Skip to content

Free delivery on all orders over £40 | Enjoy 15% off online when you sign up to our newsletter

CBD's Potential: Boosting Fitness and Sports Performance

CBD's Potential: Boosting Fitness and Sports Performance

CBD is drawing a faithful following in the world of professional sports, but you don’t have to be a top-tier athlete pushing your physical limits to draw value from its beneficial edge. Whether you exercise for competition, for health and fitness, or simply for recreation, CBD can give you a step-up no matter your level. But while your ability to push yourself in a workout may be strong, the test often lies in your recovery and in turn your ability to spring right back into your next workout with the same force and energy as the last. Here we discuss the role of CBD in fitness and sports performance, the research behind it, and how it could serve to keep you on top of your game with every tread, leap, kick, flex, or stroke.

Enhancing Recovery with CBD: How CBD Can Help

2021 review looking at the role of CBD in sports recovery drew recognition to its credible role in sports and its value as an ergogenic aid, concluding that it serves a reliable function in improving the efficacy and efficiency of recovery from exercise and sport-related fatigue.

Exercise causes tiny tears in your muscles and while this may sound harmful, it is in fact part of the process of building muscle, strength, pace, and overall fitness.  Essentially, your recovery is crucial to your fitness, dictating its progression no matter your level.  It’s during recovery when the body repairs the micro-tears in the muscles and replenishes energy stores to help it adapt, grow stronger and ultimately fitter. The quicker and more effective the recovery, the greater the fitness gains. 

Typically, our bodies will innately propel us into ultimate repair mode after a heavy workout by calling in its number one ally: sleep. Sleep and good ‘sleep quality’ is paramount to an efficient recovery in any fitness regime or training plan. It’s during sleep that most physical recovery and adaptation take place, and this is where CBD steps up to the plate like a champion. It’s well reported that CBD can help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, often improving both depth and duration thanks to its ability to reinforce and enhance the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  A 2019 study examining CBD’s influence on improved sleep and/or anxiety found, in the first month of the study, that 79.2% of the participants reported lower anxiety levels while 66.7% reported better sleep. This same study also found that some patients had lowered cortisol levels; elevated cortisol at night is often at the root of increased wakefulness and subsequent poor sleep quality.

CBD for Pain Relief and Injury Healing

Post-training soreness and/or injury-induced pain is a sensation that most of us will experience at some time or another.  As an athlete, professional or recreational, it’s the nature of the beast, or indeed an occupational hazard. Both preclinical and clinical studies have indicated a potential benefit of CBD’s therapeutic use for chronic pain and could help athletes to relieve inflammation, swelling and pain. As a potent anti-inflammatory agent, evidence suggests that CBD could induce changes in cortisol release, regulating the inflammatory response to injury and, in turn, promoting the healing process. CBD intake also seems to mediate processes associated with gastrointestinal damage protection due to inflammation and, as such, it is being increasingly adopted as a safer alternative to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

CBD in Sports: Understanding Its Legality and Efficacy in Athletic Performance

In 2018 the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances, in or out of competition, meaning professional athletes can use CBD freely without fear of disqualification. That said, if you are competing and looking to use CBD to support your preparation and performance, it’s important to check your CBD product’s ingredients carefully, avoiding those containing THC. Labelling should always be clear, and while trace amounts of THC are common given its primary source, it shouldn’t exceed the UK legal limit of 0.2%. It’s also good to ensure that third-party tests have been carried out – sellers often publish these on their websites. And finally, a word on travelling to another country; if you're planning on packing your new recovery tool, be sure to double-check its legal status in your destination country. While CBD is legal almost globally, there remain a number of countries yet to unpack the legislation and join the frontrunners.

The Future of CBD in Sports

With a steady gathering of reports, studies and preclinical trials undertaken in the UK and abroad, similar conclusions have been drawn across the board, all pointing to a bilateral-evidence-based answer: yes. But, given the relative nascency of CBD’s recognised role in fitness, in part due to its recent anti-doping declassification, further research relative to sports science and exercise medicine is needed before any definitive declarations can be made. Yet the mounting evidence is strong enough to drive a compelling argument and offer confidence without jumping ahead. With growing investment from sporting bodies, notably a $1m research grant by the NFL in 2021, there’s enough of a stir to lead the case, and with a predicted CBD market value of over $22bn by 2030, the race is firmly on.

Check out our CBD Muscle Rub and Oils and explore whether CBD could enhance your fitness, training and recovery.

Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are 18 years of age or older.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now