provided by Axton

From local gyms, to world class training facilities, CBD is a topic being discussed among many athletes. As of lately, CBD has sparked interest for its potential to aid in recovery from intense workouts as well as managing stress in high pressure competition.

Before we explore how CBD and athletic performance may go hand in hand, you may be wondering what exactly CBD is.

What is CBD?

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is one of over one hundred known naturally occurring compounds found in the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) that interacts with a series of receptors in the body known as the endocannabinoid system.

While marijuana strains tend to be THC-rich (the cannabinoid responsible for inducing the “high” that cannabis is most known for), Hemp produces CBD-rich strains with only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).

While most people agree THC has notable therapeutic applications, not everyone has access to medical marijuana. Additionally, not everyone wants to experience the mind-altering effects that result from consuming it. This is why Cannabidiol (CBD) is an attractive option for many people. Furthermore, it’s now federally legal to consume CBD without fear of legal repercussions.

CBD & Athletic Performance

Since CBD is still a relatively new product to hit the shelves near you, there haven’t been enough studies conducted to make a clear-cut statement that CBD is beneficial for athletic performance.

However, in recent studies that have been done, there are promising results for athletes who consume CBD. In addition, no evidence has been found that CBD could potentially reduce performance or cause any type of harm.

CBD has been found to:

  • Some studies point to CBD’s ability to suppress inflammation throughout the body, which may aid with recovery after exercise.
  • With the calming effects associated with CBD, it may aid with relaxing after long, stressful games.
  • Additionally, CBD’s Ability to help alleviate anxiety and stress comes in handy before a high pressure game.
  • As an alternative to NSAID’s, CBD has been known to reduce pain for those with mild injuries or muscle soreness.

Is CBD Prohibited For Athletes?

While it’s wise to always check the rules and regulations within specific athletic organization, CBD is currently permitted by both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). This strictly pertains to pure CBD consumption, such as a CBD isolate as opposed to full spectrum CBD.

Athletes Who Consume CBD

Thanks to many professional (or retired) athletes recently advocating and vocalizing their personal use of CBD, it has become a hot topic in many locker rooms. Especially within contact sports where injuries are common, CBD has been a source of relief for many of these athletes. To name a few, Mike Tyson, Jake Plummer, Nate Diaz, Eugene Monroe, and many others have endorsed or use CBD.


The emergence of CBD could mark a major turning point in how professional and amateur athletes recover from training and manage both occasional and chronic pain. With what we know at this point, CBD offers a good amount of potential benefits with few risks. If CBD improves recovery as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory then it has great potential to improve athletic performance.