CBD products have become vastly known for their many health benefits and that they can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, for instance, or reduce inflammation. Still, many people aren’t yet too accustomed to CBD, what it is, and how it can benefit your wellbeing. Even more, in the sports industry is highly prohibited for athletes to consume any performance-enhancing drugs that can do more harm than good and can result in substance abuse. So, the question of whether it is safe to take any type of CBD product arises. 

Given that CBD is non-addictive and can relieve pain without giving you the “high” sensation or impairing judgment or short-term memory, it can be a healthy option to reduce the after-workouts soreness or when your body is subject to heavy training. For athletes, this could be helpful. Some professional athletes, such as famous football player Megan Rapinoe, are known for taking CBD products and openly discussing the potential benefits for athletes.

Next, some of your most burning questions about CBD in relation to the sports industry are answered.

1. What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the chemical compounds found in the marijuana or hemp plant, both of which belong to the same species of Cannabis Sativa. Some people who only know this information about CBD immediately associate the products containing it with being addictive or giving the specific sensation of euphoria.

Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids – such as cannabidiol – and the CBD one can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp. A noteworthy mention is that products with CBD from hemp contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. The latter is delta-tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound that can have negative effects and gives a “high” sensation when consumed in significant amounts. However, CBD products contain a small percentage of THC to be in line with the legal requirements, are not addictive, and do not have euphoric results. 

2. Is CBD legal for athletes?

Products containing CBD and a percentage of 0.3% of THC maximum can be legally produced and sold on the market in some states, given the fact that they cannot make the consumer addicted to them. A noteworthy mention would be to check the laws of specific states and locations, as these are not generally applicable. 

In 2018, the World Anti Doping Agency, or WADA, approved the use of CBD products, both during and outside of competition season, when cannabidiol wasn’t listed as a prohibited substance anymore. However, THC is still banned. Most CBD products contain THC – even though only 0.3% – and athletes should avoid taking any products prior to a competition. It can take a long time for cannabinoids to be eliminated from the body, and their metabolization can be a lengthy process.

Nevertheless, athletes can legally take CBD products to alleviate any muscle pain or reduce symptoms of stress without this being viewed as a behavior to enhance athletic performance. The important thing is for athletes to avoid consuming them during competitions.  

3. Is CBD safe for athletes?

Another crucial question is related to whether athletes are allowed to take CBD products and if they are safe. Given that professional athletes are required to maintain their physical form in excellent condition and pay careful attention to their lifestyle, it is expected that people wonder about the safe use of CBD products. It is known that athletes have to follow quite a strict healthy diet that facilitates their training session, and it is of the utmost importance they are disciplined and take good care of themselves. 

The answer is that CBD products are safe for athletes for the same reason why they are legal. They are natural supplements that are not meant for curing any diseases or health conditions. So, when taken in the proper doses and under the supervision of a medical professional, fitness enthusiasts and athletes can consume CBD products.

What are the benefits of using CBD in sports?

Some recent studies have shown that taking CBD products can benefit athletes. A research project published in 2020 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Pharmacological Research revealed that CBD has promising benefits for athletes in helping alleviate symptoms of anxiety or stress and in cases of injuries. Even though research in this area related to the sports industry is scarce, the benefits of using CBD products known so far can aid athletes in various ways. 

It is known that the sports industry can be quite a stressful environment, so it isn’t uncommon for athletes to develop symptoms of anxiety or to have trouble sleeping. Besides, due to intense training and workouts, it is normal to feel muscle pain. In this case, professional athletes are required to take a break from training, which can affect their performance. Therefore, CBD products can have health benefits that help the lifestyle of an athlete, such as:

  • Alleviate muscle pain and inflammation
  • Help heal injuries, such as a sprain
  • Relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety

There is a variety of products depending on the type of administration, from edibles to oil and tincture and vaping, some of which you can find on Pure Hemp Farms. Depending on the preferred choice, the dosage can differ, so athletes need to seek professional advice from their medical providers. A crucial aspect to consider is that CBD products shouldn’t be used as a cure but as a natural remedy that can reduce specific symptoms. 

4. Can CBD products appear on drug tests?

Affirmative. However, some mentions need to be addressed in this respective. The truth is that CBD-only products should not appear on a drug test. However, given that most products contain THC, although in small amounts and not over the legal limit of 0.3%, this might show up on a drug test. Even if CBD products are legal and not considered addictive, as an athlete, you want to avoid testing positive for a test and risk suffering the consequences. 

In this case, and to be safe, the recommendation is to stop taking CBD products before a competition when it is highly likely you will be tested. Another alternative is to switch to products that are sure to contain no traces of THC, so the drug test isn’t positive. However, it can be difficult to know for sure if a product does not contain THC at all, as there have cases of mislabeling a product. Hence, the best way to avoid any rule violation is to limit the use of CBD products during competitions.