In recent years, a wide range of CBD products have been developed for use in sporting activity. They have been very well received due to their many benefits, which can help to improve certain aspects when it comes to playing sport, such as recovery or reducing inflammation.
Just a decade ago there was no expectation that CBD could have uses for sport, but the positive response it has received in this regard is proof of its beneficial properties. In 2018, with many professional athletes using it for its benefits, it was removed from the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
As we mentioned above, the consumption of CBD among athletes has increased in recent years due to the many benefits it provides. Sport puts our bodies under great strain. As a result, muscles and joints suffer, and can become slightly inflamed or sore after exercise.
CBD, thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, is ideal to help reduce these symptoms that result from long sessions of intense physical activity. CBD balms for athletes can help to reduce inflammation and soothe muscles and joints, as well as reduce the soreness caused by aches and pains.
Moreover, thanks to its anxiolytic properties, CBD is ideal for cooling down after sport. With physical exercise, our body not only generates mood-boosting substances such as endorphins, but also others that keep us alert and active, such as adrenaline. CBD, due to its relaxing properties, can help us to cool down and rest better, which is essential for a good performance.
Also, thanks to its antioxidant properties, CBD can help reduce the impact that sport can have on the body. By fighting free radicals, it helps to reduce physical wear and tear.
For these reasons, many athletes take CBD oil before or after working out, as it can help them suffer less fatigue and rest better.
There is very little scientific research on the benefits of CBD in sport. However, a review of several studies, published in 2021, suggests that CBD has the potential to be used as part of recovery strategies for fatigue and muscle damage caused by playing sport¹.
Properties of CBD that can help in sports activities
Thanks to more extensive research on the effects of CBD, science is getting closer to determining if CBD has benefits for pain, inflammation and relaxation.
As mentioned, in the study by Rojas-Valverde, D. from 2021¹, it is found that CBD may have the following potential properties:
Analgesia: CBD is an all-natural compound that can have pain-relieving properties. As intense sessions of physical activity often cause pain in muscles and joints, CBD might be able to help to reduce pain.
Anti-inflammatory capacity: This pain from physical activity is usually due to the inflammation of muscles and joints. CBD has the potential to help reduce this inflammation thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It therefore could treat not only the pain, but also its root cause.
Relaxing and antioxidant: CBD is being studied to see if it can have relaxing and antioxidant properties. Both of these things are good for playing sports. Being more relaxed contributes to better sleep, which helps you perform better. CBD, could help us to cool down, while its antioxidant properties could also help to reduce physical wear and tear.
How to take CBD for sporting activity
As explained in our CBD Consumption Guide, you can take this cannabinoid in a variety of ways. If you’re just starting out in the world of CBD, the best thing is to try several methods until you find the one that best suits your specific situation and needs.
However, we must bear in mind that not all forms of consumption are legal in all countries. On our page dedicated to CBD legislation, you can find more information on the subject.
There are certain countries such as Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy, for example, where the legal framework allows CBD to be administered sublingually, orally, or by smoking or inhaling it.
The Tree CBD is a Spanish company, so we’re obliged to inform you that most of these forms of consumption aren’t legally permitted in Europe. In this regard, we list below all the forms of consumption that can help when playing sports, specifying whether or not they’re legal in Europe.
Creams with CBD for athletes
Among the many properties of CBD, its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are worth highlighting. These can be used in topical applications so that CBD can directly target the source of pain.
This is the main reason why CBD is used in the formulation of creams to relieve pain and inflammation. Applying CBD to inflamed and/or sore muscles and joints can help to soothe them after any sporting activity.
For topical application, creams containing CBD are ideal. Simply apply a small amount to clean skin and rub it in until the product is fully absorbed.
In terms of how often you need to apply it, two to three times a day would be sufficient. However, if you feel that you need to apply it more often, you can increase the number of applications depending on your needs. This consumption method is completely legal in Europe.
CBD oil for athletes
CBD oil is another product commonly used by athletes. Whether taken sublingually or orally, CBD oil helps you to relax and cool down after a session of sporting activity. Both forms of consumption aren’t legal in Europe, but very common in those countries where they are permitted.
As there are several types of CBD oil, professional athletes who undergo regular drug testing will have to opt for a THC-free oil. In other words, full-spectrum oils aren’t a good choice for professional athletes. In these cases, a broad-spectrum oil or CBD-only oil would be a better choice.
Lastly, we remind you that CBD products aren’t intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or curing of any disease. If you suffer from pain, anxiety, or insomnia for long periods of time, it would be wise and advisable to consult a medical professional. You should consult a medical specialist on a case-by-case basis.
Rojas-Valverde, D. (2021). Potential role of cannabidiol (CBD) on sport recovery: A narrative review. Frontiers in Physiology, 1210.
Frequently asked questions about the benefits of CBD for athletes
CBD doesn’t directly enhance sporting performance, as it’s not a doping substance. However, as a substance that can help treat discomfort after an intense workout, it can indirectly improve performance.
As it can help soothe sore muscles and joints, and it contributes to better workouts, with less discomfort. Also, because it can help you relax, it contributes to better rest. As a result, you may notice an improvement in sporting performance.
Many top athletes use CBD to treat discomfort after long and hard sessions.
World famous skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is one of the athletes who use and recommend CBD. Likewise, Eugene Monroe, a former American football player who competed in the NFL also uses and promotes CBD.
In Spain, figures such as Aritz Aranburu, who is a professional surfer, or Gemma Corbera, a mountain bike rider, also use CBD, among many others.