Is CBD Good for Athletes?


By now, we’ve all heard of CBD. It comes as an oil, cream, and a few other ways. But while we hear about CBD for pain management, I’ve also wondered is CBD good for athletes?

Here’s what I know from taking it:

CBD is an outstanding addition to an athlete’s nutritional and pain management systems. Broad-spectrum CBD oil can be taken daily, while CBD energy shots can give a natural boost of energy. But CBD creams are outstanding for muscle aches and joint pain.

But that’s just a quick overview.

The reality is that CBD has MANY uses, and people are discovering more and more reasons to take it every day. The stigma is wearing off, and people’s understanding that CBD and THC are two very different things.

Let’s explore!

Do athletes take CBD?

Athletes do use CBD for its ability to help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is nonpsychoactive. So there are no unwanted side-effects. No high, and no possibility of failing a drug test.

So CBD is great not only for athletes, but martial artists, or anyone living an active lifestyle.

While any form of CBD would benefit athletes, the best way to soothe aching muscles is to use a broad spectrum CBD cream. Unlike oils you would ingest, the cream goes to work instantly as an arctic cold cooling rub. The cream helps soothe and relieve aching muscles and joint pain.

My mother suffers from peripheral neuropathy, and a recent study by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology found that those who used CBD for 4 weeks saw significant improvements with:

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Feeling cold in the extremities

By comparison, those in the study who were part of the placebo group saw virtually no improvement.

How much CBD do athletes need?

Athletes typically take between 2 and 5 droppers full of CBD oil. Because CBD oil is not regulated and is available in so many different forms, it can be hard to say with precision how much is appropriate for different people.

So my suggestion if you are starting a CBD regime is to start small.

Also, always consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or taking on a new type of supplement. Only your doctor can give you the full list of benefits and possible interactions with any prescription drugs you may be taking.

But pain management isn’t the only reason athletes take CBD.

They also love CBD energy shots for a quick burst of natural, non-jittery energy right before a big game or performance. Unlike chemical-laden energy drinks, sugary drinks, or caffeine, CBD energy shots don’t make you feel wired or artificially energetic.

Just natural energy for you to perform your best.

Is CBD banned for athletes?

CBD was made legal for athletes in 2018. At that time, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took CBD off the list of prohibited substances, both in or outside of competition.

It’s important to note, however, that this just applies to CBD.

THC, the active component that makes marijuana have its intoxicating effect, is still banned. And because of that, it is important to make sure the CBD you buy doesn’t contain more than .3% TCH. Anything over that and could be classified as a felony drug.

Ironically, while marijuana does contain CBD alongside THC, the hemp plant, which is a close cousin contains a much greater concentration of CBD. So for that reason, most CBD products you’ll see are made from hemp and not marijuana.

So broad spectrum CBD oil is what you want to look for in a quality CBD product.

Final thoughts

In this article, we took an in-depth look at CBD and how athletes might use it.

We explored not only pain management, but also muscle recovery, and how CBD might fit into an overall active lifestyle. But we also answered the question of whether CBD is banned for professional athletes.

But for most of us, there’s a whole host of ways that CBD can benefit us.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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