We reviewed the best CBD products for athletes and explain everything you need to know about using this beneficial compound (Cannabidiol) to boost athletic performance and recovery. Higher potencies and different means of delivery are driving innovation.
Best CBD Oil Products for Athletes and Pro Athletes: Boost Athletic Performance and Recovery
Sian Ferguson is a freelance health writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been reporting on CBD and cannabis for over five years. In addition to CBD and cannabis, her work also covers mental health, reproductive health, and social justice. She’s a regular writer for Healthline and PsychCentral, and has been published in The Washington Post, Complex, Greatist, HealthyWay, and more. She’s passionate about making empathetic, science-based health information accessible to more people.
- Leafreport’s mission is to provide accurate, objective, and valuable content for CBD, which is why we’re transparent about our review process and how we rate products and brands. We may receive compensation. Here’s how we make money.
- Our review is consumer-focused only and we do not check or take a stand regarding medical effects.
- Statements regarding CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Please advise your physician prior to each use of CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating substance that is extracted from cannabis and hemp plants. It’s quite a popular ingredient in health products, and you’ll find that there are plenty of CBD products specifically for athletes. This is because many athletes use CBD for recovery and performance.
Whether you’re a keen gymmer, a running enthusiast, or a professional athlete, you might enjoy adding CBD to your daily routine. Research suggests that CBD can be used for pain, inflammation, and anxiety, all of which can affect athletes.
For the most part, CBD is not banned by athletic organizations. Back in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. However, THC – which is the substance that can make you intoxicated – is banned by most organizations. Full-spectrum CBD products contain a tiny amount of THC, and although it’s unlikely, it’s possible to test positive for THC after using a full-spectrum CBD product.
As always, we advise that you talk to your doctor before using CBD. Professional athletes should also talk to their coaches before using any new health product.
Because there are so many CBD products out there, it can be difficult to figure out which products you should purchase. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of the best CBD products for athletes.
How we chose
We base our recommendations on the price, lab results, hemp quality, transparency, customer service, brand reputation, and other criteria. We’ve selected these CBD products for athletes from a list of more than 3000 products from over 150 CBD brands.
We use an unbiased ranking system to rate brands and products out of 100 points. Check out this page for more information on how we choose our products.
Our articles are written and reviewed by a team of cannabis journalists and medical practitioners who are experts in CBD.
Next-Generation CBD Products for Athletes
Higher potencies and different means of delivery are driving innovation.
Within the ever-expanding overall CBD market, runners and other athletes are increasingly a focus. This emphasis makes sense, when you consider that many of the touted benefits of CBD—pain relief, better sleep, faster recovery, lower inflammation—are of special interest to people who push their bodies hard. Companies are targeting athletes with higher-potency versions of typical CBD products and different ways to deliver CBD.
First, a refresher: CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of more than 100 related compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t produce the high caused by the other most well-known cannabinoid, THC. CBD products sold online and in retail establishments are made from hemp, which by definition is a cannabis plant containing no more than .3 percent THC. As of last year’s farm bill, hemp is no longer classified as a controlled substance under federal law. For a detailed background read on CBD, see this article.
Now, on to the new wave of CBD products for athletes, grouped by the type of innovation. These are all products I’ve tested since writing The Athlete’s Guide to CBD.
Higher Potency Within Typical Products
Two of the main CBD product types are oral tinctures and topical solutions. Tinctures typically come in a 300-milliliter bottle, or just about 1 ounce. You use the supplied dropper to place some of the tincture under your tongue, then keep the tincture in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing. (If someone says “CBD oil,” they’re talking about a tincture.) Topicals come in many consistencies—thick salve, oil, cream, lotion, roll-on, and so on—and in many sizes. Topicals are applied to achy body parts in the hope of delivering targeted pain relief.
When CBD really started hitting the mainstream in 2018, a typical tincture contained 300 to 600 milligrams of CBD. That equals about 30 full-dropper servings in a typical bottle, meaning that one drop of a 600-milligram tincture contains 20 milligrams of CBD. As customers reported benefits from larger daily amounts of CBD, manufacturers responded by making more concentrated tinctures. You can now find 30-milligram tinctures containing 2,000 or more milligrams of CBD; one dropper of an 1,800-milligram-strength tincture provides 60 milligrams of CBD.
Below are three high-potency tinctures I’ve had good results from. (“Results” for me include improved sleep and less overall creakiness from being a 55-year-old who has run more than 110,000 miles over the last 40 years and who is training for a 50-miler.) I appreciate the higher-potency offerings because I’ve gravitated toward a daily CBD sweet spot of 30 to 60 milligrams. If your standard level is lower, the higher-potency tinctures mean you can take a fraction of a dropperful and not have to restock as frequently.