Cannabidiol and Sports: Can you take CBD and work out?


This article will cover the topic of CBD and sports compatibility. For most people, cannabis use is an unhealthy lifestyle. There is a stereotype that cannabis aficionados lead an unhealthy lifestyle. However, it is not so. If you consider the evidence of surveys conducted by scientists, then cannabis fans can be found even among sportsmen. A huge number of businessmen – scientists, actors, singers, and even sportsmen- do not mind publicly declaring their love for cannabis! Swimmer, Olympic champion Michael Phelps is the clearest evidence of this. Also, legendary boxer Mike Tyson admitted that he used cannabis just before the show fight with Roy Jonos Jr (In California, where the fight took place, it is legal to use CBD for medical and recreational purposes.). He stated this at a press conference, reports USA Today.

Are CBD and sports compatible?

In order to understand and compare the benefits, harms, and compatibility of cannabis and sports, we will draw on several recent studies and also a large report by the US National Academy of Sciences on the effects of CBD consumption on human health, published in early 2017.

These studies have shown that cannabis can contribute to wellness and mood which is important when you have sport exercises.

One of its active ingredients, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, interacts with the brain’s reinforcing system. It reacts to things that make us feel good. For example, food or sex. Consuming CBD in moderation can be mildly euphoric. This is why some studies have suggested that overconsumption of CBD may turn out to be a problem for some people – the more you contribute to this euphoria, the less pleasure you feel in other pleasures. By the way, THC resembles anandamide, a natural cannabinoid that is produced in our brain and regulates sleep, memory, and appetite. Sport exercises may be more productive when you have a good sleep and a good appetite.

We can also refer to research by scientists from the University of Sydney, which showed that people who exercised for 35 minutes after using cannabis had 15% higher THC levels than those who did and did not exercise. THC is stored in fat, and when you exercise, your body begins to metabolize fat. As the body burns fat, a small amount of THC is released back into the bloodstream. Thus, the level of active THC in your body increases, and the associated sensations increase.

CBD and sports exercise activate the endocannabinoid system in the brain

The endocannabinoid system is a receptor for interactions with cannabinoids entering the body. In addition, the system creates natural cannabinoids that affect physiological functions such as appetite, pain, and memory. When we exercise, the endocannabinoid system will increase cannabinoid levels to help the body deal with the stress associated with physical activity.

Yoga experts have suggested that consuming CBD before exercise helps calm the mind and body, allowing you to better focus on the task at hand. Some long-distance runners have noted that using CBD before marathons helps them cope with exhausting mental stress.

CBD may boost fat burning

According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, people who consume CBD have 16% less fasting insulin in their bodies and 17% lower levels of insulin resistance. In this way, cannabinoids help tell your body to burn sugar. It is the excess sugar that often leads to increased body fat levels. Therefore, combining a healthy diet with cannabis and exercise will lead to great physical fitness.

Scientists at the University of Miami have found a link between cannabis consumption and body mass index. Cannabis lovers were less likely to be overweight. This is a useful property for those who are afraid of breaking off between workouts by disrupting their diet.

“Incredible, but true”: among people who regularly use cannabis, obesity is one-third less than among those who do not use it!

CBD and the muscular system

Athletes often have the goal of building muscle. In this case, it is better to consume CBD after a workout – a strong appetite will appear, tense and “clogged” muscles will relax, and then you can get maximum pleasure from a good sleep, which will restore strength and energy.

Based on the results of the American Journal of Medicine scientists, let’s look at when and for what purposes it is better to consume CBD before training and when after.

If you use pre-workout CBD is not much, because during exercise, the brain, lungs, and indeed the whole body needs the maximum amount of oxygen and active blood pressure, and CBD dilates blood vessels, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure. It promotes relaxation. It is better to consume cannabis before training in sports such as yoga and Pilates, where concentration on sensations and muscle relaxation is important.

