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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 5 min read

    How Can Runners Make Use of CBD To Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation?

    CBD is legal and useful for runners due to its anti-inflammatory properties suitable for joint pain and other receptors. However, only broad-spectrum and isolate are recommended for runners due to the absence of THC. This article explains whether runners can use CBD to reduce joint pains and inflammation.

    Athletics is one of the most highly embraced sports worldwide. Besides, running helps you maintain fitness and live healthy by cutting down on calories. Joint pain is a common experience in most athletes. The common reason for joint pain in athletes is accidents that cause injuries. Besides, young athletes experience joint pain due to patellofemoral pain syndrome. Athletes are also exposed to inflammation due to intense training, poor diet, lack of sleep and alcohol, and non-infectious causes directed to the respiratory systems. Joint pain and inflammation is an issue that requires agency, especially for athletes for them, to continue participating in the sport. It requires a long-term solution to address it once and for all. CBD has been noted to be effective.

    What is CBD, and Is it Legal?

    CBD oil is effective for various health conditions due to its health benefits. Cannabidiol (CBD) is obtained from an organic hemp plant or cannabis sativa. It is the most dominant element associated with multiple health benefits. CBD works alongside other useful elements from hemp, such as flavonoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and terpenes. CBD oil is either in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate. The difference in the types of CBD is from the elements available in every type; flavonoids, terpenes, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD).

    If you are an athlete, you must be worried about whether CBD can make you fail a drug test or not. CBD is an organic chemical compound obtained from hemp with various health benefits. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized it due to its multiple health benefits. However, since it comprises THC, it had to be regulated to minimize the intoxicating side effects that can make you fail a drug test. CBD oil is only legal if its THC levels are below 0.3%. Athletes should avoid marijuana-based CBD oil since its THC levels are over 10%, making them more intoxicating and making you fail a drug test. Besides, CBD is only legal in some states. Twelve states have restricted the use of cannabis-based products due to the intoxicating outcomes caused by THC.

    The Impact of Each Type of CBD on Athletes

    The first thing to consider while buying CBD products is the type; isolate, broad-spectrum and full spectrum. Each of the three has possible outcomes and effects on athletes as follows;

    Full Spectrum

    Full-spectrum CBD oil is considered one of the best options for athletes. Inflammation is triggered by various factors, including intense training and poor diet. For athletes, it lowers their performance and can break down during competitions. Inflammation is not only the reason athletes break down; joint pain is also common. According to McCartney et al. (2020), CBD can be used to reduce inflammation and joint pain in athletes. Full-spectrum CBD works best because it has various elements suitable for addressing various health issues. It offers an entourage effect, the ability of multiple chemical compounds to work together to offer more health benefits.

    However, the negative impact of full-spectrum CBD oil should also be considered. As the main element of full-spectrum, THC negatively and positively impacts athletes. According to Gallily et al. (2018), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) entails anti-inflammatory properties suitable for regulating inflammation in athletes. However, it remains an intoxicating element that can kick you out of competitions. According to Fattore et al. (2011), THC can make you "high" if taken in high potencies. Therefore, athletes should be keen on THC levels in full-spectrum CBD to avoid taking high potencies of marijuana-based.

    Broad Spectrum

    It is the most suitable type of CBD oil athletes can consider. It is manufactured using organic hemp extracts such as terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD. Unlike the full spectrum, it lacks THC making it a safer option for athletes. According to de Assis et al. (2021), broad-spectrum can be used for various pains, including neuropathic. Besides, terpenes and flavonoids are useful elements in broad-spectrum CBD oil for athletes. According to Sulsen Valeria et al. (2017), terpenes and flavonoids work synergically, thus reducing inflammation, making them useful in athletes.


    Isolate or pure CBD is also good for inflammation and joint pain athletes. It is only associated with CBD therapeutic benefits. It is considered pure since it is void of other elements from the hemp plant; terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabidiol. However, unlike the broad and full spectrum, athletes can't enjoy the entourage effect of pure CBD. Isolate CBD can be used to avoid being trapped in a drug test due to THC.

    Why CBD Topicals?

    If you are encountering muscle failure or joint pain, CBD topicals will work best. They are blended with other organic ingredients such as MCT oil and mint to improve their quality. Coconut (MCT) oil is suitable in CBD topicals for various purposes. It speeds up the performance of CBD topicals due to bioavailability properties speeding up absorption rate. MCT oil also has anti-inflammatory properties suitable for inflammatory regulations. Mint is also an effective element due to its cooling effect. Unlike MCT oil, mint is suitable for joint pain. Apply CBD topicals directly to the affected area for maximum effect.


    If you are an athlete interested in the health benefits of CBD, it is important to know the benefits and the risk factors. Before using any hemp-based product, THC levels should be among major individual concerns. Too much THC in one's body results in intoxicating side effects, which could get them "high," landing them in trouble of doping. Although full spectrum CBD has multiple health benefits improving a person's performance, little traces of THC can make an individual fail a drug test. Broad-spectrum CBD and isolate are highly recommended, although in considerable potencies. Too much CBD can also lead to dizziness or anxiety. For joint pain, CBD topicals will work best. Avoid marijuana-based CBD oil or topicals since they might land you in trouble of failing a drug test due to extreme THC levels.


    de Assis, P. M., Ferrarini, E. G., Baldasso, G. M., Paes, R. S., Gouvêa, M. C., Segundo, C. E. N., ... & Raposo, N. R. B. (2021). Broad-spectrum Cannabis oil alleviates behavioral symptoms associated with stress-related anxiety and depression in mice. Pharmaceutical Sciences, 28(2), 239-250.

    Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 5, 60.

    Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2018). The anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids from cannabis. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 282-290.

    McCartney, D., Benson, M. J., Desbrow, B., Irwin, C., Suraev, A., & McGregor, I. S. (2020). Cannabidiol and sports performance: a narrative review of relevant evidence and recommendations for future research. Sports Medicine-Open, 6(1), 1-18.

    Sülsen, V. P., Lizarraga, E., Mamadalieva, N. Z., & Lago, J. H. G. (2017). Potential of terpenoids and flavonoids from Asteraceae as an anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antiparasitic agents. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017.



    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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