Best CBD for Athletes in 2022
Athletes and CBD may sound counter-intuitive, but there’s actually more than meets the eye.
As it turns out, athletes can certainly get a boost from CBD that no other supplement can! That’s why getting the best CBD for athletes can make a big difference.
CBD, or cannabidiol is one of the identified cannabinoid compounds within the cannabis plant. It’s easy to confuse CBD with its neighbor, THC, the component that has psychoactive ingredients, but each has its own unique chemical structure and mechanism of action.
If you’re an athlete, then you should definitely check out how CBD can help you. We’ve come up with a list of the best CBD for athletes and figure out which one you should buy today.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Athletes
CBD is primarily used to bring about natural pain relief. Given that athletes punish their bodies each and every day to get better on their sport or discipline of choice, then it’s not hard to see where CBD fits in the overall picture.
CBD became a legal alternative because current pain management methods involve the use of pharmaceutical painkillers, NSAIDs and opioids which, when taken for a long time can be harmful and even deadly.
What’s more, there are about 8 million sports-related injuries recorded per year, and current models of treatment are obsolete. For this reason, athletes turn to natural sports therapy that can give them relief without any side effects.
How does CBD work? Easy. It binds to fatty acid protein and serotonin receptors and influences the athlete’s endocannabinoid system to release pain-killing hormones within the brain, thereby maintaining balance. It’s a useful component for those who are constantly under enormous physical stress and face possible injury as they work out or play sports.
1. Decreased Inflammation
Inflammation is a problem athletes will have to deal with as soon as they step off the court or after a gym session. All that strain put on an individual’s muscles and joints can lead to negative consequences and can prove to be detrimental to that individual’s performance.
The bottom line is, too much inflammation can be bad for you. CBD has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease your immune system’s response to the stresses of training. Recovery becomes much faster than usual and you’ll experience less pain, to boot. 
2. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Being an athlete can be stressful, all of the training and the pressure to win can stress athletes out and give them major anxiety which isn’t fun and can interfere with your game and even affect your performance.
Studies have shown that one of the biggest benefits of CBD is the stress and anxiety relief it gives you. For some people, one dose can take the edge off and have you feeling more relaxed. For others it takes time and some experimenting with the doses before you notice the benefits. 
3. Pain Management
‘No Pain, No Gain’ is a quote that has some truths, but too much pain can be detrimental to an athlete’s performance and ultimately, his or her well-being.
Opioids and NSAIDs have dangerous consequences when taken regularly and for prolonged periods of time, and other traditional pain management therapy are less effective.
The answer? CBD can give you long-term pain management solution with zero side effects. It can dial down pain levels when you’re experiencing inflammation, sore muscles and other kinds associated with hard physical training. It’s an excellent alternative to pain killers and is non-addictive.
4. Better Rest & Recovery
Rest and sleep is a huge part of an athlete’s regimen because it dictates how much training gain they can get. As such, the higher quality of sleep, the better. CBD has been found to provide a good night’s sleep as compared to those who didn’t take it. The reason? CBD replenishes the body’s adenosine levels, a chemical that’s responsible for making you feel drowsy. 
5. Suppressed Appetite
Contrary to popular belief, CBD does not give you ‘the munchies’, a state where you’re constantly hungry and can’t control eating. That characteristic actually describes someone who’s had THC, which is the psychoactive component in cannabis.
Cannabidiol does the exact opposite. It doesn’t get you high and gives you a feeling of satiety that lasts throughout the day. Whether you’re looking to lose extra fats, build up lean muscles or simply want to follow a diet to the tee, CBD supplements can help. 
6. Stronger Immune System
Everyone can benefit from having a stronger immune system. CBD doesn’t directly make it stronger, though- it normalizes bodily functions, e.g., sleep, recovery and energy so that your system is better-equipped to fight bacteria, viruses and diseases.
The wealth of antioxidants CBD gives is a welcome effect so your healthy cells last longer. The less sick days you get, the greater your sports performance and the better you’ll be overall. 
Is CBD Legal for Athletes?
Athletes and professionals will certainly want to know- is CBD legal in the world of sports? Moreover, will they get in trouble when they start taking CBD supplements?
To cut to the chase, the answer is yes, it is legal. According to WADA, or the World Anti-Doping Agency, it’s perfectly legal to consume CBD products, but only to a certain extent.
