Can professional athletes take CBD?

Tokyo 2020 Olympics and CBD for Athletes...

With the Tokyo Olympic Games being amidst the top new stories, we thought it would only be right to address the elephant in the room. But first, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the athletes that have made it to the Olympics and best of luck to all involved. 

CBD for athletes, the Olympics and a whole load of speculation; we thought we'd bring you our stance on CBD for athletes, ‘is CBD suitable for athletes’ and everything in between. Amongst the exponential growth in the popularity of CBD throughout the UK, athletes are up there for being the pioneers of contributing to the de-stigmatization of the plant. Vast amounts of athletes have turned to natural-based solutions and CBD is the most popular for aiding recovery through various forms  and enabling them to stay on the top of their game. 

Can you take CBD if you are an athlete? 

Yes you can, but there are a few things that you need to check first and foremost. To make sure that you're not putting yourself at risk from an athletes perspective. CBD is a very popular and natural way to be able to aid your recovery without filling your body with opioids and other chemicals. Its diversity in consumption methods means that it is suitable for everyone and applicable to anyone. To the average person, yes it is important to check the content but for athletes, everything needs to be checked and checked again when it comes to the contents, the origin of the product and most of all, the THC content. 

What is the status of cannabidiol (CBD) in sport? CBD is not currently listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List, and so is permitted to be used in sport. All other cannabinoids (including, but not limited to, cannabis, hashish, marijuana, and THC) are prohibited in-competition. There are a number of forms of CBD that you can get your hands on. 

What types of CBD can athletes have? 

Full Spectrum CBD contains THC which is currently a banned substance for athletes, it also contains various other cannabinoids such as CBG which all come from the same plant and all have their own benefits to offer, but in short full spectrum CBD is off the cards for you if you're an athlete. The next is broad spectrum, this form of CBD contains CBD song with some other cannabinoids but not all, most importantly, not THC. For CBD to be classed as broad spectrum, it needs to contain 0% THC and also contain other cannabinoids apart from CBD. This is the type of CBD that we at FIKA CBD use as we believe it is the most reliable way of promising a 0% THC content without compromising on the supposed benefits of CBD and the other cannabinoids. Last but not least is isolation. This form is 100% CBD without any other naturally occurring substances or cannabinoids, this is the cleanest form of CBD but studies have shown that it can compromise on the proven benefits of CBD in trials. Everyone is different and some things that may work for some, wouldn't work for others. It's all about working out what works best for you and how you can get the most out of your everyday but all that we would say is make sure that you check for 0%THC and 


How can CBD benefit athletes? 

When it comes to athletes, the most popular form of CBD to enhance their recovery would typically be perceived as cream/balms/direct appliances to the skin. Other forms of CBD however are also excellent forms of recovery and all forms of CBD can be used in conjunction with one another to complement one another. Why? Studies have shown that CBD can aid with and improve rates of recovery i.e. reduce inflammation, reduce muscle soreness and even loosen muscles (recovery is not only about the muscles but we will get onto that further down the line.) Using CBD in a balm or a cream, this means that the CBD is being applied directly to the skin and provides enhanced recovery for athletes. Furthermore, other forms of CBD like CBD Oil are excellent for recovery and are commonly used to aid with anxiety and aid with sleep. 

Why is recovery so important? 

CBD is applicable to everyone but every little percent makes a difference when it comes to high performing athletes. Recovery is the single most important part of any training or exercise program. Recovery allows for improved performance, permits time for our body to heal itself in preparation for the next training load, and decreases the risk of potential injury. All these benefits allow for the attainment of new goals and PB's.

When you recover, you give your body a chance to adapt to the stress that you put it through with exercise. During this process, your tissue repairs and your muscles are replenished with more glycogen which are their energy stores. Fitness creates microtears and recovery allows them to heal. This is how we grow muscle and get stronger and leaner. This process is referred to as Hypotrophy. Recovery for athletes can take anywhere from a few days to roughly a week.

Which top performing athletes use CBD?

1)Eddie Hall

The World’s Strongest Man in 2017! He was the first, and to date only, man to deadlift 500kg (over 1,102 lbs) in international competition. His roval, ‘Thor’ has claimed to have lifted a mighty 501kg, nipping him of his title but this was not conducted under competition conditions? A conversation for another time perhaps!

Eddie Hall is a regular CBD user and often speaks publicly about its ability to improve physical wellness. 



2) Alex Montagnani

British Mixed Martial Arts star and actor Alex Montagnani competes at welterweight and has a record of 10 to 3 wins to losses. 

Montagnani widely advocates for CBD on social media, and CBD oil in particular. Along with other athletes in the industry and beyond, Montagnani shares how CBD oil has allowed him to take his training to another level, promoting better all-round health from a natural and sustainable source, CBD!

3) George Kruis

George Kruis is a renowned rugby player with over 12 years’ professional experience, including five successful seasons with the Saracens and as a member of the England Performance Squad. Kruis is a high performing athlete that uses CBD as part of his everyday routine to allow him to stay at the top of his game and is openly thankful to the plant for aiding in his recovery. 


4) James Haskell

Another Rugby player using CBD! James Haskell.

Haskell is up there with one of the most famous rugby players in the UK holding over 70 caps. He is now an avid user of CBD and often promotes products and speaks around the benefits of CBD through his various social media channels such as Youtube and instagram. He and his wife both use CBD before and after workouts. 

5) Mike Tyson

Last but certainly not least in the short list is Mike ‘The Iron’ Tyson. He is not only one of the most famous names in boxing, but he is also probably the athlete who is the most vocal in promoting CBD oil. Tyson was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. A hall of famer athlete who now has turned to CBD to help with his everyday life. To not only promote calmness but also to help with his (still) rigorous training regime. 

Tyson has not only been very vocal in promoting the benefits of CBD for athletes, but he has also publicly stated that he uses CBD for training, as well as using it both before and after fights.

CBD for muscle recovery

Muscle recovery is a vital part of the overall recovery process and there has been various studies to suggest that CBD aids recovery in all forms, especially topical CBD i.e. CBD cream and CBD balms applied directly to the skin to aid with muscle soreness. So, how does it work? There's a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the skin, and when CBD is applied topically, it activates the endocannabinoid system through those receptors. CBD indirectly binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your epidermal and dermal skin, a process that results in alleviation of pain and inflammation. This process of CBD interacting with the ECS is also amplified by cannabinoid terpenes having an influence on the human body as well. Terpenes such as Alpha and Beta Pinene have proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-stress properties. 

Which CBD is best for Athletes? 

We are not going to sit here and prescribe you with the best form of CBD for you and say that some forms of CBD are going to work better for athletes because that is simply not true… At the end of the day everyone is different and you need to find what form of CBD works best for you as an individual. There is no one size fits all. All we would say is that if you are competing then make sure to check the validity of the producers and ensure that they contain 0% THC… have questions? Get in touch!

FIKA Tips - Dreamy Cream 

What is the most important part of recovery? SLEEP! Sleep is the most deprived form of recovery for individuals. You can find out more about the health implications of not getting enough sleep here. Sleep is not only important for athletes and their recovery but also extremely important for everyone in their everyday life. Lack of sleep can lead to things such as weakened immunity, high blood pressure, memory issues and many many more…

A quick FIKA Tip. Something that we're seeing great success with is people rubbing their FIKA CBD Recovery Cream on their temples and their neck before bed. We have had reports of people having an excellent night's sleep after this little bedtime routine, it's not only allowing people to go to sleep faster but also wake up feeling more energised. Give it  try and let us know your results!

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