Though treating anxiety is at the forefront of the headlines when it comes to CBD, CBD for fitness and sport recovery is not a revolutionary idea when you examine the research that’s been completed to date.

Remember that time you left the gym feeling super proud of yourself for killing that workout, only to wake up the next morning feeling stiff and sore? Instead of reaching for that bottle of ibuprofen, consider using CBD as a natural, plant-derived workout supplement to improve your fitness routine. 

CBD & Inflammation

Any workout can cause micro tears in the body’s muscle and tissue. The inflammation caused by this process prompts the body to start healing itself, so the muscles and tissue can grow back stronger.1

However, if inflammation is not monitored it can result in pain, muscle damage, and delayed results from your workouts.2

In a study published in Future Med Chem, researchers found that the CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system can react with CBD to treat inflammation and autoimmune diseases.3 Because of its restorative qualities, CBD is quickly becoming an imperative step in workout routines, especially for professional athletes.

CBD & Professional Sports Associations

Floyd Landis

Aches and inflammation were the main drivers for professional cycler, Floyd Landis, to try CBD oil. 

While suffering through the pain of a major hip injury, Landis miraculously went on to win the 2006 Tour de France. Four days after winning the race, Landis’s urine sample tested positive for testosterone and epitestosterone, otherwise known as doping. He was suspended from professional cycling for two years and stripped of his winning title.4

Years later, Landis was still experiencing pain from his hip injury, leading him to rely on opioids to cope. In an effort to stop using painkillers and address his depression, Floyd discovered CBD. He found that, with continuous use, he was pain free and no longer needed opioids.5

This life-changing discovery caused Landis to start his own CBD company, Floyd’s of Leadville. His goal is to help others with pain management and sports recovery. Landis strongly advocates for professional athletes to be able to use CBD oil for their own ailments. 6

While not directly related to Landis’s advocacy, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially took Cannabidiol off the list of prohibited substances in September 2017.7

This is the first and only official sports association to recognize CBD as a substance independent from marijuana. It’s a major step toward addressing the opioid addiction within professional sports and offering a natural alternative in return.


While no other association has removed CBD from their list of banned substances, the NHL and MLB have more tolerance surrounding the usage of CBD compared to other professional sports. The MLB only drug tests with reasonable cause. If THC is found, they will be fined $35,000 for each violation.8

The NHL does not have cannabis or CBD on their list of banned substances. However, if a player is drug tested and THC or CBD is found in their system, their playing status will be subjected to review.9


Unfortunately, many professional sports associations, like the NFL, NBA, and NCAA, still ban CBD due to its assumed relationship to cannabis. If a player if found with CBD in their system the punishment can range from drug treatment, fines, or permanent suspension from games.10

Many athletes are speaking out against CBD’s position on the prohibited list. In a time when opioid addiction is at its highest, professional athletes want to use a non-addictive, natural substance to aid their multiple ailments.

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end, Ebenezer Ekuban, stated in an interview that he thinks CBD can benefit recovery for athletes.

“…in due time, the NFL is going to realize CBD is not a performance-enhancing drug. If anything, it helps with anxiety, helps with concentration, and helps with pain”.11

Retired NHL enforcer, Riley Cote, is another strong advocate for CBD in easing pain and anxiety. He recently spoke out about the injuries professional athletes endure that can lead to mental health issues. He believes CBD can be one of the solutions to this growing problem.

“[Cannabis] is a tool and it needs to be treated with respect…. It’s all about increasing quality of life. It’s about helping these guys wake up the next morning, where they can feel functional enough, good enough, [that] they can enjoy their family and not worry about the pain and anxiety — that vicious cycle that generally leads to mental health issues”12

Even with many professional athletes using their platform to speak of the benefits of CBD and hemp, they’re a long way to go for reform. CBD is legal in all 50 states, yet professional sports associations still have difficulty separating cannabidiol from cannabis.

Hopefully, with push from retired athletes sharing the positive impact CBD has upon their health and the example WADA has set for removing CBD from their banned substance list, progress will be made.

CBD For Your Workout

Professional athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using CBD with their workout. There are a number of ways CBD can be utilized to enhance your workouts for success.

CBD can have energizing qualities when taken in small doses. If you’re looking for a natural energy boost without all the jitters you’d get from caffeine, take a small amount of CBD right before your workout.

CBD can also be taken before working out if you are searching for muscle production. CBD aids in the balancing of homeostasis and, in turn, the regulation of blood sugar levels.

When our blood sugar is regulated, we have lower levels of insulin being produced. This means less fat is stored in our body during this time. When less fat is being stored, especially during your workout, “…your body works in an anti-catabolic mode to help produce more muscle.”13

If you desire a recovery aid, take CBD is a higher dosage after your workout. It will get straight to work in reducing inflammation and you’ll sleep better, ensuring you’ll be ready for your next workout.


  1. Gurganus, M. (2019, March 05). CBD for Pre- and Post-Workout. Retrieved from
  2. Gurganus, M. (2019, March 05). CBD for Pre- and Post-Workout. Retrieved from
  3. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009, October). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Retrieved from
  4. Cyclingmag. (2018, December 16). Floyd Landis outlines how easy it can be to dope. Retrieved from
  5. Legal CBD Products – About Floyd. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  6. Legal CBD Products – About Floyd. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  7. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  8. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  9. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  10. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  11. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  12. CBD Regulations for Six Top Sports Organizations. (2019, March 15). Retrieved from
  13. Working Out With CBD: CBD Supports Muscle Gain & Boosts Stamina. (2018, October 04). Retrieved from