Keep in mind though, that other cannabinoids are still prohibited to use either in-competition or out-of-competition. Remember, CBD is just one of the hundred or so compounds in cannabis and is the only ingredient that’s allowed for athlete consumption. Everything else is illegal, and if you’re not careful you could get sanctioned for prohibited drug use.
Again, athletes are allowed to take CBD and only CBD if they want the benefits it can bring. You’ll have to do your homework to ensure that the supplement you’re taking only contains pure CBD and nothing else, especially THC.
THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that gets you high. All CBD products contain less than 0.3 percent THC which is why it is legal and you will NOT get high from it. The problem is CBD supplementation isn’t strongly regulated and there are a lot of companies doing it may not know exactly what they are doing or may be located overseas and they just do it as cheaply as possible. This means you could end up getting burned.
Bottom line, it is legal but you should be careful where you get it from. I would also check with your league rules before you start taking it.
Here is a link to what the US Anti Doping Agency has to say about CBD that could help as well.
The Best CBD For Athletes
If you are an athlete looking for CBD, these are the best ones on the market for athletes.
#1 CBD Shred
CBD Shred is the best athlete-geared CBD supplement we’ve ever tried. The fact that it’s made especially for athletes gives it that superb edge over all the other CBD competitors in this list!
CBD Shred works, whether you’re an aspiring boxer, MMA fighter, endurance athlete or bodybuilder. Everything we’ve said about the benefits of CBD is here, including reduced inflammation, faster workout recovery and better sleep. Plus, PFX Labs has added a few useful additions to their formula to round out its effects.
Aside from the pure CBD isolate, CBD Shred contains proven fat-burning ingredients such as Garcinia Cambogia and Green Tea. We love the fact that there are zero stimulants that could lead to unwanted jitters. You get a fast-acting formula and a solid, 1,200mg of pure hemp-derived isolate with no proprietary labels and dosages.
CBD Shred is also the only product we’d recommend for athletes who want to pass the anti-doping tests. There are virtually no psychoactive effects, and THC content is just at 0.1 percent, which is way below the controlled substance mark.
On their official website, ShredCBD claims they use CBD isolate which contains only cannabidiol and no other components. Furthermore, they’ve outlined that CBD can certainly help with the most important aspects of training and performance, e.g., Rest, Catabolic Hormones and Athletic Endurance. In a study, it was found that CBD helped reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn led to better athletic performance and muscle breakdown.
It’s made in the US and under GMP-certified labs and registered facilities. There are zero artificial additives, fillers and GMO products that could interfere with your fitness and athletic goals. What’s not to like?
If you’re looking for the best CBD for sports, gym and professional bodybuilding performance, this is it. The on-point formula, excellent dosage and no-nonsense approach to athletic supplementation are all great points. Plus, you get free delivery of ShredCBD sent straight to your doorstep if you’re in the US.
- Amazing collection of ingredients
- Great value for money
- CBD isolate is legal by WADA standards
- May interfere with other medication
#2 Functional Remedies EndoSport Hemp Oil
Next on our list of the best CBD for athletes, we have a full-spectrum hemp oil. Functional Remedies EndoSport Hemp Oil is a premium full-spectrum extract of hemp that’s combined with MCT oil from organic coconuts. The oil tincture serves as a supplement for sports people or those who’d like to try out the effects of CBD in their lives. In the ingredient label, you’ll see whole hemp extract, active phytonutrients and MCT oil under a proprietary method called ‘gentle lipid infusion’. It can be taken with a meal or placed under one’s tongue.
Functional Remedies is a Colorado-based company that controls the CBD creation process, from plant cultivation to product refinement. The company’s LipidTrans process involves the whole use of the hemp plant and its phytonutrients, bringing consumers to an ‘entourage effect’ that maximizes efficacy.
While we like what we’re seeing with EndoSport Hemp Oil, it does have a flaw- the proprietary blend. This means a lot of things; for one, overall purity may be compromised as the company could be adding fillers without the consumer’s knowledge, and two, this could probably compromise the WADA agreement that states athletes may only use CBD and nothing else. Realistically speaking, not a lot of people would risk their careers for an unproven product and components that could linger in the body for a long, long time.
- Contains MCT oils
- Can be taken a number of ways
- Proprietary blend
#3 Green Roads Muscle and Joint Heat Relief
Green Roads Muscle & Joint Heat Relief comes in 250 mg and 500 mg variant in the form of a thermotherapy roll-on product. It’s specially formulated to deliver essential botanicals and compounds to an athlete’s tired limbs after a particularly strenuous workout or game. The CBD product contains a few extra ingredients that are designed to provide pain relief and supplement the workings of cannabidiol.
