CBD for Athletes

The use of cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is promoted by current and former professional athletes in many disciplines. Rapinoe, Megan. Lamar Odom Odom. Rob Gronkowski, are professional athletes, and they endorse CBD use. CBD is one of more than 100 distinct cannabinoids naturally occurring in cannabis plants. Although there is limited research on CBD, it does show promise to relieve a number of conditions correlated with athletic competition, such as joint pain, fatigue, and muscle soreness. CBD has many of the same potential benefits as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), however without the psychoactive effect.  Marijuana is a category one substance in the U.S., but a significant exception for CBD is created in the world of sports. The World Anti-Doping Agency dropped CBD from its list of banned substances in 2018 although all other compounds are still banned. US sports leagues and organizations are even banning CBD because it is illegal in the US as a product derived from marijuana. But despite the domestic ban, athletes are speaking out for CBD in the states. Rob Gronkowski, former tight-end New England Patriots, former Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Riley Cote, and retired NBA star Paul Pierce are all supporters of the CBD. Pierce even owns a CBD company. Whether you are a professional athlete, one who takes the sport seriously and devotes a great deal of time to it, or someone who dabbles in wellness, there are a few points to be learned. CBD is allowed in competition for those who must meet the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, standards. Yet CBD is the only permissible product in related activities. You may be excluded or face penalties if a CBD product contains any other cannabinoid–even in trace amounts.

CBD Oil for Athletes muscle recovery

CBD oil and various other forms of CBD products may in some ways, help athletes recover from a workout or injury. It can help reduce muscle soreness overall, help you to sleep much better at night, and target specific pain from sports injuries.

Treats muscle soreness and post-workout pain

If you work out, the tension you place on your body ultimately allows it to break down and then construct itself back up to be bigger and stronger than before. When that occurs, the immune system stimulates inflammatory mechanisms that help you deal with your workout trauma. Both muscle damage and inflammation combine to make the muscles feel tired and weak the day after you do the workout. CBD may be able to reduce some of those symptoms due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in inflammatory control, and numerous studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic inflammation induced by conditions such as arthritis, IBD and even Multiple Sclerosis.

Helps with the recovery of injury

One final way CBD can help athletes is through accelerating recovery from injuries. That’s because it will help reduce inflammation and pain, which is the characteristic of numerous activity accidents, according to fitness researchers. Best of all, CBD produces none of the side effects associated with prescription analgesics, or even anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, which can have devastating consequences when used regularly. That is why so many professional athletes are using CBD and cannabis to treat injuries. For example, Nate Diaz says CBD helps him relieve the pain and inflammation after a fight, as well as recover from injuries more quickly.

CBD works as a pain reliever for Athletes

Research suggests the CBD shows promise to help relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation, which could be helpful to intensive exercise athletes. While THC can also be used to treat pain, it can trigger undesirable side effects and can impact athletic performance. A 2004 study on laboratory rats suggests that THC may interfere with short-term memory, while CBD does not appear to be. And a World Health Organization 2018 report indicates that CBD does not appear to have the potential for misuse or dependence— unlike other pain-relieving substances, such as THC and opioids.

CBD and Anxiety

There is some evidence that CBD does have effects on anti-anxiety, but this is derived from mouse studies. The results suggest that CBD will reverse the linkages between THC and increased anxiety. Yet experts also advise caution about jumping to conclusions about the effects of CBD on clinical anxiety— especially for people who deal with anxiety or disorders of mental health such as depression. Scientists warned in a 2019 Mayo Clinic review that while CBD has been theorized as a way to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression, there is still little guidance on how to use it (or if it should be used at all) to treat these conditions.

CBD improves athletes sleep

Having more and more sleep is one of the most efficient ways for an individual to achieve greater improvements in fitness. Anecdotally, athletes who drink CBD experience greater ease of going to sleep and the feel of a more peaceful night. A possible reason for this could be that CBD prevents adenosine reuptake. When the brain uses glucose for energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breaks down, and adenosine slowly accumulates in the brain. The neuron-binding adenosine prevents the production of neurotransmitters, slows down brain activity, helps you feel calmer and sleep is induced.


The body metabolizes adenosine as you sleep, and sometime later, small adenosine concentrations make you wake up and the process begins again. CBD that inhibit adenosine reuptake by binding to the same receptors to which adenosine will attach, which helps to accumulate faster and makes you feel sleepy afterwards. For some users, CBD may also have a strong anti-anxiety impact which can help them get to sleep and have more restful sleep.


CBD assists improve physical rehabilitation and may be a great addition to your exercise and wellness routine. As an athlete your needs are different from anybody else. So that doesn’t mean that CBD will work in the same way with you.

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