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Athletes suffer severe pain from their training and practices. To alleviate these discomforts, the use of painkillers is very recurrent among them. Unfortunately, these medications can cause physical dependence and unwanted side effects.


Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed Cannabidiol from its banned list, and that changed the world of sports! With this approval, several athletes switched painkillers for CBD-based products.

CBD Benefits For Athletes #1

CBD Regulation For Athletes


The removal of CBD from WADA’s banned list in 2018 doesn’t mean other cannabinoids, such as THC, were also removed. CBD, unlike THC, has no psychoactive effects, so it’s the main cannabinoid used in medicine.


Regarding CBD, WADA says that “Cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic and has no psychoactive activity. Synthetic cannabidiol will not have THC but cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance”. Currently, on their website, there are no set limits on how much CBD an athlete can have in their body.


For other cannabinoids, the current WADA banned list states: “The following cannabinoids are prohibited: Natural cannabinoids, e.g. cannabis, hashish, and marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids e.g. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabimimetic.”


Also, the new limit of Cannabis in urine is 150 nanograms per milliliter. Previously, this limit was 15 nanograms per milliliter. WADA spokesman explained the change in a USA Today article: “Our information suggests that many cases do not involve game or event-day consumption. The new threshold level is an attempt to ensure that in-competition use is detected and not use during the days and weeks before the competition.”

The Benefits Of CBD For Athletes


WADA removed CBD from its banned list because it contains many benefits that can help athletes. Also, as mentioned earlier, CBD does not affect users mentally. Thanks to the increasing research on the subject, today it can help thousands of people, including athletes.


Below are the main benefits of CBD for athletes:



  • Pain Reduction: BD has been proven to help reduce pain and control chronic pain, which can also affect athletes because of training;
  • Alternative Treatment For NSAIDs: Many athletes consume anti-inflammatory drugs without asteroids, but it has been proven that they are not as harmless as we imagine. They can cause kidney problems.
  • Alternative Treatment for Opioids: CBD can replace opioids (morphine, codeine, oxycodone). They are very effective against pain but can cause overdose or even death;
  • Inflammation Reduction: Inflammation due to training can be good because the muscles are the result of inflammation. Other inflammations that cause pain are not good and it has been confirmed that CBD is effective against them;
  • Better sleep: CBD has properties that control sleep, which benefits athletes. Sleep plays an important role in their lives because it helps in the recovery of muscles.



Statistics On The Use Of CBD By Athletes


The use of CBD increased a lot in the late years, and its use for sports is only behind medicinal and wellness uses. According to a study made by Pulsar in 2019, Individual sports athletes use more CBD than group sports athletes!


Besides that, the athletes who use CBD the most are men from 25 to 34 years old. The study also shows that 69% of athletes use CBD for physical purposes, while 31% use it for mental health.


CBD For Athletes

Main Products Used By Athletes


Muscle pain, swelling, inflammation, joint pain, tension, stress, and tiredness are some of the health conditions related to sports. As such, athletes are always looking for ways to alleviate these conditions. With CBD legalization, they can find effective and natural products against these ailments! Below is a list of some CBD-based products:


  • Oral sprays and tinctures have an immediate effect, but their effect ends quickly, causing the patient to use another dose every three hours at least.
  • Cannabis and CBD edibles work better for those who want a longer-lasting effect. The effect can last an average of six hours. However, they take longer to be absorbed by the digestive system, on average, two hours. They are not best suited for those who want immediate relief.
  • Creams, CBD-based oils, and body sprays are indicated for more superficial and localized pain and inflammation.
  • CBD Capsules have, in addition to CBD oil, omega 3 and 6. They can be taken during the morning to start the day with a better mood.




The use of CBD by athletes is only behind the use of CBD for medical and wellness purposes. So although it is a recent regulation, the interest in the substance is very high, mainly because it is a natural product. Also, its acceptance in sports influenced its general acceptance and broke a lot of bad stigmas surrounding the substance.


The CBD market is continuously growing, just like studies about the substance. WADA’s acceptance of CBD was a significant step in the evolution of the CBD market and the visibility of this cannabidiol. People’s negative view of CBD and lack of information about its benefits are still a social burden.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment for your medical condition.

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