Close this search box.

Research: CBD Supplementation May Enhance Sports Performance and Recovery

Athletes, of both the professional and recreational variety, have increasingly turned to CBD supplementation to help them perform at their peak as well as to aid in post-workout recovery.

In fact, according to research, “a third of cyclists, triathletes, and runners are or have been cannabinoid users” – and for good reason, as we’ll explore here.

Thanks to a combination of relaxed prohibitions on cannabis use for competitive athletes (see an report on that topic for more information) and the increasing availability of high-quality CBD direct to consumers without a prescription, this mighty cannabinoid has taken the sports world by storm in recent years.

Let’s survey some of the latest research examining how athletes might utilize CBD for sports performance and recovery.

Cannabinoids may promote sports performance via the human endocannabinoid system (ECS)

Cannabinoids like CBD exert their beneficial physiological effects via their interactions with the human endocannabinoid system, an extensive network of cannabinoid receptors. The ECS responds to activation by endogenous cannabinoids (such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) produced in the body as well as exogenous cannabinoids (as provided by CBD supplementation).



Let’s explore some of the many ways that CBD, through this mechanism, might benefit athletes who participate in sports – from potentially improving performance to expediting recovery to stay in the action.

CBD supplementation may improve sports performance by increasing endogenous cannabinoid levels

Through a complex series of processes, CBD supplementation may enhance athletic performance by way of its interactions with the above-described endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS).

Via research from the Journal of Sport and Health Science and elsewhere, we know that the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (AEA) plays an important role in sports performance:

” Since AEA has vasodilatory and bronchodilatory effects, increase in circulating AEA may aid exercise performance by facilitating blood flow and breathing during exercise. AEA has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, glucose uptake and mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle cells, and inhibit fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis in hepatocytes.”

Translated into simple English, research suggests that AEA assists in getting your blood pumping as well as facilitating greater energy output during athletic exertion.

The question becomes, then, how best to foster higher AEA levels and, in effect, potentially reap the benefits of greater athletic performance?

CBD supplementation has been demonstrated to increase circulating AEA levels by inhibiting the breakdown of AEA via inactivation of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH):

“Recent reports suggest that CBD and THC elevate the levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) when administered to humans, suggesting that phytocannabinoids target cellular proteins involved in endocannabinoid clearance.”

CBD supplementation may facilitate quicker recovery from sports participation

Athletes are always eager for new strategies to keep them in the game and off the sidelines. Speedy recovery from physical exertion, therefore, is of particular interest to athletes.

From the previously-referenced research published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, “ECS activation may be essential for the recovery from a transient stressful condition, such as intense physical exercise.”

In particular, CBD has been documented in research to potentially alleviate the phenomenon of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) – the bane of weightlifters worldwide but which also affects other athletes:

“CBD appears to have a significant influence on muscle soreness associated with EIMD [exercise induced muscle damage] DOMS when consumed immediately after strenuous exercise.”

So, if your muscles are typically sore after a tennis match or round of golf, give one of our CBD products a try after a tough game and see if it benefits you as it has patients in clinical trials.

CBD supplementation overlaps with, and may enhance, the benefits of sports participation

Many of the potential health benefits of CBD supplementation are similar to the positive health impacts of physical exertion that inevitably accompanies participation in sports.

The great news is that research indicates that combined CBD supplementation and athletic performance

CBD supplementation overlaps with, and may enhance, the benefits of exercise

“Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are involved in brain-derived neurotrophic factor release (e.g., neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity), glucocorticoids release (e.g., mood control by suppressing depression and anxiety), dopamine release (leading to rewarding), and fatty acid amide hydrolase release (e.g., analgesic effects). All these responses overlap with the positive benefits of exercise.”

So, whether the reason for participating in sports is to boost your health, or the health boon is just an ancillary benefit, why not take advantage of the research we’ve surveyed here to potentially increase the payoff?

CBD may exert inflammation-reducing effects in athletes

Inflammation in the tendons and ligaments due to overuse or extended use is a major setback for athletes. The age-old image of the baseball pitcher holding an ice pack on his throwing elbow comes to mind.

In addition to ice (which actually does work to reduce inflammation), research has shown that CBD can also exert anti-inflammatory effects – a huge potential benefit for athletes who push their bodies to the limit.

For more elaboration on how CBD tamps down exercise-induced inflammation, check out our authoritative blog post on that topic.

Georgia Hemp Company’s CBD is second to none

Support a local-grown Georgia small business and gift yourself with the natural goodness of cannabis at the same time. Visit the Sympleaf online store for a bevy of high-potency CBD products – from gummies to tinctures to topicals – all vetted for quality by independent third-party laboratories.

Check out one of our top newer and more popular products among athletes, a proprietary blend of CBD + CBN (another powerful but lesser-known cannabinoid with documented possible pain-relieving, bone-healing, and anti-inflammatory properties). In combination, CBD and CBN make for a dynamic duo. 

600mg CBN + CBD Oil

The oil contains:

  • 300mg of CBN
  • 300mg of CBD

We fully back all of our products with a robust refund policy. If your product is damaged or expired, contact us within 48 hours of receiving your shipment for a full refund.

Contact Georgia Hemp Company to learn more about CBD and sports performance

Lots of our loyal customers are sports enthusiasts, so we’re well-practiced in providing authoritative, fact-based answers to questions regarding CBD and athletic performance!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff and we’ll be sure to get back to you in a timely manner. 

Related posts

Does CBD Treat Depression?

Cannabidiol – often abbreviated as CBD – is a truly remarkable, powerful molecule of the cannabis plant that has dozens of potential health benefits in