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CBD Research in 2020: Where the Science is Taking US

You may have noticed your favorite athlete advocating for a CBD company. Just a few years ago this was out of the question. Now, American pro golfer Bubba Watson wears a CBD hat every day on the course. The same company also sponsors an entire rugby team. The Everton Football just signed a jersey deal with a CBD business. Cannabis has officially broken through to the mainstream.

The reason why athletes are advocating for CBD is that there are numerous scientific studies done to suggest that CBD could help athletes. In a recent paper published in July 2020, Australian researchers looked into CBD potential in the world of athletics. The researchers go beyond the potential pain-relieving qualities of CBD, they look at how CBD can help athletes psychologically.

CBD Research: Where We Are At

As a CBD advocate, the lack of research is frustrating. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties but somehow, we have only had a handful of studies done with any cannabinoid on humans. Animal models are better than nothing, but it just doesn’t move the needle when it comes to generating excitement and more research grants.

CBD is well tolerated when taken in even extremely high doses. Also, CBD is proven to not impair users motor functions after consumption. Even though there are only very rare instances of someone reporting a bad reaction to CBD, athletes have only recently been able to take the cannabinoid on the global stage. The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the banned substances list in 2018.

Legalization directly helps us understand more about CBD. Research on CBD oil increases as the consumption and demand in the market rises. Scientists are obligated to do more studies if people are frequently taking CBD.


The potential to naturally relieve pain and decrease inflammation is the obvious aspect that appeals to the world of athletics. Recovery is a challenge for all athletes. The research paper states,

exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) impairs muscle function and initiates an inflammatory response. While inflammation is integral to EIMD repair, regeneration, and adaption, excessive inflammation may contribute to prolonged muscle soreness and delayed functional recovery.


If we could get solid clinical studies done on humans, scientists can perfect the dosage and cater to athletes specifically. For now, it is hard to say if CBD will be the natural anti-inflammation drug of the future, but these researchers are hopeful.

The Australians look into studies suggesting that CBD could attenuate immune cell accumulation. In other words, lower inflammation. They analyze studies that have been done on animal models looking at repairing damaged lungs, liver, brain tumors, oral lesions, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury and colitis. These studies show promise, but the researchers are hesitant to come out with any claims. More studies need to be done on humans.

CBD Oil Research: Where We Are Headed

The researchers who published this paper are also interested in CBD’s effect on our brains. They believe that athletes have an opportunity to use CBD as a treatment for damage caused by concussions, Sports Performance, Anxiety, and sleep.

Sometimes we think of athletes as just bags of meat that are paid extremely well to entertain us. We forget about the pressures and consequences of performing at such a high level.

The researchers suggest more trials. It’s hard pressed to find a scientific paper pertaining to CBD that doesn’t make this suggestion, but it is refreshing to hear their take on the role CBD can be used in sports. CBD’s potential goes beyond simply rubbing some cream on your soar lower back. As more research is done, we will better understand how we can use CBD’s benefits to improve the lives of elite athletes and weekend warriors alike.


Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research

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