Fitness enthusiasts and athletes are fast becoming some of CBD’s biggest cheerleaders.

Take Ryan VandenBussche, a former NFL enforcer. In an interview with MensHealth.com, VandenBussche shared, “As a 14-year professional athlete that has had a dozen surgeries, many broken bones, and north of 20 concussions, it’s better than the alternative. As athletes, we were given opiates by our team doctors. Looking back after years gone by, I’m surprised I’m still alive.”

VandenBussche is so passionate about cannabis’ healing properties that he’s working on converting a property in Canada into a medical cannabis farm.

Then there’s David Ahrens, a retired NFL linebacker of 10 years. Ahrens, too, recalls being given countless painkillers to manage his chronic pain. He also struggled with the effects of numerous concussions.

“I wish I had known about the benefits of CBD much earlier,” he told Men’s Health, adding that he doesn’t need to rely on pain meds like he used to.

Olympian and Ironman World Champion Joanna Zeiger, MS, Ph.D., is another famous athlete-cum-CBD hype-person. After her storied triathlon career, Zeiger earned her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2009, Zeiger started using cannabis to manage chronic pain and insomnia caused by a cycling accident. Her own positive experience, combined with the ongoing global opioid crisis, prompted her to focus on cannabis research.

Zeiger and her colleagues are finding science backs what she and countless others already know well: CBD can be a powerful tool for helping people reach their health and wellness goals.

HOW CBD HELPS AFTER THE GYM

There’s some truth in the mantra, “no pain, no gain.” But some types of pain are more productive than others, and either way, it can inhibit performance.

Like pain, inflammation can impede performance and recovery. Supporting a healthy inflammatory response is one of CBD’s most famous fortes. If your inflammatory response is working well, you’re less likely to be in pain.

Unlike over-the-counter or prescription drugs, CBD is highly unlikely to produce any side effects, such as nausea, brain fog, or dizziness (ain’t nobody got time for that). Notably, CBD has no risk of dependency or addiction, like many prescription pain pills.

CBD can speed up recovery too by promoting healing and cell regeneration. Because it allows athletes to stay in the gym and to work faster and perform better, it can also improve gains.

HOW IT HELPS AT THE GYM

Many people take multiple doses of CBD a day, often in the morning or before a workout, and again after a workout and/or before bed. Because it does not have the same psychoactive effects as THC and has little to no risk of adverse effects, taking multiple CBD doses is completely safe.

Taking a dose in the morning or just before your workout may help support healthy energy stores and keep you focused, and stress-free. This can help you get and stay in the zone to work longer and harder.

A nightly bedtime dose can boost your next day’s performance too. Every athlete knows the importance of a good night’s sleep for optimal performance and recovery. But it isn’t always easy to get quality shuteye, particularly if you’re wrestling with issues such as anxiety, stress, or chronic pain. If you struggle to get to sleep or feel tired even after 7+ hours of Zzzs, try taking CBD before bed to support a healthy sleep routine.

4 BEST PRODUCTS FOR ATHLETES

  • Tinctures: Bespoke Extracts’ Lemon-Lime Full Spectrum CBD Tincture is explicitly formulated with athletes in mind. Vegan and sourced from U.S.A.-grown organic hemp, a 2 oz. bottle contains 1,500 mg of CBD. Take 1 ml from the dropper twice daily under the tongue. Let it sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute before swallowing.
  • Gummies: Wyld, a company based in Oregon, makes hemp-based, full-spectrum CBD gummies in a range of flavors, including Pacific Northwest favorite: huckleberry, as well as lemon, blackberry, and raspberry. Available in 250 mg or 500 mg bottles, they’re an excellent choice for a pre or post-workout nosh.
  • Capsules: Wildflower’s CBD+ vegan capsules contain 30 mg of full-spectrum CBD in each capsule, as well as organic hemp seed oil, which is rich in amino acids and Omegas 3 and 6. Take one at the start of the day to get going.
  • Salve/Topical: CBD Rapid Cooling Cream is our top pick for a topical lotion to relieve sore muscles and joints after a workout. It’s also helpful for relieving pain from injuries or arthritis.