Can Athletes Benefit From CBD Products?

Updated on September 4, 2019

Almost every athlete struggles with pain and inflammation at some point, which is why they’re always looking for sustainable and effective treatment methods. CBD products could be the ultimate solution. Read on to find out why.  

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to any kind of trauma or immune event. There are generally two different kinds of inflammation, namely acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation is quite mild but very common. It’s the type of inflammation that happens when you bump an elbow or scratch your knee and it’s characterized by red, swollen tissue. This means your body’s immune cells have been triggered to fight the trauma.

Then you have chronic inflammation which is constantly happening or recurring in the body. This happens when our cells become sick, thus triggering an immune response which cascades into a vicious circle. The immune system responds with even more intensity, leading to chronic inflammation.

Inflammation treatment 

When most people think about inflammation treatment they assume that it has something to do with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories which often come in the form of pharmaceutical drugs. While they do combat inflammation, these work by acting upon the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX 1& COX-2) to slow down inflammation.

The problem with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories is that they’re hard on the gut because they actually stop the production of both COX-1 and COX-2. One of those cyclooxygenase enzymes is essential to the protection of our gut. CBD is different. 

How does CBD reduce Inflammation?

The human body has naturally occurring endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

These endocannabinoids are a natural byproduct of fatty acid metabolism. They’re also part of the eicosanoid super family. If you’ve ever bought an Omega 3 supplement you’ll have come across eicosapentaenoic acid also known as EPA in the ingredients list. This is an anti-inflammatory that modulates inflammation among other benefits. 

The body’s endocannabinoids are a naturally occurring member of that super family, and they are a byproduct of the breakdown of long chain fatty acids. This means that it’s a very natural process to have endocannabinoids in our system. 

Now, while they are produced by fat, endocannabinoids are released by neurons whenever they’re needed in the body. Your neurons need to see some inflammation in order to release endocannabinoids to modulate it so it’s a natural progression of fats communicating with neurons.

Furthermore, you have cytokines which are designed to trigger inflammation or reduce it given the right circumstances. You need some kind of cytokine activity to modulate inflammation and this is where CBD comes in.

CBD can actually modulate cytokine production, but to avoid getting rid of all cytokine activity it targets very specific, overactive immune cells that cause inflammation in the joints or in the brain. 

There’s another important part of the body that reduces cytokinec activity and it’s T-helper cells which travel around the body effectively “labeling” anything that’s bad for the overall health of the system. That label allows T-killer cells to come along and eliminate that object.

CBD limits the cytokine activity of these T-helper cells so they don’t become overactive. This is extremely helpful to inflammation because overactive T-helper cells can actually trigger T-killer cells to attack aspects of the body that don’t need to be attacked, and this is what leads to chronic inflammation symptoms like joint pain, brain fog and digestive discomfort etc.

Anandamide is one of the most well-researched cannabinoids and it’s naturally occurring in the body. Using CBD oil allows your body to create more of it while reducing the cytokine activity that would normally inhibit it. 

Keep in mind that anandamide is responsible for generating the sensation of “bliss” within the body and it can help to regenerate the joints and reduce brain inflammation. 

CBD does all of this without activating the CBD-1 and CBD-2 receptors within the body, which means it’ll never get you “high”. All CBD oil does is to naturally increase the production of our pre-existing endocannabinoids. 


If you’re going to purchase CBD oil for recovery and keep inflammation at bay, make sure it’s full-spectrum CBD oil derived from the hemp plant. It’ll help with your anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep faster so you get the rest you need to recover. 

You can take CBD oil intravenously or by rubbing it straight onto painful joints and muscles. You’ll definitely feel less sore and have less inflammation to deal with the next day. CDB products can also enhance quality of life and help you achieve your training goals. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.