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A few years ago, it was punishable by law to handle cannabis-based products by athletes. People who violated these rules were disqualified from competing in any athletic activity since cannabis was regarded as a psychoactive substance.

This ban on cannabis products included all forms of cannabinoids until the official exclusion of CBD from the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2017. While describing the list of banned substances, WADA made it clear that “All natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited except for cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis, hashish, and marijuana are prohibited.  Products, including foods and drinks containing cannabinoids, are also prohibited. All synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of THC are prohibited.”

This approval by WADA made the use of CBD legal in sports and for athletes, and for the first time in the history of the Olympics, CBD was regarded as a legal substance that athletes in the 2020 Olympic Games can use.

What can CBD oil do for athletes?

The legalization of CBD oil for athletes came with many discoveries by exploring the numerous therapeutic benefits of the substance. Note that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors to modulate cognitive responses such as pain, anxiety, appetite, and mood. Some of the common benefits of using CBD in sports are listed below;

  • Pain relief:

CBD oil and pain relief is gradually becoming an inseparable duo. Several researchers have evaluated the analgesic activities of CBD to show how it can relieve pain during and after exercise. There are reports on how athletes have used CBD oil to manage muscle aches, older injuries, sore muscles, and more.

  • Sleep and relaxation:

CBD oil plays a critical role in triggering the release of feel-good hormones that calms anxiety and promotes sleep. They can interact with neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and melatonin receptors to promote relaxation. Note that sleep is important for athletes since it repairs and recharges the body and promotes hormonal balance.

  • Reduces nausea

CBD oil is good for digestive health. Research has shown how it can promote healthy living while boosting appetite. Note that blood flows are diverted from the stomach during intense workouts, thus leading to nausea. This effect can be corrected by the anti-emetic properties of CBD, which reduces the possible signs of nausea during and after workout sessions.

  • Anti-inflammatory agent

CBD interacts directly with the CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. These CB2 receptors are found in active circulation in the immune system and are responsible for modulating the activities of these cells. Recent research studies show that CBD can serve as an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that may reduce pre and post-exercise inflammation. This can help athletes to recover fast, avoid delayed muscle soreness and improve training outcomes.

  • Cardiovascular support:

CBD may possess some important properties that make it a good therapeutic agent against cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.

  • Anti-oxidant properties:

The accumulation of free radicals in the muscles can lead to muscle spasms. This causes pain and loss of function when not treated accordingly. Some scientists discovered that CBG, a cannabinoid in full-spectrum CBD products, has an anti-oxidant activity that is ten times more potent than Vitamin C.

  • Assists in muscle build-up

The anti-catabolic activities of CBD have been widely explored to reduce the breakdown of lean muscles tissues while helping to build more muscle mass. There are also reports on how CBD oil can decrease the number of catabolic hormones and regulate cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol is responsible for breaking down tissues to supply the body with blood sugar.

Famous Athletes that use CBD oil

  • Mike Tyson

Apart from being one of the most celebrated boxers in the world, Tyson is very vocal about CBD and its therapeutic potentials for athletes. Tyson has attested to using CBD oil during training as well as before and after fights to take care of his anxiety and trigger pain relief. He also owns a legal marijuana farm and a company for cannabis products.

  • Eddie Hall

Regarded as one of the most physically powerful men on earth in 2017, Eddie is a strong CBD enthusiast who is vocal about its numerous benefits for athletes.

  • Michael Phelps

Phelps attested to the pain-relieving properties of cannabis products. Based on his submission, smoking cannabis products served as a better pain killer than over-the-counter prescription drugs.


CBD is taking over every parastatal one step at a time. Let us know if you have any questions regarding the legal status of CBD in your industry. We will love to hear from you soon.

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