What benefits does CBD have for high-performance athletes?

What benefits does CBD have for high-performance athletes?

CBD is in fashion and more so in the world of sports. This is due to the different studies that have been published on the properties of CBD. Today we already know the effects of CBD on high-performance athletes and the benefits they provide. Later in this article, we will discuss high-performance athletes using it and their testimonials. We will begin by defining the concepts and synergy between CBD and sport. _

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What benefits does CBD have for high-performance athletes?
  • What is CBD?
    • What are the benefits of CBD?
  • What is CBD used for in sports?
    • How can CBD be used?
  • Elite athletes who consume CBD
    • The legality of CBD in high-performance competitions

What is CBD?

Humans have used Cannabis for thousands of years. But it was in the 20th century that it began to be studiedIn 1964, Raphael Mechoulam isolated and synthesized CBD and THC’s structure. A moment in which they began to discover the properties and benefits of cannabinoids in the human body. The best-known cannabinoids are THC and CBDD.

Unlike THC, Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid (phyto=derived from plants) that does not get you high. This is how the World Health Organization collects it in its November 2019 report; they affirm that CCBD is not harmful to health or addictive. The WHO also recognizes that it has very promising medicinal and therapeutic effects since it has many benefits and properties, including its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, antibacterial and anxiolytic effects.

Topical use of CBD for muscle and joint inflammation is the most commonly recommended way to use CBD for localized pain.

What are the benefits of CBD?

CBDD has the following properties:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • antioxidant
  • anxiolytic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-nausea and antiemetic

It is used to treat diseases such as epilepsy, fibromyalgia or multiple Sclerosis.

Gerard Descarrega competing in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Gold medal winner in 400 meters.

What is CBD used for in sports?

Athletes have used CBD for quite some time to reduce recovery time. When a person practices sports, the body is subjected to great effort. The joints, the tendons or the muscles can suffer and cause small injuries. What determines how far an athlete can go is his recovery capacity. The sooner he recovers, the sooner he can return to training or competing. Athletes use CBDD for inflammation, chronic pain, nausea, and muscle relaxation…

CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors. To this day, exactly how it interacts is still unknown. Still, researchers have discovered that, although it does not bind directly, CBD influences CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them in a certain way that promotes the healthy function of our endocannabinoid system. and offers the properties of CBD at a global level (anxiolytic, antioxidant, antibacterial ) CBD also affects another cannabinoid receptor, the TRPV1 receptorresponsible for our body’s response to pain and inflammation. This is where its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties come from.

  • Analgesic properties : CBD attacks pain. It interacts with receptors and mediates pain signals so you stop feeling discomfort. This property greatly helps athletes with chronic pain, helping them suffer less in training. 
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: In recent years, many athletes have stopped using ibuprofen and have switched to CBD because it does not have so many side effects on the body. Muscle inflammations are very common among athletes.
  • Anti-nausea Properties: In high-intensity training, it is normal to suffer dizziness and nausea due to the great physical effort exerted by athletes in training and competitions. Some studies confirm the great effectiveness of CBD in suppressing the urge to vomit.
  • Antioxidant Properties: These properties help faster recovery because they directly affect fatigue and soreness. CBD can help you reduce soreness after physical exercise.

A curiosity: there is a highly studied aspect of the relationship between CBBD and an endocannabinoid. We are talking about Anandamide, a cannabinoid that our body produces naturally and interacts with CB1, CB2 and TRPV1 receptors.

Anandamide is responsible for the post-exercise rush, also known as the runner’s high. CCBD can slow down the breakdown of Anandamide and prolong feelings of happiness and relaxation.

Therefore, CBD helps reduce inflammation, reduce fatigue after a sports activity, reduce discomfort and nausea and achieve a faster recovery.

How can CBD be used?

There are several ways to use CBD. To treat chronic pain, the most common is inhaled through vaporization or sublingually using CBD oils. In the case of muscle pain, athletes are recommended to use recovery balms and CBD creams.

In Spain, it is only regulated for topical use; in other countries like the United States, they have infinite formulations to dispense, achieving greater control and precision of the effective doses for each user. 

Marvin Washington, a professional American football player, claims the benefits of CBD in sports.

Elite athletes who consume CBD

Many athletes have already openly acknowledged using CBD as part of their training, diet, and recovery strategy. Marvin Washington, the former NFL player, believes that it is time to consider the good therapeutic properties as a safe alternative to opioids :

“There must be an athlete cannabis movement, as there is strength in numbers, quite a few numbers. We can change the policy and have the four major leagues look at the entire cannabis plant as an alternative to opiates. Concussions and opioids are the two biggest issues facing the NFL regarding player health, and Cannabis can help both.”

It is also worth mentioning the cyclist Floyd Landis, champion of the Tour de France in 2006. Landis has been using CBD since his hip operation, where he received a prosthesis. Another cyclist and triathlete who uses CBD for muscle pain are Andrew Talansky, who also credited it with helping him sleep.

