Lately, CBD has been gaining attention in the sports world, nabbing features in major publications like Outside Magazine and Runner’s World. That’s to say that more and more athletes are curious about CBD’s potential to help them recover faster from hard workouts or ease the stress that comes with high-stakes games. This has stoked a conversation about CBD for athletes at all levels of competition.
In this article, we’re exploring how CBD and athletic performance might just make the perfect pair.
CBD & athletic performance
When it comes to sports and CBD, there haven’t been enough studies to make a no-doubt statement that CBD for athletes is beneficial for performance.
But in the studies that have been done, there are promising results for athletes who use CBD. Plus, there has been zero evidence that CBD could reduce performance or cause any type of harm. So, if you’re worried about CBD tanking your next marathon time or making you lose your next match, you can let that worry go.
On the flip side, there also hasn’t been clear-cut evidence that CBD enhances athletic ability directly. It’s no miracle supplement that’s going to turn you into an unbeatable machine. That is something only practice can do.
However, what CBD can do is pretty amazing for athletes:
- CBD has been known to suppress inflammation throughout the body, which means it can help overworked muscles recover faster.
- CBD has also been known to reduce pain, so it’s a natural alternative to NSAIDs (like aspirin or ibuprofen) for those with mild injuries or sore muscles.
- CBD may help with concussion symptoms after a particularly hard hit on the field (research is still ongoing).
- CBD’s calming properties can help athletes “come down” after a stressful or charged game, so that they can get some sleep.
- Similarly, CBD can help athletes cope with the pressures of competition, because it’s known to help alleviate anxiety and stress.
Is CBD for athletes allowed?
But there are some rules you should know:
Only cannabidiol is allowed in sports. If you didn’t know the technical term, cannabidiol = CBD.
So… great, CBD is allowed. What’s the problem?
Well, every other compound found in the Cannabis plant is still banned. That means that you have to be sure that your CBD doesn’t contain any other “tagalong” compounds from the Cannabis plant. It has to be 100% pure CBD.
The only way to know that you’re getting pure CBD is to use CBD isolate, not full-spectrum CBD. You’ll also want to only buy from companies that can provide third-party lab test results to prove that their product does not contain THC.
Athletes who use CBD
One of the reasons that CBD has become such a hot topic in the sports world is that several pro athletes (or retired athletes) have started vocally advocating for more athletes to use CBD.
Especially for sports where injuries are common (like contact sports), CBD has been a source of relief for these athletes. Men’s Health recently profiled several of the most prominent advocates for CBD for pro athletes. Their list includes Ryan VandenBussche, former NHL player, and David Ahrens, a former NFL linebacker.
Other notable athletes who use CBD are MMA fighter Nate Diaz and NFL player Derrick Morgan. Diaz uses CBD to combat inflammation in his muscles. Meanwhile, Morgan uses CBD to help with a brain condition he sustained after repeated blows to the head (an unfortunate hazard of pro football). These CBD athletes are blazing a trail for other athletes to explore methods outside of prescription pills to manage the impact sports can have on the body.
Soul CBD was founded by a pro athlete
Mike Lee, one of Soul CBD’s co-founders, is a professional boxer. So, he definitely knows something about the unique challenges faced by athletes–and how CBD is a much-needed part of the athlete’s wellness regimen.
Ultimately, since CBD is a safe natural supplement with a ton of potential applications, it’s ideal for both professional and just-for-fun athletes alike.