Manufacturer Green Road claims that their hemp is derived from the best crops in the US. Moreover, each CBD heat balm is formulated with the guide of a licensed pharmacist and tested under lab conditions by third party sources, where the results are added in as QR codes on the labels.
Green Roads Muscle & Joint Heat Relief is in compliance with regulations such as the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the 2014 Agricultural Act and the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
Unfortunately, it’s more like a pain relief medication than a full-fledged CBD product for athletes, which doesn’t cut it for us.
- Great for joint and muscle relief
- Comes in 250 and 500 mg options
- Only covers one benefit of CBD
- Could present some allergies
#4 Green Gorilla Hemp & Olive Pure CBD Oil
Green Gorilla’s Hemp & Olive is their flagship product in the CBD industry. The Pure CBD Oil contains phytocannabinoid hemp extract, GG BioEnhanced Complex and extra virgin olive oil.
The dietary supplement measures CBD dosages in ‘pumps’ due to the liquid state of the product. 10mg is the daily dose limit, and the manufacturer says that their CBD is certified organic under USDA standards. More importantly, there’s zero THC or any psychoactive properties that could affect your daily physical sports performance.
We like the oil aspect of CBD as it can sometimes be better than taking capsules, but then again it has a few glaring disadvantages that put it down to the #4 spot. Green Gorilla Hemp & Olive Pure CBD Oil looks like it was made for recreational use and not for athletes.
- Comes in oil
- Good mix of CBD and organic ingredients
- Green Gorilla’s product range can be confusing
- Easy to go over the daily recommended dose
#5 Diamond CBD
Strictly speaking, Diamond CBD is a merchant that sells a wide range of CBD products, including gummies and vaping oil for enthusiasts. A quick look under the category ‘CBD Oils’ reveals a plethora of options, including THC-free, non-GMO, hemp oil, oral drops and tinctures. You could even go for flavored or unflavored ones.
Be careful when shopping on Diamond CBD as you wouldn’t want to get a product you won’t be able to use just because you didn’t read the label. Athletes will want to check and see if there are traces of THC or other cannabinoid components that could disqualify you from competing in tournaments and sporting events.
Diamond claims that their products are made in the US and that there’s less than .3 percent THC on all their items. In our opinion, there are just too many options and not one is designed to meet an athlete’s demands.
- Has several pure CBD options
- Responsive website
- Confusing layout
Remember, the choice you make will dictate just how much you’ll be getting out of your CBD product. If you want all the plusses of CBD that can supercharge your training and athletic performance, then choose a specially-formulated supplement that can get you there. Now you know the best CBD for athletes.
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.
The Best CBD Cream for Athletes and Avid Exercisers
If you’re an athlete you already know how much stress training puts on your body. That training stress has both benefits, such as better performance and adaptation, and drawbacks. The wear and tear of training over time does cause physical trauma, pain, and injuries.
There are over-the-counter and prescription methods for managing pain, but they can be dangerous or even deadly. Clearly opioid pain management is a non-starter, particularly for an athlete in the midst of a deadly epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. Even NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, when used chronically can be dangerous, causing issues with the liver and renal system, and increased risk of stroke.
No wonder so many athletes and generally active people have gone looking for safer pain relief and enhanced sports recovery—only to discover cannabidiol or CBD for athletes. The promise of reduced inflammation and non-addictive pain relief is enticing, but are CBD products right for you and your sport?
In this post, we’ll cover the use of CBD in sports, how CBD oil for athletes works, and recommend our favorite CBD products for athletes and people who work out.
Disclaimer: If you are a professional athlete or otherwise receive drug testing, realize that some CBD products have the potential to register on a drug test—however unlikely. Given the high stakes for someone in your position, this should probably be a factor in your shopping. We’ll discuss this issue and many more below. And remember, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with regulating products like these in the United States, there is a lot of poor quality stuff out there, so read labels carefully.
Spruce Topical CBD Cream
Shop Spruce Topical CBD Cream
Check out Spruce Topical CBD Cream and the rest of its line of CBD products.
We recommend Spruce products a lot—for good reason. The products work well, they are gentle on sensitive skin, they truly work for mood and pain, and Spruce the company is just easy to deal with. You can rely on them and their service, and for us that matters a lot.
