We have certainly all seen the outlandish claims surrounding CBD or Cannabidiol, the “wonder balm”, oil, spray or drops! While all of us have the right to be skeptical on new products, let’s dig deeper than the advertising claims and reach into the realm of science plus real-life experience. I always tell my friends and clients to do their own research and to find the highest quality product to test on themselves. That’s what really makes the human experience a bit more exciting, when you can safely test a product and feel a difference. As an athlete battling inflammation and stress on a daily basis, I need my body to keep up with my rigorous training schedule. While the verdict is still out concerning many areas where CBD “should” help, I was intrigued enough after hearing a close friend’s remarkable story to try it myself.
Why did I try CBD oil?
First off, I’m on a mission to see just how far I can take my professional triathlon career. This means, reps, reps and more reps of swim, bike, and run. Often times it’s hard to sleep when the body is always on the edge of radical recovery. Then I found out a good friend of mine went all in and funded a hemp farm in Vermont. I had to ask him why? It turns out, his daughter suffers from daily seizures and the compounds found in CBD drastically reduced this issue and increased her quality of life. Hemp based products really can step in and help, either hand in hand with traditional medicine or on their own. This simple story stirred my curiosity and led me to dig deeper.
What about drug testing?
For years and years, I was subject to drug testing during my time in the United States Air Force and still face those tests on a regular basis as a professional triathlete. What is different about today? I’ve found a company that produces lab tested, THC Free CBD products to give me peace of mind that I wont fail any drug tests. It’s worth noting there can be trace amounts of THC within any THC Free product, however the amount of THC in my blood needs to be quite high for it to matter in a USADA or WADA drug test. I’m certainly not one to push that boundary to find out my personal tolerance but I will say that I feel safe using CBD products from Azalla . Here is what I know about CBD, the production of CBD and why I chose to partner with Azalla.
The decision making process in determining which supplements to put into my body is heavily weighted on…making double-dog sure I’m safe. First off, I clearly don’t want to ingest something that could cause my eyes to start bleeding (duh) but secondly, I never want to produce a false positive blood test because a product I used has been contaminated. This is a touchy subject in the world of professional sports and while we all fear the repercussions, as athletes we need to really know what we are taking in. I want to ensure that 100% of my supplements are clean so I look for the staple certifications that ensure safe for sport ingestion. Now, there is a grey area on certain products where they either can’t afford to pay for the additional certification or ONLY use their facility to produce a product. Sometimes a start-up company will rent equipment or a factory, meaning there could be cross-contamination. I’ve personally talked with companies like this, who absolutely care about producing the cleanest product for athlete-use but can’t afford the hefty price of certifying every batch of product they send out. I had this same conversation with Azalla because “THC FREE” is a big statement and I wanted to make ask just how secure this slogan is.
Azalla products are created in an FDA safe environment and not only do they test every batch, they test the raw CBD ingredients before making batches. This is NOT the case for many CBD products on the market. As CBD products have flooded the market, regulation has not quite caught up. Azalla knows that eventually the FDA will pass laws on the production of CBD and has proactively taken the necessary steps to ensure the facility they use is up to snuff and that every bottle is labeled with a QR code so you can easily check the quality of the bottle you are holding. For me this is very important because right now, anyone can produce this stuff in their home and sell it in stores. Safety is so important and I will for sure do my best to maintain the high-quality guidelines I’ve known to live by when it comes to supplements.
Benefits I’ve noticed
As I mentioned earlier, I’m dealing with a daily battle. Heck, most all of us are! For me, it’s inflammation. I’m far from anything that would be considered a medical expert, but I know when I’m hurting more and sleeping less. Years of grinding it out as a late-bloomer pro triathlete has given me a lot of first hand experience understanding which variables help or hurt my athletic performance. I have always been open to new ideas to help my performance, but I only take supplements which are certified safe for sport.
So, what the heck do I even “feel”? For one, as a topical oil I have felt some fast-acting pain relief. I know I’m getting older and as much as it sucks, being 32 I still feel a bit different than when I was 28. I’ve fought through my share of growing pains as my body has built some durability to train and race IRONMAN 140.6 events. The regular use of Azalla CBD Oil has enabled my muscles to recover faster and race well.
Along with that success, I’m learning that I need to push to new depths of pain during training if I want to compete with the top 5% of professionals in the sport. My lower back, knees and shoulders are often so wrecked from muscle and joint tightness that I’m wondering if the next day will be as successful as today. My training cycles are all about “rinse and repeat” or reps, reps, and more reps. Since introducing Azalla’s THC Free CBD Oil into my life I’ve noted that I can always show up the next day with a bit more confidence. My lower back pain is a bit more manageable, my sleep has a better quality to it and my body is a little less angry. How do you know if a vitamin is working when you take it? It’s not like a video game where you glow when you take some magical potion. Like a vitamin, sometimes CBD seems to be more of a internal confidence booster as I head into the evening. Lately, I noticed that more than anything Azalla CBD seems to boost whatever mood I’m already in. Of course there are certain terpenes that add value to a circumstance but when I take the Azalla PM THC Free drops, I know the sleep train is rolling in and I hope that it punches me straight in the face so I can wake up and have some delicious coffee, ready for the next session. I mean, have you ever gone to bed early because you cannot wait to wake up to your morning routine? I’m such a morning-type that this happens almost daily. Up at 5am, ready to rip the legs off or hit an AM swim with some buds. On the days I’m NOT feeling that buzz on life and I want to literally do anything but think, I’ll take in some Azalla AM THC Free drops and within an hour or so my mind is a bit looser and ready to perform.
The bottom line
As I said at the start of this article, you need to be skeptical and you need to ask questions. I did, I will continue to and I know that while working with Azalla, the answers will not be hard to find. I won’t be taking a product that comes back to haunt me. As a matter of fact, because I like to experiment on myself, I plan to take an independent drug test to 100% ensure I’m safe and will not produce a false positive. The test is relatively inexpensive and if you’re like me, you want to leave no stone un-turned when it comes to your future. We can expect more regulation on products like CBD and that will likely mean a higher cost and maybe even more restriction within the endurance sports community. For now, we need to use the knowledge we have to make the most informed decision with our performance future. If CBD can help with chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, seizures or heck, anything else…I feel it’s safe enough for me to explore. Knowledge is the name of the game! Make sure your CBD product can handle FDA regulation and is focused on athletes. Azalla has that focus and they are constantly innovating! I can get behind a company who puts their money into research, quality and the high-performing athlete.
About the Author: Azalla Ambassador Nicholas Chase is a Professional Triathlete and USA Triathlon Certified Coach. As an athlete, Nicholas has completed dozens of 70.3 and full Ironman-distance events and often trains 30-40 hours per week in preparation for elite level competition. Most recently, Nicholas placed in the top 3 in the Pro Division at the 2019 Ironman Chattanooga. As a coach, Nicholas works with seasoned athletes on a highly individualized basis to prepare them mentally, physically, and emotionally for triathlon competitions worldwide.