The Use And Benefits of CBD Within The Sporting World
The biggest question you probably have right now is whether CBD is legal for athletes? It is. The
WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for athletes
back in 2018. Since then, some of the biggest names in sports have embraced CBD as part of their
training and recovery programs. Many others have openly supported using CBD to help improve
performance and reduce recovery times.
With the CBD industry in the UK set to be worth £1 billion by 2025, even sports teams have begun
collaborating for sponsorships with CBD companies. The UFC accepted cannabis sponsorships in
2019 and UFC fighter Alexey Oleynik was among the first athletes to be sponsored by a CBD
company. Birmingham City FC brokered a deal with a CBD company to allow them to sell CBD and
hemp-based drinks at their stadium. Everton FC came close in 2020 to having a CBD company as
their main shirt sponsor, and the great FC Barcelona almost sold the naming rights for their stadium,
the Nou Camp, to a CBD company. While the last two deals didn’t go through, it’s only a matter of
time before a similar one does.
With CBD companies coming out from the shade and athletes openly supporting the use of CBD to
help with their performance, we can hope to see it gaining prominence in the sporting world as time
goes by. But how does CBD help athletes? What are some of the reasons why athletes are using
CBD? In order to properly understand its varied benefits, we’ll look at four popular sports: rugby,
football, athletics, and MMA.
To call rugby a contact sport would be an understatement. It’s perhaps one of the most physically
intense sports in the world today. You don’t just have high-velocity collisions, you also get to see
bursts of pace and incredible agility from the competitors. That’s why it’s always been important to
find an efficient way to deal with soreness and speed up recovery. This is where CBD comes into the
There have been multiple studies conducted on the effects of CBD on rugby players and almost all
have shown improved recovery times and sleep quality. CBD also helped reduce the dependence on
painkillers. Recovering quicker, sleeping better, and being healthier overall will certainly help rugby
players sustain high-level performances over long periods and even prolong their careers.
While football might not be a high-contact sport, it demands a lot from players in terms of stamina.
Exerting muscles over a prolonged period of time comes with an entirely different set of problems
for athletes. Excessive inflammation is one of the biggest problems faced by most pro athletes. It
reduces performance and recovery. CBD has various anti-inflammatory components that help fight
this. It also reduces reliance on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen and
CBD can help with performance anxiety to a large extent. No matter how much you practice, on
match day, many athletes get the jitters and are anxious about putting in a good performance. This
anxiety can negatively hamper performance on the field. An easy way to block the anxiety out is with
some CBD. Research has shown it has a positive impact on psychomotor and cognitive function. It’s
also shown that it doesn’t have a negative impact on psychological or physical function.
Athletics is a group of sports that require tremendous levels of stamina and physical endurance.
These sports are all about pushing the human body to peak performance levels. This is something
that requires strong mental faculties. Having a clear mind and being able to focus is very important if
you want to compete at the highest possible level. CBD helps relax your mind so that you can do just
Apart from the benefits mentioned above like reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, and
relieving pain, one other benefit that CBD has which benefits athletes in particular is improved gut
health. Poor gut health is one of the main reasons why endurance dips for athletes and sometimes
they are even forced to exit competitions midway. While CBD is not going to help fight dehydration
or overheating in the stomach, it will definitely combat any type of inflammation in your intestines.
One of the best-kept secrets in MMA is that most damage and injuries happen to competitors during
training. Fighters can’t just step into the octagon once a month and inflict damage without training
every single day. Fighters must regularly deal with pain, concussions, soreness, inflammation, and
damaged ligaments. CBD can help address all these problems and more. One of the biggest benefits
for MMA fighters is how it aids in muscle recovery. CBD reduces inflammation and speeds up
recovery so that fighters can get back to training quicker. The more they train, the better they
CBD also helps MMA fighters cope with traumatic brain injuries. It doesn’t just help improve any
injuries already sustained but can also protect against traumatic injuries. It also helps protect against
the various side-effects of brain injuries like anxiety and depression. Traumatic brain injuries can
seriously hamper a fighter's ability to compete, not to mention impact their life outside the sport as
well. If CBD proves to be an effective way of dealing with such injuries, there is no reason all fighters
shouldn’t embrace it with open arms.
The use of CBD among athletes has increased in recent years. As more popular athletes like Nate
Diaz, Megan Rapinoe, Rob Gronkowski, and Mike Tyson become advocates for this compound, we’ll
only see adoption rates increase in the years to come. Whether using CBD in oils, tinctures, capsules,
vapes, or topicals, we can be certain it will become more commonplace in sports like MMA, rugby,
football, and athletics.
If you’re looking for an all-natural option for pain relief, dealing with anxiety or injury recovery,
perhaps you should try CBD.