Spruce sources all of their hemp from family-owned and operated Colorado and Kentucky farms known for sustainable, safe farming methods. This is how the brand lays its hands on some of the highest quality and potency and cannabis and hemp strains available for use in CBD products consistently.
The Spruce brand moonshine extraction technique is another truly unique feature of these products. After filtering and bottling, this method enables Spruce to produce the best blend of high-CBD hemp seed oil. There’s nothing but pure, full-plant CBD extract left once the moonshine is gone, and no aftertaste or side effects.
We also love the strength of this product. You’re getting a minimum of 1,000mg of CBD from this pain salve, and you know those are effects you’ll be feeling, even topically. And the additional ingredients are genuinely great for your skincare routine—no breakouts from this product.
Now, Spruce products are full-spectrum, meaning there are other cannabinoids in them, so for professional athletes subject to testing, this can potentially be a worry. See Spruce third-party testing results here, but basically you’ll confirm a high level of CBD, plus trace amounts of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA).
In terms of those terpenes that make cannabis smell so good and boost your mood, this pain salve is a winner, containing therapeutic levels of limonene, caryophyllene, linalool, and geraniol. This delivers the delicate, lightly floral yet spicy and fruity notes you get from this pain salve, plus their potential as pain relievers alongside the uplifting and relaxing benefits of these terpenes.
All in all, at $89 for a 1,000 mg tub or $169 for 2,000 mg, this is an excellent full-spectrum value, as well. Furthermore, as you can see from the results above, all Spruce CBD products are tested by an independent third party and free of harmful heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides.
Shipping from Spruce is free inside the US. After your first purchase, if you’re not happy, you can qualify for a full refund—of products that are unopened only.
Shop Extract Labs CBD Muscle Cream
Check out Extract Labs CBD Muscle Cream and the rest of its line of CBD products.
Extract Labs is another brand we trust. The brand of a combat veteran, founder and CEO Craig Henderson, Extract Labs has a real focus on wellness through CBD and on integrating CBD into an overall healthful lifestyle. Proof of this dedication is the discount veterans and other qualifying customers can get on orders—up to 50 percent off.
All Extract Labs products are lab-tested in-house, and you can also find proof of a cGMP (Certified Good Manufacturing Process). The products, including this muscle cream, are vegan certified and certified kosher.
The CBD Muscle Cream is ideal for chronic aches and pain and for post-workout recovery. Each tin contains an amazing 1500mg of full-spectrum CBD plus menthol and arnica for added pain relief. At $90, 1500mg of CBD is pretty amazing, and you can even get a bulk buy discount of 20 percent off if you buy 5 or more at once.
MedTerra CBD Topicals Pain Cream
Shop Joy MedTerra CBD Topicals pain cream
Check out MedTerra CBD Topicals pain cream and the rest of its line of CBD products.
Another well-respected CBD brand, MedTerra uses CO2 extraction to preserve beneficial terpenes and other hemp compounds. Based in Kentucky, MedTerra also sources hemp for all of its products from the best hemp in the USA, unlike so many other CBD producers that source their plant matter from Russia, China, and South Korea. As a member of the pilot program in industrial hemp out of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, MedTerra lives in an American hot spot for quality and adheres to strict guidelines.
MedTerra’s Rapid Cooling Cream blends the power of CBD extract plus other organic botanicals to promote joint support in particular as well as general pain relief. This topical cream provides an amazing cooling sensation on contact with menthol and arnica that lasts for hours. Aloe leaf juice, sunflower seed oil, and other high-grade organic ingredients also provide skin soothing and softening relief.
For people working out hard, we like the 750 mg of CBD in a 3.4 fl.oz. bottle, but you can also get 250 mg in that same size. (The roll-on option is only available in the 250mg, 2oz size.)
MedTerra is just about the safest CBD topical option for athletes, too, because it is made with 99.6 percent pure CBD isolate. This means it is free of all other cannabinoids, keeping you in the safety zone for testing and THC-free for certain.
Look for actual 5-star product reviews from verified customers on the MedTerra website. You’ll see that lots of people working out and playing use MedTerra CBD Rapid Cooling Cream to treat muscle and joint pain in knees, elbows, hips, the lower back, and everywhere else with great success.
This is our pick for a CBD isolate based topical.
Is CBD for Athletes Legal?
There are two different issues here. Legality inside the world of sports, and legality outside sports. The main question is usually directed at sports, and the answer is yes.
In 2018, both the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) altered the list of prohibited substances to remove CBD. This applies in and out of competition. The 2020 WADA Prohibited List is here. The USADA also clarified the rules with a Marijuana FAQ page.