Well, after training – very yes, as mentioned earlier in the case when the athlete has a goal to build muscle mass! Appetite, metabolism, muscle relaxation, and, as a result, high-quality sleep – all of this in general stands for the use of post-workout CBD.

CBD as a pain reliever

The pain-relieving properties of CBD have been known for quite some time, allowing its physicians in the United States to prescribe it to patients for muscle cramps and certain types of chronic pain. This property of cannabis will help if the athlete is actively involved in the gym. When muscles are clogged with lactic acid, or harden after exercise, or when an athlete is sprained or otherwise injured while exercising, cannabis will ease the pain and promote faster recovery.

CBD and sports – psychological attitude

CBD can help you get in the right mindset for routine exercise. Cannabis helps to better cope with repetitive work by being more focused on the process. Simply put, the use of cannabis gives a slight euphoria and relaxation, concentration on sports, and therefore the training time will pass easily and imperceptibly. Hence, the workout will be more enjoyable than without CBD.

CBD as motivation

Sooner or later, everyone who is actively involved in sports begins to feel a decrease in motivation and may even skip gym classes for periods. Using cannabis gives a good mood, therefore a person in a good mood is more motivated to train than a person in a bad mood.


The sportsman also enjoys the moment when, after training, he can relax after consuming CBD.

Analyzing the research of scientists from different countries of the world (outlined above in this article), we can summarize and highlight at least 5 reasons to go in for sports using cannabis:

  • increasing the efficiency of training;
  • cannabis and exercise activate the endocannabinoid system in the brain;
  • cannabis will help you focus;
  • cannabis speeds up metabolic processes;
  • cannabis creates the right mood for training

Let’s now look at the flip side of this coin.

Does cannabis have a detrimental effect on the body, especially during sports?

As is generally known, a medicine is distinguished from poison by the dose. Accordingly, in no case should this substance be misused. In case of an overdose, an attack of paranoia may ensue. Overdose can also cause hallucinations or a state of complete calm. In this case, active training is simply not possible.

It should be noted that it is better to take care of citizens who have heart problems and blood pressure. Cannabis can cause surges in heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, before you decide to introduce such doping into your training, it is important to track all your health parameters. If the metrics are not critical, then CBD definitely won’t hurt.

It is also advisable to choose a way of using cannabis that suits you personally.

For example, if you choose a vaping method, your mouth may be dry, which is not desirable during sports. Cannabis can be used as a dragee or paste. There are different ways of consuming cannabis in the modern world.

In general, CBD affects each individual organism differently. Therefore, you can accurately answer the question – is cannabis harmful during sports – you can only independently, by assessing the state of the body, a particular plant variety, and the goals you want to achieve in a particular sport. Based on surveys and scientific studies, it can be concluded that millions of people successfully combine sports and cannabis and this is not a problem for them.

The famous American trainer from the United States, Jim McAlpine, experienced all the delights of sports with CBD firsthand, so in 2017 he opened the world’s first cannabis gym in San Francisco. Visitors are not specifically allowed to give cannabis here, but those who want to try to combine cannabis and training are offered vaporizers, snacks, and pastries that contain cannabis.

Before that, a visitor who wishes to try cannabis has a consultation with a doctor and a trainer who will help to calculate the dose and method of using CBD based on the visitor’s data.

If Michael Phelps, American swimmer, 23-time Olympic champion, has used cannabis and won 33 awards in the history of the World Aquatics Championships, CBD cannot be harmful. Many current and former professional athletes have confessed to using cannabis during their careers. Whether they consumed it for medicinal purposes or just to have a little fun, they got the benefits we talked about above. The healing properties of cannabis can be invaluable, especially in stressful and contact sports such as martial arts, American football, and more.

Using cannabis as an exercise supplement is an individual decision. There is no propaganda for this plant in this article. Here are the negative and positive sides of the cannabis-sport combination, based on surveys and research by scientists. Each person independently decides how much he needs and what goals a person wants to achieve by combining sports and cannabis.

Wishing you good health and a good mood.

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