Is CBD really helpful in athletes recovery?

The muscles undergo a lot of physical strain during intense athletic performance. This causes small tears on the muscles, which results in soreness and pain.

If muscles are not allowed to recover, they could face further damage, leading to injury. This is often the leading cause of athletic injuries such as a hamstring injury.  Athletes often use supplements to help them recover faster and resume training.

CBD is one of the top supplements that athletes use to help with training and recovery. To order your supplement now, get a trusted UK supplier of CBD oil. But does CBD help with recovery? Let’s find out.

Is CBD Helpful with Recovery

1.    Muscle inflammation

You cannot avoid muscle inflammation if you engage in heavy exercise or physical activity. As a result of the inflammation, you will feel soreness after intensive physical activity. CBD mediates its effects through the endocannabinoid system, modulating various chemical pathways in the body, including inflammation. Studies show that CBD downregulates chemokine and cytokine production and also upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs).

Cytokines are proteins synthesized and secreted by immune cells in response to inflammation. They play a critical role in initiating and resolving inflammation. Regulation of these cytokines is one way CBD can help resolve inflammation resulting from intense physical activity. CBD also appears to affect a pro-inflammatory enzyme called COX2. This is the enzyme that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also target in treating inflammation. Furthermore, it shows that CBD could provide the same results as NSAIDs more naturally and safely.

Inflammation is a result of different signaling pathways, and CBD seems to modulate most of these pathways. CBD’s impact on Tregs, chemokine, and cytokine can suppress inflammatory responses, which could benefit athletes with post-training or performance inflammation.

2.    Pain Management

Where there is inflammation, there is likely to be pain. It is often the main sign of inflammation, followed by redness, swelling, and heat. A heavy workout can always bring about delayed-onset muscle soreness, which affects athletic performance. Athletes often expose their muscles to more physical stress than their bodies can manage. The resulting pain often overwhelms the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system relies on endocannabinoids to maintain homeostasis by regulating extremes such as pain.

When the internal pain management system is overwhelmed, exogenous cannabinoids such as CBD can complement the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids help the body’s neurotransmitters manage heavy loads and maintain homeostasis. Since CBD may help relieve inflammation, it consequently relieves the resulting pain. Some athletes have found that using CBD offers the same benefits as NSAIDS for exercise-related pain without NSAIDs’ severe side effects.

Most studies on CBD’s effect on pain focus on chronic pain. Several studies on animal models show that topical CBD could relieve chronic pain. Despite insufficient clinical evidence on humans, anecdotal evidence from athletes indicates that CBD is effective for musculoskeletal pain from exercise.

3.    Post-Workout Stress

Physiological health negatively affects cellular activity, which ultimately affects physical health. Consequently, if athletes have stress, anxiety, or depression, their physical health weakens, and recovering from a workout or intense physical activity becomes challenging.

Stress affects immune function and recovery from injury, which indicates that stress affects muscular recovery. Indeed, scientific evidence shows that both perceived stress and life stress induce feelings of fatigue, inhibit muscle force production, and worsen soreness.

Luckily, athletes who experience psychological distress can also benefit from the antianxiety and antidepressant effects of CBD. Evidence suggests that CBD can relieve anxiety and stress symptoms. Animal studies on rats and mice show that CBD can reduce stress and anxiety. These studies have proved that animals given CBD experienced reduced physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heart rate. While there is limited evidence on CBD’s effects on humans, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is effective against anxiety and stress.

One study on humans found that 79.2% of the participants experienced reduced chronic anxiety symptoms after four weeks of therapy.

4.    Sleep Quality

The fundamental reason people sleep is that the body is tired, and it needs rest to recover. The human body is designed to require at least eight to ten hours of sleep daily. This is for an average person, but the requirement is even higher for individuals who perform heavy activities. Sleep is vital for daily functioning, but it also plays a crucial role in training, performance, and recovery for athletes. The brain and central nervous system modulate essential functions such as the firing sequences of muscles. Consequently, adequate rest is needed for these functions to be at optimum.

Adequate sleep is a top recovery strategy for top athletes. Muscle growth does not occur during training but somewhat later when the body is at rest. An athlete needs at least one hour of sleep to compensate for two hours of sleep deprivation.

Inadequate production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle, is often the cause of sleep problems. Melatonin occurs naturally in the body, but psychological and physical stress conditions can inhibit its production.

When athletes face sleep problems, they often turn to melatonin supplements. In such cases, CBD can work in synergy with melatonin and may boost its production and function. Studies on CBD effects on sleep show that subjects experience improved sleep quality and find it easy to fall asleep. Similar studies also show that CBD relieves symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as negative memories and nightmares.

5.    Rest and Relaxation

Like sleep, the body needs relaxation for muscular recovery and growth. In fact, without adequate rest, it is impossible to quality and quantity sleep. Cellular growth occurs most during rest, which emphasizes the importance of rest to muscular recovery. So, undermining rest can have negative impacts on recovery.

CBD has mild sedative effects that athletes can tap into to enhance the quality of rest they get. This is why people feel sleepy after taking CBD. Taking microdoses of CBD could help athletes who struggle to get adequate rest.


There is limited scientific evidence on the effectiveness of CBD on muscle recovery. But many athletes who use it report positive results. Nevertheless, you should not take this to mean you can use CBD for medical reasons.

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