Can CBD Help With Sports Recovery?

Posted on May 30th, 2022 to Uncategorized

Athlete or not, physical exercise is important for every single person. It promotes and regulates healthy bodily functions and boosts mood as well. However, with regular and strenuous exercise come both positive and negative effects. Movement of our muscles can cause wear and tear and lead to what you call ‘soreness’ after a workout. Also, without the proper balance of nutrition and hormones, an athlete’s body could suffer from fatigue and low energy levels. 

Currently, there exist many over-the-counter pain relief medications as well as high-caffeine energy drinks for those looking to recover after a workout. However, consistent use of these could be harmful to the body and cause dysfunction. Some athletes take opioids for immediate pain relief but in the long run, it causes serious issues such as addiction and overdose. In a time when people are changing their ways to promote better health, CBD has gained a lot of popularity, especially as an alternative to other sports recovery methods. Read on to find out the latest research on CBD for sports recovery!

How Does CBD Work?

The Endocannabinoid System

To understand how CBD works on an athlete’s body, we must first understand the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

  • Endocannabinoids: Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that the body produces. 
  • Cannabinoid receptors: We have CB1, CB2 and CB3 receptors. CBD fits like a lock and key into these receptors.

CB1 receptors: These receptors are among the most abundant receptor types in the brain and spinal cord. CB1 receptors are in charge of cognitive function, pain perception, and information processing. They also regulate memory storage, hunger, mood, and appetite.

CB2 receptors: The CB2 receptors are primarily in the immune system. These receptors link to pain transmission, inflammation, gut function, motility, energy balance, glucose and lipid metabolism, and reproductive health.

CB3 receptors: These receptors relate to reducing inflammation, healing tissue damage, and regulating your metabolism. However, there haven’t been a lot of representative study results on CB3 receptors.

Enzymes: FAAH and MAGL enzymes are molecules that accelerate chemical reactions in the body, completing the homeostatic regulation within the endocannabinoid system. These enzymes ensure that the body uses endocannabinoids as needed.

How Does CBD Balance The ECS?

The receptors are in charge of uptake and processing of cannabinoids made within the body. When this happens, many vital functions are regulated and a balanced ECS is promoted. Research has shown that a balanced ECS helps with brain development, memory, mood regulation, appetite, pain perception, sleep, immunity, vascular health, digestive health, reproduction and fertility, muscle recovery and energy levels. When there are not enough endocannabinoids in your body, an imbalance can lead to stress, anxiety, digestive issues, appetite and sleep problems, pain, inflammation and lack of energy. Cannabinoids derived from plants such as hemp can interact with the ECS very similarly to cannabinoids made within the body. Thus, CBD can help to provide relief to athletes that may be struggling from muscle or tissue damage, lack of energy, pain due to injuries or just daily post-workout soreness.

CBD for Sports Recovery 

The following are the benefits of CBD that help with sports recovery:


According to a study, ‘CBD modulates inflammatory processes. In preclinical models of acute inflammation, CBD has been reported to attenuate immune cell accumulation, stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This may help to reduce pre and post-exercise inflammation so you can recover faster.

Muscle strength and coordination:

The same study reported that there were Improvements in muscle strength and coordination, as well as reductions in tissue degeneration’. Muscle strength and coordination is important for any kind of physical activity.

Pain Relief:

Studies by the NIH show that CBD can relieve pain symptoms involved in chronic pain, muscle pain, spinal cord injuries, arthritis and multiple sclerosis pain. Many athletes use CBD pre and post-workout for muscle pain relief. Research has also shown that CBD improved the healing of femoral fractures in rats. This warrants further research into the possibility of CBD accelerating wound and injury healing.


Several studies have demonstrated the anxiolytic effects of CBD under “stress-inducing” conditions such as those in sports matches and tournaments. Taking CBD can help an athlete de-stress before a big tournament and perform better as a result.

Sleep regulation:

Research evidence suggests that CBD can be used to reduce sleep disorders in athletes or even in healthy or pathologic humans. Sleep is essential for optimal performance. Having a regular sleep schedule helps with maintaining energy throughout the day and keeps you motivated. It also helps improve cognitive function. 

Increased appetite:

Regular strenuous workouts could cause serious calorie deficits if you do not consume enough food. CBD can help to stimulate appetite so that an athlete can satisfy their daily nutritional needs.

Cardiovascular support:

Research by the American Society for Clinical Investigation shows that CBD may be beneficial for high blood pressure. One extensive study indicates that CBD oil lowers stroke volume and resting systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from high-stress levels. Experts believe that this in turn promotes better heart health. Athletes require a strong cardiovascular system to provide them with enough blood and oxygen.

Is CBD legal for athletes?

Yes. In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) allowed the use of CBD at all times, in or out of competition. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has done the same. Although THC is not allowed to be used during competition, WADA has set a lenient urinary threshold so that personal use outside of competition is not accounted for. 

Looking for CBD for Sports Recovery?

It is crucial to consider the dangers you may be exposed to when taking addictive prescription drugs for pain relief and sports recovery. At Hempeutics Pharmacy, we specialize in custom compounding CBD products to cater to our patient’s individual needs. We dispense CBD products that can be made THC-free/low THC to comply with athletic guidelines. Contact us for a free consultation from our in-house licensed pharmacist, Dr. Peggy, to discuss what options are best for you.


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