Can athletes use CBD products?

Jul 11, 2024

Can athletes use CBD products?


CBD (cannabidiol)products are allowed in many countries and organizations, but the specific situation depends on the relevant laws and regulations and the rules of the sports organization.


Laws and Regulations

National regulations: Different countries have different legal regulations on CBD products. In some countries, CBD is completely legal, while in others it may be strictly restricted.

International regulations: Internationally, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its banned list, which means that the use of CBD in international competitions is allowed.

Sports Organization Regulations

WADA: Although CBD has been removed from the banned list, other cannabis-related ingredients (such as THC) are still prohibited. Athletes need to ensure that their products do not contain THC when using CBD products.

Specific sports leagues: Some sports leagues or organizations may have their own unique regulations. Athletes should check the specific regulations of their league or organization before using any supplements or medications.

Current Status and Usefulness of CBD Use by Athletes

Current Status of CBD Use by Athletes

1. Popularity

In recent years, more and more athletes have begun to use CBD products to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and improve sleep. The popularity of CBD is mainly due to the following aspects:


Loosening of laws and regulations: As many countries and regions relax legal restrictions on CBD, athletes' use of CBD has become more common.

Increased public awareness: The health benefits of CBD are gradually recognized by more people, including athletes, coaches and sports medicine professionals.

Acceptance by sports organizations: For example, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its banned list, further promoting its use among athletes.

2. Usage

Athletes use CBD products in a variety of ways, including:


Oral drops: taken orally, the effect lasts longer.

Topical creams: applied directly to the site of pain or inflammation to quickly relieve local discomfort.

Capsules and tablets: easy to carry and use, long-lasting effect.

Sprays and inhalers: quickly absorbed, suitable for situations where rapid results are needed.

CBD products help athletes:

CBD products help athletes in the following aspects:


1. Relieve pain and discomfort

Athletes often experience muscle soreness, joint pain, and discomfort after training. CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve these pains and discomforts. This is especially important for athletes who participate in high-intensity training and competition.


2. Relieve inflammation

Intense exercise often leads to inflammation of muscles and joints. CBD's anti-inflammatory properties help reduce this inflammation, thereby promoting recovery and reducing discomfort after exercise.


3. Improve sleep quality

Good sleep is essential for athletes' recovery and overall performance. CBD is believed to help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety and insomnia, which can help athletes better recover and prepare for the next training or competition.


4. Relieve anxiety and stress

In competitive sports, athletes often face tremendous psychological pressure and anxiety. CBD helps to reduce these psychological pressures and anxieties, thereby improving the athlete's mental state and improving their competition and training performance.


5. Promote muscle recovery

Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help speed up the muscle recovery process. This is especially important for athletes who need to train frequently, helping them recover faster and avoid injuries.


6. Improve Cardiovascular Health

Some studies have shown that CBD may have benefits for the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. While research in this area is still in its early stages, this could have potential benefits for athletes' long-term health.


7. Enhance Concentration and Focus

Good concentration and focus are essential for athletes to perform well in competition. CBD helps reduce anxiety and may help athletes focus better and stay focused.


Things to watch out for

Product quality: Make sure the CBD products you use are high-quality and third-party tested to ensure purity and safety.

THC content: Although CBD is allowed, products containing THC may still result in a positive drug test. Athletes should choose CBD products with zero or very low THC content.

Consult a professional: Before using any supplement or medication, athletes should consult a doctor or pharmacist to ensure safety and compliance.

In summary, CBD products can significantly help athletes in relieving pain, promoting recovery, improving sleep and reducing psychological stress, but attention should be paid to relevant regulations and product quality when using them.

Examples and research

Professional athletes: NFL player Rob Gronkowski, UFC fighter Nate Diaz, and others have publicly stated that they use CBD products and praised their effects.

Scientific research: Multiple studies have shown that CBD has significant effects in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep. For example, a 2018 study found that CBD can significantly reduce chronic pain and inflammation [1].

Issues to note

Product quality and purity: Make sure that the CBD products used do not contain THC to avoid positive drug tests.

Laws and regulations: Although WADA allows the use of CBD, the regulations of each sports league and country may vary. Athletes should understand and comply with the relevant regulations in detail.

Dosage and usage: Depending on individual differences, the dosage and usage of CBD need to be adjusted individually, and it is best to use it under the guidance of professionals.


Overall, CBD products are becoming increasingly popular among athletes and have shown significant usefulness. It has a positive effect on athletes in terms of relieving pain, reducing inflammation, improving sleep, and relieving anxiety. However, athletes need to pay attention to product quality, legal regulations, and individual differences when using CBD.

1Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, 20(6), 936-948.

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