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By Kaya Turner

CBD for optimal sports recovery

CBD was removed from the list of prohibited substances by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in 2017. Many athletes have since turned to this versatile compound for the array of benefits it can provide when it comes to recovery.

Recovery and performance go hand in hand. In order to achieve optimal performance in sports, training needs to be regular and efficient. And being unable to recover fast enough from vigorous training sessions will ultimately cause setbacks.

This blog post will take a closer look at 3 key aspects of recovery that CBD can help with.


Relief of inflammation 

Exercise causes micro-tears in the muscle tissue. Over time, this leads to muscle growth, which is more often than not the desired result for an athlete. However, when the muscle is temporarily torn it becomes inflamed and sore. This painful post-workout soreness is often referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

CBD is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When ingested, CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system that are involved in controlling inflammation, working to minimise the inflamed area and return the body to its natural state. There is also some evidence to suggest that CBD promotes the release of arachidonic acid, which plays a role in the repair of muscle tissue.

Taking CBD is one way for athletes to reduce the inflammation associated with DOMS. That way they are able to maintain rigorous and intense training regimes with little rest in between.


Improved sleep quality 

Sleep is a vital component of recovery. When we are asleep the body focuses much of its attention on healing injuries, repairing muscles and restoring energy levels for the following day. Without adequate sleep, our metabolism, stamina, and alertness suffer.

Hemp’s naturally occurring terpenes have a relaxing effect on the body, and when included in a broad-spectrum CBD oil these terpenes can be tailored to improve sleep by enhancing CBD’s calming qualities. CBD also interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain that regulate serotonin. Serotonin is a precursor for the sleep hormone melatonin, which controls our circadian rhythm.

Many athletes struggle to sleep due to immense pressure, travelling and pre-performance nerves. CBD can help to build up a restful and restorative sleeping pattern, making it a great asset to anyone’s nighttime routine.


Pain relief

As a result of pushing their bodies to immense physical limits, it is common for athletes to encounter painful injuries. Injuries can potentially prevent them from training, competing, and in extreme cases, ever being able to perform in their sport again!

One of cannabis’ most documented and oldest medical uses is for pain relief. Now, most athletes cannot use cannabis due to THC showing up on drug tests. Nonetheless, CBD can offer pain-relieving qualities of its own. Whether taken orally or applied topically, CBD has analgesic properties, capable of providing natural and safe pain relief. In fact, some experiments have shown CBD topical as an effective pain reliever in 98% of participants. This makes CBD a great alternative to addictive opiate-based pain killers which have all manner of unwanted side effects.

Aches and pains can impede training and overall performance. CBD can offer effective and natural pain relief for athletes looking to move past an injury.


In summary:

  • CBD helps reduce inflammation by speeding up post-workout recovery processes 

  • CBD interacts with receptors in the brain than regulate our sleep cycles 

  • CBD has analgesic qualities that provide natural pain relief 


Just like other dietary supplements, CBD can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. Athlete or not, CBD suits a variety of disciplines because its benefits are multifaceted. Whether you are a champion boxer like Mike Tyson or an Olympic gymnast such as Gabby Douglas many sports persons are now turning to CBD oils and topicals to nurture their recovery.