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Should Athletes Take CBD?

Amna Saeed looks at the research, side effects, and benefits of CBD for athletes.

Many current and former athletes endorse the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. It is a natural chemical extracted from the marijuana plant. It has many health benefits, but the studies to claim these benefits are minimal.

However, some studies show that it can help in treating conditions associated with athletic competition such as inflammation, muscle soreness, and joint pain.

There is no doubt that it has some potential benefits without causing any psychoactive effects. What we know right now is that it has some benefits for athletes and many are now using CBD oil.

It is a nonpsychoactive treatment for pain

As we mentioned earlier, it can help in reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Athletes have to do some intense exercise, and hence it can be useful for them. Moreover, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can also be used for treating pain, but it can affect the performance of athletes due to unwanted side effects.

A study in 2004 shows that THC can impair short-term memory, but CBD does not. Another report from the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2018, indicates that CBD does not have any potential for dependence or misuse.

It can be used to treat addiction to many substances which have a risk of dependence. But there is still some controversy around the CBD as it acts on type 1 receptors in the brain. Studies show that it works differently on these receptors as it does not cause any form of high effect.

Side Effects

There are minimal side effects that have been seen in some people. The most common side effects of CBD oil are as follows:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Changes in Weight

Is it legal for athletes?

You can say that it is legal as the World Anti-Doping Agency removed it from the list of prohibited substances. However, some athletic organizations and sports leagues still prohibit the use of THC.

If you choose CBD to isolate, then the test for THC will not be positive. But still, some tests were positive after taking CBD. Maybe the people had taken it from an unreliable source, or it depends on the type of test used.

If you are an athlete and could be drug tested, then we will not recommend you to take CBD.

What else should you know about CBD oil?

If you are suffering from any medical condition, then it is vital to seek medical advice before consuming CBD. It can interact with some medications, especially those that are processed by the liver.

Moreover, start with a low dose and do not take it before a workout or competition. If you find that there are no side effects, then you can try higher doses. You can also consume it as pre-workout drinks, muscle balms, and CBD coffees.


Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • SAEED, A. (2019) Should Athletes Take CBD? [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article544.htm [Accessed

About the Author

Amna Saeed is a freelance journalist.