CBD benefits for athletes

Athletes, both amateur and professional, face a lot of stress on their bodies to maximize strength, endurance, and performance. Intensive training and competitions apparently cause pain, sore muscles, stiffness, chronic fatigue, and anxiety. Athletes are always looking for safer supplements that assist in faster recovery.

Hemp-derived CBD benefits are being studied and showing that they may potentially enhance their recovery without bringing any harm like pharmaceutical medicines. CBD products are used as supplements for health benefits.

Undoubtedly, the important event of the last year in this area was the approval of CBD for athletes by WADA1. This approval is good news for those who have chosen sports as a way of life.

Today many famous athletes confirm consuming hemp and play as CBD advocates. Some of them are Chelsey Korus (yoga), Michele Waterson and Yair Rodriguez (mixed martial arts), Gordon Ryan (grappling), Leonard Marshall, James Haskell (MMA & Rugby), Ben Franks (Rugby) and Derrick Morgan (football).

The experience of these professionals shows that CBD may be useful in supporting sportspeople. Some interesting research to follow is listed below:

Oxidative Stress

Many athletes are seen talking about muscle recovery. Traditionally popping anti-inflammatories however news studies are showing a promising future with CBD. CBD may reduce oxidative stress that is caused by excessive physical activity. If not managed, oxidative stress can bring a number of health problems, suppress performance, and retard recovery2.

Sore Muscles

We all know the feeling of soremuscles either from intense training or from to long of a break. That’s just the systems response to healing and rebuilding muscle tissue. CBD may reduces soreness caused by intense training2. This means faster recovery after intense training sessions, and better results over the time.

Body Aches

CBD may help with muscular aches caused due to physical training. In case of serious injury, CBD is a safer alternative to opioids, as opioids may lead to addiction and even death by overdose3.


CBD components are used to stimulate better sleep4. Lack of sleep makes an athlete feel exhausted. Also, bad sleep negatively affects performance and hinders focusing. CBD helps to improve sleep quality at night and promotes wakefulness in the day.


CBD is known as a mood booster. It interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system and influences neurons5. As a result, it reduces stress levels, helps an athlete to relax, and provides an optimal mood.


Many athletes may face extreme fatigue that is often associated with intensive training. CBD may help to fight fatigue and feel energized. CBD compounds demonstrate pharmacological properties similar to a wake-inducing drugs6, and it prevents the user from feeling sluggish or slow.

Gut Issues

Athletes often face intestinal discomfort as it lowers the endurance. Obviously, it worsens the results during competitions. CBD is a natural ingredient that may lower the inflammation in the stomach and reduce unwanted symptoms.


There are many ways to use CBD if you are an athlete. You can choose among capsules, oil, or pills. Also, you can inhale in or take with sports drinks. Besides, topical CBD lotions and gels are comfortable to use when injured. So, CBD offers excellent potential benefits with potentially fewer risks for athletes. It is a natural product to support and maintain the physical and mental state. It will be very interesting to watch this space as new studies and trial come out. The potential benefits could be a game changer not only in the world of sports but on a mass scale.




  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) Hemp Oil: WADA Approved Eligible for Amateur and Professional Athletes. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cannabidiol-cbd-hemp-oil-wada-130000603.html. Accessed November 11, 2019.
  2. Booz GW. Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress. Free Radic Biol Med. 2011;51(5):1054-1061. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.01.007
  3. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245-259.
  4. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
  5. Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  6. Murillo-Rodríguez E, Sarro-Ramírez A, Sánchez D, et al. Potential Effects of Cannabidiol as a Wake-Promoting Agent. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2014;12(3):269-272. doi:10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805



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