Fitness & Nutrition

Is CBD a Golfer's Cure for the Yips?

By Brent Barbour

High handicappers know the feeling: the heart races, the hands shake. From the moment you step onto the course you’re confronted with a gauntlet of anxiety producing moments (and thoughts). Because anxiety in golf is unavoidable. So unavoidable it has an actual name. It’s called Golf Anxiety Disorder. Google the term and you’ll learn two things:

  1. You’re not alone, and
  2. the majority of “fixes” boil down to an improved mental approach to “unlock your mind and lower your score.”

But for someone struggling with golf anxiety, simply telling them to think differently is like trying to kill a fire with gasoline. Might CBD help golfer’s calm their nerves?

How can CBD help your golf game?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found in marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t get you high.

CBD, taken either as an oil, vape, or edible, interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system to help balance physiological functions, including mood. Research shows CBD oil may help relieve anxiety. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animal studies. Symptoms of anxiety, like increased heart rate, also improved in study subjects.

[ Learn more about the benefits of CBD ]

If you need more evidence, a recent study in Brazil used MRI technology to monitor effects of CBD on brain chemistry and found study participants shows significantly enhanced confidence when performing in a public speaking test. In this context, public speaking might be akin to standing on the first tee looking over a pond to a narrow landing spot.

That covers the mind. How does CBD help the body?

If you’re a scratch golfer you’ll hit the ball 72 times in a round, not counting practice swings and your warm-up. But if you’re not part of the 1.6% of golfers that are scratch or better, you could be looking at 200+ swings, bending over or squatting 500+ times, and walking 3-4 miles if you hoof it—or if you’re regularly on the wrong side of the fairway.

The repetitive movements a golfer makes can lead to inflammation of the joints, pinched nerves, and the overall aches and pains related to getting older.

CBD may regulate immune cells to minimize pain and has the capability to reduce inflammation. The best part? CBD enhances your liver functionality—or did in mice—which is important if you opt for a few cans of swing oil along the way.

So, will CBD cure the yips, shanks, and slices?

CBD probably won’t transform your golf game overnight. But in a sport where 90% of performance is mental and pros preach tempo, CBD oil may help you relax a bit, slow down, and focus on the task at hand. For golfers who will try anything to improve their game—like this, this, or this—CBD is a rather simple fix to try.

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