CBD as a post-workout recovery tool: What the research says

Many athletes are getting involved in the CBD industry lately, indicating that this kind of cannabinoid offers therapeutic potential far greater than typical opioid medications


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Athletes and fitness fanatics are swapping workout supplements for CBD. An influx of CBD products are entering the market following the removal of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the list of banned substances for professional athletes. 

This reclassification of CBD was effectuated by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2018, paving the way for sports enthusiasts and gym lovers to relieve workout-related pain and speed-up recovery using the natural substance. 

There is a good reason why the agency decided to eliminate CBD from the list of forbidden substances – it is non-addictive and can produce therapeutic effects, minus the side effects caused by alternative treatments.

What is CBD? 

CBD is a non-psychoactive substance that is produced naturally in the cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike one of the other primary compounds of the cannabis plant, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD will not get you high. It will, however, deliver a wallop of therapeutic effects to the human body when it reacts with receptors inside the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The cannabinoid was isolated in 1940 by Dr Raphael Mechoulam and a group of scientists at the University of Jerusalem. Despite the successful isolation of CBD, its structure was not completely elucidated until the 1960s. Since this cannabinoid does not cause impairment, it is emerging as a popular remedy for sports professionals and athletes.

Review of studies confirms potential of CBD as a post-workout recovery tool

At the current time, due to cannabis’ schedule I status, research into the medical benefits of CBD is somewhat limited. Nonetheless, numerous studies support claims of the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving potential.

For example, in 2018, a review of 132 separate studies was published in Frontiers in Neurology. The researchers concluded that, once CBD was used, study subjects experienced enhanced levels of mobility and pain. All study subjects who participated in the experiment had previously been diagnosed with chronic and serious conditions.

“It is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective,” concluded the authors, who also said that CBD proves useful in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression in opioid users. What they discovered was that CBD relieves pain to an extent that it made frequent opioid users want to switch their meds for cannabis.

Since CBD possesses the aforementioned therapeutic properties, it could be a welcome addition to one’s lifestyle if they suffer from inflammation, muscle spasms and tightness, pain, injuries and stress. The non-psychotic cannabinoid could also enhance concentration, which is critical for players of sport.

More research needed to expose the benefits of using CBD as a post-workout recovery tool

Many athletes are getting involved in the CBD industry lately, indicating that this kind of cannabinoid offers therapeutic potential far greater than typical opioid medications. 

One such example is retired NHL enforcer, Ryan VandenBussche. The 46-year-old has changed careers for one that educates about CBD’s healing properties.

In fact, the healing properties of CBD are so great that the cannabinoid is being used to combat drug addiction, such as addictive opioid painkillers. Opioids have cost thousands of Americans their lives and due to a lack of research into the medical properties of cannabis, doctors are still dishing them out to patients who are in-need of pain relief.

Thanks to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s recent announcement that it would be reviewing all medical cannabis research applications within 90 days of receiving them, more CBD studies are likely to commence in the near future. If the results are positive and confirm what researchers think they already know, CBD looks set for global domination.