However, ONLY CBD is allowed. The specific wording prohibits all natural and synthetic cannabinoids in cannabis and cannabis products, including anything that masks the effects of THC, except cannabidiol or CBD. This means that any other cannabinoids on a sensitive test can be a problem for a competitive athlete.
WADA also aims to capture not casual use outside competition, but event-day, in-competition consumption and use. It does this by setting a THC threshold of 150 nanograms per milliliter for urine, ten times more lenient than the previous limit.
As for the legality of CBD, THC, or anything else cannabis related outside of sports, as you’ve probably already seen, that varies widely. There are now 15 recreational cannabis states plus Washington DC, and 20 additional states with medical marijuana programs. How each of these laws impacts CBD use can vary slightly. The legality of cannabis at the federal, state, and local levels is constantly evolving, so always check local laws before consuming, and certainly before traveling.
So as an athlete CBD may be legal for you, but what can it do for you? Why should you use it?
Research indicates that CBD cream has many promising benefits that could help athletes and active people more generally, which we’ll cover in depth below. And unlike THC, which shares many of the same benefits, CBD does not cause unwanted, performance affecting side effects. Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization WHO, CBD does not have the potential for dependence or misuse that pain-relieving substances such as opioids have.
Many people refer to CBD as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC. However, since CBD does technically bind with the same CB1 receptors in the brain as THC does to do things like boost the mood or relax you, this is a little misleading. The difference is how CBD works with the receptors, and the bottom line is that it produces no effects that make users feel “high.”
Cannabinoids actually exist in the human body already by nature. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) includes those CB1 receptors along with CB2 receptors and other components. Together, the ECS regulates neuronal activity and helps the body achieve homeostasis or balance.
The human nervous system produces two endocannabinoids, 2-AG and EAE, downstream within postsynaptic neurons for release into the synapse. These endocannabinoids bind upstream on the presynaptic neuron to CB1 and CB2 receptors to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters. For example, CBD may reduce seizure activity by reducing the buildup of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, making it useful in the treatment of epilepsy.
CB1 receptors are located throughout the central nervous system, including the spinal cord, brain, and other tissues. CB2 receptors are more prominent in the tissues of the immune system. For these reasons, CBD that binds with CB1 receptors affects the CNS more, while CBD that binds with the CB2 receptors is more useful in treating inflammation and related issues.
The endocannabinoid system has as its primary task the goal of peeing neurotransmitter levels in check to maintain homeostasis, but at times the ECS remains out of balance. Using CBD products is a way of increasing the activity of or supplementing the body’s existing ECS.
For athletes, the need for homeostasis is crystal clear, and the amount of stress on the body from training makes achieving it a challenge. More inflammation and pain from stress can mean an overwhelmed ECS. This is why so many athletes are turning to exogenous CBD products to maintain homeostasis and get an overworked system of neurotransmitters back under control.
Benefits of CBD for Athletes
With CBD legal for athletes, you may be wondering: why bother? There are extensive benefits that can come from supplemental CBD use. Here are some of them, with the supporting research.
Relieve Pain. Cannabis and CBD in particular are effective for treating pain, including stiff joints and musculoskeletal caused or worsened by exercise.
Alternative to NSAIDs. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are in common use for athletes, but using them over the long term can be dangerous. Even for people with short, measured workouts, frequent and/or long-term NSAID use can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, there is no proven risk of death or serious injury from cannabis use.
Alternative to Opioids. Similarly, according to the CDC, opioids were involved in over 46,800 deaths in the US in 2018. Opioid pain medications such as codeine, morphine, and oxycontin are effective for managing pain, but carry significant risks. Cannabinoids are effective for long-term pain management and do not carry those same risks.
Reduce Inflammation. Excessive inflammation hurts athletic performance and hinders recovery. The CB2 receptors in the immune tissues bind with cannabinoids to reduce cytokine production and create an anti-inflammatory effect. This allows the body to recover from tough training more readily.
Strengthens the Immune System. CBD can help the body resist infections and stress, because it is immune suppressive and promotes cell regulation.
Recover More Quickly. As an athlete you’ve probably tried everything under the sun to recover from an injury, or just the stress of normal training. Overexertion can unquestionably hurt the body, sometimes permanently. But CBD is also rich in antioxidants that help repair damage to the body and reduce recovery time.
