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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 6 min read

    How CBD Can Be Beneficial to Athletes for Optimal Performance

    CBD has garnered popularity in recent years due to its various therapeutic benefits. It relieves anxiety, pain, and inflammation and increases energy levels. Read on to learn more about CBD and how it enhances athletic performance.

    If you have never used CBD or any of its products, you probably know someone who has. CBD is gaining interest and acceptance in many fields, including beauty, health, and wellness; others are using it in their kitchen as well. Some of the individuals finding this product beneficial are athletes. It is no wonder there are increasing endorsements targeting the use of cannabidiol in sports. CBD has also been tipped to improve athletic performance. Various CBD products, such as gummies, capsules, and tinctures, effectively improve energy levels. As you navigate this article, keep in mind that there is limited research on CBD. Learn more about can you overdose on cbd?

    How CBD Boosts Performance in Athletes

    As an athlete, attaining optical performance involves a lot, from the quality of sleep you get and your appetite to tackling pain and inflammation you may experience during or post-workout. The good news is that CBD products can help you without leaving you high or addicted. These are some of the potential benefits of CBD that can help improve your performance in your sports;

    Enhance Sleep and Relaxation

    Every athlete requires ample time for relaxation and good quality sleep. These two are necessary for recovery; when you achieve this, you are set for greater performance the following day.

    Unfortunately, not everyone has the same sleep patterns. Some suffer from unhealthy cycles, while others struggle with getting a good night's sleep. According to Shannon et al. (2019), improved sleep is one specialty of CBD. You can use it to enhance the quality of sleep you get. Fortunately, you won't feel any drowsiness afterward. Therefore, why not give your body a treat? Use CBD to repair and recharge and avoid hormonal imbalance.

    Aids with Pain Relief

    Every athlete is familiar with the pain experienced after a strenuous workout session. Since you don't want it interfering with your performance, an organic compound with minimal side effects would be suitable.

    According to Eskander et al. (2020), pain relief is one of the most popular benefits attributed to CBD. Therefore, you can incorporate CBD in your post-workout regime to soothe your muscles and joints.

    Reduced Inflammation

    Your body has a natural way of responding to stress or injury; acute inflammation. However, chronic inflammation harms your health and can hinder your exercise performance.

    Peyravian et al. (2022) suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits that come in handy when you experience pre- or post-workout inflammation. According to recent studies, CBD may help reduce inflammation for faster recovery of sore muscles and enhance your overall performance.

    Therefore, the next time you want to suppress inflammation, why not take CBD?

    Reduced Nausea Occurrence

    CBD might be an amazing option if you suffer from nausea after intense workout sessions and are wondering how to address it. According to Grimison et al. (2020), CBD has anti-emetic properties that improve gastrointestinal health. Intense workouts breed diversion of blood flow from your stomach, resulting in nausea. You can take CBD during or after you perform your strenuous exercises and benefit from its anti-emetic effect.

    Improved Focus

    According to Burr et al. (2021), CBD increases energy levels by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and reducing anxiety. If you want to increase your focus when exercising, you can take CBD. Therefore, whether you are a long-distance runner, bodybuilder, or want to improve your endurance, you can try CBD.

    Controls Appetite

    Every athlete performing intense workouts requires a good calorie intake for optimal performance and recovery afterward. Unfortunately, others may not have a good appetite to accommodate enough calories. If you are such an individual, don't panic. You can take CBD products, e.g., CBD oil, to help stimulate your appetite.

    On the other hand, if you want to lose body fat efficiently, you can use CBD to suppress your appetite mildly.

    Is it Legal for Athletes?

    CBD is not legal in all states. Therefore, you must first confirm whether or not the state laws of your jurisdiction allow it. However, it is unclear to some athletes whether CBD is legal, especially due to its close association with marijuana. You don't want to consume any prohibited substance that interferes with your sport.

    Different organizations and leagues across the world organize and manage sports events. They have the power to prohibit certain substances, and any athletes who use contraband substances face the consequences. For instance, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency updated CBD as no part of the prohibited substances. Therefore, athletes can take it as it is legal and experience no sanction. However, this does not mean that all sports agencies take the same stand regarding THC.

    So, athletes should first check if the sports league or organization they are under prohibits THC or not. Luckily, CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD do not contain THC. Therefore, if you are afraid of testing positive for a drug test, you can opt for CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD products.

    Importantly, your source of CBD plays an important role in determining whether you will test positive for THC or not. If it is unreliable, the CBD may have contaminants or wrong labeling, which puts you at risk. Therefore, before any drug test, ensure you read the product label properly, research, and buy from a reputable brand with high-quality products. Furthermore, ensure the product has undergone intensive independent third-party testing.

    How to Get Started

    Knowing the potential benefits, you can get in your performance by using CBD, you may want to give it a shot. However, how do you get started? The following are some of the ways through which you can incorporate CBD into your workout regime:

    • CBD tinctures; are CBD oils with an alcohol base. They are administered sublingually using a dropper. Furthermore, they are quickly effective since they do not have to be gut-processed. There are different brands in the market with CBD tinctures you can purchase. However, always ensure it is a quality product.
    • CBD-infused products; different products in the market are infused with CBD, e.g., gummies and capsules. CBD gummies are a great way to snack your way after the exercise session. They are popular because they are delicious and easily customizable.
    • CBD oil; You can add CBD oil to your workout drinks. Alternatively, you can apply CBD oil topically. Get the product on your skin on the affected areas for relaxation, pain, ache relief, and reduced inflammation.


     The CBD boom is continually increasing, and its application in the health and wellness sector keeps soaring. It is a good option for athletes who want a more natural alternative to improve their sports performance. Some benefits they can get include reduced pain and inflammation, controlled appetite, and improved sleep quality. Notably, most sports organizations do not prohibit CBD. However, an athlete needs to check its legality first before consumption. CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD products are great for athletes. They offer various therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive properties since they lack THC. While purchasing CBD products, read the customer reviews. Furthermore, ensure the product has undergone thorough independent third-party testing.


    Burr, J. F., Cheung, C. P., Kasper, A. M., Gillham, S. H., & Close, G. L. (2021). Cannabis and athletic performance. Sports Medicine, 51(1), 75-87.

    Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag, 16(3), 215-8.

    Grimison, P., Mersiades, A., Kirby, A., Lintzeris, N., Morton, R., Haber, P., ... & Stockler, M. (2020). Oral THC: CBD cannabis extract for refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase II crossover trial. Annals of Oncology, 31(11), 1553-1560.

    Peyravian, N., Deo, S., Daunert, S., & Jimenez, J. J. (2022). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Acne. Journal of Inflammation Research, 15, 2795.

    Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal, 23.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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