CBD is used by many high-performance athletes. For example, the MMA fighters the Diaz bothers-Nate Diaz and Nick Diaz-support the use of CBD for after-fight recovery.

Not long time ago, we saw Nate Diaz vaping CBD after his UFC fight against Conor McGregor:

Nate Diaz, UFC fighter vaping CBD

In addition, many athletes are investing in the CBD business. Perhaps because they find CBD useful for athletic performance and post-workout recovery.

In addition, CBD is a very lucrative business that is expected to generate billions of USD in the next years.

Athletes need a good sleep and a fast recovery to perform well. Therefore, CBD could be very useful for them, as it helps to deal with insomnia, it reduces inflammation and it reduces muscle recovery time after physical exercise.

What is CBD?

A young cannabis plant.
A young cannabis plant.

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD was neglected for years because it has no psychoactive properties. However, its medical capabilities have recently been appreciated, including reducing inflammation and anxiety. Even as a treatment for certain forms of epilepsy and arthritis.

CBD is easily tolerated and even doses of 1500 mg per day are well tolerated by humans.

Cannabis Medical Use

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) classified cannabis and its constituents as “narcotics”. The pharmacological conditions were modified by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances signed in Vienna (1971). This rule does not affect the previous legislation on “narcotic drugs” (the Single Convention of 1961). In addition, it added to the table of controlled or strictly prohibited substances many other drugs.

Both hemp and cocaine were classified as narcotics, and when enacting a law on non-narcotic drugs it seemed appropriate to withdraw one and the other from the preceding regulations and incorporate them as “psychotropic” substances. This was proposed by many pharmacologists, as the 1971 Convention included amphetamines (drugs very analogous to cocaine), and also THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as psychotropic substances. However, removing them from the “narcotics” legislation meant recognizing the mistake of the previous classification, and after some closed-door discussions it was decided to leave things as they were.

The prohibition of cannabis and hemp meant that cannabinoids largely disappeared from scientific view. Consequently, we knew very little about cannabis and its medical use.

The medical use of cannabis became a political issue in the 1980’s at the height of the AIDS crisis. Many people who suffered from AIDS campaigned for the use of cannabis as an antiemetic drug. This was followed by the approval of drugs to treat nausea such as marinol and dronabinol.

There are also approved drugs such as Sativex to treat pain (active cannabinoid components THC and CBD) and Epidiolex (to treat epilepsy).

It is a pity that decades of prohibition have slowed the progress in the use of cannabis and its derivatives.

CBD for Athletic Performance

CBD or cannabis are not performance-enhancing drugs. It’s mainly useful for its pain-management properties and because it reduces inflammation. Moreover, CBD does not reduce your physical performance .

On the other hand, THC-a psychoactive cannabinoid-is associated with motor performance impairments. Nonetheless, CBD oils, e-liquids, tinctures contain very low THC quantities and hence CBD oils are not associated with motor performances impairments.

CBD Properties

CBD and athletic performance are mainly associated with:

1) Anti-inflammatory properties: this will allow the athlete to recover faster and experience less muscle inflammation. In short, you will not experience that much muscle soreness.

2) Calming and anxiety reduction effects: athletic performance could improve if the athlete experiences less anxiety. CBD for athletic performance is useful for anxiety reduction. In addition, you will also experience more calmness.

Many athletes experience anxiety and “stage fright”, which is the fear of doing something wrong in front of a group people. This situation improves with a daily use of CBD.

3) CBD and concussion: CBD could have neuroprotective properties as well as its pain-relief ones. In other words, it reduces brain neuron system damage. Moreover, it might stimulate growth and development of new neurons.

There are many other properties associated with CBD that could be helpful for athletes. For instance, there are some studies that claim that CBD can also help you to lose weight.

Nonetheless, it is important to take all CBD news with a pinch of salt. Many CBD news are exaggerations written by CBD sellers. Although we are also part of the CBD business, we want to emphasize that many researches are still in a preliminary phase. We believe it’s very important to inform our customers about CBD products and what studies are still ongoing researches. For instance, we cannot assure that CBD cures cancer even though there are very promising studies about CBD and cancer, for example, how CBD can effectively modulate tumor growth. But, as previously mentioned, we still need more research about this important topic.

How Should I use CBD for Athletic Performance

CBD is sold in many forms such as tinctures, oils, vapes, creams and/or edibles. There is not enough information on the proper doses. The dose depends mainly on the weight of the person. Some sources suggest starting with a 5-10 mg dose and increase it by 5 to 10 mg until you feel pain relief or a decrease in inflammation.

Conclusion: CBD and Athletic Performance

We know that CBD is great for anxiety treatment. Anxiety isn’t a good ally to get a good performance, not only in athletics, but in any other disciplines. When we feel anxious or stressed, we don’t think clearly. Therefore, CBD can also help athletes who suffer from anxiety.

There are cases of amazing athletes that had to retire prematurely due to anxiety issues. For instance, I remember the case of Sebastian Deisler, a footballer who played for Bayern Munich. Sebastian Deisler was injury-prone in part due to his anxiety. In addition, I also remember the case of Per Mertesacker, a football world champion with Germany and a former Arsenal center back. Per Mertesacker stated that he didn’t enjoy playing football and that he suffered from nausea and nervousness before every match. His anxiety didn’t allow him to enjoy football. These are just two cases of athletes who suffered from anxiety. They could have benefited of the use of CBD, but unfortunately for them, CBD wasn’t legal.

CBD for athletic performance isn’t just great if the athlete suffers from anxiety but also to reduce inflammation and as a pain reliever.