown to help manage nerves and the many nervous symptoms that competitive sport can induce (e.g nausea, tremors etc). This is closely linked to CBD’s effect on fear extinction and how our brain comprehends fear.
It also correlates with the aforementioned study on Parkinson’s Disease (PD). A 2020 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology proved that, with an acute dose of CBD (300mg in this case), patients with PD not only experienced decreased anxiety but a significant drop in tremor amplitude. Alongside CBD’s anti-nausea and anti-anxiety properties, CBD could be a solution for those physical manifestations of nervousness that prevent you from playing your best.
CBD could help with high blood pressure
The findings of a 2017 study show that CBD may help reduce the risk of heart disease by alleviating hypertension (commonly known as high blood pressure). For the study, nine healthy males took either 600mg of CBD or a placebo in the same dose. Those treated with CBD had significantly lower blood pressure before and after exposure to stressful stimuli (like exercise) than the placebo group.
The implications of this for your golf game shouldn’t be underestimated. From a day-long game of golf to a tournament spanning more than a week, the sport makes demands of your body which more often than not makes itself known through your blood pressure. If you cannot control your emotions during a game, then again - your blood pressure will be the first to know.
CBD’s impact on your blood pressure could have potential knock-on effects for regulating your emotions and physical response to stress during a game.
So, is CBD good for golf?
As demonstrated by the burgeoning field of research into CBD treatment, cannabidiol offers countless benefits for golfers at all levels. At the very least, the benefits mean that you can enjoy playing golf without some of the mental and physical barriers before you. At the heart of CBD’s relationship with golf is gradual improvement and the advancement of your game.
When CBD products first made their way into the golf community, they did so shrouded in uncertainty and a degree of scepticism. The question “are CBD products good for golfers” produces a much different response now than it did back then.
With every new study that enters the public domain, we are increasingly certain of CBD’s role in the modern game and the benefits for its players. If you would like to improve your game - from focus and concentration to muscle recovery and sleep - simply browse our range of CBD oils for golfers. In the meantime, our overview of CBD for Golf has a little more to say on the subject while our FAQs page should provide all the information you need to know about Darren Clarke CBD oil, from the product itself to our shipping policy.