Settle the Gut, Protect Against GI Damage. Research shows that CBD can protect against the gastrointestinal (GI) damage that can cause so much discomfort in athletes in the form of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Hard training can reduce delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the GI tract, but CBD can reduce the underlying inflammation and resulting tissue damage in the intestine.
Bone Health. Research also indicates that CBD may help heal fractures by supporting healthy bone deposition.
Increases Endurance And Fitness. Achieving balance in the ECS improves overall performance.
Increases Muscle Gain. Experts have shown that use of traditional anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs can actually compromise muscle strength and adaptation. CBD does not have those side effects and also speeds muscle recovery.
Improve Sleep Quality. Athletes require great sleep to recover, and CBD is a proven sleep aid. By inhibiting the reuptake of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which the brain produces as it breaks down carbohydrates for energy, CBD helps the main feel calmer and slows brain activity. This is because more adenosine inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, instead binding itself with neurons and inducing sleep. During sleep, the body metabolizes adenosine, and low concentrations of it motivate the body to awake and start the process again. (And of course less pain also means better sleep.)
Manage Stress and Anxiety. Speaking of a decent night’s sleep, too much stress and a bad mindset can be an athlete’s worst enemy. The stress of training is high, and failure is always possible. However, CBD works with the brain’s receptors to help regulate emotions such as fear and anxiety.
Weight Management. CBD helps convert white fat cells into brown fat cells, helping manage weight.
Neuroprotective Qualities Protect Against Brain Injury. CBD has neuroprotective properties that can counteract harm after sports-related injuries in contact sports.
How to Use CBD Oil for Athletes
How to use CBD as an athlete is partly a matter of preference, but there are some things to keep in mind. It is possible to consume CBD as a tincture under the tongue, or orally as an oil or edible, or as softgels or capsules. You can also consume CBD infused into recovery drinks, sports drinks, coffees, and other products. And of course there are many topical CBD products to try.
The onset of CBD’s benefits is impacted by how you consume it. Oils, capsules, softgels, drinks, and edibles have to get through the digestive system, so it can take longer to feel relief. Sublingual drops/tinctures are the most rapid route to benefits, other than smoking or vaping—and it probably goes without saying that neither of those options is ideal for athletes.
Our advice for athletes who want to try CBD is this. For those just looking to try the general benefits and help prevent chronic medical conditions, try the sublingual tincture, or pair it with a topical, especially when you’re feeling acute pain or an injury. Sublingual drops mean higher bioavailability and a resulting lower dose, plus faster onset without irritation to the lungs. A regular routine with CBD tinctures plus topicals is a great option.
Nighttime use is often a good time to try edibles or capsules, if you want to switch up your routine. This is because the longer lasting benefits help support better sleep, and the slower onset can be more part of an evening routine.
And of course, we love CBD topicals for athletes and people who work out because thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties which are also found in topicals, you can get immediate, targeted relief from things like muscle soreness where you’re having pain. The other ingredients of the best products have additional skin nourishing and pain soothing qualities, and you bypass the GI system entirely, so it’s just an ideal delivery method for anyone in training.
As we mentioned elsewhere, remember that CBD is available as “full-spectrum,” “broad-spectrum,” or “isolate”. Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products contain not just CBD, but other cannabis compounds and cannabinoids. In the case of full-spectrum products this can include trace amounts of THC, but in any case, for drug testing athletes, only CBD is permissible.
For CBD products derived from industrial hemp, legally speaking the THC content of the original plant was less than .3 percent. However, CBD isolate should only contain CBD, and make a better choice for athletes from an anti-doping standpoint.
In terms of how much CBD to use, this is widely variant and tricky until you experiment and find out the right amount for yourself. There is no standard adult dose of CBD that produces the same effects across the board in humans.
This is even more complicated depending on how you consume your CBD, since it can be more or less difficult to dose precisely when consuming edibles like gummies versus oils, or vaping versus using topicals. Most CBD producers recommend this tactic, and so do we: start with a low dose and increase it gradually based on the benefits you experience.
The cannabis plant and CBD can be an important tool for athletes, offering relief from both chronic and occasional pain, and improved recovery from training stress. As an athlete, too, just as you can tell when a new energy product, workout, or technique is helping you, you’re likely to notice the effects of CBD when you try these products.
The risk for athletes, given the importance of health and performance, is getting high-quality products. These reputable brands can deliver the benefits of CBD for athletes and really anyone who is active and works out a lot. They provide anti-inflammatory and pain relief without the same risks as other methods, naturally.