Health & Wellness

Best CBD for Athletes—What to Know and Where to Buy

By Melena Gurganus

As public interest in CBD oil continues to grow, more athletes are turning to CBD products for their long list of potential wellness advantages. CBD for athletes has quickly become a popular phenomenon after pro athletes like former Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and UFC fighter Nate Diaz have openly advocated for the use of CBD in professional athletics. Following this trend, other athletes and individuals with active lifestyles are curious to learn more about the benefits of CBD when it comes to muscle recovery and pain alleviation.

Benefits of CBD for Athletes

For athletes, it’s common to experience pain and inflammation from muscle tension, joint stiffness, healing injuries, or workout recovery. Instead of turning to NSAIDs or opioids, some people have taken to using CBD, or cannabidiol, as a way to manage their pain. CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants, but it produces no psychoactive effects and is considered widely legal across the United States.

CBD oil has quickly become a popular wellness supplement for athletes due to its potential therapeutic benefits, including:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Immune system regulation
  • Aiding in sleep and relaxation
  • Anxiety and stress relief

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD also work to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) without interfering with the restoration of muscle fibers. Essentially, this means you may feel less sore after an intense workout, but you’ll still build stronger muscle as your body repairs itself.

Is CBD legal in sports?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for monitoring anti-doping rules in all sports across every country, and it was the first major sports organization to separate CBD from other cannabis derivatives. WADA removed CBD from its prohibited substances list in January of 2018, which opened the door for more athletes to potentially use CBD. However, several other national leagues like the NFL, MLB, and NBA still categorize CBD as a banned substance since it hails from the cannabis plant.

Yet despite these restrictions on professional level athletics, other athletes frequently use hemp extracts like CBD to stay at their best, but some people are more hesitant than others. Much of this hesitancy stems from misconceptions that cause people to fear that CBD is just like any other form of cannabis (like marijuana), when in actuality, it has a much different effect on the body.

You may have heard the term “THC” used in conversations about CBD, and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another well-known cannabinoid that’s responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. But CBD products contain little to no THC and will not cause you to experience a “high”. For this reason, it is also unlikely that CBD will affect a drug test since these screenings typically only test for the presence of THC.

Additionally, the risk of negative side effects from CBD is rare, especially when using topical creams that are only applied to the skin and provide relief for a targeted area. There are also a wide variety of other formats, including sublingual tinctures, capsules, and edibles that appeal to every type of palate. Here you can find our top CBD products for athletic performance tailored to specific needs like workout recovery, consistent dosing, or coping with aches and pains.

Best CBD Products for Athletes

Best CBD for Recovery

Lazarus Naturals CBD Oil

What we love 😍: Not everyone loves the earthy hemp taste of CBD oil, but Lazarus has plenty of tasty flavor options to choose from (like chocolate mint or blood orange), and you can also opt for an isolate or full-spectrum CBD tincture depending on your preference.

Strength: 750mg or 3000mg

Hemp source: Oregon 🇺🇸

Medterra CBD + Melatonin Tablets

What we love 😍: Sleep plays an important role in the recovery process that allows your muscles to repair themselves and grow stronger. With a quality amount of CBD and small doses of melatonin in each, these Medterra tablets are perfect for ensuring that you get the rest that you need to feel your best the next day.

Strength: 25mg of CBD, 10mg of melatonin

Hemp source: Kentucky 🇺🇸

Functional Remedies EndoSport Hemp Oil

What we love 😍: This CBD oil is designed specifically to promote balance and overall wellness for athletes, or anyone with an active lifestyle. The whole-plant benefits of this hemp oil are great for supporting the body and reducing pain caused by inflammation.

Strength options: 500mg and 1000mg

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Best CBD for Aches and Pains

cbdMD Recover Cream

What we love 😍: With additionally beneficial ingredients like aloe, vitamin B6, and arnica flower extract, this recovery topical cream can penetrate deep within the skin to provide relief from inflammation while simultaneously soothing the skin.

Strength options: 300mg, 750mg, or 1500mg

Hemp source: Kentucky 🇺🇸

Green Roads Muscle and Joint Heat Relief

What we love 😍: The roll-on application of this topical is perfect for minimal effort after an intense workout, and the advanced heating technology is pharmacist formulated to create a high quality product that customers can trust.

Strength options: 250mg or 500mg

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Ananda Hemp Zero THC CBD Oil

What we love 😍: Ananda Hemp offers several full spectrum CBD oils, but their THC free option is perfect for athletes who may have to submit to drug testing for their sport. This CBD product still contains additionally beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes for an entourage effect, but without any traces of THC.

Strength: 600mg

Hemp source: Kentucky 🇺🇸

Best Products for a Consistent Dose

CBDistillery Soft Gels

What we love 😍: These softgels are perfect for athletes since they offer a strong dose of broad-spectrum CBD without any THC. They also take the guesswork out of dosing, because you’ll be getting the same amount of CBD every time you take one of these softgels.

Strength: 30mg per capsule

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Select CBD Patch

What we love 😍: This unique application style works for a full 24 hours to steadily release pure CBD isolate into the bloodstream for consistent benefit. These patches are also sweat and water resistant, so they can stay on while working out or performing other physical activities.

Strength options: 20mg or 60mg per patch

Hemp source: Oregon 🇺🇸

Elixinol Water Soluble Powder

What we love 😍: If you’re looking for an easy-to-use CBD powder, Elixinol offers 3 different formulations designed to meet the energy demands for different times of the day. Their create, build, and dream water soluble powders can be easily incorporated into your everyday routine for a dose of CBD when you need it most.

Strength: 5mg or 10mg per packet

Hemp source: U.S., Europe, and Australia

How much CBD should athletes take?

This can differ from person to person, and your perfect dose of CBD can vary depending on several different factors including weight, metabolism, physical activity, genetics, and more. Some people prefer to take a smaller dose on a daily basis to promote overall wellness, while other athletes want something that helps reduce pain and inflammation quickly. In either case, we recommend starting on the lower end and working your way up until you find a dose that works best for you.

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