Preventing injury is paramount, not just for professional athletes, but also for casual fitness enthusiasts. The stakes are high, the competition fierce, and the margin for error is razor-thin. 

As such, any tool that could give an edge, like CBD-infused topical creams, are gaining acclaim in sports. And with CBD now allowed by WADA and USADA, it’s a promising option for athletes.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of CBD-infused creams and how they can help you stay in top form.

Understanding CBD and Its Origin

Cannabidiol (CBD), a key component in hemp and cannabis plants, is at the core of these CBD-infused creams.

CBD doesn’t induce the ‘high’ often associated with cannabis – that’s the role of another compound, THC. CBD, on the other hand, is lauded for its potential therapeutic properties— properties that the sports world finds increasingly compelling.

The Legality of CBD Use for Athletes

In an impactful shift at the start of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) amended its regulations, taking CBD off their prohibited substances list. This new ruling was welcomed by athletes worldwide, enabling them to use CBD both in and out of competition without facing potential sanctions.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) mirrored this decision and further clarified the usage rules on their “Marijuana FAQ” page.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to note a significant qualification to these rulings — only CBD derived from hemp plants is permitted. THC, the infamous compound that induces the ‘high’ associated with cannabis use, remains banned in-competition alongside all synthetic cannabinoids.

To put it plainly, any cannabinoids, whether natural or synthetic, are still prohibited, barring the exception of CBD.

This careful delineation is due to THC’s psychoactive effects, which differ drastically from the non-intoxicating nature of CBD. It becomes imperative for athletes to ensure they use only the best CBD creams and products that are reputable, third-party tested, and contain no THC to stay within the acceptable regulatory boundaries.


The Science Behind CBD’s Potentials

The potential benefits of CBD revolve around its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that interacts with cannabinoids like CBD. This interaction can help regulate various bodily functions, including pain and inflammation.

When CBD-infused creams are applied to the skin, CBD interacts with these endocannabinoid receptors to soothe and reduce inflammation— which is key in injury prevention.

Application of CBD-Infused Topical Creams in Sports  

These CBD creams can be applied during different stages of sports participation:

Pre-workout or Pre-match

By applying CBD creams prior to engaging in sports or workouts, muscles might be conditioned to become more resilient to strain and potential injuries. This preemptive approach could also help minimize inflammation that commonly arises from rigorous activities. 

Post-workout or Post-match

After strenuous sessions of physical activity, muscles often carry the burden of inflammation and pain. Applying CBD-infused creams can help soothe this discomfort, promoting faster recovery. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are particularly beneficial in managing sports-induced inflammation. 

Regular Use

Besides the pre- and post-activity applications, regular use of CBD creams might assist in managing persistent aches and pains that athletes regularly face. This could potentially enable athletes to maintain a more consistent training routine, without being hindered by chronic pain issues.

During Rehabilitation

In instances where injuries have occurred, the use of CBD creams during the rehabilitation process might aid in pain management and possibly speed up the recovery timeline. Note that it is crucial to always consult a healthcare professional before adding any new products to your rehabilitation routine.

Prominent Athletes Utilizing CBD for Injury Prevention

Over the past few years, many professional athletes across various sports have publicized their use of CBD products towards injury prevention and recovery. Let’s take a closer look at three of them:

  • Eugene Monroe, NFL Player: Known for his stint in the National Football League, Eugene Monroe was one of the first active players to publicly advocate for CBD. His endorsement led the way for many of his fellow players to explore the benefits of CBD.
  • Nate Diaz, MMA Fighter: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) involves intense, rough training regimes that can leave fighters grappling with pain and inflammation. Nate Diaz, a prominent MMA fighter, shared that CBD oil plays a crucial role in his recovery routine, helping him manage the pain associated with constant, demanding training.
  • Ross Rebagliati, Olympic Snowboarder: Gold medalist snowboarder Ross Rebagliati has been a vocal advocate for CBD. He attributes his ability to recover from injuries and endure the rigorous demands of his sport to his regular CBD usage.

Benefits of CBD-Infused Topical Creams in Sports Injury Prevention


CBD creams offer a non-invasive, non-addictive method of potentially preventing injuries. They can aid in recovery, reduce muscle fatigue, and deal with chronic pain. The creams also deliver CBD directly to the needed area, providing faster localized relief.

Moreover, CBD-infused creams may also promote overall wellness by enhancing sleep quality and reducing stress levels — two crucial elements for an athlete’s performance and recovery.

By integrating CBD creams into their routine, athletes can potentially optimize not only injury prevention and recovery but their overall physical and mental health as well.

Potential Drawbacks and Risks of CBD Products  

Despite its benefits, CBD usage isn’t without risks. Allergic reactions are rare but possible, and there may be interactions with specific drugs.

As the CBD industry regulation is still developing, product quality varies significantly. For safety, it’s advisable to opt for third-party tested products only.

Furthermore, it’s important for athletes to consider the varying concentrations of CBD in topical creams. The effect of a particular cream can vary based on its CBD content, and overuse may lead to mild side effects like skin irritation.

Therefore, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional before implementing any new products such as CBD-infused creams into your regime.

The Future of CBD in Sports  

The use of CBD-infused creams in the sports world is just starting to unfold. With more in-depth research and improved regulation, CBD products might become a mainstay in athletes’ arsenal for injury prevention and recovery.

The future looks promising for CBD in sports, indicating a paradigm shift in sports medicine. Let’s watch this space as science continues to unravel CBD’s full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take for a CBD-infused cream to show effects?

The effects of CBD-infused topical creams typically become noticeable within 20 to 40 minutes after application. However, consistent use over a period of time often leads to the most noticeable benefits. 

Q: Are there any age restrictions for using CBD-infused creams?

While there are no definitive age restrictions, it’s recommended that CBD products are used by individuals aged 18 and above. However, it’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new regimen.

Q: Can you use CBD cream in combination with other recovery aids, like ice and heat pads?

Yes, you can. Using CBD-infused creams in conjunction with other recovery aids such as ice or heat therapy isn’t typically harmful. However, always consult with a healthcare professional to understand the best way to incorporate these components into your recovery routine.

Q: Can CBD-infused creams interact negatively with other topical medications?

While CBD generally has a good safety profile, it can potentially interact with other topically applied medications. If you’re using a specific topical medication, it’s best to consult with your practitioner before incorporating CBD creams into your routine.

Q: Can CBD-infused creams help with performance, or just recovery?

While the primary use for CBD-infused creams is often related to recovery and injury prevention, some athletes find that regular use helps them train more effectively by managing pain and inflammation. This, in turn, could have a positive effect on performance. However, further research is needed in this area.