Eugene Monroe, an NFL player, has acknowledged that he supports CCBD for its beneficial effects on professional athletes. “The pain never goes away; my body is damaged,” Eugene Monroe conceded to the Washington Post last year. “I have to manage it somehow. Treating it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I am able to perform and be extremely efficient by learning how to use different formulations of Cannabis.” He actually has a web page dedicated to claiming the use of Cannabis in athletes.

Another of the most famous athletes using CBD is UFC star Nate Diaz. Diaz has spoken publicly about his CBD use and how it helps him before and after fights. “It helps me with the healing process and inflammation. So the best thing is to take it before and after fights and training because it improves your life,” Diaz said at a press conference last year after his fight against Conor McGregor. in the UFC.

The world of extreme sports was a pioneer in the use of these products. Some studies show that many board athletes (surf, snow, skate, ski, etc.) already use CBD to improve their performance. An example would be Ross Rebagliati, Olympic snowboarding champion or Billy Kemper, XXL surfing champion. Both use CBD to enhance their performance and to get faster muscle recovery. Billy Kemper confessed that he found CBD when looking for a natural product to help his mother with nausea and trouble sleeping. In this area of ​​extreme sports, there are countless cases of athletes who use this type of product; Mason Ho, Jaime O’Brien, Tony Hawk, Nathan Florence…

Outside of extreme sports, other athletes who use CBBD products, such as the well-known golfer Bubba Watson or the world soccer champion Megan Rapione.

The legality of CBD in high-performance competitions

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international organization founded by the International Olympic Committee. Among its main activities are scientific research and the education of the sports community, as well as the development of a “doping-free” sports world. Until January 1, 2018, any derivative of Cannabis has been prohibited, until the Agency World Anti-Doping Committee excluded CBD from the list of prohibited substances. So in 2021, CBD will be very present at the Tokyo Olympics due to its benefits for physical activity and health.

In recent years, many athletes have joined the wave of CBD as a natural remedy for chronic pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and nausea… The consumption of CCBD in sports is increasing rapidly day by day, as As research progresses, we will be able to discover new properties and applications of this cannabis derivative.

6 already proven benefits of taking CBD oil if you are an athlete


Over time, scientific studies have repeatedly shown that Cannabis is an effective method of reducing pain, including musculoskeletal pain from exercise and pain from stiff joints. More recently, CBD isolate has been shown to have the same effect. Many athletes already confirm that they feel significant relief from their pain after taking high-quality CBD oil.

In the case of injuries derived from sports, CCBD can also be used to relieve pain. Many CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system, are located in pain-regulating areas of our Central Nervous System. When pain hits, these receptors are activated incrementally and contribute to relief. In this way, you will be prepared and in shape for your next training or competition in a faster way.


CBD is very rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that it successfully treats various medical conditions such as anxiety, psychosis, mobility disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, and seizures. And the best part of all: CBD is not addictive.

In 2015, a pre-clinical study recommended using CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic, social anxiety disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scott Keatley, a registered dietitian and athletic trainer in New York City says, “People on long-term pain control regimens or who are on long-term antidepressant therapy know full well that medication loses its potency or effectiveness over time. Pass of the time. CBBD oil reduces precisely this loss of potency.”


Inflammation is good for athletes because it helps stimulate positive adaptations to their training. However, too much inflammation makes it difficult for the athlete to recover quickly and reduces his performance. CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory effect reduces cytokine production (cellular messengers). In other words, CBDD helps soften your immune system’s response after a hard workout.

When taken regularly, CBD oil provides systemic relief from inflammation. Some studies have shown that CBD can be 20 times more powerful than ibuprofen in reducing inflammation. This brings us to the next idea…


A few decades ago, taking ibuprofen was seen as a good way to get rid of inflammation, as long as the pills were non-steroidal and bought from legal pharmacies. However, recent studies have shown that these pills are not as safe as they seem now. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) appear to increase kidney damage risk for athletes exposed to long training sessions or intense competition. Furthermore, frequent and long-term use of this medication can increase the risk of heart attacks.

Recently, more and more athletes using CCBD report that they have significantly reduced or even eliminated their use of NSAIDs without any noticeable side effects.


Endurance athletes often show stomach upset in the large and small intestines. Many times this can lead to having to withdraw from competitions or events. Although CBD oil does not alleviate problems related to dehydration or excessive heat, it does calm stomach inflammation that can occur during or after exercise, due to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the colon.


 Sleep quality is a factor in improving sports results and general health. Until now, athletes who consume CBBD oil have found it much easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling more rested and with a much higher energy level.

The reason could be that CBD inhibits the reuptake of adenosine. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is broken down as the brain burns carbohydrates for energy, and adenosine gradually accumulates in the brain. A greater amount of adenosine binding to neurons inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, slowing down brain activity. Due to this, you will begin to feel calmer, and the feeling of sleep will appear. Your body metabolizes adenosine during sleep, and a little while later, the low concentrations of adenosine will help you wake up and start the process all over again.

CBD can inhibit adenosine reuptake by binding to the same receptors as adenosine, helping it accumulate faster and making you feel sleepy sooner.

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What benefits does CBD have for high-performance athletes?

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